SOWING THE WIND, REAPING
THE WHIRLWIND – no.1
The more I read the OT prophets, the more I see they could be writing about America. I know this is not the case, but I certainly see the same type behavior portrayed in the action of a people who had enjoyed many special privileges from God, but had turned their backs on the One who had blessed them so bountifully. “Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise they became fools” Rom. 1:21-22. The longer they lived, the more wicked and corrupt they became, until finally God had enough. He sent His prophets to warn them of His pending judgments, if they did not repent of their wickedness. But they would not listen. Finally God’s judgement fell, and Israel was carried into captivity by the Assyrians ca. 721 BC. Judah lasted about another 130 years, but they later went into Babylonian captivity ca.606-596 BC.
Even though their prophecies were not a condemnation of America per se, the same principles that caused the downfall of OT Israel and Judah are still active. Solomon wrote ca. 1000 BC that history repeats itself. Stop, and take time to read Eccl.1:4-11 and you will see that what is happening now, has already happened in the past, and will do so again. Different names, different circumstances, but the same lifestyle of activity.
Now to my application. One of the OT prophets was Hosea. He did his work for God just before Israel went into Assyrian captivity, ca. 721 BC. The entire land had become very decadent and corrupt. Their degenerate lifestyle, both socially and morally, was a result of their turning away from God, and adopting the pagan idolatry of the people around them. Hosea was sent to warn them that judgment was coming upon them by the hands of Assyria. God was going to punish them as a consequence of their sinful ways.
Israel should have known better. Hosea said of them, “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind” Hos.8:7. They were sowing the winds of folly and vanity, but would soon reap the destructive winds of wrath and destruction. They were practicing things that were vain, empty and useless. They were seeking to live without God’s counsel, and by so doing they had aroused the anger of God, 8:5. Thus, they would soon harvest the wrath of God. Like a whirlwind, it would be one of misery and destruction. By sowing the empty winds of idolatry and wickedness they would reap the whirlwind of judgment. Soon after Hosea wrote his words they were carried captive into the land of Assyria.
Now, let’s apply Hosea’s words to our society, and churches also. Whatever affects society will eventually affect the churches of men, and also the church of Christ. Notice some of the winds that have been sown that will one day bring the whirlwind of destruction, probably not too far into the future. One of the winds sown in America is the REJECTION OF CHRISTIAN VALUES. Regardless of what secularist humanist historians, professors and corrupt judges and politicians may say, this nation was founded by people who believed in the sovereignty of God and the Bible. Judeo-Christian ethics shaped their thinking and beliefs. It was this ethical righteousness that caused America to prosper. Solomon wrote, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin in a reproach to any people” Prov. 14:34. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan” Prov.29:2. The further America moves away from the religious values of Christianity, the more its’ people become like the people described in Rom.1:21-32.
America is fast becoming pagan. Secularists have taken control of our society. Not only have our public schools removed God, prayer, the Bible, Christ from the classrooms, they are becoming more secularized. Instead of teaching the rudiments of education they are more involved with being PC (perversion crybabies), afraid of a minority who want to promote an immoral lifestyle and the false pagan religion of Islam. A few years ago, Richard John Neuhaus, in his book, Unsecular America, under the heading, “Are Secularists the Threat?” writes, “On the face of it, nontheistic secularists appear to have enormous influence in American society. Their philosophy seems to control a number of crucial opinion-forming centers. In the universities, nontheistic secularism is unquestionably the overwhelmingly dominant opinion. So, also is the media. Many government agencies operate on the basis of these secular assumptions…American public education also reflects many of the secularist principles.” Pgs.32-33.
Once society has rejected the Bible as God’s absolute standard, and is cut loose from the anchor of Biblical morality, there is nothing left for man to do but operate on the basis of relativity. This leads man to the conclusion that there is no permanent set of values prescribed by God for all time. If there is no such thing as ethical or moral truth – then everything is relative. No one has the right to say that anything is wrong. All actions are relative and situational. Man has no permanent set of values from God. This means that moral values only come from human experience, and what may be right for today’s society may be wrong for tomorrows. Rules change with the situation. Ultimately, this will cause a society to disintegrate into disorder and chaos. This was the case with Israel during the era of the judges. “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” Jud.21:25. As a result of their deviant behavior Israel had to suffer, first a divided kingdom, and finally captivity. (To be continued)
SOWING THE WIND, REAPING THE WHIRLWIND
(Continuation from last week). Relativism in America has led to pluralism, i.e., the universal acceptance of all beliefs, the toleration of any kind of action, going out of the way to please people, regardless in their moral conduct. Pluralism is about sensitivity and tolerance. It is not concerned with what is morally right or wrong as revealed in God’s word. It is concerned with a greater diversity that will please the most people in spite of their moral conduct. These same people who advocate being tolerant about everything become very intolerant of those who oppose their ideas. They call it being PC,(politically correct). I see their PC attitude as PC (perversion crybabies).
Thus, we can see why immorality has taken hold of our society. Not only is it now a nation without God, it is a society that wants recreation and entertainment without restraint, disrespect of lawful authority, divorce and remarriage without scriptural cause, children without discipline and accountability, same sex marriages and acceptance of sexual immorality of every type, fornication, adultery, incest, homosexual/lesbianism, bestiality. Seeing these trends, can anyone honestly say we are better off today as a nation, socially, morally, economically, spiritually, than we were before these winds of unbelief, relativity, pluralism and immorality were sown throughout our nation?
Having sown the winds of unbelief, relativity, pluralism and immorality, it is only natural that this will affect the thinking of many in their approach toward death. Such people see nothing beyond this life. They are only concerned with the here and now. The Christian believes that his/her manner of life on earth will affect his/her destiny in the hereafter. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” Rom.8:13. Of course this does not apply to the unbeliever. Since they don’t believe that God exists, and doesn’t act in human affairs, there are no enduring and permanent values. Therefore they have no view of a life beyond this one. If one does not believe he possesses an eternal soul, then life has no moral connection to death. One’s view of life will affect one’s view of death, as cause and effect.
As a result of this atheistic attitude toward death and dying, it not only keeps one from a moral preparation for life after death, it hinders one from a humane consideration of death during life. That is why abortion and euthanasia have become so prevalent in our society. A reverence for life is incompatible with the secularist agenda. It is only a short step from the denial of God to a maltreatment of those made in His image.
Since America is fast becoming a pagan society, it is no wonder that God, Christ and the Bible have been rejected as the anchor of morality. Our society is, to a great extent, being controlled by Secularism, a godless religion that deifies man and is intolerant of Christianity. One could say that Secularism is the antithesis (opposite view) of Christianity. Many of our present day national leaders have adopted this secularist view, and are hard at work trying to secularize our country, and they are succeeding. Many of the central institutions of our country, executive, judicial, legislative, educational, welfare and mental health, as well as the entertainment and news media, are permeated with humanistic ideas. They have come a long way in the last 50 years.
Secularism is corrupt, vulgar and degrading. It is designed to destroy the dignity of man, his beliefs, his values, his life and his soul. Secular Humanists believe this world is all there is, and since you go around only once, eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow you die. There is not a segment of our society, including the Lord’s church, that has not been influenced by this paganistic philosophy.
Human secularist leaders of various areas of our society have been permitted to plant the seeds of atheism, relativism, situation ethics and pluralism since the 1960s. Today we are having terrifying nightmares, a harvest of misery, shame, degradation and rebellion against lawful authority. Human life has been devalued. Selfishness abounds, and immorality is rampart. Truly, we can say, “they have sown the wind and America is reaping the whirlwind.”
Many influences have a bearing on our lives, but one especially has had a great impact on our society. That is the entertainment media, especially movies and TV. “During the past four decades, television has transcended its role as mere entertainment to become a potent force shaping everyday life.” (From book - Watching America by Robert and Linda Lichter, Stanley Rothman – Prentiss Hall, 1991).
The movie and TV industry have for years tried to pretend that religion is nothing more than a relic from the past. While some estimate that ca.50% of America’s population still consider religion an important part of their lives, only 5% of TV characters practice religion in any way. And, if religious people do appear in movies or on TV, they are usually portrayed as unintelligent, maladjusted and of very little worth to society. Even when a script is based on a Bible subject, Hollywood shows little regard for the truth. They rewrite the Bible to entertain the audience. The recent showing of “Noah’s Ark is a prime example of how Hollywood treats the Bible. (to be continued).
SOWING THE WIND, REAPING THE WHIRLWIND
Continuation of last issue showing how Hollywood has contributed to sowing the winds that are breaking down our society, culture and even the Lord’s church.
Hollywood over the years has rewritten the Bible to entertain audiences, not to promote truth and right. Their movie “Noah’s Ark” is a prime example of their trash. NO! I didn’t see the movie, but this has been reported by some who did see this work of trash. Hollywood showed its true colors to the Bible believing world. They start with a disclaimer. “For dramatic effect, we have taken poetic license with some of the events of the mighty epic of Noah and the flood.” What an understatement. They inserted Sodom and Gommorah into the story along with Lot whom they pictured as an unsuccessful, poor, bumbling fool. Sodom and Gommorah and Lot occurred many years after the flood. Look it up in the Bible to be sure. The events of the flood are found in Gen.7-9, while Sodom, Gommorah and Lot are located in Gen.19. Along with these absurdities they picture God acting and speaking in a irreverent way, giving a name to Noah’s wife (Naamah) and picture the ark being attachked by a gang of pirates. They also picture Mrs Noah riding a horse on the ark and singing “we-do-do-do what we must-must-must till we bust-bust-bust.”
How many young impressionable minds have been unduly influenced by such nonsense? George Gerbner, of the Annenberg School of Communication is quoted as saying, “If you can write a nation’s stories, you needn’t worry about who makes its laws.” When you sow the wind you can expect to reap the whirlwind.
Yes, Hollywood is rewriting the scripts for America to follow. Movies and TV programing are being used to re-shape our thinking about capital punishment, sexual perversions of all types (premarital sex, infidelity, unscriptural divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, abortion). With the recent happenings in our country, who can deny that the portrayal of these sexual perversions by the entertainment industry have systematically broken down our social resistance to such practices?
TV and movies appeal to the prurient interests of mankind. Sex and violence sell. It seems that prime time TV has become a contest to see which network can cram the most sex and violence into their programs. The only sex that seems forbidden is sex between husband and wife. Michael Medved in his book “Hollywood vs. America: Culture and the War on Traditional Values, ”That on TV, references to sex outside marriage are 14 times more common than sex inside marriage.” I think we can see that the continual sowing of sexual immorality on TV and in movies has produced a devastating harvest of immorality into our society!
Yes, TV and movies have had a great influence on reshaping the cultural thinking of America. Today their screens convey filth of all kinds to impressionable minds, almost on a daily basis. Since the 60s (maybe earlier) the programs have little by little replaced the moral values of our founding fathers, based on the Christian ethics found in the Bible, replacing them with secular humanist values.
This is no wonder since “Televisions creative leaders have moved toward a markedly more secular orientation. 93% had a religious upbringing, the majority (59%) in the Jewish faith, An additional 25% were raised in some Protestant denomination, and the remaining 12% as Catholics. Currently, however, 45% claim no religious affiliation whatsoever, more than 6 times the number of those who were not raised in any religious tradition. This is greater than the proportion who currently profess to any particular religion. Defections have occurred from all faith, so that only 38% now call themselves Jews, 12 % remain Protestant, and 5 % have retained their Catholic faith. Moreover, most of those remaining affiliations appear to be purely nominal. 93% say they seldom or never attend religious services.” “Watching America,” Lichter, Lichter, and Rothman, pgs 13-14.
In some statistics published in “Public Opinion” Lichter-Rothman via “America Betrayed” by Marlin Maddoux, (this was published before 1998-99, probably higher now) points out clearly the Secular-Humanist leanings of the leaders of the TV and Movie industry. In a survey of 240 leading broadcasters, writers and executives who control what gets on TV and in our major newspapers, here is the report. Seldom attend religious services 86%. Adultery is acceptable behavior 47%. Homosexuality is acceptable 76%. Let homosexuals teach in schools 85%. Pro-abortion 90%, No laws on sex 95%. Those who produce these primetime TV programs are a little worse. Seldom attend religious services 93%. Adultery is acceptable behavior 51%. Homosexuality is acceptable 80%. Let homosexuals teach in school 86%. Pro-abortion 97%.
With such statistics as these, what more can we expect from a group so predominantly non-religious, anti-religious and secular? The decline in personal morality to a great extent, can be traced directly to the sewage being portrayed in the programs coming out of Hollywood. These leaders are rapidly making the amorality and immorality of Hollywood the morals of America. Truly, they have sown the wind, ridiculing truth and righteousness, while at the same time glorifying sin, perversion and wickedness. Our society is reaping the whirlwind of depravity, ungodliness and violence.
(This article to be concluded in the next issue).
SOWING THE WIND, REAPING THE WHIRLWIND
I closed the last issue with pointing out that statistics clearly reveal that the majority of those who control what is seen in movies and on TV screens have bought into the secular-humanist view of life, a view that is non-religious, anti-religious and secular. With such a view it is only natural that what is portrayed glorifies sin, perversion and wickedness, while ridiculing truth and righteousness. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isa.5:20.
Yes, Hollywood, to a great extent, is rewriting the script for American society. For those who take time to think, they can see that such programming has re-shaped people’s thinking into becoming more tolerant and liberal minded about such things as capital punishment, sex outside marriage, abortion, homosexuality, divorce and remarriage and same-sex unions which I cannot conscientiously call a marriage. They have been sowing the winds of immorality for many years and American society is now reaping the whirlwind, a devastating harvest of depravity, ungodliness and violence. God says of such a nation, “Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the Lord, the have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward” Isa.1:3.
But the deviant lifestyles coming out of Hollywood today can be found in all facets of our society, in public education, politics, business, law-enforcement and even churches. The present practices, seen as abominations by God’s people, are simply a product of what may be called “secular humanism.” They are a people who have become “…wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” Isa.5:21.
Just what is this secular humanist philosophy? It is a philosophy that suggests that man must look to human experience for guidance in moral and spiritual affairs, rather than to a supernatural God or divine power. In other words, the secular humanist believes there is no power higher than man himself. It is really a euphemism for “atheism.” But it is more than a philosophy, it is a religious/political movement, a way of life. They have allowed Satan with his unrighteous deceptive powers to delude them into believing the lie there is no God, therefore they must rely upon themselves. They had better take heed to Paul’s warnings in 2.Thes.2:9-12. Also Gal.6:7, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked.”
The secular humanist believes that all the problems of this life can be solved without God or the Bible. They feel both are useless crutches that deserve no consideration in human affairs. In identifying and solving life’s problems they look to no one higher than man himself. They rely on human reasoning, science and situational ethics for the answers. Their outlook is man-centered, not God centered.
Observing things during my lifetime of 80 years, even though I was not fully aware of it happening for a number of years, this devious, godless philosophy has slowly been absorbed into society. No, it didn’t happen all at once, but it happened by design.
The secular humanist concept is not as innocent as it may seem to some, certainly not to its leading proponents. They may want you to think they are a tolerant people who are willing to respect your beliefs. But this is not so. Their avowed purpose is to remove Christian values and replace them with humanistic values and behavior. This has been especially true in the public education system.
You may wonder about why our public education is like it is today. The winds were first sown ca.1933 with the issuance of The Humanist Manifesto I, signed and published by 34 advocates. Its premise was that the universe was self-existing, resulting from evolution, rather than creation by God. One of the signers of this Manifesto was John Dewey, perhaps the most powerful influence in the 20th century public education system. He felt that to believe in the existence of God, and following historical forms of organized religion and religious values were repellent to the modern mind and should be removed from public education.
In 1973 The Humanist Manifesto II was published. It expanded the ideas of the first Manifesto. Among its signers were atheistic evolutionists, social revolutionaries, and several liberal thinkers. The winds sown by these atheistic thinkers and documents have thoroughly permeated our society and today we are reaping the whirlwind of a society headed toward destruction.
Remember, we are now living in a post-Christian age. Our society in general has embarked on a course without moral direction and eroding ethical values, where tolerance (when it suits the purpose) is more valued than truth and righteousness. Prov.14:34. Our leaders are sowing wind, and as a nation we are reaping the whirlwind. Our nation is standing on the brink of the bottomless pit of perdition and destruction. Rest assured, God is still on His throne. He will not let sin go unpunished, by nations or individuals. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” Ps.9:17.
By Tommy Thornhill
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