I can’t help but wonder if we are witnessing the death of a nation. The recent revelations (posited as allegations until presented in a court of law) coming from Penn State are chilling to the soul. We experienced similar rumblings of the soul when the Catholic Church went through a catharsis some years back when priests were identified as having molested children over a period of decades, only to have been covered-up by the ecclesiastical hierarchy.
Young children and babies are disappearing almost daily, and more often than not, found dead, tossed aside along some roadway, or deposited in a trash dumpster. Just this week it was reported that a one-year-old boy, missing from his St. Louis home, was found dead in a cemetery. No one has been charged in this apparent homicide, but the mother is considered a suspect.
Like you, I am weary of reading about these young ones being abused and/or killed, frequently by the very adults who are supposed to be protecting them.
Let me ask you: What has become of us when the very institutions which are designed to cherish and protect the youngest among us fails in this responsibility? The home should be the safest of all places for the young (and the old alike). In the same way our churches and other places of worship should be bastions of safety and sanctuary, followed by our academic institutions. When these vaunted organizations within our society can no longer to be trusted with the responsibility of caring for our children, what’s left?
There will be some who will be quick to point out that such abuses have always happened. I would agree, but in the past the punishment for such heinous behavior was swift and sure. Society would not tolerate such wickedness against our young. Someone else might argue that most of those abuses went unreported. Such a statement is impossible to substantiate, and such an argument attempts to make it seem as if things are no worse now than they have ever been. To this I say: Nonsense! Our nation grew up under the teachings of the Scriptures, and in those days people actually feared the Lord, knowing that their neighbors would bring the terrible sword of justice down on their heads. This is the primary reason why those who even considered harming these little ones didn’t, because they would be found out and dealt with without mercy.
I’m certain there will be much more that comes out from the investigation of Penn State and the despicable deeds of certain deviants and those who were willing to cover it up. What appears to be taking place is an attempt to protect a prestigious university. Bottom line: it’s all about money and the support the school receives. The football program, with an iconic coach, has been a cash-cow elevated over the years to the level of a golden calf – a thing to be worshipped and protected. Never mind that there is the collateral damage of young lives in the process – the institution must be sheltered at all cost.
A number of verses from Scripture come to mind when I read such stories. I would like to share two of these with you. First, James 4:17, “Remember, that knowing what is right to do and then not doing it is sin.” Second, even more pointedly, Jesus has this to say concerning those who might harm children in Luke 17:1-3, “There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting! If he were thrown into the sea with a huge rock tied to his neck, he would be far better off than facing the punishment in store for those who harm these little children’s souls. I’m warning you!”
Please understand, I am not passing judgment on Penn State or any individuals associated with that institution. Our judicial system is designed to do just that. I’m simply pointing out the obvious: As a nation we need to decide if we are willing to continue to slide down the slippery slope of moral decay, or whether we will return to being an ethical people who have a renewed passion for serving God and living for Him.
I am convinced that if we are to survive as a nation, we need to experience what is called a revival. By definition a revival is a period of renewed religious interest. Put another way, it literally means “to bring back to life.”
I would echo what Joshua of old said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Let’s do this, America!