OF THE TIMES: FIRST THE BAD NEWS, THEN THE GOOD
June 25, 2009
Where’s the Hope in 2009?
Jesus told His disciples that the close of the age would be distinguished by signs, one of which is “abounding iniquity.” Arguably, childlike innocence is more a relic of the past than it is the norm. For good reason folks seldom leave keys in unattended cars, or bedroom windows wide open while sleeping.
Sadly, it would take eight Vietnams to fill as many graves as have been packed by Americans killed by fellow citizens. Crime originates from every rung of society. Daily, misdeeds of powerful politicians and self-serving corporate executives demonstrate our “losing the sense of shame that once accompanied the act of theft, private or public” (Lawrence W. Reed, “Ideas on Liberty,” THE FREEMAN 2008).
Although cynicism abounds, understandably so, those who hope in the Lord remain “of good courage” and “strengthened in heart” (Psalms 31:24).
Most Maligned Mandates
Perhaps more than ever “the wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men” (Ps. 12:8, NIV). Ask Swedish Pastor Ake Green, sentenced to a month in prison for “disrespecting” homosexuals. While preaching the Bible landed the good pastor in the slammer, Milk landed an Oscar for screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.
Evidently, progressive Americans embrace what God most hates—namely, wicked imaginations, pride and hands that shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:16ff). Hence, all the while African-Americans are fighting the high toll of abortion on their own communities (aptly labeled Black Genocide) President Obama emerges as “the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress.”
Especially with respect to issues of life and traditional marriage, there is “a growing paranoia about evangelical influence in American politics. The academic and journalistic left used to dismiss followers of Jesus as boobs. Now some see [them] as diabolical; … and what once was laughed at may soon be legislated against” (Marvin Olasky, World, Sept 2008).
For these, hope is found in the surety that where sin abounds, God’s grace super abounds (Romans 5:20).
Wars and Rumors Thereof
Bible prophecy has been proven accurate: More wars have been fought in the last 200 years than in all of the preceding 1700 years combined. It has been asserted that prior to 9-11, the Iranian regime was responsible, if only indirectly, for the murder of more Americans than any other country or organization in the world.
Fact is Iran remains our principle enemy in the Middle East. Not President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but rather Khomeini’s successor Ali Khamenei bears the title of “Supreme Leader.” It is he demanding “DEATH TO AMERICA” and the Lesser Satan, Israel (Former White House National Security advisor, Michael Ledeen, The Iranian Time Bomb).
Global tensions are not restricted to the plight of Palestine or God-sanctioned Israeli entitlement. Amidst a devastating gas dispute, Russia recently cut off all gas supplies to Europe—this, without warning—and thereby demonstrated Moscow’s confrontational posture toward the West. With Russia behind him, Chavez is likely to fill the vacuum left by Fidel Castro. Loss of Latin America to Moscow-backed Chavez is a growing threat.
Adding insult to injury, terrorist cells continue to grow worldwide in some forty nations. Within the week of its occurrence, Golda Meir’s former body guard Juval Aviv accurately predicted the London subway bombing. As President and CEO of an international corporate intelligence and investigations firm based in New York, he now foresees an imminent terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Calamitous threats as these contribute to widespread anxiety, but Bible believers experience “peace that passes understanding.” Theirs is “a better hope” than what the world has to offer (Philippians 4:7; Hebrews 7:19).
Ethnos (Race) v. Ethnos (Race)
One cannot discount inspiration derived from the Obama story. That said, on more than one occasion, even African-American Pastor Clenard Childress has spoken out against the President.
In having “prevailed against the system,” Obama broke a long-standing glass ceiling. Thus, he rendered as moot the racially-propelled, now outmoded “blame game” that for decades had served only to fragment American society (World, 6 December 2008).
Or did he? It has been alleged that Obama’s autobiography Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance is “obsessed with race and race conflict.” Portraying U.S. history as a consistent tale of oppression, Obama stews about injustices he never personally experienced.
Such rhetoric serves only to further fragment society with festering mistrust and unstoppable blame. Thankfully, God is “no respecter of persons.” Hope for color- and culture-blind unity characterizes the kingdom of God in which neither male nor female, bond nor free takes precedence (Acts 10:34; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
Having grown up under Communism in Soviet Russia, author Ayn Rand gained insights into the destructiveness of socialism. Her classic novel, Atlas Shrugged, describes economic carnage caused by big government run amok. Although Rand foresaw our making the same politically expedient mistakes, America’s politicians remain hell bent on committing the very acts of economic lunacy that Rand parodied in 1957.
As America goes, so goes the world; and—make no mistake—President Obama’s 83-page Blueprint for Change calls for vast expansion of federal government. From the perspective of Georgia Congressman Paul Broun, the Blueprint is an obvious call for socialism.
Unfortunately, “none are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free” (Goethe). There is liberty for the captive only where the spirit of the Lord is. Truth is what sets us free (Isaiah 61:1; John 8:32).
An up-and-coming global force, President Obama has expressed strong commitment to the U.N. and its various sovereignty-compromising programs—specifically, the U.N. Millennium Development Goals 2000. Embraced by 191 U.N. Member States, eight targeted goals serve developing countries and empower women.
Be sure, formal world federalism is well linked to rights-based liberalism. Over just a few years, Americans will be required to ante up hundreds of billions of dollars that will do precious little to improve the plight of the world’s poor. Instead, their taxes will serve only to strengthen the U.N. and enrich corrupt foreign dictators.
Though we have the poor with us always, God will not forsake nor see His seed begging for bread. This is a certain hope (Matthew 26:11; Psalms 37:25).
Senior economics writer for The Wall Street Journal editorial page Stephen Moore explains: Politicians invariably create and then respond to crises by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations. These, in turn, generate more havoc and poverty, which inspires the politicians to create more programs.
The downward spiral repeats itself until productive sectors of the economy collapse under the collective weight of taxes and other burdens imposed in the name of fairness, equality and do-goodism.
The more incompetent one is in business, the more handouts the politicians bestow. That's precisely the justification for subsidies doled out to keep afloat distressed insurance companies, banks, Wall Street investment houses and auto companies.
Even so, President Obama is on record as regretting that Supreme Court decisions have not been radical enough to order redistribution of wealth. Problem is, when profits, wealth and creativity are denigrated, they start to disappear, leaving everyone the poorer (Phyllis Schlafly Report, December 2008).
Throughout life’s journey, each must carry his own backpack or burden. Excessively heavy ones are rightfully shared; however, as a rule, the industrious (not sluggards, nor shysters) are deemed “worthy of their hire.” That is to say, these are blessed with the fruit of their own labors (Galatians 6:5; Romans 15:1; 1 Timothy 5:18).
The Asian Century
For many, a new administration refreshes hope for desired change in pursuit of a better America. However, many in the media have begun referring to the 21st century as the Asian Century—this, because of the predicted growing power in Asia. With it comes Eastern mysticism.
When merged with the conciliatory gospel of the West, neo-pantheistic syncretism debases our culture, work ethic, private property and free enterprise. To the contrary, the exercise of sound biblical principles—hard work as unto the Lord, discretionary spending, earth stewardship and cheerful generosity—is certain to sustain free society propelled by biblical ethic.
Where’s the Hope?
If cross-cultural iniquity abounds at all levels of society, as surely it does, the question remains: Where’s hope to be found when cynicism, paranoia, fear, mistrust, blame, greed and spiritual deception dominate?
The answer’s surely not to be found in global politics, economics or religious systems. Instead, “Messenger of Hope” David Bryant has issued a joyful manifesto on the supremacy of God’s son through which he emphasizes these four goals: proclaim a comprehensive vision of Christ’s supremacy, awaken hope focused on this larger vision, empower then mobilize leaders, and equip other “Messengers of Hope” to follow suit.
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Herein lays our hope as Americans: an uncontrollable spiritual brush fire that ultimately yields the triumph of God’s global charge, not man’s counterfeit of it. By awakening to an unfolding revelation of God’s glory, believers will experience fresh winds of passion, mission and—yes—hope that can’t be quelled no matter the prevailing circumstances.