7 Threats in Our Times: (#6) America – Addicted and Soft, Dependent and Lost

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When someone is hit with any kind of disease or virus, the most significant factor in whether they will survive or not is their current mental and physical health. Are they strong and hardy or are they weak and lacking the will to fight? 

It is no different when one is assessing the threats to a culture. Are the people strong in character? Are they resilient and alert? Are they capable of withstanding the storm or are they weak and ready to give in or give up? Are they unified by a noble and high cultural vision? The Scripture rightly says:

Where there is no vision, the people perish [or are unrestrained] … Proverbs 29:18

There are many, many ways to assess the health of a culture. We have already looked at several. For generations now, we have consistently sowed the message: “it’s all about me”. People have come to expect it. We have descended into some self-deceptive me-ology of “homo deus” where even a child is now given the right of divine proclamation in what sex they would like to be. Defying these divine assertions is considered blasphemy and subject to being purged. This self-obsession is practically indiscernible from the state of Rome before it fell. 

Here are four other characteristics that paint an ominous picture of our inability to withstand the perfect storm raging around us:

Addicted. Addiction, in a general sense is defined as:

The compulsion to repetitively involve oneself with a substance or activity that is overall unhealthy.

If one considers “substance” addictions, the statistics are not good. Conservative numbers indicate that 1 in 16 adults have an “alcohol use disorder”, which we use to call alcoholism. When one considers the impact that those addicted have on family members and friends, it is not hard to think that half of our nation is negatively affected by this addiction. Consider college students: 1 in 3 use marijuana (32/6%); 1 in 8 use cocaine (13.3%); 1 in 8 use hallucinogens (13.0%) and 1 in 10 use MDMA (Ecstasy) (9.8%). Many argue that the U.S. is in the midst of an “opioid” crisis. 2019 saw nearly 50,000 people die of opioid overdose.

Nineteen states have made marijuana use fully legal with 25 states close behind. My state, Colorado, was second to legalize marijuana. It was sold to voters because it would bring financial gain to the state. In reality, the cost to taxpayers is now $5 for every $1 gained in tax revenue. This is in addition to the expenses covering things like marijuana-related DUIs that cost the state $25 million in 2016 and is nothing compared to the loss of productivity and the reduced inner drive that comes from its use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that marijuana is the most used drug and its long-term effects are damaging us. This includes infertility, increased testosterone in women, decreased testosterone in men and a psychological dependence that demands an ever-increasing use of the drug. This is why marijuana is considered a gateway to harder drugs like heroin and cocaine. 

On the sweeter side, many consider that Americans are addicted to sugar in all of its forms. We crave it. We have eating addictions on both ends: too little or too much.

But the larger concern is with the addictions that are increasingly part of our daily routines. These deal not with "substance" addictions, but addictions to “activities” like video games, social media, music and entertainment, pornography, etc. Teenagers spend 9 hours a day consuming screen entertainment; adults 6 hours per day. It is not too far of a stretch to say that we are even “obsessed” with these things and would suffer withdrawal symptoms if they were taken away.

The implications for one’s life, though, is striking. Not only are we dealing with possible physical disorders that arise from our addictions, but one must consider the loss of fruitfulness that comes from the sheer amount of time and the percentage of one’s life that is being lost. It wouldn’t be a bad exercise for each of us to take a week and make a personal log of how we spend our time. How much of it is being fruitful and how much of it is basically for my own pleasure?

Soft. When I say this, I am thinking about the toughness that built this nation. I think of the pioneer mother who buried her child by the side of the trail, mourned, but then climbed up into the covered wagon, grabbed the reins and pressed on. We are now debilitated and require counselling if someone fails to use our personal pronoun. I think of the couple and family who cleared their land and fought the elements and hardships required to make a go of a small farm, working sunup to sundown. Now we demand paid vacation and sick time, maternal and paternal leave, shorter work days, etc. or we sit home and take unemployment and don’t work at all. I think of the founding generations whose day was spent filled with simply working to provide the means of life: growing food, fetching water, making clothes, maintaining their shelter, and yet they found time to read and worship and visit neighbors, helping them when the need arose. Now we spend hours and hours a day consuming entertainment and complain if the line at the fast food restaurant is too long. We don’t know our neighbors and don’t really want to. I think of those who went to war for the cause of freedom and the many who gave their lives for the benefit of others. Now it is hard to find someone who is willing to risk their Facebook numbers by speaking out against the insanity of our times or to speak with any patriotic zeal. We used to say “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. Now, the wrong words will put us in an emotional tailspin that requires psychological therapy. And if we use the wrong words, it can get us cancelled or purged. With the underlying perspective that it is all about me, if the world doesn’t follow my script, I become incapacitated, or, engorged with the power now granted to the offended and call upon the “system” to punish the offender and make restitution to me. Since “compassion” (malevolent) has become our primary ethic, anything that gets in the way of one's personal desires will be seen as the new evil.

If we were to be completely honest with ourselves, we are pampered, coddled, over-indulged, overweight, weak-willed and easy pickings for an overthrow.

Dependent. Dependency is a means to become soft, but it also strips us of our incentive to be fruitful. Such is what happens when the State pays people to not work. Jobs will go unfilled and the fruit of a nation will be diminished. Over half of Americans receive dependency payments from the Federal Government. Becoming dependent on substances, such as alcohol or drugs can prevent us from dealing with bumps in our life, using the substance to falsely remove us from the troubles. That too, leads to a weakness and softness in which we are unable to face difficulties and would rather run away than confront them, even if they are enemies of what is right. Becoming dependent upon entertainment and pleasure or other forms of escape can also diminish our fruitfulness and the downstream life that is meant to come from that fruit. Spiritual dependency comes when religious institutions become the substitute for our own spiritual responsibilities. I can come to believe that the church has the primary responsibility for the spiritual growth of my children, or my own spiritual growth, or my own ministerial responsibilities, replacing the Lord’s command to love my neighbor with participation in church programs. Dependencies are the result of conceding control of my life and responsibilities to someone or something that will, in return, supposedly care for me in my slothfulness. This, too, is delivered to us through malevolent compassion for in the end it will destroy us and our culture.

Lost. When a people lose sight of the Larger Story of God, it becomes all about their story. When this happens, we lose the source of true significance. Significance is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, drives of the human soul. Totalitarian regimes exerted enormous power by entering a home at night, removing the non-compliant, never to be seen or heard of again. He disappeared into a nothingness hole. He became insignificant. This consequence of becoming nothing was the single most powerful tool of the tyrant. Losing all significance is repugnant to the human soul for we were made to find our significance in our Creator. When we lose sight of who we truly are and Whose we truly are, we enter into a desperate struggle to find significance from somewhere, anywhere. Some try to find it in their beauty and form; some in their humor and charisma; some in their intellect; some in their power and control over others. Some sense they gain significance by taking it from others, thinking that by belittling or mocking or cutting another down, they have somehow become more significant by elevating themselves. When you become cognizant of this, you will see it played out all around us. Some are so afraid of losing any significance that they will not take any risks in relationships or interactions in which they might be embarrassed or belittled. It is now part of our culture that significance comes from being labeled as part of an oppressed class. Being “offended” now brings its own warped sense of significance and people actually long for someone to offend them.

When a people lose sight of the Larger Story of God, they become rootless and swayed by whatever emotional wind is currently blowing. They are tossed to and fro by things that go viral, by headlines or Tweets or YouTube videos, by entertainment stars who speak as if they are culture’s clerics. The Primary Ethic of Compassion (malevolent) moves us to embrace what is vile. The Noble Male and the Virtuous Female are no longer heroes to which we strive. Our striving is now for things vain and empty. The words of Solomon are ever more relevant to us. He sought for meaning in gained knowledge, but found it to be meaningless. We have the world’s knowledge at our Google fingertips and in the midst of this overwhelming mass of knowledge, we find it ultimately unfulfilling and after hours of stuffing ourselves with it, when end up empty. Solomon sought for significance in pleasure and drink. He sought for it in surrounding himself with slaves who could cater to his every whim, like asking Alexa for the weather or for pizza to be delivered or a pair of new shoes, as per my special order, delivered by my coachman tomorrow. And yet, when my whims are met, I feel more alone and hollow than before. Solomon denied himself nothing his eyes desired, like putting on earbuds and listening to any music he wanted, or watching dancers or actors perform in any genre of movie one could desire. He surrounded himself with comfort and pleasure and in the end, it was all meaningless... void of significance.

Such is our culture, wealthy with pleasures and things beyond the dreams of any king in the past, yet desperate to be significant, vainly seeking it from the things of the world.

I do not intend for all of this to be depressing. On the contrary, this is the necessary reality that the people of God need in order that we might “understand the times in which we live” so that we might know what we should do. What will overcome this dismal state of our culture and the moaning and groaning we see all around us (open or hidden)? I know of only one thing and that is the Christ-transformed lives of individual men and women. And that can only come through the diligent prayers of God’s people and the deep relationships that He has called us to form with those providentially around us... those who are addicted and soft, dependent and lost.

Resist the pull of our culture into addictions and obsessions, into becoming soft and desiring pleasure and acceptance more than telling the truth, into becoming dependent upon anything that destroys your incentive to be fruitful, into getting caught up in your own small story and losing your place in the Meta-narrative of God.

Be strong and courageous, dear Remnant! This is our day. This is our time. All for the glory of the Lord!

 

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24
When Infants Invade Adult Bodies
On Election Day, at lunchtime, I was at a park in Colorado Springs. On one corner of the park sits one of our big high schools. It was a nice day (normal for the Springs) and the students filled the park, several making out lying on the grass. On the opposite corner stood a young man, conservatively dressed, holding an American flag and a Trump sign. He had a radio on the ground, not very loud, but playing a conservative talk show. I sat at a bench near the young man because I was curious about what I saw happening. As the students walked by, they shouted obscenities at him and Trump. I am not willing to repeat any of it, suffice to say it was as filthy and vile as you can get. Some spit toward him. As it was getting close to the end of their lunch hour, a group gathered in front of him and pummeled him with profanity and obscene gestures. One girl was screaming at him. I suppose even worse was that after they would shout their obscenities, they would then howl in laughter pointing at him as if he were a joke. Of course, in the world of child-like behavior, this is considered the cruelest of all taunts… to make another seem like a worthless outcast… insignificant scum. Although I couldn’t hear what the young man was saying, he remained calm and would sometimes turn and wave at cars that would supportively “beep-beep” as they drove by. As I write this, I’m not sure if I was right or wrong to not jump into the middle of it. I was committed to offer help if it looked like it was going to escalate beyond words, but for now it was free-speech being played out, though admittedly disgusting. After the lunch crowd had returned to their classrooms, I approached the young man and our conversation went something like this: “Students were pretty rough on you.” “Yeah. A lot of nasty stuff.” “I’m impressed you remained calm through all of it.” “Well, I kept telling them that obscenities didn’t add to the conversation and just encouraged any of them to simply enter into a civil discussion with me.” “I’m sorry they didn’t do that.” “Me too. I really wish we could just talk about the issues like adults.” I think it was the “adult” word that helped frame some of this for me. I had, indeed, witnessed deep immaturity, with its pure emotional spewing and little to no rational thought. I don’t go to the park all the time, but I’m there enough to occasionally hear their conversations. I remember one of the first times, next to a group of high school girls, in which I was dumbfounded at the filth of their language. I spent over 20 years in the military, and I’d never heard anything that matched it. Where does this come from? My heart sank as I experienced what was happening Tuesday. It was quite scary, actually, because I was not only looking at such deep expressions of hate and loathing, but I was also looking at the generation that is going to replace us all. It didn’t look good. We woke this morning to the continued news that there are protests all around the country. Some have become violent and destructive. Interestingly, the chants of the protestors are much like those I heard in the park… quite childish, selfish and filled with hatred. Where is all of this coming from? In the park, my first thoughts were to put the blame on the high school that was right on the corner, thinking that this was coming from their classrooms. But then something dawned on me after reading the list of “tweets” that went out from Hollywood and TV and music “stars”. They were all saying the same things, in “star” lingo, of course, but just as childish. This is Cher’s mature tweet on the election: “Trump will never be more than a toilet…” Andy Cohen (along with all the other late-night talk show hosts): “Did we just elect a snake oil salesman and his wicked court of terror…?” Snoop Dogg: “The worst day in America: 9/11. The second worst day: 11/9.” Really? Worse than the Civil War? Worse than the trail of tears? Worse that Kennedy’s assassination… or Pearl Harbor or the stock market crash in 1929? This is the mindless mantra of our “entertainment” empire. And it is here we find the prime tutor of our children. The average teen consumes 9 hours a day of entertainment on their smartphone or TV. You may want to reread that or say it over to yourself: 9 hours per day of smartphone/TV entertainment. This domain of music, rap, video, shows, comedy, movies and gaming is cultivating a mind that is filled with sex, violence, obscene language and destructive ideas. It numbs them towards a true reality. It strips them of common sense. It erects in their heart, mind and soul a virtual world of all-about-me and my pleasure. And if things don’t go my way, I throw my tantrums. I call people names. I stomp my feet and chant emotional non-sense. And I demand. Like the 3-year-old girl I saw the other day stomping her feet, screaming at her mother, demanding her own way. For 9 hours a day, our youth live in a non-real world where lyrics and scripts and rap words rhythmically and cinematically draw them into believing that the virtual world of the entertainment empire is the world we all ought to live in… the world we WANT to live in. It seduces. It hypnotizes. It frames a worldview that is totally self-centered and hedonistic. And it is totally irrational. It spews out the most hateful and vile stuff. It beats up people, destroys property, flips off the world and then smugly chants “love trumps hate”. It is the la-la land of infants demanding to get their own way in their self-defined, virtual world. The problem is that the infants are increasingly in adult bodies with lots of power. Our addiction to entertainment will continue to stunt our culture's maturity. We must wean ourselves and our kids. Here is what troubles me most, however. Immaturity, when it doesn’t get its way, will often erupt into a “make you pay” rage. I sense that is what we are seeing. But I fear it is only the beginning. We are going to be treated to a host of "See what you made me do!" and "This is all your fault!" and "You'll be sorry!" acts and situations and new stories and personal stories, ad infinitim. Brace yourselves, for the revenge of self-centered infants who live in adult bodies and carry great wealth and power can, and will be, be scary.   
7
The True State of Our Union
Our President will offer, on Tuesday, his State of the Union address. However, it will most likely not be a true state of our nation, but rather another political posturing speech, just like we have heard for years, from both Republicans and Democrats. This is unfortunate, for our nation needs a true, honest assessment of where we are as a culture. It is in that spirit I offer my humble perspective. This is what I would wish for the President to say as he stands before Congress and the American people: ... To the people of this great country, I offer to you my honest assessment of the state of our nation…and it is not good. We are greatly blessed in America. We have abundant resources, rich farmland, and beauty beyond description: from the Grand Canyon to our waterfalls, from our mountains to our coastlands. We have been blessed with great people: people who have come here from all the nations of the earth, seeking the American dream. They have been hard working, good people, courageous in the face of trials and heroic in the face of enemies. We have been blessed with more than we can enumerate. And, I suppose, the Hollywood and political style would have us gush and fawn over each other in our lofty positions and applaud all kinds of supposed accomplishments as if these blessings come from our own making. It would be in keeping with most of our recent State of the Union addresses to therefore give you a long list of all the grand things that the Federal government needs to do for the American people and to smile and look into the camera and assure them that we are taking good care of them...and things are going quite well. But they are not. We are not healthy… Nor are we strong. In fact, I believe we are now, more than ever before in the life of this nation, vulnerable to destruction. This has not come as the result of an external power or force. It has not come from our current war with terrorism. I do not speak of our military might, but I speak of the state of this nation’s soul. We hang over a perilous ledge…at best, we are sliding into an insignificant oblivion. We are in a state of decay…we are rotting away from within. We have succumbed to a deep selfishness. It is eating away at our character, our strength and our core like an aggressive, unchecked cancer. Despite all the current cries for secularization, we were founded with a clear belief that the health of this nation would rest upon two foundations: religion and morality[1]. This was not to be understood that religious particulars would be legislated, but that we, as a nation, recognized the fundamental existence of God and His declaration of things that were right and things that were wrong, and that the citizenry would then govern themselves according to those transcendent laws. It was this self-government that allowed for a minimum of civil-government and therefore a maximum of personal freedom…freedom to work hard and to enjoy the fruit of one’s labor…to use that fruit and selfless efforts to raise a family and to aid one’s neighbor in distress. This was the American dream. In our great foolishness, we have now discarded those foundations. We have traded self-government for self-indulgence. We have traded transcendent Truth for self-centered identity and self-centered lust. The desires of the heart now trump any notion of divine righteousness. We have tossed aside these critical Foundations…Foundations that for years sustained and propelled us into being the greatest nation in the world. Now we chase the mirage and illusion of self-gratification and false notions that right and wrong are determined by the individual…by man himself. And these false notions are now supported and propagated by all the centers of influence in our culture: Hollywood, media, academia and even the President, the Supreme Court and Congress. And, as with every lie and deceit, its promises are false. Instead of selfishness bringing us happiness and pleasure, it reaps us strife and groaning. In the end, a self-centered culture is a hateful and violent culture…a culture seething with the seeds of its own destruction. Our cities teeter on the brink of bursting into riots and flames. We can no longer stroll safely at night on our streets. Our families are no longer secure in their homes. Our children are no longer safe in their schools. Our pursuit of selfishness and hedonism has brought the true state of our nation to one that is filled with violence. We lead the world in crime. We commit approximately 10 million crimes every year…nearly 26,000 every day[2]. No other nation comes close to us. Every day we murder 40 people and rape 320[3]. As such, we also lead the world in incarcerations. Of all the prisoners in the world, we account for 25% of them. Our prisons are overflowing[4]. The backbone of our culture, our families, are in serious trouble. For every 7 marriages this year, there will be nearly 4 divorces.[5] And when we have babies, fewer are within the security and nourishment of a mother and father. Half of our first babies are born to unwed mothers; a third of our children live without a father[6]; if you are a black baby conceived in this nation, the odds are greater that you will be aborted than that you will be born alive[7]. Since 1973, we have killed 55 million of our babies, about a million a year, and we abort more of our offspring every single day than the terrorists murdered in the World Trade towers on 9/11[8]. The true state of our Union should cause us to weep. We lead the world in producing pornography. 90% of the world’s pornography comes from our nation[9]. We are sexually addicted and obsessed. Our movies and music and media are awash in what was once considered sinful and vile. The state of our nation is truly shameful. We have lost our sense of morality and it is costing us dearly. Try to imagine this next statistic: in one year, we will contract 20 million sexually transmitted infections. That’s 54,000 people infected every day…a fourth of them are teenagers.[10] This is well beyond a level that we should label as an epidemic and plague—but we don’t speak of these things because it would dampen our lust for sexual freedom and reduce ticket sales at the theater. We are the world’s leading user of illegal drugs[11]. Approximately one in ten of us is addicted to alcohol or drugs[12]. Every day, our drinking and driving snuffs out the lives of 28 human beings[13]. We spend $50 billion federal dollars every year fighting illegal drugs while we spend $100 billion a year using them[14]. We are a nation of self-centered addicts. Our drug and alcohol addictions lead the world, but they are nothing compared to the astounding percentage of our people who have sexual addictions…people who are addicted to pornography or addicted to gambling or video games or other pathologies that have a death grip upon us, destroying our lives, our families and our fruitfulness. This, too, is a national epidemic. We are sinking fast into mental numbness and dumbness as well. Out of the top 22 developed countries, our upcoming millennial generation ranks dead last in math, dead last in problem solving, and near dead last in literacy. This is a continual decline over decades. After four years of college, our Millennials score no better than high school seniors in Japan or Finland or the Netherlands. Researchers call our Millennial scores “abysmal”[15]. Instead, our teens consume nearly 9 hours a day of entertainment on smartphones or TV[16]. By the time they are 18, our children will have witnessed approximately 400,000 murders on TV and by the age of 21, they will have spent 10,000 hours playing video games[17]. Even the future state of our nation does not look promising. We adults aren’t much different. We average nearly 6 hours a day in front of the television…a big screen TV that is most likely on a credit card. Our personal consumer debt is over $2.5 trillion. The average family owes $16,000 in credit card debt. Our students owe $1.3 trillion in school loans[18]. But the biggest runaway spending is found in Washington. The Federal debt is beyond imagination. Our debt has gone from $7.3 trillion in 2004 to over $18.8 trillion today with no sign of slowing down. This debt is now higher than our GDP—the total of ALL the goods and services produced in our country. We pay almost $230 billion a year in interest on that debt. The debt load on every taxpayer in America is now over $157,000[19]. But, in reality, the $18.8 trillion debt is a phony number. The real debt is found in our unfunded obligations, obligations to pay things in the future like Social Security and Medicare. This is the real debt of our nation. We currently have unfunded liabilities that total over $100 trillion dollars….a debt load of $1 million dollars for every taxpayer in our nation[20]. It is more than the total of the ENTIRE world’s output. This debt is beyond understanding. It is a house of cards awaiting a puff of wind to blow it down. Are we so blind that we cannot see any of this? Despite the political posturing, we have fewer people in the workforce today than in 2000. We play with numbers to keep a respectable unemployment figure by moving millions of people into a growing pool of what we call “not in the labor force”…currently over 90 million[21], but the reality is that many of them are of working age who desire to be employed full-time but the jobs are not there. That may partially come from the fact that we also have the largest trade deficit in the entire world[22] and that our high corporate tax rate is causing businesses and jobs to move to other countries[23]. All of this is transforming our nation into an ever-increasing welfare state. Over half of our people receive redistribution benefits from the Federal government. Few Americans are saving wisely and 76% of our people are living paycheck to paycheck, which means over three-fourths of our nation are loaded with debt and are one paycheck away from financial disaster.[24] How can we be so foolish? We are increasingly becoming a nation of dependents and wards of the State. We are becoming slaves to a Federal Beast that grows without restraint. The power and reach of the Federal government has become unrecognizable by our founding standards. The President and Supreme Court craft laws in defiance of the Constitution. The President thumbs his nose at the Constitution’s requirement to get Senate approval for foreign treaties. [I can guarantee that the President’s State of the Union that will be delivered Tuesday will be filled with political posturing, back patting, and that everything proposed will lead to a larger and more powerful Federal Beast. And in so doing, our people will descend deeper and deeper into dependent wards, and with it, our productivity will continue to shrivel and dry up.] And in all of this, we simply turn a blind eye and go back to our TVs and smartphones…because we are addicted to our self-centeredness. Our military has increasingly been stripped of any notion of Absolute truth…a military that was once feared by enemies, but cheered by the liberated French. Why? Because they carried a belief in an absolute moral foundation. No longer. Our military academies and military services have become a playground for social policies and political correctness and there is growing list of incidents that are creating a very “hostile” environment for the religious freedom of military members in order to crush the notion of Transcendent Truth....leaving only "State" truth.[25] Nothing should frighten us more than to think that we would desire to build a military or police force that believes truth lies within their own heart or within whatever orders are handed down from the State…that might is what makes right. We have an enemy that has attacked our homeland and yet we are too squeamish to label the worldview behind it. We cannot bring ourselves to acknowledge the existence of evil nor the existence of sin because to do so is to acknowledge a Transcendent truth that exists beyond our self-centered fantasy. Instead, we look for environmental causes of evil behavior and point a finger at guns while we ignore the violence and sex and hedonism in our movies and music. Hollywood or the media is never held accountable, nor the educational system or public policies that continue to destroy our families and our culture. And we are back to the heart of the issue. For the true State of the Union lies here, in the selfish casting off of the Transcendent for the temporary; seeking our hedonistic pleasure for today while selling our souls and our future. Do not be fooled. Selfishness eventually spawns hatred and violence. If you do not affirm me, I will spew such animosity toward you that you will be swept away with its fury. If you do not bake me an affirming cake, we will destroy your bakery. If you do not take affirming photographs, we will destroy your studio. If you do not allow a man who identifies as female to use the women’s restroom, the state of Washington will now shut down your business. If you do not affirm my self-selected gender identity with the proper pronoun, New York will now prosecute and fine you a quarter of a million dollars. Our selfishness has reached the level of stark absurdity…backed by legal and political tyranny. Somewhere in all of this, the founding generation must be shaking their heads in disbelief at what is happening to this nation. Our selfishness and rejection of absolute Truth is sucking us into a monstrous whirlpool that leads downward to utter darkness. We are committing cultural and national suicide and yet we continue to affirm and gush over each other and party while the nation crumbles beneath our feet. Does anyone care enough to fight this? Does anyone care enough to stand?...to stand for what is right…for what is true…for what is good? The Governors of the States must stand against the tyranny of the Federal Beast, but it must be the people who will stand and say no to the path that we tread. For the true State of the Union, which hangs by a thread, can be changed only if the people demand a change. But the change must begin within. If we continue to pursue our pleasure and entertainment, if we continue to abdicate our responsibility for the health of our families and this nation, if we continue to allow Hollywood and academia and the media and the Government to lead us down this path, then we, as a nation, are going to die. And the death may come in a night…it may come so swiftly that the world will stand in awe at our downfall. But health will not come over night. We live in a fallen world where you catch diseases quickly, but you don’t catch health. You can fall and break a bone instantly, but healing it takes a lot of time. If we are to regain our health, if we are to restore what is broken, it will require the courage and strength and long-term commitment of the people…if we still have the character to do so. It will come by first falling to our knees in repentance before the God who made us…the God who gave us a land flowing with milk and honey…the God who has sustained us through war and countless trials…the God before whom we now stand and shake our fist in His face. It will come by an examination of our personal lives and the pathologies that infest our social systems. It will come by both individual and national commitments to that which is True. And it will come by a sustained walk of turning back to the God to whom we owe all things…to the God who can reduce us to rubble with one puff of His breath. And if we do not, may God have mercy on us and our children. ... Though the state of our Union is perilous, Remnant, there is a reason why we remain. It is for this time that we have been preserved. May we stand for Truth in the times in which we live. Pray, dear Remnant, for repentance, Tuesdays, noon eastern.   [1] https://truthencounter.x362.com/resources/1247/the-foundations-of-the-united-states?tagid=3548 [2] https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2014/crime-in-the-u.s.-2014/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/browse-by/national-data [3] ibid [4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_Stateseration_rate [5] http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/marriage-divorce.htm [6] http://www.theburningplatform.com/2015/03/22/the-real-reason-the-american-dream-is-unraveling/ [7] http://www.blackgenocide.org/black.html [8] http://www.theburningplatform.com/2015/03/22/the-real-reason-the-american-dream-is-unraveling/ [9] http://techcrunch.com/2007/05/12/internet-pornography-stats/ [10] http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats14/std-trends-508.pdf [11] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-leads-the-world-in-illegal-drug-use/ [12] http://www.drugfree.org/new-data-show-millions-of-americans-with-alcohol-and-drug-addiction-could-benefit-from-health-care-r/ [13] http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html [14] https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/03/07/how-much-do-americans-really-spend-drugs-each-year [15] http://www.ets.org/s/research/30079/index.html [16] https://www.commonsensemedia.org/the-common-sense-census-media-use-by-tweens-and-teens-infographic# [17]http://www.parentstv.org/ptc/publications/reports/stateindustryviolence/main.asp [18] http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html [19] http://www.usdebtclock.org/index.html [20] http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/01/17/you-think-the-deficit-is-bad-federal-unfunded-liabilities-exceed-127-trillion/ [21] https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/data/LNU05000000.txt [22] http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/historical/gands.pdf [23] http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/08/economist-explains-9 [24] http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/24/pf/emergency-savings/ [25] http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=106938