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Five Vanities That Are Destroying America

Vanities have become gods to the American people.

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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.

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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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Chris is one of the World's Top 50 Speakers, member of the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame, and one of Inc. Magazine's Top 100 Leadership Speakers. He considers it a privilege to be able to speak to people, help them lead successful lives, become extraordinary leaders and, masterful salespeople. Chris has authored twenty books with three million copies in print in 13 languages and over 450 articles on success, leadership, sales and motivation.



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Faith

Decrease in Marriage Continues a Spiraling Wave of Problems, and Churches are AWOL

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Over 60 years after the decline of marriage began in the 1960s due to the rise of the “free love” mentality, the results are more dismal than ever. In 1960, only 28% of adults were single. Now almost 50% of adults are single. Marriage rates are at their lowest ever in U.S. history. There are eight times more children born to unmarried parents than married. 

 

This is a problem. While progressives love to tear down the traditional nuclear family, they can’t argue with the increasingly negative facts coming out. Cohabitation arrangements break up around five times more frequently than marriages, and unplanned pregnancies occur three times more often with cohabiting couples than married couples. Unmarried couples with children are three times more likely to split up and have lower incomes. Children without fathers are more likely to suffer an “Adverse Family Event,” which is abuse, neglect or other trauma. Disregarding the old saying “Marriage tames men” is why we are seeing a spike in bad behavior by men.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: The Dead Do Tell Tales

 

Two authors with extensive backgrounds in marriage and the Christian church have written a book, Endgame: The Church’s Strategic Move to Save Faith and Family in America, outlining the crisis and showing how the church has failed to address it — but also providing specific solutions to fix it. “Endgame” refers to the crumbling of marriage. 

 

Co-author J.P. De Gance, a Catholic who came from the political sphere working for Americans for Prosperity, pioneered a marriage relationship project called Culture of Freedom — later rebranded as Communio —  which had tremendous results. He launched it in several cities, working with churches and faith-based organizations. In Jacksonville, Florida, which had dismal marriage rates, divorces fell 24% after the three-year project, which focused on 58,912 couples.

 

Similarly, John Van Epp, an evangelical relationship expert, ran his own Christian marriage relationship service, Love Thinks. In one area in Indiana that he focused on, divorce rates dropped 20% over 10 years. 

 

What the authors found is that churches are lacking in marriage ministry. Three out of four churches don’t provide any substantive relationship courses or resources for married couples. And even though singles make up almost 50% of heads of households, more than 90% of churches don’t have an adult singles ministry. 

 

What should be most alarming for Christians is the decline of relationship health is now the most significant factor in disrupting a relationship with Jesus. This is why church attendance is at its lowest rate ever on record in the U.S., 47%. In 2000, it was 70%. Church attendance is largely determined by one variable — parental marriage. Both children with unmarried parents and divorced parents were equally less likely to attend church.

 

Marriage crumbled because of the decoupling of sex, romantic partnerships and parenting. Today, the majority of couples have sex before starting a relationship. The authors point to online dating as one of the culprits — it’s made it easy to leave a relationship the instant a problem arises, because you can find a new romantic interest right away.

 

They found a correlation between atheism and lack of married parents. Millennials who were the least emotionally interested in attending church were also the least likely to report having a positive relationship with their parents. The 30 most well-known atheists in the world had a defective relationship with their fathers. 

 

Progressives may pretend that Christians are no better off than the rest of the population, but the authors found that churchgoing Christians have sex more frequently and are happier in their sex life than those who don’t attend. While one quarter of couples in church have a struggling marriage, 39% of couples in general do. 

 

Unfortunately, pastors don’t realize they’re not doing a good job in this area. While 93% of pastors counsel couples in crisis, 57% of them do not believe they are qualified enough. A “marriage 911” is lacking in the church. Churches spend lots of money on youth programs, but that’s not helping people stay in church. 

 

The authors say we need to go out into the community to find couples to help, not expect them to come searching and find these services. It needs to be portrayed as something everyone needs, in order not to scare people away thinking it’s only for couples who are on the verge of breaking up, otherwise people will be afraid of the stigma.

 

The authors reveal what works as successful techniques. They teach couples to address problems early on in relationships. It’s a myth that good relationships don’t require work. The “balanced relationship” is an illusion. What is normal in a good relationship is this: About the time a couple feels that they have a routine that is working for them … life comes at them fast. One of the most valuable tasks the authors have couples do is to make a top 10 list of what they think their spouse wants and needs from them.

 

Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient (EQ) is key to a good marriage. This means both interpersonal, which includes communicating with your spouse, and intrapersonal, the ability to monitor your own emotions and actions. Studies of people doing tasks who have somewhat higher EQs but also somewhat lower IQs than others reveal that the former perform better, shattering our traditional views of IQ. 

 

The authors also emphasize the importance of both skills and virtues. Secular counseling focuses on skills, whereas Christian counseling tends to focus too much on just virtues. Skills include discernment, appreciation and expectation, self-control and commitment. 

 

The authors conclude by saying the church needs to make marriage ministry and relationship outreach normal. Marital problems shouldn’t be left up to social agencies to handle. The secular world is going to continue to disparage marriage and continue the downward cycle that the misnamed, so-called “free love” brings, so the church has to step up and stop the leak in the dam. 

 

 

  

 

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Faith

Seek Out the Good in Others

If you try, you can find at least one thing admirable in everyone you meet.

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Will Rogers, a political satirist, entertainer, and beloved figure in the first half of the twentieth century allegedly said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Many people have interpreted Will Rogers to have meant that he could find something admirable in everyone he met. So, too, can we all.

Something Admirable

Is there a co-worker with whom you have had a nasty relationship? Is there something good about this co-worker that you can draw upon, so that you can actually say something nice to him/her at your next encounter?

Is there a neighbor with whom you have had a continuing squabble? What would it do to your relationship if you sent your neighbor a card or a brief note that said something along the lines of, “I noticed how lovely your garden was the other day and wanted to let you know that I appreciate the work you’ve done in maintaining it.” Too syrupy, or, pardon the expression, too flowery?  Guess again.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: The Dead Do Tell Tales

You’re on this planet for finite amount of time. Do you want to go through your life trading hostilities with people, never having the where-with-all to restore some semblance of civility to the relationship?

Finding the Good

Try thinking of and listing five people who you may not have a good relationship with but can acknowledge. Next to each person’s name, write what is good about them. Do they maintain a nice garden? Here are some ideas for you in case you’re drawing a blank. This person…

* Is kind to the receptionist at work.
* Turns assignments in on time, and hence, supports the team.
* Walks softly past your office, so as not to disturb you.
* Greets you in the morning when you arrive.
* Maintains his or her office well.

Away from work, here are some ideas for finding the good in others:
* Keeps the street in front of the yard free of debris.
* Is respectful of others’ needs for quiet.
* Dresses well.
* Has well-behaved children.
* Drives safely in the neighborhood.

If you try, you’ll find something good!

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