Friday, January 18, 2013

A Rabid Nation?

(Editor's note: Al Gist is the founder and director of Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries, located in Longville, Louisiana. He conducts Bible prophecy conferences and takes pilgrimage groups to Israel. He also publishes an insightful newsletter which you can sign up to receive at maranathaevangelisticministries.com. This article is taken from one of his newsletters.)

When I was a boy, my Dad took me to the movie theater to see the 1957 classic "Old Yeller." Not only was it a great treat to go to the movies back then, but this was the only time I remember my father ever taking me to the movies. So, maybe that's why this particular movie made such an impact on my young mind and I still remember it to this day.

The plot of the story is about a young boy who is given the responsibility of caring for his mother, younger brother and their ranch in the 1860's while his father is away on a cattle drive. During that time, a yellow mongrel turns up at the ranch and eventually proves to be the boy's best friend and help, even saving his life on one occasion from a group of wild hogs. Unfortunately, the dog contracts rabies and the boy has the heart-breaking job of putting him down to protect himself and his family from the fatal disease. I can remember how I cried when Travis had to shoot "Old Yeller."

The Nature of Rabies

This was probably my first exposure to the disease of rabies. And even though it didn't involve me directly, it certainly made an emotional impact on me. How could something so good (Old Yeller) die from what at first appeared to be something so minor (a small bite)?

Rabies, if left untreated, is a horrible, 100% fatal disease. It is most often transmitted to its human victim via a bite from an infected, symptomatic animal (bats, skunks, raccoons, foxes, dogs, etc.) where the animal's virus-carrying saliva is introduced into the person's bloodstream.

According to Wikipedia Encyclopedia: "After a typical human infection by bite, the virus enters the peripheral nervous system. It then travels along the nerves towards the central nervous system. During this phase, the virus cannot be easily detected within the host, and vaccination may still confer cell-mediated immunity to prevent symptomatic rabies. Once the virus reaches the brain... there is no treatment." (emphasis mine) As the virus progresses to the brain, the symptoms may include "slight or partial paralysis, cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, agitation, abnormal behavior, paranoia, terror, hallucinations, progressing to delirium."1

Most of us have probably seen pictures of rabid animals. In their state of "cerebral dysfunction," they stagger and have difficulty moving in a straight direction. They are confused and easily agitated. Their "abnormal behavior" produces "paranoia, terror" and "hallucinations," leading to "delirium."

A Mad Dog Nation?

From what I see in our country today, I wonder if our great nation has not contracted a type of "spiritual rabies" that has led to "cerebral dysfunction." Our leaders (political and religious) seem so confused, and it has gotten many people very agitated.

What started out innocent enough with a desire to NOT OFFEND anyone (seeker friendly churches, etc.), has now led to a behavior that is abnormal (political correctness). Paranoia has set in (global warming, pandemic diseases, etc.) and terrorized the people. It seems that our leadership can no longer see clearly and discern the difference between reality and fantasy (hallucinations). So now, we've reached a point of absolute delirium. Our political and spiritual foundations are crumbling and I find myself sometimes wondering if our nation has gone insane!

What has led to this dilemma? How did it all start? And have we gone too far to recover? Has the virus reached the brain yet?

Symptoms of Madness

In the early 1960s (about the same time I saw "Old Yeller"), our great nation contracted "spiritual rabies"... a potentially "fatal" disease if left untreated. It was at that time that the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Engel v. Vitale decided "that government-directed prayer in public schools was an unconstitutional violation of the Establishment Clause."2 This was followed by subsequent decisions to ban Bible reading as part of the school curriculum (Abington Township School District v. Schempp in 1963),3 and to ban student-led, student-initiated prayer at football games, graduations, and other school activities (Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v. Doe, 2000).4

This chosen path of taking God out of our schools and other public institutions initiated the "spiritual rabies" viral infection almost five decades ago that has now traveled (or, is traveling) to the central nervous system (the federal and state governments). Like the physical disease, once it reaches the "brain," there will be no treatment.

Crucial Questions

My questions are: "Has our nation passed the point of no return in its moral decline? Have we forever abandoned the biblical standards, the Constitutional law, and the rules of free capitalism that this great country was built upon? Has this insidious disease of apostasy and socialism "reached the brain?"

Have we reached a point where spiritual fatality is unavoidable? Some would argue that a great national revival to holiness and biblical morality is still possible. And some even teach that it is prophesied! But actions like the hate crime legislation passed by our Congress make me wonder.

Dangerous Legislation

On October 28, 2009, President Obama signed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act that had been passed by his Democrat Congress.5 Among other things, the bill adds gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation to the list of protected categories under federal hate crimes law.3 This effectively places every homosexual, pedophile, transgendered, and other abominable sexual orientation in a special, federally-protected class under federal hate crimes law. And it opens the door for prosecution against any pastor or other clergyman who openly speaks out against such abhorrent behavior, even if he is just teaching what he believes is Scriptural doctrine.

This legislation could ultimately initiate a day of unheard-of persecution of Christians in this country. Pastors could be fined and jailed for preaching the truth of the Bible. Churches could be prosecuted on charges of discrimination for not hiring an openly homosexual applicant as a staff member. And eventually, no doubt, fundamental, conservative Christianity will be attacked for promoting "anti-social hate doctrine."

This law is just another example of political correctness run amuck. This homophobic paranoia has led Congress to an act of delirium. They are confused and suffering from "cerebral dysfunction!"

Persecution

Do you think that expecting such persecution of those who teach the biblical one-man-and-one-woman definition of marriage is being paranoid? Then consider the backlash that came from Carrie Prejean's answer when she was asked about her stance on same-sex marriage in the Miss USA contest in 2009. She responded, "I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."

How much simpler and more straightforward an answer could you expect? She was simply giving an honest answer to the question about her beliefs. She made no derogatory remark about homosexuals and even said that it was not her intention to offend anyone with her answer.

Yet, she was lambasted by a host of liberals in the media and by the homosexual activists. Some even called for her to be stripped of her Miss California title. And even though she stood by her answer, she said that she believed it cost her the Miss USA crown (she got first runner-up.)

Now, some would surely say that Miss Prejean's ordeal is not very severe persecution. But the point is that she suffered endless ridicule and scorn simply because she dared to take a biblical position. And it certainly showed the sinful degradation of our society. So, I ask you: Has the virus reached the brain?

Conclusion

The list of political and religious departures in the last few years in our society from the sound, conservative, democratic and biblical principles upon which our nation was built, is too lengthy to discuss here. From our nation's fiscal irresponsibility to its new Socialistic agenda to its suicidal foreign relations policy concerning Israel to its widespread religious apostasy — at every turn we hear about some new ill-conceived debacle that is eating away at the fabric of our democratic, capitalistic and Christian foundation. It's enough to make one wonder if the United States has completely lost its way. And more importantly, can we recover, or has "the virus reached the brain?"

Notes

1) Wikipedia, "Rabies," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Rabies# Medical_aspects.

2) Wikipedia, "Engel v. Vitale," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engel_v._Vitale.

3) Wikipedia, "Abington School District v. Schempp," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abington_School_District_v._Schempp.

4) Wikipedia, "Santa Fe Independent School Dist. v. Doe," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Fe_Independent_School_Dist._v._Doe.

5) Wikipedia, "Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard_and_James_Byrd,_Jr._Hate_Crimes_Prevention_Act.

24 comments:

Billy said...

Sean Hannity made a big deal about Jeremiah Wright (Obama's pastor) saying "God d--n America!"

Well, actually with the state of this nation, I join that chorus...with two differences.

First I'll add a comma:

God, d---n America.

Second, I don't feel this because I hate America like Wright does. I feel it because this nation has gone so far astray it need to come under judgement.

I can NOT believe I would EVER feel this way. Another piece of evidence of the decline of this once blessed nation.

Nathan Jones said...

I prefer to pray that God d--n evil, as it's His will, rather than a nation. A nation is full of people who can come to Jesus as Savior. And, currently living in a nation, I'd rather it not self-destruct while I reside in it. ;)

1 thessalonians 5:21 said...

"Reverend" Wright said what he said about America because America isn't living up to his "liberation theology" views, which is all he really cares about, so g-d America.

http://www.gotquestions.org/liberation-theology.html

The fact that Obama could spend 20 minutes, let alone 20 years, listening to that nonsense should have been all the warning Americans (especially Christian Americans) needed, to know what his Presidency would be about.

A person really doesn't need to look any further than Romans 1:18-32 to see where this nation is at. Note especially verse 28 talking of turning us over to a debased mind and it’s pretty easy (and terribly sad) to see how people (even “professing Christians”) could vote for Obama, not only once, but twice.

God help us!

Billy said...

Nathan,

My comment was an emotional reaction to the article. I agree with what you said completely.

But, one day we may approach Sodom and Gomorrah proportions and God will have no choice.

Billy said...

Having a day to simmer down and think, I would retract me previous coments.

Judgement is God's. Punishment is God's. Vengence is God's. Therefore, I would alter my feelings from "God, d--n America" to "Thy will be done". This condemns evil but prays for God's perfect justice and not my human flaws.

For, as I thought of this morning as I was waking, I myself have contributed to the condition of the world. I had to overcome my previous support of and partaking in days past...pornography, heavy metal music, gratuitously violent movies, racist feelings, etc.

I had the time to fight off these evils, I should hope the same for others. I know the grace of the Lord, I must hope the same for others.

Anonymous said...

Yes I feel God will d-n America, but not it the text that so called rev. wright.. he was cusing America. He, like obama HATES America.. but I wonder, since o hates america.. I just hope God won't hold it against Americans.. all the ungodly things o and his gang in DC. I FIRMLY believe he didn't not get the vote. I will never believe anything else..People in big cities, saw bus loads of people being bought accross the lines from other states to vote.. they picked up street people, Acorn was giving out cigs for street peoples votes.. this last time,,,most of the swing states were in the east.. closing polls at 7 oclock... but they hadn't finished the votes until 10:30. ha fat chance..BUT Ca had their count in half an hour.. 10:30 our time, 7:30 west coast time.. even Hi beat all the swing states.. God knows all they have done.. So hopefully he will not count it against America..
I believe, as Judas and the Pharsees were just where they belonged.. Obama and his Demons as I call the Dem in DC. are right where they are suppose to be.. REady for JESUS TO COME AND TAKE US HOME.

Susie said...

Amen anon! I too find it almost impossible to believe that americans would vote that man in asecond time!!! b.o. has demons in and around him... no doubt they were influincing the voting process!

Anonymous said...

Maybe if more people had known the truth about him, maybe lots more people would be searching the scriptures and realize they Need God more than ever. I think the MSM will have a lot to pay for.

I never paid any attention much to politics until the day I heard obama's name and that chill went down my back... then I started watching Hannity and Glen Beck. I used to vote though, but I was an independent until the dems started standing behind murdering unborn children. After that I never voted for a dem again. NEVER would I have believed that media would be like the propaganda in the al jazeera.. Isn't it wonderful that we know that God is with us..hurrah

Susie said...

O my gosh! Did u all see newsweek cover!! On the o'rielly factor they were discussing it .... it has obama on the cover with the words Second Coming under his pic! no wonder i dont watch the news much!!

Billy said...

Susie,

Let them have their "god". For our God is sending His Son to take us home soon.

Thank the Lord we will escape this world soon.

Billy said...

Susie,

btw...please don't think less of me because I've done some things in my life that I'm ashamed of (as stated above). I'm a sinner and made some bad choices in life (and still do but thankfully a lot less, but still far from perfection). That's why I need Jesus for my salvation not just for my past but also my present and future until called home.

Susie said...

Billy!!! I care for you and your family in the Lord Jesus Christ!! Never think
that please! Ok?! I have made many poor choices in life too but praise God we are covered by the blood of the Lamb! NO CONDEMNATION! !! Thank u Jesus :):):) We are all on our journey with the LORD being tranformed and conformed to the image of our precious Yeshua! Right!?!? SO!
Billy i am gonna partner with l&l again and try to come to texas for a conferece (should the Lord terry) !! AND! I May even be going to Israel next year... with my 18 yr old who JUST GOT SAVED a couple weeks ago! HALLELUJAH!! I told u all that to say.. it would be wonderful to meet you and ur family this side of heaven Lord willing!

Anonymous said...

God bless all of you..

I only started studying the Rapture about 5 years ago.. When obama was running for pres and someone mentioned the rapture..

I started googling and reading everything I could.. I wanted to see if the pre rapture was real.. I knew he was coming back.. but not sure when. first, middle or last.
Friends sent me the Rapture REady site and I started reading all the prophecy books of the Bible...I read a few sites stating the rapture wasn't pre.. and the person was talking rude about preachers who taught a pre-rapture..To me that didn't sit well.. I think if they were wrong, it was an honest mistake. They were saying it was a lie, and that people who believed would give up on God. If by chance the rapture doesn't come.. I will still believe in the only God, and his son JESUS CHRIST. If it isn't a pre rapture, then we will need God more. and he would be there..

Susie said...

Anon, i agree with u ! If we r wrong about the timing of the rapture then i think we will press IN to God ... not give up on Him! I do NOT think for a second we r wrong .. i think there will be a whole lot of christians very happily surprised when the heavenly shofar blows and we meet the Lord in the air for the marrriage! ! HALLELUJAH and personally i think its gonna happen sooner than later :):):)

Nathan Jones said...

Susie, praise the Lord for the salvation of your son - awesome! It would be great if you could come and meet you in person at this year's June conference.

Anonymous, great to hear about your thirst for God's prophetic word. Here are some resources that will help in your study of the Pre-Trib Rapture:
article 1 and article 2 and our Christ in Prophecy episodes.

Billy said...

Susie,

Huge smile on my face hearing about your son!

Praise the Lord for salvation!

Anonymous said...

I found out on Rapture Ready that there are lots of proof of the Rapture in the New Testament. Romans has a lot.. too..I think that Chapter 11 says it all. Seems it is telling us about the rapture.. and also proving that Israel is still the apple of God's eyes.. but in all honestly I have never heard that about the Church being considered Israel. I have always Said that Israel will be the last one standing..Roman's 11 24-27 really says a lot.

Also even though I have read the Bible a couple of times.. I never noticed before the chapters in the Bible of Genesis which after every creation it states that the morning and dark was the 1st day and on down the line.. I heard people say that his time is different from ours and I never knew how to respond until I noticed that.. It just seem to jump out at me.. JESUS come soon

Susie said...

I have GOT to tell u all about a musician/singer i learned about from a lady at my church... his name is ted pearce. Google him (or you tube)... HE IS AWESOME! his praise and worship will take you to a new level with our precious Lord!!

Anonymous said...

In reality, there are only 3 things in the Bible that is not debatable...1, God owns Earth, 2 Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and the only way to go to heaven is through him...3 Israel is the apple of his eye, and if we turn against Israel..whether we go straight to heaven when we die or not, doesn't really matter.

Nathan Jones said...

Susie, I'm so glad you found Ted Pearce and his music ministry. He's a friend of Lamb & Lion and has been a real blessing to us at our conferences. I'm a big fan of his CD Hallelu Et Adonai.

Nathan Jones said...

Amen, about the evenings and mornings listed in the Creation account. God went out of His way to tell us each day of creation was an actual 24 hour day. The Jewish calendar is even based on this, with their day starting in the evening at sunset.

Susie said...

Nathan!!! I saw him last week and had a blast! I bought 'battle for zion' c.d. the one u r referring to has psalm 23 on it, doesnt it? That song made me cry! He is anointed! When i shook his hand i could feel it! Is he at many of ur conferences? Like maybe the one in june??? Cuz i am definitely partnering with ur ministry again very soon... and im looking forward to being a part of the things u do to spread the good news and teach! :)

Just a side note as well... al gist is a very gracious person... i contacted his ministry via website to ask some questions and he invited me to join his group to go to israel ... very nice brother in the Lord.

Nathan Jones said...

Al's an overall great guy and brother in Christ. You'll be blessed going to Israel with him or with Dr. Reagan.

Ted's not scheduled for this June's conference, but you never know if he'll show up. He was our featured singer last year.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I always knew that he did it in 7 days..but I had heard people say that his time was different than ours. and I didn't know how to refute it.. but that gave me the answer..I used to try to watch how the Discover channel said it was made, but couldn't stand to watch that foolishness... we came from fish, the Fl swamp etc.. and that it took 5 million year of volcanic action to turn earth into what it is now.. I laughed and said I wondered how they found that out.. really unrealistic if you ask me..

I do thank God, that I went to a church that REALLY preaches the Bible and that God hasn't changed. I just thank God that I was given the privilege to learn the truth. I Always thank God for that and that he has chosen me..