From Dr. Richard Land and The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
“This is what the LORD says: Stand by the roadways and look. Ask about the ancient paths: Which is the way to what is good? Then take it and find rest for yourselves” (Jer. 6:16 HCSB).
If America dies, she will perish from self-inflicted wounds. It has always been the case and always will be that nations, great nations, die from within, not from without.
That is surely what God’s Holy Word is telling us in Jeremiah 1. God sent His prophet Jeremiah, and there can never have been a more direct command to go than the one Jeremiah received from God. Beginning in verse 5, God said, “I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (HCSB). And then Jeremiah said that God put forth His hand and touched his mouth (v. 9). After God put His own words in Jeremiah’s mouth, He sent him out to speak them to His people, who were in rebellion and in the grip of pagan idolatry.
In Jeremiah 6:13-17 we hear these words: “For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is gaining profit unjustly. From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have treated My people’s brokenness superficially, claiming: Peace, peace, when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they acted so abhorrently? They weren’t at all ashamed. They can no longer feel humiliation. Therefore, they will fall among the fallen. When I punish them, they will collapse, says the LORD. This is what the LORD says: Stand by the roadways and look. Ask about the ancient paths: Which is the way to what is good? Then take it and find rest for yourselves. But they protested: We won’t! I appointed watchmen over you and said: Listen for the sound of the ram’s horn. But they protested: We won’t listen!”
In Jeremiah’s day the only real earthly protection that could be afforded to a city was to fortify itself with a wall and place watchmen on it. They would watch through the night and through the day, scanning the horizon. The watchmen were issued trumpets, and at the first sign of trouble, they were to pick up those trumpets and blow a warning blast. The people knew that was their signal to awaken from their slumber or stop their daily activities and defend their homes and families.
In effect, Jeremiah was saying that God’s prophets were his watchmen. They had scanned the horizon looking for any threat, but they had turned and seen that the real threat was inside the walls. The watchmen had taken up their trumpets and blown the warning blasts, telling the people to take notice of what was around them, to ask about the old path and look for the good way, then to find rest by walking in it.
Several years ago a reporter asked me, “We’ve heard a lot from you about what’s wrong with America. What would America look like if it was the way you wanted it to be?” And I replied, “Well, a good place to start would be America in 1955, without the racism and the sexual discrimination against women.”
America in 1955 was a place where the following things did not happen, as they do now:
- Less than half of our children currently grow up in intact families. The divorce rate in America is 45-50 percent for first marriages, 60-67 percent for second marriages, and 70-73 percent for third marriages1.
- Every year in the last ten years there has been a 400 percent increase in child abuse significant enough to require a doctor’s attention2.
- Every hour our children watch 20 violent acts on television3.
- Every day in America nearly 2,800 teenage girls get pregnant4.
- Every day in America 1,106 of those girls snuff out the lives of their unborn children through abortion5.
- About 8 out of every 100,000 teenagers committed suicide in 2000. For every teen suicide death, experts estimate there are 10 other attempts6.
- By the time they graduate from high school, 54 percent of our teenagers acknowledge that they have used one or more illegal drugs7.
And we are being inundated with a tidal wave of moral relativism that centers on human sexuality.
- At 13.3 billion dollars a year, the 2006 revenues of the sex and porn industry in the U.S. are more than the revenues of professional football, basketball, and baseball combined. Worldwide sex industry sales for 2006 are reported to be 97 billion dollars. To put this in perspective, Microsoft, which sells the operating system used on most of the computers in the world (in addition to other software) reported sales of 44.8 billion dollars in 20068.
- One out of every 4 girls and 1 out of every 6 boys in the United States will be sexually molested by the time they reach their 16th birthday9.
- Somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 46 seconds. Every day 4 women are killed by their domestic partner10.
- Prior to 1960 there were only two significant sexually-transmitted diseases: syphilis and gonorrhea. Both were easily treatable with antibiotics. In the next two decades this began to change. Today there are approximately 25 STDs, and a few can be fatal. Approximately 1 in 5 Americans between the ages of 15 and 55 are currently infected with one or more STDs, and 12 million Americans are newly infected each year. That’s nearly 5 percent of the entire American population. Of these new infections, 63 percent are in people under the age of 2511.
Yes, things have changed since 1955. That time certainly had its own problems, but this moral filth was not being poured out into our culture.”
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