by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
CGG Weekly, August 21, 2009
"It's the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense, and can't see things as they are."
When did the world stop making sense? Perhaps it has not made much sense for a long while, but lately it seems to have taken a definite turn toward the nonsensical, especially here in the United States. We Americans pride ourselves on being grounded and self-sufficient, full of practical know-how and a can-do attitude that can solve any problem or overcome any obstacle to our ambitions. Four centuries of history on this continent chronicles the efforts of a nation of pioneers and achievers in just about every area of endeavor. We filled a continent, fed the world, split the atom, and put men on the moon, not to mention our building the world's most powerful military and becoming the world's lone superpower. Much of this occurred because men and women used sound knowledge and reason to find ways that work.
Such soundness of mind appears to be rare these days. Unlike the overhyped swine flu, America's loss of her senses seems to be a true pandemic. All over the country and in many different areas of life, people are making foolish choices, based not on facts and outcomes but on hopes and fears ginned up by Madison Avenue blitzes and eloquent hucksters. All it takes is a pretty or handsome face, a bit of enthusiasm, some flash and sizzle, and the average person is hooked.
How much sense does it make for Americans to terminate 1.2 million unborn children each year? In a nation that hallows the concepts of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," is legal euthanasia, which voters in Oregon passed in 1994, wise? Six states now allow homosexual unions of one sort or another—how will that affect society for the good? And with more than 12 million illegal aliens living within our borders, draining our resources and having the gall to ask for more, are we not sowing lawlessness and discord?
Further, Americans spend as if there were no tomorrow, racking up personal debt to the tune of nearly $24,000 per individual. We save nearly nothing, although the recent economic downturn has rallied the savings rate by a few percentage points. Many—and a high percentage of them poor, unfortunately—throw good money after ridiculously bad odds in state lotteries and gambling casinos. Even our homes—the American dream—historically the most stable investment, are often under water to the point that some are simply walking away from them, leaving them to the banks.
Many moan and gripe about the cost of healthcare, demanding reform, yet they rarely fail to pass by a fast-food restaurant without stopping for high-calorie, high-fat, high-sugar meal or snack. Add to this a general lack of exercise, sedentary habits, addictions like smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, sexual promiscuity and other risky behaviors, as well as high-pressure jobs, and it is no wonder that many Americans are obese, lazy, stressed, and ill. To service this sick nation, the healthcare industry has become a behemoth, comprising one-sixth of America's economy.
The so-called solution to this crisis—healthcare reform, Obamacare—is itself mindboggling in its absurdity. On his August 20, 2009, radio show, Rush Limbaugh, never shy about saying what he thinks about liberal policies and initiatives, commented insightfully:
Obama's health care plan will be written by a committee whose head, John Conyers, says he doesn't understand it. It'll be passed by Congress that has not read it, signed by a president who . . . smokes, funded by a Treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, overseen by a Surgeon General who is obese, and financed by a country that's nearly broke. What could possibly go wrong?
Of course, his comment does not even consider the details of the massive reform bill passed by the House of Representatives, many of which will radically alter the way Americans will receive and pay for healthcare. In short, the proposed bill will take healthcare choices out of the hands of patients and doctors and give them to government bureaucrats and appointees. Clearly, its proponents eventually want to drag Americans into a single-payer system along the lines of Canada's or Britain's government-run healthcare monopolies.
What seems to be lost in all of the dickering over details is the fundamental matter of constitutionality. Does the Constitution of the United States even allow the federal government to run a healthcare system? Instead of being ignored, this should have been the first question America's elected leaders—sworn to uphold the Constitution—asked themselves, but they are willing to let their negligence pass quietly unnoticed because healthcare reform will accrue far more power to government and its allies than just about any other scheme. In fact, the present hullaballoo created in these town hall meetings does not concern them, as it only deepens and widens the confusion and exasperation among the electorate and validates the idea that healthcare reform is legitimate, necessary, and urgent.
Could this senselessness and confusion be a fulfillment of Bible prophecy? In the blessings and curses chapter, God promises to send a kind of foolish madness upon Israel when the people fail to obey Him:
The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me. . . . The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart. And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you. (Deuteronomy 28:20, 28-29)
His spiritual people, however, His church, can be spared this plague of irrationality: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (II Timothy 1:7). "We have the mind of Christ" (I Corinthians 2:16), giving us the ability to see, ponder, and choose the right with wisdom and foresight. We can expose the nonsense of this world and provide the proven answers from God's Word (Ephesians 5:11-13).
The apostle Paul advises, "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:15-17). As the confusion and nonsense mounts in the world, Christians must make no delay in seeking God and His Word for what makes eternal sense.