Editor's note: This was written in 2012; reading it in today's context yields interesting perspective.
If ever our nation stood at the precipice of destruction, we are certainly at that moment. I wasn’t alive at the time of the Civil War. I’ve studied it a bit. It was a crossroads of either division or unity for our nation, and it cost us dearly in lives of noble men, women and children – significantly more than any other war, in fact. States stood on the brink of separation from the United States, and it quickly became clear there was no more middle ground. The lines had been drawn, and they became etched with the blood of fallen sons of this nation.
Something more drastic than even that is before us now. It has been creeping in for decades, mostly undetected, spreading its tentacles into every state, county, city and eventually, every home. It would be hard to find a life untouched by it.
Saturday, September 22, 2012 marks the beginning of fall here in America. A new season, where the lush productivity of summer makes way for harvest and cleansing and putting away before the cold dormancy and death of winter arrives. The political landscape is ablaze with campaigns for Presidential elections, merely seven or so weeks away. The atmosphere in America is charged with many things, confusion, anxiety, anger, uncertainty, to say the least. Our national debt is beyond comprehension, nearly impossible to even manage, let alone reconcile. Unemployment and inflation is rivaling the Great Depression. Natural disasters have ravaged almost every single state, whether it be from fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, drought, etc.
Two men have been put before us as “choices” for the leadership of this nation. One, the current alleged POTUS, who has stated and pretended to be a Christian, but who does not attend a Christian church, has clear links to Islam, speaks fondly of the Islamic prayers, was brought up in the Islamic faith, has clear ties with loyalty to Muslim leaders, and equally clear hostility toward the tenets of the Christian faith, and Christianity itself – the other, a self-professed, practicing Mormon. From my own research, America has never quite so plainly been faced with such a “choice” in its nation’s leadership. In the past, American Presidential nominees have always had at least one nominee with at least nominal Christian affiliation and/or beliefs. (whether practicing or not, I do not know) [I am aware that some that appeared to be Christian, upon further exploration, their behaviors and/or attitudes belied such affiliation. But for the sake of public awareness, the public was initially under the leading that such were Christian.]
One of the reasons this is so profound is the history of our nation. Categorically speaking, America was founded originally as a revolution from tyranny and oppression from a King who oppressed his citizens’ rights to worship freely, unbound by the State, and from the exorbitant taxation laid upon them, without the ability to represent their own needs. Categorically speaking, America was founded in large part by Christians for Christians, with the benevolent attitude that one did not have to be a Christian to be a citizen, but this was a predominant pillar in the foundation of this nation. The furtive tentacles of godlessness have been creeping in over the decades, either unnoticed or by and large unchecked by watchmen, inasmuch that today we find ourselves in a post-Christian America. Christianity still has a place in this society, but it is a token place of social status, instead of an influential, guiding role. So much that today, 2012, finds a very different foundational America than say 1812, 1912 or even 1982.
The monumental difficulties and ails facing our country are wide and varied. Topping the list would clearly be the failing economy, national defense in a volatile world, and the failure of the American family, be it from division, immorality or instability. Clandestine agendas to pillage our liberties guaranteed by our Constitution are widely ignored or downplayed, and the increasing front for a central, federal Government to control, manage and maintain the vast expanse of America’s needs are replacing the Founding Fathers’ foundation of a government FOR the people and BY the people, in essence liberating the people.
In the midst of these tumultuous topics, the question of saving America is often answered by misguided, misinformed, and ignorant premises. For if we do not properly understand the reasons for the ailing America, we will not answer the real question, but instead will treat the symptoms, which may in fact gain us more time, but will fail at ultimately saving America.
We can look at the symptoms to diagnose the root problem. But if we only ever treat the symptoms, new symptoms will crop up. The root has to be diagnosed and treated correctly in order to eradicate the disease eating our nation from the inside out.
If ever we needed the sons of Issachar, today would be that day. We need those who “understand the times, with knowledge of what [the nation] should do.”1
If we could manage to right the sinking ship of America’s economy, would America’s ails go away never to return? If we rebuild every city ravaged by natural disaster, would America’s bleeding sores across the land be restored to never be blighted again? If we “provided” healthcare to Americans, would that fix America’s plagues and pestilences never to return? How many symptoms are we going to attempt to alleviate before we understand there’s a disease coursing through its veins that merely finds another avenue to manifest when one gets blocked?
Can we, having tasted of the goodness and blessings of God, so faithfully recorded through America’s history, turn our back on His headship and expect America will remain blessed, a strong power in the world? Can we erect idols of fame, sex, immorality, gluttony, nature, pleasure, power, people, possessions, and invoke other gods’ guidance, invite other gods’ presence and leadership, and still receive the blessings of God? How great is His patience with us! How long has He sent His prophets to warn us and rebuke us! America’s heart is black, corrupted by its idols, and the reflection of that heart is mirrored by the upcoming elections. Our “choice” is now a man who serves the god of Islam or a man who serves the god of Mormon.
And lest we be confused or deceived by other politicians who feign Christianity (as in the past), the evidence is conclusive that neither of the current two dominant candidates are Christians, and the heart of America has been revealed in that the candidates of “choice” are idolatrous candidates. We are looking in a mirror, America.
We have before us a reflection of the heart of America. We have a candidate that lies and says he is a Christian but is plainly not, nor do his works (fruit) attest to such. And we have a candidate that serves another god, though would like to say it’s the same god, with good works (fruit) to supposedly prove it. Can it be any plainer? God has given us a mirror. What are we seeing?
Will our works save us? “But Romney is a good man!” I hear said over and over. His good works are cited as a testament. And America has done good works, it is true. Yet its heart does not serve the true God anymore than a Mormon’s. In our desperate attempts to be saved from this awful predicament our nation is in, even Christians are being persuaded to give allegiance to Romney, finding all sorts of justifications to do so. They cite things like what a family man he is, how much money he gives to charity, how many businesses he has saved from failing, how he saved the Olympics (in Salt Lake City, nonetheless), etc.
Rationalization and desperation have led to justification not based on the Word of God. Jesus Christ declared, “I am the way the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”2 The Book of Mormon declares in its Introduction, “The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible.”3 The alleged prophet Joseph Smith is recorded in the introduction as saying, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”4 [emphasis my own]
Galatians 1:6-9 states quite plainly,
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”
Can the warning be any clearer? We are not to receive any other gospel but the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! The Book of Mormon surfaced almost 1800 years after Christ’s Resurrection. It is surely a gospel contrary to what Christians received through Christ. Any other gospel is demonically led, and anyone preaching another gospel is to be accursed! Good works or not! Good man or not! The saving message of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with the goodness of man! It is completely about the lostness of man and his inability to reconcile himself with God without a mediator. That mediator is not Joseph Smith! It is Jesus Christ! And His gospel is the only one that brings truth and life! If we receive a Mormon as a Christian, we are blurring lines and diluting truth, whether or not he prays to God! If we continue to blur those lines and dilute that truth, we become willfully deceived.
We must determine to stand in truth, regardless of the consequences! The truth is the dominant candidates for President here in America serve other gods. And since there is only one true God, the gods they serve are demonic. Can anyone who serves the true and living God, who has been redeemed by the sacrificed Blood of Christ, actually condone either candidate? If such candidate were to gain the presidency, unless revelation occurs and God intervenes to bring him to the saving knowledge of Christ, he will continue to serve his (demonic) god. If we did not have knowledge of such it would be a different story, but the proof of the candidates’ spiritual beliefs have been made known. For the first time in America’s history, there is not a candidate that is known to be a Christian available for us to choose from.
If you’re not a Christian, this most likely does not serve you any sort of dilemma. But if you call yourself by the name of Christ, and understand the foundation of Christianity in America, the gravity of our current scenario should be weighing heavily on your heart. While we’ve had very ungodly men in office before, the magnitude of our current state of the nation, along with the lack of godly options in leadership, cannot be overstated. Had we been a pagan nation from our inception, these deductions would be inapt. However, there is too much evidence that even if allegiance to God wasn’t THE primary reason and foundation for America, it was clearly A predominant reason. We invoked the blessings of God, acknowledged His hand in our destiny, and incited the American people to revere Him with honor and respect. [The evidence for this is too vast for this paper, but I can make available for anyone with an open heart for the truth.]
Now we sit, the year is 2012, and we find ourselves in a post-Christian America. His guidance is not sought in the affairs of our country. His great Name is not revered. His ways are rejected. His people are scorned and mocked. We have erected idols in lieu of the true God. The consequences have not been connected correctly. We have misdiagnosed the symptoms, and now fervently hope that a man can correct the course of this sinking ship – and the man options for leadership given do not possess the means for salvation of our nation from the dire consequences of our choices.
What must America do to be saved? Is America past saving? I’ve been asked these questions in varying ways. My answer is unpopular, even misunderstood. No man is going to save our nation. The Scriptures clearly state that “deliverance by man is in vain”5. We can cut all of our spending and balance the budget, build a formidable army, and develop the most astute educational system the world has known – but it would be futile for the deliverance and salvation of our nation. The root is quite plainly we have turned from God. We have shunned His counsel, forsaken His ways, and turned aside to idols too numerous to count.
Jeremiah 6:10-19 (NASB)
10 To whom shall I speak and give warning That they may hear? Behold, their ears are closed And they cannot listen. Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them; They have no delight in it.
11 But I am full of the wrath of the Lord; I am weary with holding it in. "Pour it out on the children in the street And on the gathering of young men together; For both husband and wife shall be taken, The aged and the very old.
12 "Their houses shall be turned over to others, Their fields and their wives together; For I will stretch out My hand Against the inhabitants of the land," declares the Lord.
13 "For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is greedy for gain, And from the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely. 14 "They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, 'Peace, peace,' But there is no peace.
15 "Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; They did not even know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time that I punish them, They shall be cast down," says the Lord.
16 Thus says the Lord, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'
17 "And I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 'We will not listen.'
18 "Therefore hear, O nations, And know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 "Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people, The fruit of their plans, Because they have not listened to My words, And as for My law, they have rejected it also.
Is America past saving? I don’t presuppose to know that answer at this time. If we think we can indulge in the gross sins of our nation and carry on as always, we have a corrupt view of justice. If we think God will sweep the violence of our murders, the destruction of our children, the pollution of our minds with evil, the rampant selfish, indulgent, gluttonous lifestyles of our culture, all under the rug, we have a perverse view of mercy. When God said, “Be holy for I am holy”6, this was not what He had in mind. We simply cannot have it both ways. We cannot be a blessed nation under God, and run our nation with no regard for God. Can our nation truly be saved from the destructions continuing around us like the crumbling walls of a fortress before its enemy without changing its heart? From what I read in His Word, from what I understand from the character of God that I’ve studied and experienced, our nation can be saved only by a radical change of mind, a turning from our ways back to the ways of God. To do that, the idols throughout our land must be torn down.
Jeremiah 22:13-17 (NASB)
13 "Woe to him who builds his house without righteousness And his upper rooms without justice, Who uses his neighbor's services without pay And does not give him his wages,
14 Who says, 'I will build myself a roomy house With spacious upper rooms, And cut out its windows, Paneling it with cedar and painting it bright red.'
15 "Do you become a king because you are competing in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink And do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him.
16 "He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy; Then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me?" Declares the Lord.
17 "But your eyes and your heart Are intent only upon your own dishonest gain, And on shedding innocent blood And on practicing oppression and extortion."
There is indeed a godly heritage in this nation, that was once concerned with justice and righteousness, and the consequence was it went well with the nation. But the generation of this nation now neither knows God, nor loves Him, nor practices His ways. America is like this description of ancient Israel:
Isaiah 59:12-15 (NASB)
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You, And our sins testify against us; For our transgressions are with us, And we know our iniquities:
13 Transgressing and denying the Lord, And turning away from our God, Speaking oppression and revolt, Conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words.
14 Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands far away; For truth has stumbled in the street, And uprightness cannot enter.
15 Yes, truth is lacking; And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey. Now the Lord saw, And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.
If the leadership of this once-great nation would humble itself before our God and if the people of this once-great nation would humble themselves before God; if we would acknowledge the waywardness of our hearts, repent of our sins and seek to make restitution for the great crimes we have committed, I believe we would taste of the Lord’s great mercy. But the monumental task of that is so great, and the stubbornness and pride of this people so great, I see it as improbable at best. We’d have to cast down idols of humanism, secularism, sexual sins by the myriad, violence, covetousness, materialism, self-righteousness, pride, and the list goes on and on. The idols of lust would have to be ripped from nearly every venue from Vegas to the elementary schools, from the internet to the television, from the strip clubs to the churches. There is no venue where greed and materialism, lust and covetousness, perversion and pride have not settled, from the home to the social scene to the church. Culturally we are a depraved society, with no moral compass. We sell our children to the idols of fortune and fame, and turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the cries of the defenseless and helpless. Our homes are full of dysfunction, abuse, apathy and carnality. Our laws are unjust and favor the criminal and the wealthy. There would have to be such an overhaul of a system that has methodically removed every moral obstacle, from Roe v. Wade to the Marriage Protection Act. We’d have to agree with God on the sanctity of human life, the definition of marriage, and the standards of justice. The almighty dollar will have to take a back seat to reverence for our Creator, and trusting Him would have to be more than lip service. We’d have to repent of our hard, stubborn hearts bent on their own way and acknowledge that the Almighty Creator of the Universe knows better than our sophisticated, PhD-trained minds. In short, we would have to do an about face, on our faces. Anything short of that, I predict, is not enough.
If the chances of that look slim, what in the world are the true sons and daughters of God to do? I would strongly suggest applying the principles of the preceding paragraph individually, then urging those in your family to do the same. If that can be managed, then I would encourage beginning to move through the list of family and friends, co-workers and church, and imploring them to individually do the same. If the nation cannot be turned, individual hearts can. Heeding the prior example of Israel’s apostasy from God and its judgments, we can learn the heart of God:
Ezekiel 14:12-21 (NASB)
12 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying,
13 "Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast,
14 even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves," declares the Lord GOD.
15 "If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts,
16 though these three men were in its midst, as I live," declares the Lord GOD, "they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate.
17 "Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, 'Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,'
18 even though these three men were in its midst, as I live," declares the Lord GOD, "they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered.
19 "Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it,
20 even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live," declares the Lord GOD, "they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness."
21 For thus says the Lord GOD, "How much more when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem: sword, famine, wild beasts and plague to cut off man and beast from it!
Can America be saved? What is our hope?
Psalm 33:8-22 (NASB)
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
9 For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.
13 The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men;
14 From His dwelling place He looks out On all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works.
16 The king is not saved by a mighty army; A warrior is not delivered by great strength.
17 A horse is a false hope for victory; Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
19 To deliver their soul from death And to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart rejoices in Him, Because we trust in His holy name.
22 Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, According as we have hoped in You.
It appears that the all-seeing eye of God is upon those who fear Him, who have made Him their help and shield, who have trusted in His holy name, whose heart rejoices in Him, and who have hoped in Him. (not money, not title, not knowledge, not connections – just God) These are who God delivers and saves. We may very well have to switch from Saving America to Saving Americans.
11 Chronicles 12:32
3Book of Mormon
5Psalm 60:11 and 108:12
6Leviticus 11:44 and 1 Peter 1:16
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© 2012 Michelle Smallback
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