United States—What Does the Future Hold?

From the March 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

The Washington Times of February 1, 1998, reported, “The United States is starting to take a hit from Asia’s deepening financial crisis, with American manufacturing reporting weakened demand, the Federal Reserve reported January 21…. Asia’s economic woes are expected to wash up on U.S. shores this spring. U.S. producers are braced for a flood of cheap cars, computers, semiconductors and other products from South Korea and the rest of Asia…. Economists predict the 1998 trade deficit to more than double from current levels, hitting between $250 billion and $300 billion.” In that same issue, another article quoted Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, as saying, “If Japan tries to export its way out of this economic slowdown while keeping its markets effectively closed to competitive American products, then there’s going to be…a very severe reaction in the United States.”

In December 1997, factory orders in the United States took their sharpest monthly drop since 1991. Commodity prices on items such as oil, agricultural products, gold and aluminum “have plunged at a startling rate since last summer [1997], when the Asian turmoil began,” states the February 5 Wall Street Journal. “Damage is mounting fast in this economic sector that is often likened to a canary in a coal mine: an early-warning system for hazards that could eventually endanger the entire economy.”

As usual in American politics, a great deception is occurring about the supposed “balanced budget” touted for the U.S. government’s next fiscal year. In spite of “balancing” the budget, the national debt is projected to grow from its present bloated size of $5.4 trillion to an even-worse $6.3 trillion in 2003. The reason is because the budget will not truly be balanced! Next year, just as in years past, the government will borrow an extra $184 billion from trust funds like Social Security to pay current bills! This gives the appearance that the U.S. economy is healthier than it is. The truth is that the budget is not balanced and America is continuing its rapid descent into deeper and deeper debt!

And then there is always the threat of foreign-selling of U.S. treasuries, which began in mid-1997 and accelerated in December. By the end of 1997, about $50 billion worth of foreign-held treasuries had been sold. The Weekly Standard of January 26 says ominously, “How much further the process [of selling U.S. treasuries] goes depends not only on the Fed, but on those foreign central bankers who still have the most policy discretion.” That means foreigners are in the driver’s seat regarding this biggest of the potential threats to the U.S. financial system!

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, testifying before the Senate Budget Committee on January 29, appeared to be warning that events could still spin unpredictably out of control when he said, “We have as yet experienced only the peripheral winds of the Asian crisis. A continuation of the Asian crisis should give us pause in assuming that our economy will remain robust indefinitely.” Many other economists agree with Mr. Greenspan about the financial dangers now rippling ashore in what may well turn out to be a financial tidal wave, of gargantuan proportions.

Nick Guarino, in his Samurai Gold Forecaster newsletter of January 27, 1998, summed up the danger America is facing when he wrote, “The gun on the U.S. stock market is cocked. It’s just a question of which of three major events will pull the trigger: the continuing Asian crisis; the gross overvaluation of U.S. stocks; or the destruction of the Clinton presidency [due to scandal]. Anyway, one or more of these events is about to shoot the U.S. stock market down.”

Rampant Divorce = National Suicide

Is there a connection between America’s tragic divorce rate and other growing national problems?
From the March 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

Divorce is no longer a bad word. Here is what I mean. I grew up in the 50s. You seldom heard the word “divorce” spoken then. When it was spoken, it always carried the connotation of shame or failure. Not today.

Divorce is now a very common thing. It is the popular theme in country songs. What afternoon TV “soap” would seem normal without it? Divorce has become a casual part of conversations. We often hear: “When did she divorce?” or “When did he divorce?” Today, divorce is accepted as a normal part of life.

According to Melvin Belli and Mel Krantzler, authors of The Complete Guide for Men and Women Divorcing, “Divorce is now widely seen as a normal though painful life event, since one out of every two marriages end in divorce. Each year, two and a half million American men and women get divorced, which signifies that every person you meet has been touched by divorce—if not their own, then that of someone in their families or among their friends, co-workers, or acquaintances” (p. 59).

Is divorce normal? Should it be so widely accepted?

Marriage-for-life is an endangered species. Recent statistics show that for every ten marriages, six will end in divorce. That is an unbelievably high number. This means six out of ten marriages will fail. This fact represents a sobering national tragedy: in America, divorce is becoming more common than marriage. Yet, this is not just an American tragedy. High divorce rates are also evident in other Western countries. The survival of marriage as an institution is now seriously threatened. All should be alarmed. Too few are.

What is a Family?

Experts agree, society is a reflection of its families. Stable families produce stable societies. Does our world have stable societies? The truth is, our prosperous societies are not stable. They are down-spiraling out of control and our family life is the center of the vortex. Many seem to be asleep to this fact. Divorce is a painful sickness in our modern families and the sickness has spread into society. It appears that few are now able to stop our spiral downward. And each day our society grows more sick and more violent.

Man is proving that he cannot solve his own problems. Instead of correcting the problem, often we allow the problems to changeus. This is true with divorce. A recent newspaper article proves this point. It was titled, “France asks ‘What is a Family?’” Here is an excerpt: “The French are breaking new legal ground in dealing with changing notions of the family.

“Divorce is on the rise, as is the number of single-parent families. More unmarried couples are living together, and more people approve.

“The result is a radically different society than from a generation ago, a change the French government is acknowledging with new legislation that would give unprecedented legal rights and benefits to unmarried couples. But the plan has provoked strong resistance from some, who feel it would weaken France’s social fabric. It has also raised difficult questions about who and what constitutes a family.

“‘The nature of family is changing,’ says sociologist Eric Fassin. ‘When you have a revolution of gender relations as massive as it’s been in this country and others—contraception, women in the workplace—it’s not surprising’” (Gaoutte, The Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 28, 1997). There are some shocking statements made in this article. It tells us much about our modern world.

As a society, we are changing our notions and beliefs about marriage and the family. But why? Change can be either positive or negative. Are these new notions good? The family used to be viewed as a rock-solid, well-established, long-standing institution. Should the institution be changed? We must ask, are our changing beliefs improving the institution, or tearing it apart?

Similar to the United States, the author shows that the divorce rate is rising in France. In addition, so is the number of single-parent French families. (We would naturally expect the two to rise together: a divorce with children involved leaves behind single-parent families.) Notice that the author also shows that there is an increasing number of couples living together outside of marriage. Couples no longer recognize the need to get married. And, as the author states, more people approve. This is the most alarming point.

Divorce is on the rise, and more people approve. Single-parent families are on the rise, and more people approve. Couples are living together outside of marriage, and more people approve. Now the government of France wants to give more approval by giving new legal rights to unmarried couples. French conservatives are upset, and rightly so. The new French law is written so openly that homosexual or lesbian couples could qualify for government protection. In other words, homosexual and lesbian couples could be defined as a family.

Isn’t the above article a warning that we are succumbing to tragic problems instead of solving them?

Isn’t this all a sad statement about our modern society? We can’t solve our family problems, so we redefine the family. And our society simply grows ever more sick.

If There Is No God

Experts admit our society has radically changed. But it is not for the better. Society’s problems are growing worse, especially in our families. As one example, look at the problems with our youth. Children are neglected and abandoned. Teen pregnancies are at an all-time high. Youth violence and crime are on the rise. A 1996 National Teen Violence Survey shows that even teens recognize they live in a violent world. Teens know that the further they move from their homes, the more violent their situation becomes. Many fear to go to school. Some carry a weapon for protection, yet this only increases the violence. Young people are killing each other. Something must be done—quickly! We cannot just look at these problems as if in a stupor. We cannot stand on the sidelines and say, “Yes, society is getting worse.” How do we solve these terrible problems? What is the root cause of our youths’ problems? Can’t we see that it is our broken family life? To resolve these problems, we must fix the family. Fixing the family begins by fixing failed marriages.

As a nation, we must begin to see our rising divorce rate as a huge failure. Divorce is not the solution to solving marriage problems. When a marriage is in trouble, it is easier to end the marriage than to work at solving the problems. Fixing marriage and family problems takes time and much hard work. Divorce is often used as the easy way out. However, does divorce really end problems? Often it creates more problems. We must motivate ourselves to stop the tragedy of divorce.

Where do we gain our motivation to stop divorce? Certainly not from this world’s educators. Our modern education system has wholeheartedly accepted the theory of evolution as its foundation. This theory conveniently gives us a creation without a creator. Since man “evolved,” the theory reveals no purpose for man. Educators reason that if man is in a continual state of evolution, so are his institutions such as marriage and family; all change is just a part of the process. Why has divorce become so rampant and so accepted? Let’s be honest—God has been left completely out of the picture. If there is no God, then divorce is a viable option. But if there is a great Creator God, then the picture of divorce changes completely.

If God created man, there must be a purpose for man. What is that purpose? If we recognize that God created man, we must also recognize that God created marriage. There must also be a purpose for marriage. If we are going to stop divorce, we must get God’s view on the subject.

In God’s Likeness

What does God say about divorce? Can we know what God thinks? Yes we can. God reveals His thoughts on divorce in His book, the Bible. What is God’s view of divorce? He hates divorce. “For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: For one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously” (Mal. 2:16). The phrase “putting away” is one of the Bible terms for our modern word “divorce.” God views divorce as a violent and treacherous act. God warns that we should take heed to not be involved with divorce. Why? It deeply hurts all involved. Many experts recognize the serious negative emotional and financial affect divorce has on women and children.

But divorce also adversely affects men. Ellie Wymard discusses this in her book, Men on Divorce. Here is a quote from this landmark book: “Michael’s face grew red and he began to cry…. ‘I still love what she once was. I could have accepted her death because death is a part of life. When you’re in love and married, you fear and dread death for yourself and your spouse. But you know it’s inevitable. I hurt every minute and wanted it all to be just a nightmare. I was exhausted because I could never sleep. Yet I could never get out of bed in the morning. I would sit and stare out the window. I did nothing. My sister and brother would stop by every morning just to get me on my feet’” (p. 9). Divorce is a cruel destroyer.

In addition, divorce flies in the face of God’s ultimate purpose for man. Why did God create man on this earth? What is God’s purpose? “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gen. 1:26-27). The book of Genesis is viewed as myth to the highly educated of this world. But in this book, God reveals His purpose for the creation of man! This book contains vital knowledge. If every human being fully understood this book, what a different world we would have.

God reveals here that man was created flesh. However, man is not an animal. Man was specially created after the God kind. Man—male and female—has been molded into the form and shape of God. Man is flesh, but God is a spirit (John 4:24). God’s spirit body has a head, hair, eyes, a voice, hands and feet. Study Revelation 1:14-16 as proof. These verses describe Jesus Christ in His glorified form. In our flesh we share God’s likeness. And God intends that we also share in his image or character. This means that God put man on this earth so that we might grow to be like Him spiritually as well. Man was put on this earth to develop God’s character. Yet, there is even more that must be understood.

God Is a Family

To fully understand God’s purpose for man, we must understand who and what is God. God reveals much about Himself in Genesis 1 by giving us His name as Elohim. Herbert W. Armstrong understood God better than any other religious leader in our time. He fully explains the meaning of God’s name in his final book, Mystery of the Ages. “Now once again in Genesis 1:1: ‘In the beginning God….’ This was written by Moses as God inspired him. Moses wrote in Hebrew. The Hebrew word translated ‘God’ is Elohim—a noun or name, plural in form, but normally singular in grammatical usage. It is the same sort of word as family, church, group—one family consisting of two or more members—one church composed of many members—one group of several persons.

“It is referring to precisely the same Persons, making up or composing the one God, as we found in John 1:1—the Word and God—and each of those two Persons is God.

In other words, God is now a family of Persons, composed so far of only the two—God the Father and Christ the Son. But if the Holy Spirit of God dwells in someone, and he is being led by God’s Spirit (Rom. 8:14), then he is a begotten son of God. But, at the time of Christ’s return to earth in supreme power and glory to set up the kingdom of God, restoring the government of God abolished by Lucifer, then all being filled and led by God’s Spirit shall become born sons of God. The God family will then rule all nations with the government of God restored!” (pp. 50-51). God is a family. God’s ultimate purpose for man is to be born again as spirit beings into the God family. Eventually all saved human beings will look exactly like Christ does today (I John 3:2).

Only when human beings grasp this knowledge can they understand why divorce is so wrong. God is a family. Man was made after the God kind. So man was also created to be family. The non-provable theory of evolution hides these vital facts.

God Created Marriage

At the creation of man, God also created marriage. Marriage is not an institution that evolved with man. It was created for the benefit of man. “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18). Adam was not created complete in himself. So God created the perfect complement to him—Eve. Then God married them. After presenting Eve to Adam God said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). This is the history of the first marriage ceremony in its briefest details. But there is still a great lesson here, if we are willing to learn.

Herbert Armstrong wrote, “The marriage and family relationship is a God-plane relationship—higher than even an angel-plane relationship. And God bestowed it on man because man is being now prepared for the marriage and family relationship forever in the God family!

“Think of it! Of all life forms—whether plant, animal, human or angel, in all that God created, man alone was created for marriage and family life!

“In the Kingdom of God—in the God family—there will be marriage and family relationship—but no divorce!” (Marriage and Divorce, p. 20). God intended mankind to experience family life on earth, to prepare us for family life in the future as members of the God family.

In God’s Kingdom there will be marriage and family. Jesus Christ plans to marry the Church at His return (Rev. 19:7). At this point in time, the Church is being fashioned into a fit bride for Christ, just as God fashioned Eve for Adam (Eph. 5:30-32). We marry now so we can learn how to be married to Jesus Christ in the future. We have family life now so that we can learn to be a part of God’s family in the future.

Can we begin to see why God hates divorce? Divorce destroys the safety and security God intended there to be in families. Divorce will not exist in the future family of God.

From the Beginning

But didn’t Moses allow divorce? Yes, Moses did allow divorce. But God never intended it to be that way. In fact, Jesus Christ corrected what Moses had allowed. The religious people of Christ’s day had a liberal attitude toward divorce. “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:3-6). Jesus Christ always spoke with authority. He spoke with authority against divorce. The Pharisees were always challenging Christ. Here they tried to trick Him into speaking against Moses.

To answer their question on divorce, Christ went back to Genesis, to the creation of man and marriage. Christ relied on the authority of the Bible. God made man male and female and then bound them in marriage. No man can legally separate what God has joined together. These religious leaders should have been able to answer their own question. Even here they rejected Christ’s answer. They continued, “Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?” (v. 7). Christ gave them an authoritative answer: “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginningit was not so” (v. 8). Christ explained that Moses allowed divorce because the people had carnal hearts. But notice that Christ said, “From the beginning it was not so.” God intended for a man or a woman only to have one wife or one husband until death. God never intended for anyone to have multiple living wives or husbands.

God’s Laws Protect Family

God put into effect the Ten Commandments to ensure that man would enjoy a happy and successful life. Three of these commandments were specifically designed to protect the family. The fifth commandment, Honor your father and mother, ensures respect for parents (Exod. 20:12). This commandment also establishes authority in the home. Children must obey their parents. The seventh commandment, You shall not commit adultery, preserves the marriage bond (Exod. 20:14). This commandment was designed to prevent sexual infidelity. It was also designed to prevent premarital sex and sexual perversion. Few people, married or unmarried, follow this commandment today. The tenth commandment, Thou shall not covet, preserved a neighbor’s possessions (Exod. 20:17). The phrase “Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s wife” was designed to prevent remarriage while a spouse was still living. Statistics show that those who divorce and remarry are more likely to divorce and remarry again. Today it is normal for divorced people to be remarried two or three times. This is not only emotionally wrenching, it becomes total confusion when children are born into the separate marriages. Many children grow up with multiple step-parents and step-siblings. All of this shows the vital importance God places on the family and marriage. If we truly desire to fix our marriage and family problems, we need to get back to and obey these commandments.

America as a nation is at a serious crossroads. Our President’s alleged sexual infidelity is the topic of nearly every newspaper and news program worldwide. Yes, there is a crisis in the White House. But there is a far greater crisis in the nation. Most people do not care even if the President did commit infidelity. Why? If we look at our high divorce rate, we can easily assume that many, many people in this country are also committing some form of sexual infidelity! The moral fabric of our nation has seriously deteriorated. We have great economic prosperity—but we also have a high divorce rate. We have broken families. We have gangster youth. No wonder we are plagued with crime upon crime.

There is a great living God who deeply cares about our nation. We are the latter day children of the ancient nation of Israel. Mr. Armstrong proved this fact in his book, The United States and Britain in Prophecy. (You can have a copy of this book, free upon request.) The prophets of old warned ancient Israel about their many sins. But the majority of these warnings were intended for the people of our time, in our nation.

Land Full of Adultery

Through the prophet Jeremiah, God says, “For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right” (Jer. 23:10). God says it all very clearly—our land is full of adulterers. This means our marriages are not right. Americans are marrying and divorcing and remarrying. But do we care? In this verse, God says there is a direct connection between our national divorce rate and our growing national problems. The phrase “their course is evil” implies that we are aggressively running after our evil ways like runners in a race. We are a nation that has lost sight of the purpose for marriage and family. The results are going to be disastrous. Our nation is going to suffer dire consequences. God will punish us for our sins.

Jeremiah says our land will mourn and the pleasant places will be ruined. The United States has been suffering intense natural disasters for the past five years. Our food crops and cattle have been seriously affected. Now El Niño has struck both the east and west coasts—in both Florida and California. Many in this country would consider these two states as very pleasant places. These states thrive on tourism. And they produce most of our vegetable and fruit crops. People hardest hit in California can’t take much more. But there will be more to come unless we repent individually and as a nation.

The phrase “their force is not right” implies a failure in military action. The Hebrew word for “force” means valor, victory, mastery, might, mighty (act, power), power, strength. It’s a military word. God warns us that our national sins are destroying our military might.

God states in the book of Leviticus, “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits” (Lev. 26:18-20). Does God want to see our nation fall? No! God simply wants us to repent of our sins and return to Him. God wants us to start living His way. God would stop all of the evil that is prophesied to come upon us, if we would repent.

Is it too late to stop our national downslide? If we would listen and turn, and turn quickly, the answer is no. However, time is running out. As a people, we need to get back on track in our marriages and in our families. Our high divorce rate should wake us up. Herbert Armstrong wrote, “The very foundation of any nation’s solidarity, strength and power is a solid and stable family structure. When a nation’s family life is breaking down, that nation is disintegrating—committing national suicide!” (Marriage and Divorce, p. 9). Let’s heed these wise words. As a nation, let’s examine ourselves and correct our troubled family lives. Let’s not commit national suicide.

Freak of Nature

From the March 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

When will the devastation of El Niño end? Scientists reassure us that the deadly weather patterns should abate by the end of April. Leaving a wake of death and destruction, this season’s El Niño phenomenon lived up to its deadly forecast.

In the fall of 1997, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists and other weather researchers warned of an unprecedented warming of sea surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean region. These abnormally high temperatures are responsible for building the destructive weather patterns that are rhythmically impacting the Americas and other regions of the world.

Flooding in Peru has left over a quarter of a million people homeless. Well over 100 people have lost their lives in mudslides and flooding which was triggered by El Niño rains in Peru alone. Further north, the west coast of Mexico has also been attacked by unusually high amounts of rain. California has been ravaged by torrential rains and mudslides as well. Raging rivers overflowing their banks and flooding communities dominated national news during February. Tornadoes that ripped through central Florida left 40 people dead and twisted the lives of hundreds of other residents. These tornadoes proved to be the most devastating in Florida’s history.

In the northern tiers of the United States, residents enjoyed warmer than usual weather.

“There seems to be no relief in sight. The El Niño pattern will continue ‘much the same’ in both California and Florida, chiefly in the form of ‘heavy episodic events,’ said Ants Leetmaa, director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center in Washington” (Washington Post, Feb. 2, 1998). That is until the end of April or early May. When all is said and done, many expect the human and financial tolls to be greater than the El Niño of 1982-83. That occurrence “was the strongest this century, [costing] the United States about $2.5 billion in disaster damage and crop losses” (ibid).

America in Crisis

We have seen many television and newspaper reports about the White House in crisis. But it goes much deeper than that. The whole country is experiencing a nation-threatening crisis. You need to understand why!
From the March 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

Some of our leaders have been shocked by the alleged White House scandals. But there is another problem that is far more serious. Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania republican, said he was “as much appalled by the reaction of the public” as by the alleged scandal itself.

The President has been given his highest approval rating by the American people, in spite of the alleged scandal. This is what should disturb us, and even frighten us, most of all. That would not have been the response of Americans even ten or twenty years ago!

This alleged White House scandal is not just about the White House. It’s about America and Americans. It’s about all of us. It’s about you!

The American people’s response is a frightening portent of our nation’s future. If we fail to understand, that doesn’t make the bad news go away.

What does this radical change in America’s morals mean? And how is it going to affect you?

America’s Immoral Majority

That subtitle is the label given by The Observer of Britain, February 1, 1998. Often other people can view us more objectively than we can see ourselves. Ed Vulliamy had this to say (emphasis mine): “The more the White House and the public chastised the mass media, the more they delivered, detail upon detail. And the more they served up raunchy intrusions into the core of Clinton’s, and America’s, private life, so the tide began unbelievably to turn.

“The notion that Clinton might survive this deafening collision in America’s head between sex, God and power gained even more weight when his ratings rose to a record 68 percent on Friday night, within a few points of Ronald Reagan’s best score. Even more Americans, a staggering 79 percent, told the CNN/Time poll they thought America was being well governed, an all-time record….

“Most important, the deliverance of the President from scandal would unpeel a deep tolerance among Americans that is belied by Bible-bashing rhetoric and all-American stereotypes. It would be the victory of the saucy smile in the Country & Western joint over the severity of the preacher. For better or worse, a victory for what is practiced over what is preached….

“Bill Clinton’s pastor since 1980 has been Dr. Rex Horne at the Immanuel Southern Baptist Church…. Horne spoke candidly, if in code. ‘It’s not a unanimous kind of thing,’ he said of his flock’s relationship to the President. ‘But even his political opponents—who have been sowing the seeds of this scandal for years now—even they’re hoping it ain’t true. It’s humiliating; it affects all of us.’…

“‘I don’t think people around here are that concerned about the moral or spiritual side of all this…. The very worst thing,’ he says, ‘would be if all of this were true, and people didn’t care.’

“Horne had better prepare for his worst-cast scenario, because America does not care.”

Mr. Clinton’s pastor said the “very worst thing would be if all of this were true, and people didn’t care.” Why the “very worst thing”? Because of what it means for the future of America.

What happens to nations when they reach a stage where they don’t care about private morals or character?

Our Constitution was structured only for a people with strong character. Our constitutional system will collapse without pure morals.

The Voice of the Forefathers

Here are a few quotes from men who wrote and built upon the Constitution. Our second President, John Adams, said, “Statesmen may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand.” James Madison said, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not on the power of government…[but] upon the capacity of each and every one of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

What a powerful and frightening statement. James Madison knew that “the whole future of American civilization” was at stake! And if we Americans fail to govern ourselves by the Ten Commandments, this country is going to collapse into anarchy! The same holds true for any country.

Mr. Madison gave us a wonderful definition of character and its importance. It’s also his prophecy for America.

Our Founding Fathers created the Constitution. It will be perilous if we ignore their deep understanding. The Constitution was established only for a people with strong morals. But we have degenerated terribly in this area. Without character our liberties must lead to deep division and anarchy. Only character can stop that natural flow of events.

What makes our forefathers’ statements so weighty is that they agree with God!

Abraham Lincoln stated, “Unless the great God who assisted [President Washington] shall be with me and aid me, I must fail. But if the same omniscient mind and Almighty arm that directed and protected him shall guide and support me, I shall not fail…. Let us pray that the God of our fathers may not forsake us now.”

The Civil War almost destroyed America. Only the faith of Mr. Lincoln and the American people got us through that tragedy.

In 1954, Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote, “I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it.” Our forefathers knew that decaying morals meant a decaying nation!

Recently, Justice Stewart Potter said it was impossible to define character. But many of our forefathers knew character meant not committing adultery and not lying. They knew that character is keeping the Ten Commandments.

Here is a quote from the Associated Press: “Ann Martin, 18, a conservative college student from Lynchburg, Va., said the public’s attitude leads her to worry about the country. ‘When we have a leader who lies, what does it say about us?’ she said. ‘When we don’t care, what does that say about our ability to choose a leader?’” (Feb. 3, 1998).

This young lady has much wisdom. If the American people don’t even care, how can we choose a strong leader? And without strong moral leaders, nations fall—especially freedom-loving democracies. As she said, when we have this attitude, it’s time to “worry about the country.”

However, while many people can see the problem, almost nobody sees the solution.

The Family Breakdown

I grew up in a family with some serious problems. Many of us have been victims of dysfunctional families. President Clinton is no exception.

Here is what Newsweek magazine wrote on February 2, 1998: “Everyone in Clinton’s immediate family suffered from some kind of compulsive disorder or addiction. His biological father, William Blythe, who died before Bill was born, was a major Lothario [womanizer] and quite possibly a bigamist. (Some therapists say dopamine levels—linked to addictions, including sex—can be inherited.) His stepfather was an alcoholic. His brother, Roger, was a cocaine addict. And until her death, his beloved mother, Virginia, had a box seat at the Hot Springs racetrack” (Jonathan Alter, “Clinton on the Couch”).

Like many of us, Mr. Clinton grew up in a flawed family. And this problem is rapidly getting worse in America.

Here is what the same magazine reported about Monica Lewinsky: “At the heart of the story is a young woman’s craving for recognition and attention. Monica Lewinsky grew up pampered but possibly emotionally neglected in Beverly Hills, Calif. Her father was a cancer doctor with a busy practice; her mother was a socialite who loved to drop celebrity names. She lived in a million-dollar house; dad drove a Cadillac, mom drove a Mercedes; the housekeeper took Monica and her brother, Michael, to tennis lessons, Hebrew school and the orthodontist. When Monica was 15, her parents went through a nasty divorce. In court papers, mother charged father with ‘screaming obscenities’ and ‘belittling the children’ by, on ‘many occasions,’ saying ‘leave the dinner table,’ ‘go to your room,’ and ‘we don’t want your opinion.’ (Bernard Lewinsky denied the allegations.) Other court documents listing the family’s expenses included $760 a month for psychiatrists’ bills for the children. Last week Monica’s classmates at Beverly Hills High remembered her unkindly as a girl who had ‘gone to a fat farm’ and strived to be popular.”

Surely we can see that these were not strong families. There were some serious problems.

If our families are sick, they produce sick children! The solution lies in strong, moral-building families.

Let’s look at what our first two presidents believed about the family. “In short, the founders’ generation believed that men’s and women’s interests were complementary, and they saw marriage as the divinely ordained, naturally good way to organize life. George Washington had started his presidency by pointing out that public life must be grounded on private morality. His successor, John Adams, devoted husband of Abigail, was even more specific: the ‘foundation of national morality must be laid in private families.’ He went on to say that children learn the meaning of morality, religion, and respect for law from the habitual fidelity of their parents to one another” (Angelo Codevilla, The Character of Nations, p. 221, emphasis mine).

John Adams said the “foundation of national morality must be laid in private families.” That means the family must strongly teach its children not to lie and commit adultery!

If the families are not moral, how can the nation be moral? Our forefathers laid the foundationof a great nation. They built America with God’s blessings.

Today, we are destroying America and bringing God’s curses upon ourselves.

Does God Care?

America may not care about the morality of our leaders, but what does God think? Does He really care? The answer to that question is the most disturbing of all.

“The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly” (Jer. 23:20).

The expression “consider it perfectly” should read “understand it thoroughly.” That means these prophecies would be clearly understood in the latter days, or the end time in which we are living right now. That is because these prophecies are being fulfilled now. We see it happening all around!

How could this prophecy be any clearer?

God is full of anger. He is not neutral or unconcerned. This prophecy should strike fear in our hearts!

Here is why God is so angry. “I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah” (v. 14).

The leaders of the people commit adultery and walk in lies. The two sins go together. Many people who commit adultery also lie about it!

Christ said in the New Testament that if a man even looks upon a woman with lust, he has already committed adultery. Christ magnified the law. He did not do away with it, as many religions teach!

But where is it all leading? It is not only the leaders who are sinning. They are “as Sodom” and the “inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.” Our leaders lead the people into the most disgusting sexual sins of all. It is the grossest kind of immorality.

That is the way lust works. A person starts with one lust. It soon fails to stimulate his evil desire. Then he twists his mind to a more disgusting lust—until we have reached Sodom and Gomorrah!

It is only logical that the “inhabitants” of a Sodom-and-Gomorrah society would not expect their leaders to have exemplary marriages and families!

God thunders that our Sodom-and-Gomorrah society condemnsallof us! Our nations have rebelled against our Creator, the living God. The depth of our sins is staggering.

America spends over $4 billion annually on pornography. That is more than we spend on professional baseball! So this is not just ghetto pornography. This cesspool material is being consumed by mainstream America.

Only a fool could fail to see how pornography rips families apart! America leads the world in producing pornography—and divorces.

Of course pornography is only one problem which helps to destroy our families. Our peoples have “sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” (Hos. 8:7).

If we don’t stop the process, our nations become like Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19). Then God has to destroy us as He did them! “Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked” (Jer. 23:19). God is going to send a grievous whirlwind—the Great Tribulation. That is going to be the worst time of suffering ever (Dan. 12:1).

God is addressing Israel (Jer. 23:2). That is primarily America and Britain today. (Write for our free booklet, The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

Disrespect for Leaders

Here is a quote from the February 3, 1998, New York Times (emphasis mine): “In Norman, Okla., David L. Boren, the former United States Senator who is now president of the University of Oklahoma, said that when he asked his freshman American Government class about the scandal, almost all the students said they believed President Clinton was lying, and they tended to respond: ‘All politicians are crooks, very few of them tell the truth, few of them are faithful to their spouses, so why not have one who’s smart and knows how to get things done?’ he said. ‘That’s almost an exact quote. The attitude is, we really don’t respect him, but what do you expect from a politician?’

“‘To me it’s deeply disturbing,’ he went on, recalling the awe he felt when he saw his first President, Harry Truman.

‘In times of crisis, times of hardship,’ Mr. Boren said, ‘a level of trust between the American people and their Government, particularly their leader, is an essential element of what’s needed in the country. We have passed from anger about what’s going on in our political system to cynicism and alienation. And to me, cynicism and alienation are more frightening than anger.’

These students believe the President committed adultery and lied—and it makes no difference to them!

Mr. Boren finds this deeply disturbing. And so do I. But more importantly, so does God! As Mr. Boren said, “In times of crisis, times of hardship,” you must have a deeper trust and character to survive.

And those times of crisis are fast approaching. Do we grasp how fast our morals are declining?

“But instead of hothouse, the atmosphere surrounding the scandal might be described as funhouse, with the country awash in lewd jokes, aided by the presidential material that has become the mainstay of late-night television shows. The bawdy show is illustrative in itself. Jay Leno, host of ‘The Tonight Show,’ said he now tells jokes he could not possibly have told on the air just ten years ago” (ibid.).

We are witnessing greatly accelerated degeneration in character. Many in America are laughing at the scandals. But God isn’t laughing!

Almost nobody understands why our ancestors—biblical Israel—fell as a nation. The book of Judges is a part of the Former Prophets. That means it contains prophecy for today. History does indeed repeat itself. Here is why they fell. “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

Every man did what he thought was right. That means the people didn’t trust their press, their politicians, or their religious leaders. The big question is, why? The answer is in today’s headlines and all around us! The people were deeply degenerate and cared only for themselves. That led to their downfall. The leaders couldn’t call upon the people to make deep sacrifices in desperate times. The people didn’t trust the leaders.

God had it written in a book so we could learn from and avoid the same mistakes. It’s God’s loving concern. But it’s of no help if we don’t heed!

Any good history book would teach us that we are headed for disaster.

The Law

Douglas Cox worked in the Office of Legal Counsel for Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Here is what he stated in the Wall Street Journal,February 2 (emphasis mine): “Some may argue that perjury prosecutions arising out of civil cases are comparatively rare, as indeed they are. But the entire justice system is predicated on the theory that witnesses will tell the truth. Permitting a culture of lying to take root in the justice system would ultimately destroy the system.”

He believes a lying culture would ultimately destroy our justice system! (Or has it already?) That means the nation would collapse into anarchy or worse.

Our leaders, both secular and religious, should be the chief examples and enforcers of the law. That is what unifies the nation. If our leaders are examples in breaking the law, our system of justice must certainly fall apart.

Can we afford not to care about adultery and lying in America? If Americans don’t care, how much longer can we stand?

If we truly believe in God, we had better act like it! Otherwise our sins are going to end in the worst possible catastrophe!

And that is going to happen whether we believe God or not!

Deceived Ministers

Who does God blame most of all for our sins? The religious leaders most of all. “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (James 3:1). The word “masters” refers to the ministers. They are going to be condemned more severely. They are supposed to represent God.

What did James teach about the Ten Commandments? “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well” (James 2:8). He called it the royal law.

What if we break only one of those Ten Commandments? “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty(vv. 10-12).

We are all going to be judged by the law of liberty. It is not a law of bondage, as many religious leaders teach! These deceived leaders often teach that the law has been done away. Even our forefathers, who were not ministers, knew better! These ministers are going to be condemned more strictly than other people, because of the office they hold.

If we don’t keep the law, we are without works. “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” (vv. 14-16). It is a law of love (I John 5:3). We must protect our neighbor, not prey on his wife or property!

James is condemning dead faith. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (vv. 19-20). So what if we believe there is a God. Even the demons do that! That is faith without works. We must keep God’s law—the Ten Commandments—to have faith with works.

That is the only kind of faith that will save the United States from national collapse. And there isn’t much time to learn that foundational lesson.

It’s the Economy Stupid

From the March 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

Character does matter! (See this month’s Trumpet feature beginning on page 2.) But for a moment, let’s suppose that President Clinton’s campaign slogan is true: “It’s the economy stupid!”

In recent months, The Trumpet has exposed what should be obvious to all Americans: The U.S. debt is out of control. It’s over 5.5 trillion dollars! Our economic Titanic will only sail a bit longer before striking an iceberg. But why should we be concerned about our astronomical debt when it does not directly affect us?

What about us? What about our individual financial ship? Are we sailing in safe waters, or like the Titanic, sailing through great oceanic ice fields, dodging one iceberg after another? Statistics should set off alarm bells for each of us. Consumer debt, which includes credit card charges and automobile loans (but not home mortgages), has escalated to 1.4 trillion dollars! That’s one-fourth of our nation’s debt!

As a people, our ability to consume is unrivaled by other nations. Americans make up only five percent of world population, but use one-third of the world’s resources. Since the mid-1950s, the amount of goods and services we consume has doubled.

The increased popularity of credit cards has contributed to the inability of many American’s to control spending habits. Americans possess over one billion credit cards. Only one-third of card-users pay off their balances in full. The rest opt for monthly piecemeal payments at crippling interest rates. It’s no wonder more than a million Americans declare bankruptcy each year.

If it is the economy, and most Americans give the economy an A+ approval rating, we must be stupid.

A Titanic Lesson

A Titanic Lesson

Wikicommons

From the March 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

Many people around the world are talking about the Titanic. They have either seen the movie, or television and newspaper reviews about the movie and the ship. As fascinated as everyone is, however, it seems to me that nobody has learned the important lesson it teaches. And it does contain a titanic lesson and great symbolism.

The Titanic was the greatest ocean liner ever built at that time. It was called the “ship of dreams.” But on its maiden voyage the passengers’ dreams became their blackest nightmares. The reason why is where people should be focusing.

The Titanic was the largest single moving object in 1912, weighing 46,000 tons. It was built mostly to serve the wealthy. There was a “millionaire’s suite” and fabulous furniture and decor.

Many said the Titanic was “unsinkable.” It had been remarked by others that “even God couldn’t sink the Titanic.” These comments reveal an arrogant, God-defying attitude that led to the dramatic disaster.

There were 2200 passengers on board and 1500 of them died.

Captain Edward J. Smith was warned repeatedly about ice fields. He ignored them and went to bed two hours before the fatal collision.

It’s easy to ignore warnings. Millions—even billions—are doing it today. But we can’t ignore the icebergs!

After they struck the iceberg, it only took two hours and 40 minutes for the ship to sink. There is some very graphic film footage of the wrecked Titanic. It is two-and-a-half miles below the ocean surface. It really did sink! And 1500 people really did die.

So much for God-defying arrogance!

I’ll tell you what haunts me when I see video footage of the Titanic today. It is very emotional. I see Britain and America in a similar condition—if they fail to heed God’s warning message.

Our nations are headed for a disaster that will make people forget the Titanic tragedy, perhaps forever.

God is sending out the “ice field” warnings. But it is “a voice crying in the wilderness” (Isa. 40:1-10). That doesn’t mean the voice is out on a barren desert. But for most people it might as well be.

The voice is ignored or ridiculed by most people. They somehow think America and Britain are “unsinkable.” Like the captain of the Titanic, they ignore the warnings. They continue steaming ahead into the darkness.

God and His watchman see the iceberg hidden in the black, dark night—and warn and warn and warn. But it continues to be a voice crying in the wilderness.

After they strike the “iceberg,” then they will know that God’s watchman was in their midst (Ezek. 33:33). But then it is too late, physically.

Even if they don’t heed the message today, there is still great hope. God is calling out His very elect now. They are being trained to be captains to direct the ship of state—in the wonderful World Tomorrow. It will be a world of dreams that are fulfilled more than people can even imagine. They will be warned about the deadly icebergs and the people will heed the warning. Their dreams will be filled to the full and running over!

The greatest rewards ever to be given throughout eternity are being qualified for now. A small group is becoming God’s very elite because they hear God’s voice crying in the wilderness today. They get the glorious opportunity to be the one and only bride of Christ forever. There will never, ever be such a reward offered again.

This is the most titanic dream of all!