A little old church at the side of the road; in the great scheme of things, not much at all. Now multiply this by a thousand or ten thousand and see the effect on ANY COUNTRY!! Yet this is what is happening in this country; perhaps not to the buildings (yet) but to the people. I read a news article today that was alarming; most Americans think the moral standards in this country have gone down over the past 20 years. I expected 40 years and not twenty. Anyone out there remember the 60's and the sexual revolution? Downhill from that? Yes, from even that! When we live in a latchkey society where parents abandon their responsibilities and allow the television (and now the internet) to become the teacher, we are headed for destruction and NOT JUST A MERE DECLINE. This passage from the book of Deuteronomy immediately came to mind.
Deuteronomy 6:1-25 (WEB)
1) Now this is the commandment, the statutes, and the ordinances, which Yahweh your God commanded to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you go over to possess it;
2) that you might fear Yahweh your God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, you, and your son, and your son’s son, all the days of your life; and that your days may be prolonged.
3) Hear therefore, Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with you, and that you may increase mightily, as Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has promised to you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
4) Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one:
5) and you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
6) These words, which I command you this day, shall be on your heart;
7) and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.
8) You shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for symbols between your eyes.
9) You shall write them on the door posts of your house, and on your gates.
10) It shall be, when Yahweh your God shall bring you into the land which he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you, great and goodly cities, which you didn’t build,
11) and houses full of all good things, which you didn’t fill, and cisterns dug out, which you didn’t dig, vineyards and olive trees, which you didn’t plant, and you shall eat and be full;
12) then beware lest you forget Yahweh, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
13) You shall fear Yahweh your God; and you shall serve him, and shall swear by his name.
14) You shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples who are around you;
15) for Yahweh your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; lest the anger of Yahweh your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.
16) You shall not tempt Yahweh your God, as you tempted him in Massah.
17) You shall diligently keep the commandments of Yahweh your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he has commanded you.
18) You shall do that which is right and good in the sight of Yahweh; that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land which Yahweh swore to your fathers,
19) to thrust out all your enemies from before you, as Yahweh has spoken.
20) When your son asks you in time to come, saying, “What do the testimonies, the statutes, and the ordinances, which Yahweh our God has commanded you mean?”
21) then you shall tell your son, “We were Pharaoh’s bondservants in Egypt: and Yahweh brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand;
22) and Yahweh showed great and awesome signs and wonders on Egypt, on Pharaoh, and on all his house, before our eyes;
23) and he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he swore to our fathers.
24) Yahweh commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear Yahweh our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as at this day.
25) It shall be righteousness to us, if we observe to do all this commandment before Yahweh our God, as he has commanded us.”
(Deuteronomy 6:1-25, WEB)
If you are viewing the blog (or its posts) for the first time, you will notice that I have been using a Bible version called the WEB (Short for World English Bible) for some time now. This is a revision of the American Standard Version and has a nice mix of readability and precision. I enjoy it most of all because it refers to the name of God by using the more accurate Yahweh instead of the "LORD" used by many versions today. This is important because it is the name of God and not just a title; so naturally it leaves one with the feeling of being closer to The God of Heaven. How is this important? The closer you are to God, the more you get to know him, the more you will grow to hate relativism (which basically says that everyone can believe whatever they want because everyone is right). God is the only one who is right, He and He ALONE, SETS THE STANDARDS we are to live by. Those standards are found in the Bible and the sooner we as a nation return to this concept, the better. In the meantime, its not just empty churches of the nation that bother me, its the minds of the people who are empty of THE WORD OF GOD. Sound too inflexible to you, too specific to be anything but the absolutes uttered by a fanatic? Consider this, God was very specific when he sent Jesus. Very specific in what he did and who will benefit if his will is OBEYED. Unpopular, maybe, necessary... absolutely. Or perhaps you may be satisfied with a life devoid of God.... at least until the end of that life. Your choice, America!