The Current Scene
Whenever the subject of national rearmament or war comes to the front, as it has today, the pacifists become annoyingly demonstrative. History reveals that there has always been an aggressor nation ready to exploit another nation’s weakness. In the Bible we read of land-hungry members of the tribe of Dan. Their reconnoiters discovered what they were looking for, “a good land carelessly defended which became their easy prey” (see Judg. 18). Later we read that Nebuchadnezzar had taken counsel against a similar situation, “Arise, get you unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care, saith the Lord, which has neither gates nor bars” (Jer. 49:31). The world is still as dirty. A weak America would only excite the cupidity of aggressors elsewhere.
Arming to the teeth is no assurance of peace in our day. However, it is the best solution to those who are compelled to work out their own destiny.
In Scripture it is the Lord who holds Himself responsible for stirring up war, famine and plagues. Numerous proof texts are not wanting, “Shall there be evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done it?” (Amos 3:6). Again, “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.” Obviously the best defense is a righteous nation, but where is such today? He, and He alone, “Maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth” (Psa. 46:9).
The signs that are to announce the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ appear to be accumulating and increasing in intensity. Certainly they have always been around, but their proportions are on the increase. The news media and revolting pictures have awakened the world to the plight prevailing in most of Africa. Fortunately the granaries in countries where farming has become efficient are bursting with surpluses, and their compassion for the starving is shipping to African ports tons of relief. Getting food inland to the starving is the problem. Commenting on the situation the former World Bank President, Robert McNamara, said, “It is fortunate that a few tens or hundreds of thousands are dying today — because millions are going to be dying in 10 or 15 years unless the world does act today.” This informed observer of world affairs is but catching up with the prophetic meaning of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The third, a black horseman, predicts a famine of unprecedented proportions. The foreign policies of the Soviets tend to aggravate the situation by being more interested in shaping the governments of impoverished countries rather than helping their economies.
The Roman Catholic bishops have issued a pastoral letter on the economy which contains an overdose of liberalism. In essence it is to soak the rich in order to benefit the poor. A redistribution of the nation’s wealth could temporarily uplift the downtrodden only to be followed by deeper headaches. It is the creation of new wealth that can promise anything permanent. President Johnson’s “Great Society” resulted in a huge increase in illegitimate births. Back in 1960 the now Senator-Moynihan asserted that illegitimacy is a cause of poverty; and we might add crime. It is no blessing to remove the necessity to work.
As soon as man fell God cursed the ground for man’s sake. From henceforth he was to earn his living by the sweat of his face. Technology, robots, high wages and being choosy about jobs contribute toward the curse of modern society —unemployment and generation after generation schooled only to live off welfare.
The poor in our Lord’s day had the gospel preached to them and this would infer that they were responsive to it. Today we are not aware that those below the poverty level are particularly responsive to the good news of salvation. Their leaders and spokesmen are all for getting them more relief. They need reformers, who are also evangelical, who would encourage the advantages of school, some neighbourhood pride, and be willing to start off with the jobs that illegal immigrants seem so eager to claim. Honest work of any kind will put moral fibre into a person; idleness, enforced or otherwise, is demoralizing. The disciples were called while mending their nets. Our nation by a landslide election has chosen this approach to self-government and, like it or not, it is our duty, particularly as Christians, to honor and obey. Outside of this the New Testament gives Christians very little to do about their government. They are to adjust, as far as a Scripturally enlightened conscience will allow, regardless of the powers that be under which providence has placed them. The church is “in the world but not of it” — a called out company. It certainly is to do good on its own behalf.
Lest one would think that our viewpoint is too strongly tinctured with the Puritanic ethic let him read Charles Murray’s new book, Loosing Ground. He says, “We tried to provide more for the poor and produced more poor instead.” A system that makes it more profitable to live off welfare than to work needs overhauling. Better for labor to compete with foreign imports than have idleness which eases Satan’s inroads to our personality.
The 60’s witnessed the sex explosion. Old fashioned fears were removed by the “pill.” Since then severe retribution has come in the prevalence of two, so far incurable, social diseases. The divine decree was not just a joke, “The way of the transgressor is hard” (Prov. 13:15, RV — “treacherous”); or “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). As another of like mind has written, “This is God’s world, not man’s, and whilst men are, up to a point, able to choose their actions, they are not able to choose the results of those actions. The man or the nation who thinks it possible to cheat a moral God in a moral universe is a moral imbecile.”