Wealth covers a multitude of bankruptcies
De Tocqueville’s Great American Experiment is failing, crumbling under the burden of its own godlessness. Wealth is a beguiler and chokes out the seed of truth (Mark 4:19 AMP). It hasn’t taken long for the effects of being a prosperous nation to so deceive these United States into believing in themselves rather than God.
So are these the last days of America? The following are 25 signs of extreme social decay….
#5 Many debt collectors are willing to say absolutely despicable things in order to collect debts. One debt collector recently told a disabled military veteran that if he would have “served our country better” he would not be disabled and that he “should have died“…
#11 In a shocking murder trial in southern California, prosecutors have played a tape of a former chef admitting to police that he slow cooked the body of his wife for four days.
#18 Last year it was reported that 86 teen girls at one high school in Memphis, Tennessee were either pregnant or had recently given birth.
#23 Overall, more than 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States since Roe vs. Wade was decided back in 1973. At this point, the number of babies killed by abortion in America every year is almost as high as the total number of military deaths in all of U.S. history.
And of course the list could go on, example after example, day after day. One other particular that shouldn’t be overlooked in this mix is over 16 Trillion dollars in public debt, and there are many who recognize the financial catastrophe that is yet to come because of it. Our standard of living has managed to overshadow these social indicators. This prosperity has kept us happy and contented, blinding us to our bankruptcy of character and morality. The staggering financial public debt is symbolic of the incomprehensible spiritual debt, and just as the financial debt must be paid so also must the spiritual. In the everyday thinking of the people I suppose it’s a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Maybe if we just ignore them they’ll just go away. But God will not be mocked
These things are of the ‘shaking’ which scripture mentions in Hebrews 12:27. These indicators of social decay are just the beginning. Hurricane Sandy impacting the Northeast in 2012 and Hurricane Katrina impacting the South in 2005 leave behind a devastation indicative of the kind of economic upheaval expected when the economic house of cards comes tumbling down, and I suspect it will end a fascade of our ‘civilization’. These 25 signs of social decay will multiply.
How will the christian church react and endure in the midst of this? Churches with material infrastructure and support personnel will suffer. The more heavily vested the more catastrophic to their existence. It will probably mean many churches as organizations (501c3) will disintegrate. Celebrity pastors have had their churches suffer the consequences of their pastoral indiscretions in recent years ranging from church fragmentation to total disband. The culprit in these instances was often a sharp reduction in church income leaving it unable to sustain its infrastructure and status quo ante. This, I believe, is a prophetic precursor of the general economic conditions yet to come. Some few may be able to continue as they are now, but most will probably be so impacted that their operation, organization and even identity will undergo a radical change. Things which can be shaken will, and those who can accept the losses and embrace the unshakeable will endure.
What will be left, I foresee, will be a christian church sharply less dependent upon and less driven by the economics of the age. A church more insulated to the economic impact of the times. A church more vested in people as the wherewithal to do the work of the ministry. It will not be necessary. It will be vital. In this shift “Third Place Christianity” will die, but I suspect, as in other human institutions, it will die a slow death. Much of the current “relevant Christianity” thinking will become irrelevant in an age in which the church shifts away from organizational toward organic, away from relevancy toward relational, away from meeting to missional. All this will not be easy for the church of Jesus Christ, but fundamental socioeconomic changes are unavoidably coming.
Material wealth covers material bankruptcies rather well. Often when that wealth disappears people are left to their own account of character, virtue, and identity. As what I anticipate will come to pass, I foresee a resurgence of the distinctive New Testament Christian identity. Yes, the darkness will get darker, and as those 25 signs would indicate, sin and evil will become emboldened and heinous. But I believe in the final analysis the stage will be set for the church to take and to shine as it had in the beginning. Signs and wonders will truly and indisputably follow those who believe again (Mark 16:17,18). The meaning of the words of Christ won’t be relegated only to the hearing of those on Sunday, but will be fraught with power and authority to the effect of changed lives.