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A Careless Culture Under Fire


Tucked away in a well debated prophetic passage God declared that He would "send fire on Magog and them that dwell carelessly in the isles" (Ezekiel 39:6 KJV).  Who these careless dwellers in the islands are has been debated for years.  I won't debate that here.  I will, however, speak to the fact that whoever these people are, they are living carelessly, and they appear kind of familiar to me. 


The Hebrew word "betach" is translated as "carelessly" in the KJV Bible and "safely" or "securely" in newer translations.  The idea this Hebrew word conveys here is that these people are living in a prideful arrogance that gives them a false sense of security, and thus the reason for them living carelessly. 


I think these careless people resemble those of us living in much of the western world, including North America, and especially, if I might be so bold, those living in the United States.  Of course, I am speaking in general terms of America's national cultural identity.  I have many American friends who absolutely do not fit this description.


Traditionally speaking, and by its own admission, America has been the leader of the free world.  Many of us living outside of the United States have certainly appreciated and benefited from America's leadership over the last 70 plus years, but things are no longer what they once were. 


America has been the leading nation in exporting the gospel throughout the world and for that it has been blessed.  America, however, is now a world leader in exporting violent forms of entertainment, pornography, and social media insanity.  It was America that exported the 2008 economic recession that deadened the economy of much of the western world, a recession based on careless greed.  From an outsider's vantage point who enjoyed living in the United States in the 1980's I sadly suggest that America is not the America of the past.    


In many areas of American culture, which the rest of the West is eagerly imitating, America has become careless.  Whether it's in the world of entertainment, social media, art, law, finance, education, government, or religion, a prideful arrogant self-sufficiency has been creating a false sense of security over the years that has caused the current national carelessness.  The president, who should be setting a high standard of excellence, is no exception to this prideful arrogance.  His thoughtlessly and carelessly worded tweets have no productive inspirational value.  They do little to encourage other nations to follow America's lead in matters of international importance.  If America wants to be the leader of the free world into the future, and I'm not convinced that's the present administration's desire, then America must reconsider its current cultural carelessness.


Am I being too hard on America?

I don't think so.  As the leader of the free world America is obligated to act with integrity, an integrity that is based on the Biblical principles it once embraced.  Has America forgotten what the Bible says about prideful arrogance?  Has it forgotten that pride precedes destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18)?  Has it forgotten that God hates pride, arrogance, and perverse speech (Proverbs 8:13)?  Has it forgotten that pride is disgraceful (Proverbs 11:2)?  Has it forgotten that where there is pride there is strife (Proverbs 13:10)?  Has it forgotten that a fool's mouth lashes out prideful words (Proverbs 14:3)?  Has it forgotten that pride brings a man down low (Proverbs 29:23)?  Am I mistaken in thinking that these quotes from the NIV Bible have significance for America today?  Do a Biblical word search for yourself.  Allow the Word of the Lord to sink into your spirit and maybe you will agree with me.        


I am not being too hard on America.  I am simply speaking the prophetic word of warning,  much like Billy Graham proclaimed when he warned America by saying, "If God doesn't judge America He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."  Believe me, you will never hear God apologizing to Sodom and Gomorrah.         


I am not saying that America is the careless nation of Ezekiel 39:6.  I am saying that whether it's America, Canada , the U.K., or any other nation, the prideful carelessness expressed in Ezekiel 39:6 and above mentioned Proverbs needs our serious attention. 


In each generation the Lord has those who speak the prophetic word of warning to the nations.  It's never an easy word to speak and it's seldom received and acted upon.  Nevertheless, it remains the Word of the Lord.  


It is God who causes nations to both rise and fall (Daniel 2:21). He is the Sovereign Lord over all nations (Daniel 4:25).  As Christians, you and I must set forth the standard of Biblical excellence as we humbly but steadfastly proclaim the prophetic word of warning.  We must never be so Biblically lax that we deceive ourselves into thinking our nation can't fall from the fire of judgment. 



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