What if our problem isn’t political, but moral?
As I look at America, a moral shell of what it once was, filled with men and women who have lost their way, have very little understanding of truth, and who seem endlessly led astray to the point where they know not where they are or where they going, I realize that Americans have been lured away by vanities. Vanities in the dictionary is defined as being worthless, pointless or futile. When they should be focused on serious issues that face our nation, most Americans can’t be bothered as they are currently distracted.
I see Americans consumed with these things. They have become gods to the American people, so much so that when confronted with a decision to stand on principle or pursue their vanities, most Americans choose their meaningless pursuits.
Here are five vanities that people pursue and have allowed to take over their lives. I would first point out that none of these things are evil in their own right, but when placed at a level in someone’s life that it is more important than standing on principle, things have gone awry. Consider them with me, and the value that we Americans have placed on them.
Sports – Now don’t get me wrong. Sports are a very good thing, in their place. I played sports all while growing up and they were a good thing for me. I learned how to win, and I learned how to lose. I learned sportsmanship. All good things. But later in life I distanced myself from sports. Yes, I golfed from time to time and played an occasional game of pickup basketball, but for many Americans, it goes so much further than that.
“Our Founders made no peace with this organisation of public sports. They did not spend their lives to secure for all men and women on the earth freedom, health, and leisure, in order that they might waste lives in such folly.” H.G. Wells, A Modern Utopia
When we should be focused on saving our nation, people are instead consumed with sports. It reminds me of the term “bread and circuses,” credited to Juvenal, a Roman poet. The idea is that when they should be focused on civic duty, citizens are instead distracted with the trivial.
I see this now even more among even my conservative friends. The last few years have inarguably demonstrated a war against conservatives, demeaning them as well as American traditions such as the National Anthem. Nowhere is this more evident than professional sports. The major sports leagues have not only tolerated but encouraged the degradation of America with their treatment of our National Anthem. Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, even tried to remove entirely the National Anthem from being played before games. While the NBA, in a moment of sanity, told Cuban he most certainly will play the Anthem, they still allow other demonstrations that undermine national pride and unity. Yet people still patronize these leagues. The NFL is one of the worst perpetrators against America. It would make sense then that conservatives would reject that kind of behavior, yet they don’t. Why? Well, when push comes to shove, and this is hard for me to say, they are so infatuated with sports, that they cannot stay away even though those sports openly mock them and deride everything they stand for.
Why would anyone allow themselves to be publicly ridiculed and then turn around and give those same people money?
“You are a white supremacist.”
“I’m not really, but here’s $250.”
See how ignorant that sounds when written out? Yet millions of Americans cannot stop watching sports, supplying their enemies with the money they will use to destroy the American Way. Vanities.
Wealth – Again, there is no innate problem with wealth. Some of the most godly men in the Bible were wealthy. The richest man to ever live was King Solomon, who wrote the book of Proverbs in the Scriptures. Money is an inanimate object and can be used for good or for evil. What I am talking about here is the relentless pursuit of wealth that causes one to go astray and to not stand with truth. Wealth is the ultimate attainment for many today. Self-help gurus and financial advisors teach people how to “get rich quick,” But the people forget the warnings:
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” I Timothy 6:10
First notice the difference from what you may have thought that passage says. It does not say that “money is the root of all evil.” But the “love of money” is what can certainly lead you astray. In all my years of traveling our country as a speaker and author, I have found that there are people who are rich who don’t love money and there are poor people who do love money. It isn’t about money. It is about the elevation you give to money in your life and heart.
We cannot love money to the point we lose our values. All it takes is a brief glance at the news and we can see people – even famous people with enough money already – who do stupid things, going against their values. I see conservatives today making decisions about right and wrong, but being pulled away because of money. One example is cancel culture. Now I get that it is hard when the choice between right and wrong includes the possibility of being canceled and losing your job and livelihood, but would we even be here today in this great land of ours if our forefathers had made the decision to put money over principle?
“I’m not fighting the British. What if they close down my printing shop? How will I pay my bills?”
I’m glad that they didn’t make that decision.
Gambling – Okay, I know many of you may feel as though there is nothing redeemable in gambling, and for the most part I agree. But a friendly wager is something we have all done and it didn’t make us turn from our values.
What I am talking about is the mindless gambling done in casinos all over America, with people sitting for hours in front of slot machines like mindless robots. Their eyes stare into the flashing lights, whirling wheels and upbeats sounds the slots make. Perhaps one of the saddest sights to see is hundreds of American senior citizens sitting there, many with their oxygen tanks sitting next to them, putting their Social Security checks into a slot machine, making someone else rich. Shouldn’t our elderly have better lives than to sit like mindless automatons in a casino? Yet according to Statista, the US Casino Gaming Revenue is $79.42B a year in the US.
All of it simply a distraction to keep Americans placated while the country is stolen from under us.
Casual Sex – Of course sex is AMAZING – anyone who has had sex knows the powerful pleasure it brings. The key is sex as it was intended. Americans have moved way past the beauty of sex and are now entrapped by it, thinking they are finding themselves but in actuality are placing themselves in a prison of their own making, driven by their desires.
The sexual revolution promised freedom and yet, the results have been far from it. Tens of millions of people are on “hook-up” sites like Tinder and Plenty of Fish, looking for their next sexual encounter.
Tens of millions of Americans are in bondage to porn.
According to 2017 statistics:
Washington, D.C., has more porn viewership per capita than any state in the nation (does it surprise us?)
Pornhub has 81,000,000 users per day
The U.S. leads all countries with the most traffic to Pornhub
According to Women’s Health Magazine:
After surveying over 1,000 adults, they found that just over half of Americans watch porn as a couple, and 66 percent would consider it if they were asked. But it’s not just men who want to watch—more than half of the women currently in relationships said they’d be into it. And for women under 25, that number was even higher.
As you can see, we have a sexual crisis. Broken marriages, STD’s, unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortion or children who are mistreated by their parents. But the enemy has everyone thirsty for their fantasies and vanities. Complacent in their indulgence.
Entertainment – I prefer the term “Amusement” because of the literal meaning of the word…
Amusement has at its root, the word “Muse.” The definition of Muse is, according to the dictionary, “to think about something carefully and thoroughly.”
Now, if you stayed awake in English class, you know that an “A” in front of a word means “no” or “nothing,” as in the difference between “Moral” and “Amoral.” Or “Theist” and “Atheist.”
Now, see what “Amusement” means? It literally means “No thorough or careful thinking.”
Again, don’t get me wrong, sometimes we all need to just “veg out.” I get it. But Americans are consumed with entertainment and amusement. They are distracted by it all. As long as they have their movies and their music, they are okay and in no need of seeing what is really going on.
My friends, we are distracted. Maybe you aren’t but America as a whole is.
It is time for you to reflect. Have you fallen into the trap of caring more for your vanities than your duty as a citizen?
It is my opinion that the answer lies in placing God first in our country again, which means rejecting selfish and vain frivolities.
II Timothy 3:1-5 describes America perfectly: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
Instead we ought to focus on this:
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
And ultimately, it is this advice that will save our nation:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14
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