By John J. Blanchard
February 9, 2013
The last month of 2012 was a very strange month. If you recall, that was going to be the last year in which we would have a triple digit date on 12-12-12. Then supposedly on 12-21-12 there were quite a few people who thought the world would end. That was a big item in the news. Then, of course, at the end of that month 12-31-12 the United States was supposed to go over the fiscal cliff. The economy would never be the same supposedly, the way some people were talking. All those dates came and went, and in a year or two nobody will even be talking about them.
There is one date in December of 2012 that will never be forgotten, and that is 12-14-12. That was the day that madness struck the innocent. We will all remember Sandy Hook Elementary and the death of those children and the teachers who protected them. That day I believe will go down with December 7, 1941—Pearl Harbor Day—and always will be one of the two days that we will remember about December. It is a sad commentary that those are the kinds of dates we tend to remember. It was a significant time and something that will hurt us for a long time.
A madman actually struck at the heart and soul of America, and we are still feeling the pain of that. Questions are abounding now about how this happened. What could have prevented this tragedy? What were the warning signs? How do we make our schools safer and our malls safer? If you remember, also in December there was a shooting in a mall out west. How do we make our theaters safer? Remember the killer who took so many lives in the theater in Aurora,Colorado?
We have had several mass shootings since then. Our leaders are groping for answers. People are talking about what should be done. It is a big national discussion. The president has issued executive orders. There is a flurry of activity about what to do about this situation. Topics are being discussed such as more background checks, banning assault rifles, limiting magazine size, and perhaps limiting the amount of ammunition people can buy. The president announced a five hundred million dollar study was needed to look into the causes of violence to see what kind of influences there may be upon our people that are causing these things.
The lawmakers are contemplating another pile of laws as well. They are discussing topics such as should we demand armed guards in all of our schools? Should we be training teachers to carry weapons? Should we impose tougher penalties for people who commit crimes with weapons? There is a lot of finger pointing, and if you have noticed, it is dividing America severely.
Yet all of these topics are missing the mark. They are treating symptoms and not treating the disease. The disease goes unchecked. There is really in some ways, you could say, no common sense with these solutions. Something is desperately wrong. We can tell that. But do we really want the United States to be an armed camp? Do we want to live with a fortress mentality?
There are countries that are armed camps. There are countries with guards on almost every corner, yet they are rife with violence. You wouldn’t want to live there. Our own army is an example. There are more weapons in the American military than probably any other military on earth, and yet they are suffering a rash of suicides and violence. Indeed this very weekend we have a rogue ex-military man who is a fired policeman, who is using his skills that he garnered in the military to kill fellow policemen and their families. There is a huge manhunt for him right now.
Just because they have lots of guns, the military does not seem to stop violence. It is one of these things that there is a sickness and we can tell it’s there, but it seems we only want to treat the symptoms.
Our military reflects society. If you were to look carefully at statistics, our suicides among the military are at an all-time high. There is violence among military people. Last year there was another military man in Washington State who was holed up in the mountains who had committed violence against people. He had killed a person and finally died fleeing the law. It is getting to be rather common news.
There is a link between suicide and violence. You may have noticed how many of these mass killers don’t mind taking their own life when they finally realize it’s over and they have been caught. Or they don’t mind dying in a flurry of bullets. They did not care about living, therefore they didn’t care about killing other people. They were more or less comfortable with the idea of taking as many with them as they possibly could.
I brought an article from the December 10, 2012 issue of News Week Magazine. It is called “Moral Injury.” I want to read a couple quotes from that article. The front page has a picture of soldiers carrying one of their fallen comrades into a medevac helicopter. Below is the caption that says, “Moral Injury: Soldiers are supposed to be tough, cool, and ethically confident. But what happens when they have seen and done things that haunt their consciences? New studies suggest that the pain of guilt may be a key factor in the rise of PTSD.” This article is by Tony Dokoupil. I just want to read a couple of quotes in this article. It is a very interesting article. You can probably get it on line yet.
In a series of pioneering studies one researcher found that from the Vietnam War to today, killing was the single greatest risk factor for PTSD, even bigger than heavy combat. When you stop to think about it, that’s true. Like millions of men, my father fought in World War II. They fought in heavy combat, and they came back. We did not have a rash of suicides and a rash of mass killings. There is a difference today. There is a difference, and they are pinning it down here. They are calling it “Moral Injury.”
I want to read another quote here. “The American military has been called “the world’s best killing machine,” and yet the word killing is the last thing that you’ll hear the military discuss. The word doesn’t appear in training manuals, or surveys of soldiers returning from combat, and the effects of killing aren’t something the military screens for when service people come home. It’s strictly a private word, something hissed about in bars and between bunk beds. But it might also be a public scourge. In a series of pioneering studies, Maguen found that from Vietnam to today, killing was the strongest or near strongest risk factor for PTSD, even when taking heavy combat into account. She found that among Vietnam vets, killing in combat doubled the risk of suicidal thinking. In veterans of Iraq, killing not only predicted PTSD but alcohol abuse, marital problems, and anger-management issues. As many as one in four veterans develops a drinking problem; one in three shows signs of depression. She says she hears some lines repeatedly in clinic: “Nothing can prepare you for what it’s really like,” some say. “It feels like I’ve lost my soul.”
In the ads you see on television or in the newspapers trying to get our young people to enlist, the ads show the careers you can have when you get out of the military. They show the leadership skills you develop in the military. They help you with your college degree. If you join the military, we will give you a free ride to college. They never say we are going to train you to be a very efficient killer. They don’t say that in the ads, but we all know that is what the military is for.
FAILURE IN AFGHANISTAN
I think the author of this article entitled “Moral Injuries” hit on to something very significant. I want to build on this idea and show that it actually starts far earlier than when a person is serving in the military. First I want to quote General Stanley McChrystal. He is the general who oversaw our forces in Afghanistan for quite a while. He was asked in an interview—and I happened to catch this interview—what turned the tide against us in Afghanistan? We had felt the war was won. I think it was within the first six weeks President Bush announced that the war was won. Here we are it is the longest running war that we have ever had. I think it has surpassed Vietnam for the length of time.
They asked General McChrystal what turned the tide? What changed the picture for us in Afghanistan? General McChrystal said what turned the war against us was Abu Ghraib. If you remember, there were pictures of what happened in that prison. The United States troopers had to guard the prisoners enclosed in that prison, and they abused them. Not only did they abuse them, but they photographed it. Then they sent it all around by social media. It caused not only an up roar here in the United States, but around the world it galvanized a lot of Muslims against the United States. General McChrystal said that’s what turned this because we were trying to win the hearts and minds of the people. We lost it with those images that went out about Abu Ghraib.
What happened there? Those young people were not trained to do that. The moral failure started before they ever entered the military. The moral failure started when they were young children, and they did not really understand or comprehend what really is right and wrong. They did not understand what proper behavior was.
Looking back we can say the pictures of what those young people did at Abu Ghraib has cost many, many lives, untold amounts of American treasure, and it has turned us into a pariah among so many people in the Muslim world. It has turned the fundamentalist Muslim world against us. It was a moral failure!
We are a sick society. Even the idea of abusing people and sending the picture around is sick. It is showing us this is a bigger problem than just banning assault rifles or what amount of bullets a person can purchase. Americans have always had guns, and there has always been some murderers. But we did not have this kind of national sickness.
I am contending that we are reaping what we have sown. We are reaping what we have sown a couple of generations back actually. We have lost common sense. We have turned away from God’s word because He tells us over and over again how we should behave. We all understand what the Ten Commandments are and that it states “Thou shalt not kill.”
Let’s turn to Galatians chapter 6. I want to read verse 7. Galatians 6, verse 7: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”
Whatever a man sows, that he will reap. Our country has sown violence. It has sown depravity. Now it is reaping what it has sown.
Turn to Proverbs chapter 22, verse 8: “He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, and the rod of his anger will fail.”
He who sows iniquity and has hatred for his brother or his fellow man will reap sorrow. Also his anger will fail. It is not going to accomplish anything. What has ever been accomplished by abusing our fellow man? Absolutely nothing has been accomplished except for spreading more hatred, more anger, and turning people against each other, dividing mankind.
Hosea chapter 8 reinforces that thought. Turn to Hosea chapter 8, verse 7: “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no bud; it shall never produce meal. If it should produce, aliens would swallow it up.”
God is telling us here once again that we reap what we sow. We can reap to the wind. I am talking about the winds of war. I am talking about the winds of a spirit that blows his breath through human beings, causing us to fall for his deceptive lies about anger and hatred of their fellow man. When we fall for that, there is no bud. In other words, we don’t produce any good fruit for God. It is sad, but that’s what is going on. Our society is bearing the fruits of the evil that we have sown. It is like the wind blew the seeds into the field years ago, and now we are seeing what is growing and sprouting in our young people.
We don’t need more studies! Five hundred million dollars’ worth of studies is a waste of five hundred million dollars. We just simply need to acknowledge the truth that should be as plain as the hands before our face. We should have the intestinal fortitude to admit what’s wrong and to admit that we have this violence sickness and deal with it in a meaningful way. Lots of solid research has already been done. What do they mean “more studies?” Why take years for more studies? Sometimes I think it is to let the current batch of politicians off the hook. After a four, five, six or seven year study and bringing in all the results analyzing them, there will be another batch of politicians to deal with the problem. We know what the problem is, and I am going to prove it to you.
STUDIES ON CHARACTER
I brought along books that have been in print for a long time in many cases. I want to show you we don’t need any more studies. The first book, which I am holding up here for this audience, is called High Risk: Children Without a Conscience by Ken Magid and Carole McKelvey. This book was written in 1986. We are going to quote from a couple of these books in a few moments, but not right now. The second book I want to show you is Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong. This is about moral illiteracy and the case for character education. It was written by William Kilpatrick in 1992. That is 21 years ago. The third book is called Inside American Education: the Decline, the Deception, the Dogmas. This is by Thomas Sowell and was written in 1993. Another book which I did not bring along is called The Book of Virtues by William Bennett. It was also written in 1993. It is about how we need to instill character in our children. The next book I want to pull out of the bag here is The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement. It is about when children are entitled to everything. It is a very interesting book, but it demonstrates very clearly that we have gone amuck in the raising of our children. This is by Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell.
The next book is a more recent book, and it’s about the Internet. It is called The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. You would be amazed that they can now measure what the Internet has done to our brains. I am speaking specifically of the violence and that sort of aspect that can come into our lives if we let it. It is also destroying a lot of other things such as our memories. That was written by Nicholas Carr, as I said.
The next book I want to show is a more recent book. It’s from last year. It’s called Swagger by Lisa Bloom. In Swagger she makes a very compelling case for this idea of what’s cool in our young guys, such as playing the violent games, the horrible rap music with the terrible lyrics, and all the things that make these young men basically like little beasts. They have no respect for women, no respect for society, and no respect for government and laws. This book was written, like I said, by Lisa Bloom. That was from 2012.
Another book from 2012 is by Charles Murray, and it’s called Coming Apart. It is about how families are coming apart and dividing along socioeconomic lines. Those at the bottom half to two-thirds to three-quarters—it’s a very large percentage—are falling backwards at a rapid rate because they do not seem to care about the family, about a good education, and pulling their weight in society. It is a huge problem, and it is demonstrating in this book clearly how America is coming apart at the seams.
All of these books have been around. We can quote study after study, and we are going to look at a couple of quotes from just two of these books right now, so you can get the picture. We don’t need to spend five hundred million dollars. We just need to start implementing common sense and teach character if we want to turn this thing around. We need to teach our young people character.
I want to quote, first of all, from the book called High Risk: Children Without a Conscience. It was written in 1986. There will be three separate quotes in the Preface. “High Risk: Children Without a Conscience is about America’s future. It is about babies, parenting, genetics and crime, and how they are vitally connected.
“This book has been written for a large and diverse audience, including parents, therapists, psychologists, and educators. What you are going to read may at first shock you. Based on extensive scientific data, the prognosis for the future includes the high probability that greater numbers of psychopathic individuals are headed our way.”
Remember this was written in 1986.
“Wherever these people go a wake of misery and fear usually follows. Unknowingly we may be creating a society in which more and more people without conscience will victimize the innocent.” That is what happened on December 14, 2012.
“The deviants run the gamut, from child molesters, to abusers, to crooked entrepreneurs… to murderers.
“This book is about the reasons behind this phenomenon and answers the questions ‘why’ and ‘why now.’ The problem starts at the beginning of life, when the scales are tipped toward a future of trust and love, or one of mistrust and deep-seated rage.”
That is what we see in these people that are mass murderers. We see deep-seated rage that built from the time they were young. By the time they were in Abu Ghraib their character had been cast. These young people were already preconditioned to think it was okay to abuse people. Do you see the point? It is already built in because it’s a character flaw.
I want to read two more quotes from this book: chapter 2, page 27 “Kids Who Kill.” It starts at the top with the little heading: “The time to teach obedience is in the playpen, and not in the state pen.” The first paragraph of the second chapter says this: “Psychiatrists don’t officially label children as psychopaths. But the consequences of some childhood actions are just as deadly as those of the adult murderer. At an alarming rate in this country more and more children are becoming hard-hearted killers.
“Records show that nationally 1,311 people under age 18 were charged with murder in 1986.” I am sure it is far higher than that today.
Continuing with the quote: “These statistics reflect only the cases in which formal charges were filed. More often, children are not charged in such crimes, especially if they are below the age of 7. In those cases the child is often just referred for treatment. Children, however, are increasingly committing crimes ranging from armed robbery to murder.
“‘Ten years ago, it was a shock to see a 7-, 8-, or 9-year-old come into the system, now it’s not,’ says Danny Dawson, chief of the Orange-Osceola County State Attorney’s juvenile division. ‘It’s a trend.’ (Thomas, 1987, p. 8)”
The situation we find ourselves in today is something that has been known and was predicted for a long time.
One more quote from this book is on page 33 of the same chapter: “Kids Who Kill. There are, of course, many theories on the source of violence in childhood. The belief that television is a factor is still being explored. Ronald Slaby, an associate professor of education at Harvard University, has done extensive research on causes of aggressive behavior in children. He says the notion that television violence plays a supporting role is backed by studies demonstrating that children who watch a great deal of TV violence are more apt to behave aggressively than those who don’t. (Shullins, 1986).
“If TV indeed helps to foster violence in youngsters, it would hardly be the only factor. Numerous studies show us that bonding breaks also have the effect of creating disturbed and often aggressive children. Watching too much violent television may aggravate a behavior already established.
“Dr. Martin Lazarus of Winter Park,Florida has worked with more than 50 children in the last 10 years who displayed severe character-disorders. In studying attachment and the problems of unattachment Lazarus has come to the conclusion that ‘if you have people who can maintain an attachment they are less likely to see other human beings as objects they can kill. These unattached kids are able to suspend the humanity of other people. They take their horrible lives out on others.
“‘I have a fear for our society.’”
That is enough from that book to get the picture. That was written in 1986! Now with this five hundred million dollars that the president has announced for a study, one of the things he says is we wants to study and see if television and video games has any impact on young people. If violent TV was affecting kids back in the 1980’s, how much more violent TV is there today? If it was impactful then, it is super impactful now! We simply can’t get away from violence!
The next book I want to quote a little bit from is Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong by William Kilpatrick. I am going to turn to page 14 and read just a little bit here. “A similar situation exists with regard to moral education. In addition to the fact that Johnny still can’t read…” Mr. Kilpatrick was referring to a study in the 1950’s called “Why Johnny Can’t Read,” and he was drawing his comparison why Johnny can’t tell right from wrong.
“In addition to the fact that Johnny still can’t read, we are now faced with the more serious problem that he can’t tell right from wrong.
“Not every Johnny, of course, but enough to cause alarm. An estimated 525,000 attacks, shakedowns, and robberies occur in public high schools each month. Each year nearly three million crimes are committed on or near school property—16,000 per school day.” This is 1992—twenty years ago. It is far worse today.
“About 135,000 students carry guns to school daily; one fifth of all students report carrying a weapon of some type. Twenty-one percent of all secondary school students avoid using the rest rooms out of fear of being harmed or intimidated. Surveys of school children reveal that their chief school-related concern is the disruptive behavior of their classmates.”
Now the government is alarmed about bullying. We have to deal with bullying. You don’t hear them saying we have to deal with character. This is what was being talked about twenty years ago. Bullying is the symptom. You have to treat the disease.
Continuing with the quote here: “Teachers have similar concerns. Almost one third of public school teachers indicate that they have seriously considered leaving teaching because of student misbehavior.” And now we are talking about giving the teachers guns to defend themselves from kids! It is getting ridiculous, but this was all warned about long ago.
Continuing with the quote: “The situation is no better outside of school. Suicides among young people have risen by 300 percent over the last thirty years, and one in seven teens say they have tried to commit suicide. Drug and alcohol use is widespread. Teenage sexual activity seems to be at an all-time high. Despite a much smaller teen population and despite more frequent contraceptive use, about l.l million teenagers became pregnant in 1991—roughly the same figure as for the last ten years. Forty percent of today’s 14-year-old girls will become pregnant by the time they are 19.” This was written twenty years ago.
Moving over to the next page we will read a little bit on page 15. It is talking about the two different approaches: one teaching character and one teaching essentially moral relativism. “One is called ‘character education.’ It is based on the idea that there are traits of character children ought to know, that they learn these by example, and once they know them, they need to practice them until they become second nature.”
Abu Ghraib would not have happened if those young people were taught as second nature to respect their fellow human beings. Then we would not have had that war go on for ten extra years.
“The other approach is called ‘decision making’ or ‘moral reasoning’ or the ‘dilemma method’ or ‘Values Clarification.’ I’ll generally use ‘decision making’ as designation for this approach.
“Character education was what took place in schools and society in the past.”
Twenty years ago they were already warning us. I used this book to go down to our local school system and insist there were certain classes our children were not going to take. I used this book as my evidence. Because of freedom of information they had to reveal what they were going to use for teaching materials, and they had to reassign my children to a different class. That’s twenty years ago! Do we need to spend a half a billion dollars to find out why Johnny can’t tell right from wrong? We have known it for decades!
Any farmer worth his salt will tell you that a good crop starts with good seed. If you leave weed seed in the bag of seed that you are going to plant, each crop that succeeds that crop will get worse and worse until the weeds totally take over. Our children are our seed. They are what we leave this world when we are gone, if we are blessed to have children. If we allow weeds in their lives—whether it is violent television, violent movies, or violent games—those weeds grow in their minds until some of them succumb and become hardhearted, hence the violence. But as that percentage of children grows in the population, more and more become morally depraved. Then all of a sudden you can’t trust a certain number of your police men, your military people, your bankers, and your lawyers. It goes everywhere throughout society.
This huge economic collapse we just went through was about people making loans they knew they should not have made, and people taking the loans they knew they should not have taken. It is all part of the moral collapse of society.
Our children are our seed, and we are not doing a very good job protecting that seed. We are not keeping the weeds and the thorns and the thistles out. In the 1990’s I remember reading a statistic that the average TV-watching 18 year old had seen 100,000 acts of violence! That is before the Internet and before these video games. I can’t imagine how many deaths our children have been exposed to. Then we wonder why they abuse prisoners when they have total control over them. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist. It doesn’t take more studies. It takes more people applying the word of God to the rearing of their children.
Let’s turn to the parable of the sower. It is a very famous parable. We are turning to Matthew chapter 13. We are going to read portions here. We are going to start in Matthew chapter 13, verse 1: “On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: ‘Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’”
This turns out to be, you could say, a study given by the Master about the effects of the kind of ground you are putting your seed in. You are putting your seed in good ground or not good ground. This has been around for 2,000 years for us to analyze and to apply.
If we drop down to verse 18 of Matthew 13, Christ explains the parable here. “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
We provide God that soil. We have talked about that many times. We are God’s garden. When that seed falls upon us—and everyone in America has heard the seed of God at one time or another—it depends on our soil and our state of mind whether that is going to bear any fruit or not.
Now let’s continue verse 24 of Matthew 13 because Christ shares another parable right in tandem with this one. It is the parable of the wheat and the tares. Verse 24: “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, “Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?” He said to them, “An enemy has done this.” The servants said to him, “Do you want us then to go and gather them up?” But he said, “No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”’”
We know Christ is talking about people here. We are talking about people who are letting the word of God bear fruit in their lives, or people who have many tares. The tares are sown by the enemy. It is the enemy that puts these tares in our mind, but we are the ones who let them grow. If we don’t rip those weeds out of our mind and heart, they are going to take hold. If they take hold in one generation, they proliferate and spread further in the next generation. That is the point, and that is the point that every farmer knows. You have to protect that seed. It has to be kept clean and pure, or you are going to have a lousy crop. The longer you let that go on planting after planting, the worse it is going to get until all you have is weeds.
This craziness and madness that we see has to be dealt with both spiritually and culturally. We are dealing with the planter of the tares. We know that is Satan. Let’s go to Ephesians chapter 6, verse 10: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
He goes on to say to put on the armor of God—the truth of God, faith. It is the ability to fight off the tares, the one who is planting those bad seeds in our minds. It is spiritual wickedness in high places. That is Satan, of course, and the demons.
THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR
Turn back to Ephesians chapter 2. Go back just a page or two. Ephesians chapter 2, beginning in verse 1: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience…”
Satan is called here the prince of the power of the air. When we let the prince of the power of the air work on the minds of our children, we shouldn’t be surprised if they become depraved and violent. In many ways we have seeded more air to Satan to work with than ever before. Let me explain.
At this very minute in this room we are listening to the word of God being expounded. But if we wanted to, right here we could have a TV monitor on. We could watch more evil, more violence, more perversion, and more lies and deceit than any generation in American history! We could do this just by letting those airwaves get tapped into and watch all the filth. When that comes into our minds, it must be dealt with. If you are young, it seers the conscience. It causes the young mind to think that is normal and how it’s okay to treat people. It runs the gamut, like I said, from stealing in a dirty deal over a mortgage, right up to abuse like at Abu Ghraib.
Our kids are sitting ducks! We have allowed them to be exposed to these evil thoughts in the air waves that come from Satan. He uses human beings but they come into their minds. Our children are sitting ducks because they don’t get character education taught at school. In many cases our homes are dysfunctional and broken up, so they are not getting proper character education at home. At the same time they are exposed to all this filth.
We don’t need to spend five hundred million dollars to figure out what is going to happen. We need to realize that if we think it is bad now, wait one more generation! Most of us won’t be here, but our children and grandchildren will. It is not going to be a pretty place to live if we don’t reverse this.
LIFT A FINGER
It is not that we are powerless. We have power to reverse these things. We make choices every day. We do not have to be like frogs in the proverbial pot. Do we lift a finger to resist Satan? I mean literally a finger. When something comes on television that is objectionable, do we shut it off? If we have little children, do we tell them that is not appropriate for this household? Do we make sure they do not have access to the vices, programs, and games that can seer their little minds and hearts? We have choices. We are not powerless. We can go down to the school and insist that we do not want certain things taught to our children if they are in public school. If it is bad enough, we can remove them from public school. We still have the freedom to teach our children ourselves and send them to a school that will abide by our wishes.
Let’s turn to James chapter 4. I am starting in verse 1. James 4, verse 1: “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
When we spend money on our pleasures and it is violent programs, movies, games, and such, are we not sowing future wars and fights among us? Of course we are! We don’t need a study to tell us that. God’s word has been telling us that for thousands of years. If we drop down in chapter 4 to verse 7, we can see we are told that we can resist.
HYPOCRISY AMONG CHRISTIANS
James 4, verse 7: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
It is double-mindedness to go to church, study the Bible, and pray and then allow our minds and the minds of our young people to be exposed to this filth. It is double-mindedness. It bears less than no fruit. It bears negative fruit, and that is what we are seeing today.
It is sheer hypocrisy to say we have to study to see if violent TV and games have an effect on young people. The movie moguls and the game producers were quick to go to Washington and say there was no study or proof definitively linking these violent programs to violent acts. How stupid do they think we are? That sounds a lot like what the tobacco companies were saying in the 1950’s and 1960’s. There is no proof that cigarettes lead to cancer! There is plenty of proof. Like I showed you, it has been in the books for decades. It has been in the Bible for 2,000 years.
OTHER EFFECTS BESIDES VIOLENCE
There are lots of kids who watch these and don’t do anything bad. We do not know if they are going to have bad marriages. We do not know if they are going to have lousy child-rearing abilities. They may not be mass killers, but they may be the next banker who rips off a bunch of people. Let’s get with the program! Who do we think we are kidding? God will not be mocked!
The interesting thing is these same moguls who go and testify in front of Washington committees and who say this does not affect young people’s minds will sell ads worth millions of dollars to access young minds through the same mediums knowing that those ads pay off. They will get kids to buy games, buy toys, buy dolls, or buy whatever by watching it on TV. How stupid do they think we are and what kind of hypocrisy is this? If advertising is effective, the programming is just as effective, if not more so.
Actors and actresses who help produce violent television movies and games and after a mass shooting like we had in Sandy Hook Elementary School do free benefits or do commercials in which they say we have to ban guns. What kind of hypocrisy is this? God is not mocked. You cannot help produce a movie where you are blasting people away with a gun, and do a commercial to assuage your guilt where they say we need to ban guns. Do you think God sees a problem here? Of course He sees a problem here! It is sheer hypocrisy, and God will not be mocked. He is not stupid, and He expects us not to be stupid.
These hypocrites speak out of both sides of their mouth, and that means they have a forked tongue. Serpents have forked tongues, and we know Satan is described as a serpent.
RESIST THE DARKNESS
We can indeed resist the forces of darkness. There is a cause for every effect, and we can deprive the dollars to the people who produce these things by not buying tickets, not buying the games, and boycotting producers of these things. The effect will be to reduce Satan’s power. Satan needs money. Isn’t that crazy! He cannot produce these things himself. He can inspire people, but he can’t make the movie. He cannot make the TV program. He has to get people willing to do His will. If we deprive them of income, they will stop making them. If they don’t make money on them, they won’t make them.
We need to teach God’s way to our children from a very young age and develop cleaner and purer seed for the next generation. We need to provide our children with stable home lives, and we will have less rage, and safer schools, theaters, and malls will be the result. It is going to take a while. We will have to work with these children that we have allowed to have damaged minds and hearts. That will be a costly enterprise. But we do not have to continue this. We can clean up the seed in the next generation. We need to get about that business. The effect will be happier, more peaceful homes and a better country.
Turn to Proverbs chapter 22. Proverbs chapter 22, verse 6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Remember what the book said? Teach them character when they are in the playpen before they are in the state pen. Make it second nature to treat your fellow man the way you want to be treated.
Train up a child from the time they are young.
A BLESSED NATION
Turn to Deuteronomy 4 for the last Scripture. Turn back to Deuteronomy chapter 4. If we want a blessed nation, the recipe is right here. Deuteronomy chapter 4, and we will start in verse 7: “For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?”
This is speaking of ancient Israel, but it applies to today.
Verse 8: “And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day? Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren.”
There is the recipe for a great nation! Teach God’s laws and God’s ways to your children and your grandchildren, and you will be providing the clean and pure seed to turn this thing around. In the meantime, we have to work with a bunch of damaged children. Let’s take the responsibility and admit that we have allowed this.
We can resist the devil. The Bible tells us how we can do it. If we do so, we will be halting the madness. We will be doing our share to stop this craziness. We will make our homes kinder and gentler places—actual sanctuaries where our children can come and get away from these things—and the net results will be safer schools, safer theaters, and safer malls.