Vol. 4, No. 5
~ Page 5 ~
I was amused by an article in the July/August 1993 issue of American Heritage magazine, entitled, "Predicting The Present," which told of the American Press Syndicate, in 1893, interviewing certain "experts," and asking them to make brief predictions about what American life would be like in the 1990's. One respondent envisioned a populace so "educated and refined" that "the confinement and punishment of criminals will occupy but little of the thought or time of the men of 1993." A prophet this man was not.
The violence and crime in America is almost unbelievable. Of course violence and crime have been with us since the day that Cain rose up and slew his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8), but the callousness with which men now perpetrate their inhumanities against men certainly boggles the mind. The days of feeling safe in your home are gone. There is a debate that is currently raging about the effects of TV violence upon children. The average child views an estimated 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence before finishing elementary school, and some would have us to believe that they will not be adversely affected. School violence is raging out of control. Kids carry an estimated 270,000 guns to school each day. Gunfights are replacing fistfights. Schools in some parts of the country have bullet drills. Students learn to hit the floor when they hear gunfire.
What is the answer to the problem? The politically correct posit some very simplistic solutions: take away all guns, build more prisons and beef up police protection. I haven't yet been able to figure out how these suggestions even touch the heart of the problem because the problem stems from man's heart. Jesus said, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies" (Matthew 15:19). Thought precedes action.
Gary L. Bauer, President of the Family Research Council, said in a September 3, 1993 memo: "While Washington continues to be without a clue about why we are in trouble as a nation, former Watergate conspirator Chuck Colson identified the core issue in a recent speech in Chicago. Chuck said America is falling into the trap of accepting four secular myths: (1) Human beings are good and innocent and not responsible for wrongdoing, (2) Government can provide utopia, (3) Moral values are relative, (4) The cult of radical individualism is superior, even though it dismisses family, church and community."
Like Judah of old, it might be said of America today: "Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the Lord your God. And the fear of Me is not in you" (Jeremiah 2:19). If we continue the present course of moral and religious drifting, then envy, hatred, malice and all uncharitableness will rule the day.