It seems as if God’s restraint is being increasingly lifted and removed from the world. There is a horrendous breaking-down and erosion of the most elementary values and decency. My soul is oppressed by the mounting hellishness, violence, mindless and conscienceless blood lust, terror and hatred. It is as if the whole moral order is unraveling, even the minimal legal restraints of society, to reveal the naked evil that is in the world.
Indeed, evil itself is being celebrated; the grotesque, the bizarre, the perverse, genderless idols of contemporary culture are virtually worshipped. Pop stars are seen as the very paragons of virtue and innocence who can only do good! In virtually every home, electronic games of destruction find increasing expression in the streets or school hallways, as death by hand guns becomes the single greatest cause for juvenile mortality in the nation. The dinosaur, considered a prehistoric “monster” to earlier generations, captivates this generation in a “blitz” in which no item of consumption can afford to be unidentified. However clever and greedy those that market and franchise such fads, we cannot consider the instantaneous billion dollar success to be the unaided work of men alone. Surely there are demons inspiring and aiding this sweeping-craze that inundates everything and induces an entire generation to embrace as “cuddly” and “cute” a whole reptilian-order that bears the unmistakable, flesh-tearing mark of the Dragon, Satan himself!
This marketing triumph is not absent from Christian homes, which are themselves replete with posters, plastic and stuffed reproductions, T-shirts and boxed cereals displaying the image of that reptilian pseudo-creation condemned and judged and buried by God. What is cuddled as “harmless” and fondled mindlessly, inducts further a generation already prepared by the adoration of “extra-terrestrial” creatures, which are really demons, to embrace with affection what otherwise should be shrunk from in horror!
The brutality of the Waco disaster perpetrated by an eerie, black-uniformed “hit squad,” battering, burning and obliterating a harmless apocalyptically-minded sect, brought a precedent into American life that is ominous for the Church. This was sanctioned, endorsed and performed by government itself at its highest echelons at an expense appropriate to a mini-war. Clearly, the principalities and powers, who function through powerful vested interests, and who constitute petty governments within government, were threatened and outraged by the unwillingness of this sect to submit to its authority, and demonstrated their indignation and power recklessly like a “howitzer directed to a fly”!
These are structures that evidently have a life unto themselves whose authority dare not be crossed or tested, lest it invite a retaliation many times greater than the offense itself. I am not justifying what went on in the Waco cult-community, and am even repelled by the reports of abuse and error cited. My point is rather only to draw our attention to the exaggerated brutal response to it. What of others of us who hold apocalyptic expectations, and who see the present world order as under condemnation and judgment and look for another to come? Are we also to be defined as a “sect”? And by whom? By unregenerate, God-despising government hacks, turning unfamiliar pages of Scripture in search of condemning evidence?
And who will be exempt from carrying a National Security Card and number when that program is enacted? Who can evade the growing daily increase of regulations and hairsplitting requirements issued at every bureaucratic level whose tendency, by the very nature of the thing, is to perpetuate and increase itself and its functions? What real concern for health in a society that is induced daily to take death into its bodies through processed chemically-ridden “foods” washed down with gallons of dyed, sweetened pop in the convenient 12/24 pack cartons? How many children begin their day swilling these down, and leave their houses holding giant-sized plastic container in hand lest they expire of thirst on the way? Fake energy, fake highs, fraudulence itself in diploma-awarding systems that leave our kids as functional illiterates, as those that despise reading, whose heroes are clods, whose conversation is grunts, whose end is “fun”! We are a generation of condom-supplied non-thinkers, non-feelers, without natural affection, restless appetites, sated with TV and movie murder and mayhem, on the prowl for novelty and distraction in packs, swelling the statistics of illegitimacy, AIDS, and welfare!
Abroad, the new peace accord in Israel, actually, only an agreement on principles for future mediation, is virtually splitting that nation in two. Protesting riots and demonstrations have been exceedingly violent with reported brutalities on the part of the over-extended police against Israelis themselves that are unprecedented (Jerusalem Post, October 2, 1993, p.8). Despite the euphoria and hope in some quarters, a more critical and cautious view interprets the Arafat concessions as only strategic and deceitful in keeping with the “plan of phases” by which Israel’s existence is finally terminated in a springboard for final assault obtained through a new Palestinian foothold. Nevertheless, the willingness to take such risks is itself the statement of Israel’s desperate situation, especially the high cost of the Intifada in draining the nation compelled to restrain it and in the violence and bloodshed that had come now into its very streets. The willingness to make peace on the basis of such tenuous terms suggests and foreshadows the apocalyptic scenario by which a covenant of death is made with Anti-Christ that explodes into the final “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” in the sudden destruction, persecution and flight that follows. How far behind, now that this precedent has been established, will those final events be?
It is later than we think, as these signs should warn us. Numbers of God’s people are in valleys of decision or are being up-rooted radically if not ruthlessly in the restructuring of the Lord that fits men and families into His end-time purpose. Yet, pervasive escapism still prevails for many: “Yes, these are the Last days, but…not in my generation.” Like Israel, we rush for any straw that floats in hope of perpetuating untroubled lifestyles, deferring “the end” for others to bear but not ourselves, nor our children. If this too uncomfortably describes your condition, we encourage you to wake from your sleep and not withhold from the Lord that, which if floods, earthquakes and upheavals continue, might be rudely taken. Be fitted for His use, made available and prepared for all contingencies, rejoicing for the redemption that is daily drawing nigh.