Enemy in the Gates By Pete Garcia In the winter of 367, the Roman garrison…
By: Pete Garcia
The world is changing and there isn’t anything anyone can do about it. It’s known by some, as a ‘turning point’, or by others as the dawn of the ‘new world order’. Whatever the label, the reality on the ground is that the once strong, leading lady on the stage, is ‘no longer packing them in like she used too’. The roles are changing on this global stage and would be akin to a theater dropping its lead actress at the anticlimactic finale, for a cast of unknowns and changing the theme to a who-done tragic satire. But this is nothing new, because we’ve already seen it happen thrice within the last 100 years.
It used to be said of Great Britain, that the ‘sun never set on the British Empire’. But two World Wars later, and the ‘great’ in Great Britain seems like a self-aggrandizing exaggeration. Great Britain once dominated all seven seas, and made the world march to its economic beat…yet today, is only a fraction of what it used to be. So the once commonly held axiom proved untrue, and the sun did set on the Union Jack.
The Soviet Union
The 1918 Bolshevik Revolution promised the Russian people that the working class would rise up and remove the aristocratic boot off the neck of the proletariat neck. Seventy-years and tens of millions of dead later, the Russian people were financially, morally, and spiritually bankrupt. Although vodka and atheism were still on the shelves of the local market, smiles and bread were in rare commodity.
In 1933, Adolph Hitler promised the German people a ‘thousand year Reich’ in which Germany and the Aryan people would dominate the planet. Yet less than 12 years later, the Blitzkrieg tide would turn and they would be drowning in the shame of what they had become.
In Memoriam-Pax Americana
No nation in the history of mankind, has lived at the level of luxury that the US has for as long as we have. Our shrinking middle class, generally lives at a higher level than did the royalty of yesteryears. Air conditioning, ice cubes, satellite television, shag carpet, and memory foam pillows withstanding, American’s will fight to the death to keep their level of comfort their own. Yet, in our contentment, we have slept the sleep of apathy and lethargy. We allowed our leaders to sell us pipe dreams of endless social welfare and limitless credit card accounts.
We could say that the only constant in America today is change. Just look at how our culture has changed since the end of World War II. From sock hops to bell bottoms, from disco to ‘gangsta rap’…our culture has been one of ever increasing descent into decadence and depravity. Never content to be outdone by the previous generation’s rebellions, ours has snowballed into an avalanche of vanishing moral boundaries. What was considered taboo 40 years ago, is now common place today. What was considered bad taste 20 years ago, is now the standard today. What one generation tolerated, the next embraced.
It is fascinating to me for instance, to watch commercials promoting various financial investment firms who are selling the viewer a scenario involving white picket fences, well behaved grandkids, and a life of ease in retirement, but only if you start building your financial portfolio today. And to ‘hedge your bet’, better add a little gold and silver in there just in case the economy isn’t doing so well.
That may have been true in decades past, but given our gargantuan national debt and our incredibly shrinking dollar, they never mention what happens to your portfolio when the whole system collapses under its own weight. Quantative Easing policies, costly overseas military campaigns, bloated bureaucratic agencies, pork-laden programs, and the general mismanagement of taxpayer money has fast tracked the real possibility that the American economy (held up by the might of the US Dollar) might not last the next ten years, let alone long enough for one’s ‘golden’ years.
One would have to be absolutely delusional to think that the way things are today, will just continue on for decades to come. I’ve read the National Intelligence Council’s 2015-2030 plans they have drawn up for possible futuristic scenarios for the United States. Everything beyond 2020 has the United States in decline. Granted, they’re more optimistic than I am, (or most realists), but they see the decline and think it’s still possible for the US to make a soft landing, instead of crashing head first. Just let the internet shut down, and you could bet your bottom dollar that every major city in the US would erupt in chaos.
No nation, not even ones who can print their own currency, can sustain the level of debt that we currently have and expect our money to keep its monetary value. We bought ourselves some time with our deal with OPEC and Petrodollars, but that well is about to run dry. A lot of our debt, is predicated on other nations or groups buying our debt through government security bonds. What happens when they stop buying them? What happens when other sovereign nations began to abandon the US dollar for something else? What happens when other nations see our debt as a liability, and begin unloading their US currency in favor of ones that are more stable and have less baggage?
We have the world’s most powerful military, and that has helped bring a level of stability to the world over the past decades. But our military’s strength, lies squarely in our economic strength to be able to fund and project that power abroad. What happens when our government can’t afford to deploy our forces overseas? What message will that send to the enemies of the United States? Does that cause them pause, or does it embolden them to do what they want? (Syria and Crimea anyone?)
Any student of history would understand that kingdoms come and go. What made the United States unique, was that our government recognized that our rights are granted by our Creator, and not from government. But when our government divorces itself from the very thing that makes it unique, it divorces itself also from the protection and blessings that come with those God given rights.
We are no longer in the decline phase of the United States…because we’ve been in that phase for the last twenty years. We are in the final death throes where the only action left that can be taken, is dramatic. And when the United States goes, the world’s economy will be turned on its head, and only those who had cut their financial umbilical cords early enough would remain the most unaffected. It will cause a massive shuffle in which nations rise to the top, and which suffer the greatest. Even the US in decline, is causing nations around the world to reconsider their alliances with us in light of our decline.
While this may seem overwhelmingly gloomy and downtrodden, it shouldn’t be for the Christian. The Bible never said that this world would get better, only that things would continue to deteriorate and spin more out of control. You’d think it would, but the Bible never mentions any nation that resembles the United States even one that was once considered the greatest Christian nation in the world. While arguing out of silence isn’t the preferred method, the silence is rather glaring.
The Bible does say that a revived Roman Empire would emerge. I can only think that as the US declines, the EU/UfM rises to fill the void we left. Currently sitting at a population of 500 million, and with the number 1 or 2 largest GDP in the world (depending on the source), the European Union has been sitting back and allowing the US to do the heavy lifting over the last 70 years. But there are three things that the EU currently lacks;
1. A unified governing body or leader: We see that there are now in motion, discussion within the EU to create a ‘super president’ that would preside over both the EU Council and Commissions. This leader would wield incredible power, and although it has been on the back-burner since 2012, the idea has not gone away.
2. A strong military: Since the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, NATO has been the stalwart defense posture for Western Europe. It was meant to be a deterrence for war from anyone, either inside or out of Europe. With a burgeoning and expansionist Russia on the prowl, Europeans are having to reconsidering the possibility that defense cuts may not be in their best interests. NATO member had since 2001, supported US mission in Iraq and Afghanistan on the War on Terror. Granted, it was not as robust as we may have wished, but it did give their leaders the experience to fight using American tactics, deploy forces around the world, and allowed them to refine their skills. NATO is the perfect model for a European army to fall into, or take over once the US is no longer able to lead from the front.
3. Financial Superiority: What we’ve seen in the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain) countries in the last 5-8 years, is a series of financial calamities spreading faster than the Ebola virus in Guinea. The northern half of Europe seems fiscally solvent, but their southern brothers and sisters, had for many decades, cooked the books so to speak. Now unified under the Euro, and accountable to the European Central Bank for maintaining a balanced check book, the PIIGS are struggling to make ends meet. Their didn’t seem for a long time, any light at the end of the tunnel for any of them. But in the same tune of constant change, a declining US may force them to either realign regionally, or ditch the Euro in favor of a digital currency that may be manipulatively more manageable. Either way, the Bible states they will arise as the final world empire on God’s prophetic stage…and you can take that to the bank.
While unpopular and anti-patriotic as it all seems, the truth is, as born again believers, we should not mourn the passing of this once great nation. It served a grand purpose in God’s economy of time. Because of the United States, many millions lived under a nation with religious freedom to serve God and to share that love of God to a lost and dying world. Missions and missionaries, bibles and biblical literature, teachers and preachers went forth from American shores to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with more people around the world, than any nation before it (or after it). The US might be a cesspool now of heresy and debauchery today, but it was what God allowed it to be, for a time.
Furthermore, the US was the first to recognize Israel as a sovereign nation. We supported her financially, militarily, and politically for many decades. That support seems to be on the ropes now, clinging for its very life, but God used the United States to allow an Israel to come back to the table of nations after 1900+ years of Diaspora.
We are in decline, no doubt about it. No amount of revival will revive us nationally. Considering how fractured we are denominationally, it is hard to fathom that any attempt to come together at a national level would be anything less than a watered down, social justice-ecumenical ritualistic, toss pot of Luke-warm piety.
Revival needs to be with the individual. Repentance at the grass roots level starting first with ourselves, than our families, and then our local churches. This alone will not stem either time nor tide, but it will be for us, where God wants us to be. A Church that is hungry for God, hungry for the truth, and loving enough to set our own pride aside, and share that hunger with a lost and dying world. We shouldn’t be dismayed that we are in decline, or that our economy is in the toilet.
We shouldn’t worry about what tomorrow will bring, because if we belong to the King, the King takes care of His own. I’m not saying that we won’t have trials and tribulations in this life, because Jesus promised us we would. I am saying that when you step back and compare today with eternity, your problems (and mine), will melt away in the glory of God’s greatness. Put your faith in God, and not in man. Put your faith in the Bible, instead of political rhetoric. We are Ambassadors for Christ, and one day soon, we will be called to our true, eternal homes to serve a King and Kingdom with no end.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Philippians 3:20-21