Cocaine on corn flakes: Our moral crisis and our nation’s only hope
Today is February 23, 2021 | Read time: 6 minutes | Read online
US Customs and Border Patrol recently seized a forty-four-pound shipment of corn flakes from South America. The reason: its flakes were covered in cocaine instead of sugar. Bico, a narcotic detector dog, flagged the shipment in Cincinnati, Ohio.
As long as there have been laws, humans have attempted to break them. The first humans broke the first law in human history (Genesis 2:17; 3:6–7). The first child ever born murdered the second child ever born (Genesis 4:1–8).
From then until now, our story is one of laws and lawbreakers. Criminals are sometimes caught, as with the ninety-five-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard who was deported from Tennessee back to Germany last Saturday. Many are not: according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, fewer than half of crimes in the US are reported; according to the FBI, fewer than half of reported crimes are solved.
Every day’s news brings further proof that our secular culture desperately needs a great spiritual awakening. This is why, as I noted yesterday, you and I need to live in submission to the Holy Spirit out of a passion for Christlike character (Romans 8:29). And why we need to pray and work with urgency to help everyone we influence do the same.
The hour is later than we know. But the hope we offer is the hope our nation needs today.
The only nation founded on a creed
Britannica defines “government” as “the political system by which a country or community is administered and regulated.” It lists monarchy (rule by a monarch), oligarchy (rule by a small group), and democracy (rule by the people) as the main approaches across history. For most of Western history, the first two forms were predominant.
In fact, the article states that the Constitution of the United States “opened the door to modern liberal democracy—democracy in which the liberty of the individual is paramount.” As British writer G. K. Chesterton noted on his first visit to our shores in 1921, “America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed.” That creed is contained in five words enshrined in our Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal.”
Because we are all “created equal,” none of us has the right or the capacity to rule another. The American solution is to enact laws by the consent of the people, then to elect leaders to enforce them, again by the consent of the people. If we see that our laws need to be changed, we amend our Constitution or otherwise enact legislative remedies. If we see that our leaders need to be changed, we elect new ones.
The entire enterprise rests upon the belief, radical and nearly unprecedented in history, that people can govern each other.
However, we cannot govern each other if we cannot govern ourselves.
Abraham Lincoln predicted our future
Abraham Lincoln gave his first major speech on January 27, 1838, shortly before reaching his thirtieth birthday. In it he asked, “At what point shall [America] expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?”
He expanded his question: “Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.”
Lincoln continued: “At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
He claimed that “general intelligence, sound morality, and, in particular, a reverence for the Constitution and laws” would be essential to our survival. Then he closed: “Upon these let the proud fabric of freedom rest, as the rock of its basis; and as truly as has been said of the only greater institution, ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’”
Mr. Lincoln was right: Character is essential to democracy. A free people can govern each other only if they can govern themselves.
Our nation’s “indispensable supports”
Our Founding Fathers were clear on this fact. Of the scores of founders and quotes I could offer to prove this point, let’s focus today on our first president. George Washington stated in 1796, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”
Lest we think that the latter can stand without the former, Mr. Washington continued: “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
I will say it again: a free people can govern each other only if they can govern themselves. And because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), we cannot govern ourselves unless we submit to the governance of God by his Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and his word (Hebrews 4:12).
The good news is that the Spirit of God can transform us into a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and empower us as “ambassadors for Christ” to be the change our culture needs (v. 20). We have great hope, so long as our hope is in Christ (Colossians 1:27).
A warning we must heed
Today we are claiming the hope we find in Jesus. Tomorrow we will see why this is our only hope as a people.
For now, I will close with a biblical text that grieves me for the nation I love and motivated today’s Daily Article. What God said to the children of Israel he says to us today: “If you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish” (Deuteronomy 8:19).
Clearly, the greatest service you and I can render our nation is to be catalysts for spiritual and moral awakening before it is too late.
How will you answer this call today?
Dr. Jim Denison is the CVO of Denison Forum
Through The Daily Article email newsletter and podcast, DenisonForum.org, social media, interviews, and articles across the internet, Denison Forum reaches 2.2 million culture-changing Christians every month.
I am heart broken that many in America do not see the EVIL in our Country! They are blinded by Satan and politics. Many have made politicians gods…..or are drugged by such groups as QAnon..or other evil groups….or the read about conspiracies more than they read the Bible…We are paying a deep price for all this sinful behavior! What future do our children and grandchildren have in America? Americans even argue about wearing a mask to help their fellow Americans. We have lost over 500,000 to COVID, the most deaths of any Country in the world! SHAME! SHAME! NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED!!! 2020 was the year from hell! GOD KNOWS THOSE WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE! Many are greatly responsible for this hell! We are a lost nation at this point. I am dumbfounded that many Americans are not STUNNED by the attack on our Capitol, those people of Satan wanted to hang Vice President Pence and murder others! They killed 5 people! I do not know if America will ever heal from this in my lifetime. We are a stinking mess! It is getting worse here, you can’t dress up a pig….
Many Pastors need to take off their rose colored glasses and start preaching heaven and hell!
Those who know me already know that I have been praying for Church revival and a national Spiritual Awakening for many years. What you might not know is that it has been since approximately 1992; nearly 30 years.
A special friend asked me recently what keeps me going, what keeps me from giving up, my answer was, “It’s worth it to stick with it!” Beloved, when God calls you to something, no matter the difficulty attached to the task, it is worth it to see it to completion according to His design. I believe God wants His Church to be revived, but His Church needs to want revival more than anything else and be willing to pay the price to achieve revival.
Historically, Church revival and Spiritual Awakening in the Church region were almost simultaneous in timing. When Christians sincerely pray for revival with fervency and humble repentance becoming righteousness, God sincerely heals the land, beginning at the Church.
Here is where we come to a blockage. I fear we will not experience a national Spiritual Awakening until we experience a national Church revival. Can you see our problem? Do you sense the blockage? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters, we have been speaking often about the terrible divisions in America; it is true and oh so sad. However, I think America has a bigger problem that she is not even aware of, and I do not believe the Church has even the slightest idea based on what I see, hear and read about nearly every day.
The Church is in sinful behavior as a practice because the Church is terribly divided and it seems to not just enjoy it, it works hard to maintain the things that divide her. However, before one moves to the political differences which have become somewhat obvious, she is not yet even in unity biblically speaking either and that is much worse! The Church must have unity of purpose to God above everything else, even politics or our self importance as churches or denominations.
God calls the Church His Bride, not His Brides! Jesus prayed that the Church would be One, not many of various thoughts and beliefs! The evil one has us right where he has always wanted us; who do you think coined the phrase first, “Divide and conquer”?
“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).
“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous” (1 Peter 3:8).
“Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Philippians 2:2).
“Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Colossians 3:14).
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1).
“Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11).
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:1-6).
“That you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:6).
Church, America is being destroyed from the inside therefore she must be saved from the inside. And the pathway is paved with a humbled, repented, unified Church seeking the Father’s face.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Church, lack of unity goes against God’s desires for His church. An intentional lack of unity is sin! How can we claim to be a people of the New Covenant if we refuse to be in covenant with one another? How can we experience koinonia with God yet refuse to experience the same between the various churches which make up His Church, His Bride? We claim to believe it, but we fail to live it out as though we truly believe it.
Church! Bride! We must finally and once and for all time get this right! Pray On! . . . together, in unity!