Is the United States suffering from spiritual rabies?
[Note: Our guest author is Al Gist, the founder of Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries in Longville, Louisiana. Al is a former petroleum engineer and pastor who decided in the year 2000 to commit himself full-time to the preaching and teaching of Bible prophecy.
In July 2015, Lamb & Lion Ministries held a Bible conference with the theme "Messages for a Rebellious Nation." Al was one of six outstanding speakers at the conference, and he presented a powerful message titled "A Rabid Nation." The following is a portion of that message.]
I want to begin with a little story about my own personal life. When I was just a kid back in the late 1950's, my Dad took me to see a movie called Old Yeller. It was made in 1957. I'll never forget it, because not only was it an awesome thing for us just to get to go to the movies anyway, but this is the only time in my life that I can remember that my Dad took me to the movies. It was not something that he would normally do. He was a very stern man. But, my Dad took me to see this and so it made a really emotional impact on my life. I guess that's the reason why I remember it so well even to this day.
The plot of the movie goes something like this. A young boy from the 1860's named Travis is given the responsibility by his dad of caring for his mom, his younger brother, and their ranch while his father was away on a cattle drive. During that time, a yellow mongrel dog shows up at the ranch. At first, Travis didn't care anything for the dog. He thought of him as only a nuisance, but soon he named the dog Old Yeller and they became the best of friends. He actually saved his life of the young lad on one occasion from a bunch of wild hogs. They became very, very close to one another.
Later in the story, Old Yeller has to protect the family from a rabid wolf who makes his way onto the ranch. In that fight the dog contracts this terrible, terrible disease called rabies.
When Travis first realized that Old Yeller had gotten rabies, he was heartbroken. To protect his family, and in hopes that for some reason maybe the dog hadn't actually gotten the disease, he locks the dog up in the corn crib. Each day he would go out and he would pet his dog and he would tell him how much he wanted to release him to go back out on the ranch.
The dog looked perfectly well. He looked fine for many days, but on that last day when Travis thought that he'd go out and release his dog, he is met with a different animal. Instead of his beloved Old Yeller, Travis finds a dog that is foaming at the mouth and growling at him.
Travis knew what he had to do. To protect his family, he had to put down Old Yeller. I can remember the scene so well as Travis is crying and he lifts the gun to shoot his beloved dog, because I was crying too. It really touched my heart.
I guess this was probably the first exposure I ever had to the disease of rabies. I didn't really understand it when I was young. It didn't really make sense to me. How could something so minor as a few little bites on the dog cause him to change this way and have to be put to death?
Rabies, if it's left untreated, is a 100% fatal disease. It is most often transmitted to its human victims by a bite from a skunk, or cat, or a dog, or a fox, or raccoons. The virus is carried in the saliva of an infected animal and can get transferred to its human victim. The result is that rabies causes the person to begin to change in a very terrible way.
According to the encyclopedia, rabies is defined as:
"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. 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."
Rabies is a horrible disease! Most people probably have seen animals that have contracted rabies. In their state of cerebral dysfunction, they stagger about foaming at the mouth, and they are confused and easily agitated. Their abnormal behavior produces a kind of paranoia of terror and hallucinations that leads them to the point ultimately of delirium.
I bring this to your attention because in my humble opinion I think that the United States has contracted spiritual rabies and that has led to our cerebral dysfunction. Our leaders, both political and religious, seem so confused that their decisions border on delirium.
Like the early phases of rabies, decades ago our nation started out as something very innocent, but our great nation contracted this terrible spiritual rabies that has now led to cerebral dysfunction. Rabies leads to behavior that is totally abnormal. If allowed to continue, it will end in delirium and, I'm afraid, of a state of death even for our nation.
It started out innocently enough with the desire to be less offensive. It's a good thing for society to be, right? We should be less offensive to one another.
In the realm of religion, we had the Seeker-Friendly Movement in churches which started as an effort to make unchurched people feel welcome to our churches and feel less uncomfortable in the setting of a traditional church. But, it went too far! Now we have churches whose services are more like a Broadway production than a worship service. It eventually led to the Emergent Church, which is completely apostate, denying the miracles of the Bible, the divinity of Jesus Christ, and even avoiding at all cost the mention of that terrible "S" word — Sin. Our churches no longer say "Sin" lest it offends someone.
In the political realm, the government also began to encourage us as a society to change our speech so that we be less offensive. We called it being Politically Correct, or PC for short. We've been encouraged by our government to change our vocabulary in order to be less offensive and more politically correct.
For example, at one time it was thought that a person who was not able to walk was simply crippled. But, that seemed to describe something more harsh. So, the term "crippled" was deemed to be too degrading and it was changed to handicapped. But, this too was eventually thought to be offensive and it was changed to disabled. And then finally, they declared, "No, no! That is too harsh, so now we have to say they are 'physically challenged'."
With the extreme efforts these days to separate Church and State in public institutions, we had to remove all words that are of a religious nature. I read of a story from a few years ago, and you may remember seeing it in the newspapers, about a teenager in Seattle who volunteered at a local elementary school to do a community-service project in which she desired to hand out to the little children those little plastic eggs filled with jellybeans — Easter eggs. In asking the teacher for permission, the student reported and I quote, "She said that I could do it as long as I called this treat 'spring spheres.' I couldn't call them Easter eggs." Spring spheres?! I can't even hardly say it without spitting. It's horrible!
I don't want my vocabulary to be offensive, but I'm not sure I know how to talk without it being offensive. I'm not politically correct, and to be quite honest, I have no desire to be.
As a society we have changed things. We've changed things to the point that people are becoming paranoid about everything, just like rabies. We've reached the state of paranoia. It seems like everybody is offended about something these days. Everybody is offended about something.
I remember something that Jesus said, He said, "And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another." Hey, you better watch out! The PC police are watching and they are liable to betray you and turn you in!
My point is this — just like rabies, which starts out as relatively innocuous, we've gone to the extreme and to the point of paranoia. People don't want to be heard in public because they are afraid that somebody will accuse them of being politically incorrect.
Speaking of paranoia, I'm going to get on my little soapbox here for just a moment. Does it seem that almost daily we hear our scientists warn us of some new cataclysm that is going to annihilate humanity? If it's not Global Warming, its pandemic diseases. Healthy foods that we normally thought were good have now been declared artery-clogging foods, or fat producing, or digestive system irritating foods. If a person listens to all the warnings that are out there today in America, you might think the only place you can live safely and happily would be in a dark closet somewhere, and never come out.
It seems that our national leadership both politically and religiously can no longer see clearly and discern the difference between reality and fantasy. They are in a hallucination state. Level-headed common sense has been replaced with hysteria and over-reaction. Now we've reached a point of absolute delirium and as a result our original political and religious foundations that made this country great are crumbling right before our very eyes. It breaks my heart! I'm so sad to see the direction our country is going in.
In the second and last part of this message on the United States becoming a rabid nation, Al Gist will explain how the nation came down with rabies and provide examples of the resulting crazy behavior.