How Religious Apostasy
Resulting in Moral Degeneration
Leads to Political Anarchy:
By: Jesse Prewitt
Why is our country in such a mess? I hear it almost daily. What has happened to America? Most everyone above the age of 30 has some tender memory of the America that once was.
For those who do not, let me tell you a tale of a nation that was once a place where you could live in relative peace and safety. Children played in the street without constant fear of being stolen and attended school without fear of harm. A place of public worship was the safest place to be on a peaceful Sunday morning. That same place of worship was many times also a refuge for some wayward soul, slipping quietly through its welcoming doors, seeking solace from the previous night’s regretful revelry. Home was the place most cherished. A hot breakfast and loving hugs sent the family members to school and work, with the comfort in their hearts of returning at day’s end to a home-cooked meal around the family supper table, where laughter swept away the cares of the day and goodnight kisses tucked the children into their warm beds at night. Sweet were the dreams of our childhood.
Even politicians with polar-opposite platforms possessed the decency to treat their counterparts with a modicum of respect, at least in the public eye. These same contenders for public office could also be found on Sunday morning at a public place of worship, where everyone laid down the political hatchet long enough to raise a prayer to the Almighty, who gave them the liberty to publicly assemble in freedom and safety.
America has never been perfect. But she was respected, globally. What happened? We look around and it seems that she is a skeleton of her former self. Her spirit remains but she is battered on the outside from the constant barrage of attacks on her front lines. Despite the wear she remains the symbol of freedom and liberty to the world. America is strong, but under constant attack.
A look back in history reveals a similar situation. The nation of Israel had taken possession of the lands given to her by The Lord God. Yet they had neglected to continue to serve Him and resorted to worshipping the idols and pagan gods of the nations among which they dwelt. This religious apostasy had sunk into moral degeneration, which led to political anarchy. (McGee, J.V., 1991, p. 221) The last 3 chapters of the book of Judges, reveal this example of what happens when a nation forgets their God. Israel had forgotten the God that brought their ancestors out of Egypt and across the Jordan, into the promised land. They wanted to be like the other nations and have a king, worship idols and live as they pleased. As is always the case, freedom tends to lead to excess, which in turn leads to a neglect of responsibility, and finally to our ruin, if not kept in check. This is because of man’s sinful nature. We’re born with it and we tend to desire going our own way. It is so easy to get caught up in our luxury and ease as to forget where we came from. God has truly blessed America. Our challenge is to remember where those blessings came from and appreciate everything we have.
Israel’s apostasy resulted in everyone living as they pleased. “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes”, was they way the book ended. (Judges 21: 25) There was no rule of law and civil war among the Jewish tribes resulted from grievous sin in their midst. The offending parties refused to own-up to their evil deeds and ended in the death of thousands.
In chapter 19, certain men of the city of Gibeah of the Benjamites, surrounded the home of one of the city residents housing a Levite visitor and his wife. Pounding on the door, these men demanded the homeowner turn over the man who came into your house, that they might have illicit relations with him. The night ended with these men of Belial who stormed the house, raping the visiting man’s wife, instead, and murdering her. This action led to a civil war to rid the community of the grievous sins of those men. The book tragically ends with the summation of the reason for all the tragedy. The nation had no true leadership and therefore everyone did as they pleased. This important point is worthy of repeating.
Religious apostasy results in moral degeneration and leads to political anarchy. America has degraded herself to the point that she has, in a large capacity, lost the inability to recognize the right kind of leadership. The prognosis is ever darkening. It is too soon to give up, but we must realize the seriousness of the situation. America needs a miracle. There is only One that has that power. The answer is not in a political party, a man, woman or any human ideal. The answer is in The Lord God and His Christ.
The Holy Bible, Old Testament, Book of Judges, chapters 19-21
McGee, J.V., 1991, Through the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Through the Bible Commentary, Thomas Nelson, Inc.