By Brannon S. Howse
Malcolm Gladwell’s brilliant study of social trends defined the nature of cultural sea changes in his landmark 2002 book, The Tipping Point. According to Gladwell, “The Tipping Point is that dramatic moment when little causes drive the unexpected to become expected.”
While Gladwell’s work focused on overarching social and market trends, I believe his concept applies to the perilous tipping point America faces with respect to God’s judgment on us as a nation. Countless causes have accumulated to bring us to the brink of something few people expect: God’s divine wrath. And I believe we are in the final stages of bringing on the Lord’s anger for two reasons, both of which fall neatly under the sustainable development umbrella.
The first is America’s withering support for the nation of Israel. For many years our nation attempted to weaken Israel by pressuring her to give up Covenant land. This increased under George H. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush and has advanced rapidly under President Obama. In early June of 2009, the president traveled to Egypt to address the Muslim world. Numerous times in his speech, President Obama cited what he referred to as “the holy Koran”—the very book that calls for Muslims to murder Jews as well as Christians.
Days before his trip, Obama declared that Iran has the right to a nuclear facility for energy. But we all know that what they really want is a nuclear bomb.
Obama has clearly thrown Israel under the bus by weakening Israel’s national security and making them vulnerable to a nuclear strike by Iran. In addition he has increased Iran’s threat to America’s national security.
Since 1998, Iran has been practicing shooting missiles off of cargo ships. Think about the implications of that not-so-benign act. If even just one missile armed with a nuclear warhead were launched from international waters near the United States and detonated a few dozen miles above the Kansas plains, an electro-magnetic pulse would, in nanoseconds, destroy the functioning of all but the barest remnant of America’s technological resources—electric power grid, computers, airplanes in flight and on the ground, healthcare equipment, cars, and trucks, to name the most obvious—sending us back to a lifestyle of the mid-1800s with little or no hope of recovery in the next few years. Destruction of vital electrical devices would bring about the deaths of millions in the ensuing and prolonged chaos.
Lest you think I exaggerate the threat: Military experts and scientists have testified before the U.S. Congress that the only way our enemies can bring us down militarily is through an EMP bomb—a realistic capability even for those whose nuclear launch technology includes only short- range missiles.
In Genesis 12:3, God says He will curse those that curse Israel and bless those that bless Israel. I believe one of the main reasons God’s wrath has been delayed is that we have supported Israel in the past. Yet now America has almost completely withdrawn this backing, and it puts us at great risk for being cursed by God.
From Rejection to Plotting Evil
The second reason for our tipping point is found in the book of Nahum. Nahum showed up in Nineveh about 150 years after Jonah to prophesy that God would not give Nineveh the chance to repent and forestall God’s wrath this time around. Why? Because in Nahum 1:11 we read that the people had begun to “plot evil against the Lord.” Rejecting God is one thing; plotting evil against Him is the tipping point for national judgment. In fact in Nahum 3:19 we see that their national “injury has no healing, your wound is severe.” One translation says, “Your wound is incurable.”
Americans have been all too willing to follow the blasphemous worldviews of Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, John Dewey, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Roger Baldwin, and the others discussed in this book—all of whom eagerly plotted evil against the Lord.
When God finally brings His judgment on America, it will be a waste of time even to pray for mercy. No need for a national day of prayer. In Jeremiah 7:16, God specifically tells Jeremiah not to pray for Judah: “Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or a prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me: for I will not hear you.” In Jeremiah 15:1, the Lord picks up the theme again: “Even if Moses and Samuel stood before Me, My mind would not be favorable toward this people.” And to the prophet Ezekiel, God says that when a nation sins against God in persistent unfaithfulness He will stretch out His hand against it: “Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, they would deliver only themselves” (Ezekiel 14:14).
Misinformed individuals have claimed that God would not judge a nation today in the same way because the God of the Old Testament was a God of wrath, but the God of the New Testament is a God of grace. What they don't understand is that the Bible explains in Hebrews 13:8 that God's character and nature do not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever—and His grace is extended only to those who repent.
Add to these two pivotal issues a host of other national sins. In June 2009, Obama signed a proclamation that declared that month as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2009.” And consider these other grievances God could raise against our nation:
• We’ve murdered nearly 50 million unborn children through abortion;
• States are rushing toward accepting homosexual marriage;
• God is outlawed in our nation’s public schools;
• The criminalization of Christianity is increasing daily;
• Only 1% of adults now hold to a genuinely Christian worldview;
• False teachings and pagan spirituality have become mainstream.
Haunting Words from the Past
Abraham Lincoln said, “I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.” In 2 Corinthians 3:17, the Apostle Paul writes: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
The deadly serious questions confronting America are: Have we rejected the things of the Lord and thus His Divine providence and protection? Are will still on His side? Does His Spirit remain with us?
Founding Father Dr. Jedidiah Morse warned: “Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.” And engraved on the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., is this sobering admonition from Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and our third president:
"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."
George Washington proclaimed: “We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself have ordained.”
George Mason, father of the Bill of Rights, speaking at the Constitutional Convention declared: “As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, so they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities.”
I believe God uses the same template to judge all nations and that template can be understood by studying what God said would happen to Israel if that nation disobeyed God and rejected His precepts and principles. God always warns nations before He judges them, and in doing so He gives them the chance to repent. However, if the nation does not repent, God’s judgment becomes more severe. Note some of His warnings to Israel if they continued in their rebellion, and consider the self-evident comparisons to America today.
(1) Deuteronomy 28. For disobeying God, Israel would be denied prosperity and abundance, both in regards to their economics as well as in their agriculture.
• Verse 24 describes drought—Many states in America are dealing with severe drought.
• 28 describes confusion of heart—Americans are spiritually confused, mixing Christianity with pagan spirituality.
• 29 tells that the nation shall not prosper in her ways—Look at the state of America’s economy, educational and legal systems.
• 30 loss of homes—Starting in 2008 Americas began experiencing historic levels of home foreclosures.
• 38 “You shall carry much seed out to the field but gather little in”—Recently I watched a Fox News reporter standing on the side of a tractor as the farmer tilled his perfect crop of tomatoes back into the ground because it would cost him more to bring the crop to market than what he could sell it for. As a result, he was saving money by plowing under the crop. Watch and see if America’s farmers experience poor yields or crops damaged through drought or storms.
• 43 speaks of an invasion of illegal aliens—One study reveals that illegal aliens cost Americans $346 billion per year.
(2) Leviticus 26.
• Verse 16 “I will even appoint terror over you”—America lives under the threat and fear of terrorism.
• 19 “I will break the pride of your power”—America’s superpower status faces unprecedented challenges as our military is stretched thin around the world, and overwhelming national debt sabotages our financial stability and dependability, prompting nations to call for a new reserve currency to replace the American dollar.
• 20 and 26 speak of famine—Hard to imagine in America, but possible.
• 22 extreme economic distress—America is certifiably bankrupt. When you combine all our off-record debt and unfunded liabilities like Medicare and Social Security, we are over 99 trillion dollars in debt. The federal government could tax Americans 100% of their total incomes and not cover the federal deficit.
• 31 invasion by enemies and destruction of cities—Intelligence officials and experts admit that terrorist sleeper cells are here in America and are simply waiting for orders to carry out acts of terrorism upon our cities as did those that carried out the attacks on September 11, 2001.
For a nation in our condition, the New Testament is no more encouraging. Romans 1:21-32 clearly states that a nation that rejects God over and over will suffer five specific consequences, and America is experiencing all of these now.
(1) A nation of fools.
• 21-22—Those who reject God over and over become vain, useless, futile or foolish in their thinking. Despite claiming to be “so smart,” people become so foolish in their thinking that they succumb to spiritual deception and accept spiritual lies and false teaching.
(2) The nation accepts pagan spirituality.
• 25—The Denver Post in June of 2008 reported that pagan spirituality is doubling in America every 18 months. Pagan spirituality is the worship of nature, the belief in pantheism, which proclaims that god is all and all is god. Whether you call it Cosmic Humanism, the New Age Movement, the New Spirituality or pagan spirituality, this is becoming the dominant worldview in America with the help of people like Oprah Winfrey and leaders of the Emergent Church.
(3) The nation accepts homosexuality.
• 26-27—States have approved homosexual marriage. The curriculum in many of America’s public schools teaches the homosexual agenda. The non-judgmentalism of a postmodern generation dominates our thinking. New laws give special rights to homosexuals, and homosexuality becomes an ever more acceptable lifestyle to an ever increasing percentage of Americans.
(4) The nation becomes violent and debased.
• 28—A study by David Barton of Wallbuilders reveals that since the 1962 and 1963 U.S. Supreme Court rulings outlawing prayer and Bible reading in America’s public schools, our nation has seen a spike in the rates of murder, rape, child abuse, unwed pregnancies, and violent crimes.
(5) The nation’s leaders are corrupt and immoral.
• 32—Declares that when a nation continually rejects God, they will have leaders that are not only immoral and corrupt in their personal lives but who also approve of and encourage immoral behavior in the people. Whether at the state or federal level, leaders in our legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government are continually passing laws, handing down legal rulings, signing executive orders, and sponsoring legislation against the righteous judgments of God.
Finally, a quick look at Isaiah 5 deepens the sense of monumental consequences that await the unrepentant and the continual sins for which God will bring judgment to a nation. God warned Israel for these sins, and America should also consider itself warned.
• 8-10—Materialism. Money is not the root of all evil, but the love of money is. Love of money lies at the heart of materialism. Materialism is a form of idolatry, the devotion to money that also includes knowingly disobeying God’s principles and standards in order to obtain money.
• 11-12—Hedonism. Hedonism says that the purpose of life is not to seek God but to seek pleasure. It rejects the absolute truth of right and wrong based on the character and nature of God and instead proclaims “if it feels good do it,” “you only live once,” or “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.”
• 12—Apathy and Foolishness. Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have bad consequences. Apathy has led Americans to take their freedoms for granted, to become intellectually lazy, to reject reason, logic, and context. The Bible speaks repeatedly about the need to acquire knowledge, wisdom, and understanding, yet Americans have done the exact opposite and rejected knowledge. Knowledge is the acquisition of truth, and wisdom is the application of truth. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ is truth, His Word is truth, and yet Americans have developed apathy toward God that has now turned into disdain toward His character and nature.
• 20—Moral Relativism. Since the late sixties, millions of American public school children have been educated with values clarification courses that proclaim moral relativism, the notion that all values and beliefs are equal because there is no absolute truth or standard of right and wrong.
• 21—Arrogance leading to spiritual deception. People become so arrogant and foolish in their thinking that they accept spiritual lies such as pagan spirituality.
• 21-23—Corrupt leadership and rulers drunk with power and enriching themselves with bribes and ill-gotten gains. Examples of this are everywhere. Americans are realizing that the majority of our local, state, and federal leaders are interested only in power and in using their positions to enrich themselves and their special interest groups so as to receive kickbacks, under-the-table payments, and political contributions for re-election. A judge recently made national news because he had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to sentence minors simply to keep a private juvenile detention center in business.
What’s a Christian to Do?
Christians must occupy till the Lord returns. Sadly, as America goes under, Christians that were committed only to the reconstruction of America or building a Christian America will retreat from the culture. This is not how Christians should respond. If indeed God is judging America (I believe He is) and if His judgment is going to greatly increase (which I believe it will), then we need to use His judgment as an opportunity to preach the Gospel to the unsaved.
God’s national judgment can allow us to speak in the natural realm and then shift to the spiritual. Explain to the unbeliever what sin is, why God must judge sin, and that the judgment nations experience in this life is nothing compared to the eternal judgment unrepentant individuals will receive in the next world. We can share with them that grace and mercy are only extended to those who repent, that Jesus Christ has provided the way for us to pass from judgment into life.
American Christians should not rate our success on whether or not we return our culture to its Christian roots. On the contrary, we may very well see serious persecution of Christians in America. We are not exempt even from the kind of treatment our brothers and sisters have endured in China, Cuba, and many other parts of the world. Faithful fulfillment of the Great Commission must be our standard for success, not our popularity in the culture, the balance of our bank accounts, the houses we live in, or the cars we drive.
Peter Marshall put it this way: “it is better to fail in a cause that will ultimately succeed, than to succeed in a cause that will ultimately fail.” And Dr. Erwin Lutzer applies this thinking directly to the Church: “Better to fail within the church than to be successful outside of it…God wins even when the church appears to lose.”
With this ultimate triumph in mind, let’s now begin our look at the individuals who are destroying America from the grave. Examine with me how they are connected, how we must respond to protect ourselves and our children and grandchildren from being taken captive by their unbiblical worldviews, and how we can rescue those who have already been taken captive.
Copyright 2009 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.