Religious Right author Joel Rosenberg says that people like Jon Stewart of The Daily Show share in the blame for the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting because they have waged a “cultural war against Jesus and Christmas” and tried to “drive [God] out of our society.” Like American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, Rosenberg claims that God did not stop the massacre because God is a “gentleman”: “If a nation tells Him to leave, He will leave.”
All this is so painful to see, so heart-wrenching. I look at my own children — including my little 8 year old — and then look at all the grieving parents on TV and mourn for them, trying to understand what they are suffering right now. I’m praying for the Lord to comfort and heal all those traumatized by what happened in Newtown. But as I do I can’t help but think about the trendlines and the dark trajectory our nation is on. It’s not just “the economy, stupid.” We are, in many respects, in a moral and spiritual freefall in our country, and we are paying a terrible price.
The demons of violence and lawlessness are the loose all across America — in Newtown, Connecticut….in Aurora, Colorado….in Oak Creek, Wisconsin….just as they were in Littleton, Colorado and at Virginia Tech in years gone by. But why? How is it possible that violent crime in the United States has surged by more than 460 percent since 1960?
The answer is as painful as it is simple: the further we turn away from God in our nation — the further we drive Him out of our society, our of our schools and courts, and out of our media and out of our homes, or the more we give mere lip service to religion, the more men are ”holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (2 Timothy 3:5) — the worse things are getting. Consider just the cultural war against Jesus and Christmas that has been waged just in the last few days:
• Fox News headline: “Holiday message: Atheists dub Jesus a ‘myth’ on Times Square billboard”
• CNN column, “Have yourself a merry atheist Christmas“
• AP article about the “War on Christmas”
• Fox News story about a rapper singing about a “Gangbanger Jesus”
• KTVA-TV (Alaska) story: “Atheists Wage War on Christmas in Anchorage: Anti-religion signs on People Mover buses”
• Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart wages war on Christmas and mocks those who thinks he’s wrong [caution: obscene language]
The Lord God Almighty is a gentleman. He won’t force us to accept His great love and many blessings. If a nation tells Him to leave, He will leave. But what are we reaping as a result of a society that increasingly ignores God and hates or dismisses Jesus Christ? We are witnessing a horrifying explosion of murder. We are witnessing a gruesome crime wave unprecedented in American history. And there appears to be no end in sight. In recent years, we’ve seen brutal mass murders in high schools, on college campuses, and in small towns all across America (a recent FBI report says the murder rate soared 18.3% in small towns in America last year alone).
There is a point of no return — a point at which God removes His hand of grace and mercy and turns to the judgment of America. If we don’t repent for our sins, we are going to face that judgment…perhaps sooner than we think. As I note in Implosion: Can America Recover From Its Economic & Spiritual Challenges In Time?, “Alarm bells are going off all around us. Lights on the dashboard are flashing, Warning! Warning! Yet America is sleeping through the alarms, blind to the warning lights. And tragically, for the most part, the Church — God’s chosen instrument to bless individuals, families, communities, and nations — is asleep as well. I shudder to imagine where we are heading if we don’t wake up soon, plead for the Lord’s forgiveness, and ask Him to use us to love our neighbors and revitalize our country.”