By Michael V. Wilson
Have you noticed lately that life in America feels as if you’ve wandered into an episode of the Twilight Zone, where up is down, left is right, in is out, black is white, and nothing is what it seems? If listening to the pronouncements of pundits and politicians making outlandish statements and proclamations which twenty years ago would have gotten them tarred and feathered makes you want to vomit, if reading the headlines or first paragraphs of many articles, in print or online, gives you a sense of vertigo and a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach, welcome to the modern United States of America.
There was a time in the not-too-distant past when advocating for gay “marriage” would have gotten you booed off stage; now you’ll be canceled, fired, or perhaps even arrested for refusing to enthusiastically declare it the greatest thing since sliced bread. For most of human history, abortion was rightly condemned as one of the most wickedly vile and horrifying acts anyone could take yet today, women celebrate their abortions as if murdering their own child was something to be proud of and waved in the air like a flag of triumph. Once, it was universally acknowledged Christians were the ones who led the way – based on the Bible – toward outlawing slavery, going so far as running underground railroads at great risk to life and limb, to spirit former slaves away from the plantations to freedom, it was Christians who led the way on the Civil Rights Act, it was Christians who went on Freedom Rides, again, at great risk to life and limb, in the 1960s, and it is Christians today who most frequently have friends with different skin colors from themselves, often jokingly referring to each other as a, “brother from another mother.” Yet today, it is mostly Christians who are accused of attempting to orchestrate a white patriarchy or white supremacist nation, even when the Christian in question isn’t white!
We could go on and on and on exploring positions where everything has been turned upside-down (I’m sure you can think of a million things I left out) but the point is, how did we get here? How can people get away with it? How can they openly, unapologetically advocate for evil? How did this happen?
Before you start giving quick answers about court cases and judges legislating from the bench, lets stop right there before you begin. While those things are obviously true, they’re not the cause, they’re not the how or why.
It’s not about lying politicians either, who say one thing on the campaign trail then turn around and do the exact opposite once they’re in office. It’s also not about pornography, riots, BLM, polar bear hunting, late term abortion, gay “marriage”, COVID faux lock downs and face masks, the Green New Deal, global cooling or warming or whatever the heck they’re calling it these days, trans-gender anything, Islam, terrorism, gun control, vaccine passports, government mandates and overreach, corruption in the halls of power, stolen elections, runaway printing of fiat money, endless spiraling national debt and burgeoning inflation, open borders, stolen rights, nuclear weapons, rampant communism, or Chinese aggression on the high seas.
Those are all problems but they’re not the cause.
So, what is the cause?
Glad ya asked.
There’s a passage in the Bible which starts with the famous statement in John 3:16 where Jesus is talking to Nicodemus;
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Jesus goes on for a couple more verses then segues into a related topic by starting verse 19 with the word “and”. In Greek, the word is δέ, pronounced deh (Strong’s G1161), which is a conjunction word most often translated as “but”, “and”, “now”, “then”, or “also”. It’s a word used to join sentence elements of the same grammatical rank or function, it joins two related thoughts.
For instance, “Dick ran home with a rip in his pants and Jane laughed at him for it,” shows the connection of two related thoughts, Dick running home with ripped pants while Jane laughs at him for running home with ripped pants. The two thoughts, the two events, are connected by the word “and” which indicates they are related to each other.
When Jesus begins John 3:19 with the word “and” He’s connecting it to the previous three verses in John 3:16-18. With that in mind, look at verses John 3:19-21.
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.
Jesus is indicating He is the light that has come into the world and everyone who does evil wants to avoid that light. They don’t want their evil deeds exposed. Although the passage speaks of light and dark alluding to day and night, it also indicates spiritual light and darkness.
America has been extinguishing the light of Jesus for a long time now. Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962), was the landmark case where the Supreme Court ruled school prayer was unconstitutional. It wasn’t the first attempt by godless pagans to separate God and government, but it was one of the most consequential, with far reaching effects that are still being felt today. Churches should have risen up with one accord to oppose it but they had been effectively neutered eight years earlier by the Johnson Amendment, a 1954 provision added to the U.S. tax code by then-Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson, which prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates or attempting to influence legislation, on penalty of loosing their tax-exempt status. Scared of suddenly losing something they’d taken for granted since the founding of America, churches held back from campaigning against Engel or trying to impeach or oust the justices who’d voted in favor of it, thus allowing evil to gain a foothold.
With that first significant legal victory, the light of Jesus began to dim in America. Since then, it’s been a long slow twilight, like the setting of the sun. During the twilight hours, you can still run around outside and play like the neighborhood kids do without any problems. An occasional stick might give you a scare by looking like a snake, but for the most part it’s still safe. Then, the sun goes down a bit too far and suddenly it’s dark and you can’t see anymore.
The same thing is happening with the light of Jesus. Twilight is over, spiritual darkness has fallen across the land, morality, virtue, and righteousness have vanished and the evil in men’s hearts has come out of hiding because they know they won’t be held accountable anymore.
That’s how they can get away with it.
P. S. Before posting this article on my own web site, I submitted it to a major conservative web site for publication. They’ve published other articles of mine in the past and I thought they’d like this one too. It turns out I was wrong. That “conservative” web site rejected this article because they thought it was too theological for their readers.