commentary: Our Moral Bearings Lost
Where is our Guidance From?
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 14-Nov-09; Sermon #964c; 10 minutes
John Ritenbaugh reflects that this week's headlines indicate that America's leaders have lost their moral compass. God has replaced wise adults with foolish children mocking and scoffing at wisdom and moral standards (Isaiah 3). The Islam murderer was shielded by the national liberal media (including the New York Times and NPR) who tried to make him a victim rather than a murderer. President Obama foolishly allowed the perpetrator of the 9-11 massacre to have a civil trial (rather than a military trial) in ultra left New York City. Our leaders have lost their moral bearings and have caused us to fear the wrong things, have made us reap the curses of Leviticus 26:16 and Deuteronomy 28:28-29, have forced us to behave like mad men and stagger like blind men.
I believe that this week's news reports carried two reports that illustrate once again that America's moral leadership has lost its moral bearings. These incidents parallel with God's prophecy in Isaiah 3, where He says:
Isaiah 3:2-5 [He will take away] The mighty man and the man of war, the judge and the prophet, and the diviner and the elder; the captain of fifty and the honorable man, the counselor and the skillful artisan, and the expert enchanter. “I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. The people will be oppressed . . ."
In that prophecy, He says that He will take a direct hand to remove a broad portion of wise leadership in every facet of community life. He will do this because His people are at best lackadaisical, sometimes careless, and in some cases, downright rebellious regarding keeping His commandments. When such a trend is occurring, then we can know that disaster is not far off, because God will punish in His good time.
Moral bearings are those principles, time-tested traditions, by which we have made judgments in the past. They are traditional rules of conduct that have guided even our national judgments in times past. But no more, because these principles, many of them drawn directly from God's word, have been first mocked in family life, business, media, academia, and as time moves forward, they violently were trashed in courts of law, and in addition to that, in civil government.
But we are strongly warned in Galatians 6:7,
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
"Mock" means "to ridicule, to scoff at, to deride, disdain, mimic, to make light of the or fun off." It is difficult to determine when the scoffing first began in this nation, whether it began first in ordinary family life or in the churches. But whichever, it is certain, the ministry and the churches picked up the attitudes of the parishioners, and they softened God's demands for obedience to His commands. The scoffing was magnified and our moral bearings began to be lost.
The first piece of news this past week involved the Islamic psychiatrist who exploded in rage in Fort Hood, Texas, shouting, "Allahu Ahkbar," as he murdered thirteen bystanders and wounded 50 others. Almost as quick as a wink, the liberal media moved in and began to make excuses. In fact, they have made outrageous excuses for this murderer, hoping to deflect criticism from the fact that he was a Muslim with years of ties to terrorist organizations, while denying the fact that he is an enemy of the United States. Even the very liberal National Public Radio first felt obligated to report that this man was openly proselytizing doctors and patients as converts. NPR also reported that Hassan gave a lecture to fellow doctors at Walter Reed Hospital on "a Koranic view of war" that— quoting the doctor—"really freaked a lot of doctors out."
But brethren, the media, including The New York Times, is attempting to turn America's view of this man as a victim rather than the clearly-seen—by scores of witnesses—murderer that he is. Are we able to judge anything right anymore?
The second thing that occurred was President Obama's decision to bring those two 9/11 plotters to New York City in order to try them in a civilian court rather than a military court, even though they have already admitted guilt as confessed murderers at war with the United States. They boldly claim that they are at war with the United States. They are not only confessed terrorists, they have already formally requested the death sentence without a trial.
Well, let me remind you of something. Do you remember Joshua's case against Achan in Joshua 7? Do you know that Achan confessed, and Joshua immediately put Achan, his family, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep—he executed them, and even his tent was burned and the whole thing was covered with stones. That man was responsible for the death of 31 Israelites that led directly to his thievery. Joshua had not lost his moral bearings. He had the mind of Christ, and he knew what to do in that incident, and that was it.
I have to believe that our leaders not only has lost their moral bearings, but in these losses we have had something added that is not good: We now fear the wrong things. Add this to the sowing and repairing of the mockery toward God, and you get a whirlwind.
In the curses in Leviticus 26, God says,
Leviticus 26:16 I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. . . .
Deuteronomy 28:28-29 The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart. And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you.
What is it that we are fearing? Do we fear the rebuke of other nations? What is it? Well, brethren, I think we are seeing we no longer have our bearings, and as a nation, we are staggering, spiritually blind in each area of community life. By way of contrast, Proverbs 28:1 says,
Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.