As an older American, I often reflect upon my youth, and I have concluded that growing up in America during the 1950s was wonderful! Our country was the greatest in the world proven by our victory in World War II! No one could beat us though we had those school A-bomb drills!
No, there was no social media, no laptops, no wireless communications. Personal computers, laptops, or cell phones occupied no room in our brains. Our television was small but quite heavy. Every scene on its screen was in black and white. We had five channels that I can recall (ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and a St. Louis local station). Believe it or not, there was no TV remote control either.
Telephones were connected to the wall by a cord that always seemed too short. Some phones were on “party lines” meaning multiple homes used the same line for communicating (yes, you could listen in to your neighbor’s calls). Furthermore, the only dishwasher available was human, some individual (usually your mother) standing at the sink scrubbing the dishes by hand.
But childhood in the 1950s was a blast. Most of us attended public school in which we always began our day by saying the Pledge of Allegiance as we stood and saluted the flag. We studied arithmetic/math, science, English, writing, reading, spelling, music, and took physical recreation (i.e., “gym” or “P.E.”). There were kids who bullied others (I know I was verbally bullied throughout public school) but not to the extreme as some do today. I never felt physically threatened at school and I don’t believe my parents were ever concerned about my safety while I was there.
Over the summer, my younger brother and I were rarely inside the house and often not even at home. We would go outside and play Wiffle Ball, cowboys and Indians, and war. When we grew older, we would leave the house in the morning, ride our bikes to a pre-selected ball field (often just an empty lot), play ball, eat lunch (sometimes that required a return trip home; other times we took a sandwich), play more ball, get home for supper, then play outside until dark. Our parents never seemed worried about our absence (they may have been relieved we weren’t home!).
For the eighteen years I lived at home, our house doors were not locked. No one ever stole anything from our house. We had no outside security system. I don’t believe my father owned a gun since I never saw one. Yet everyone went to bed at night with little concern for their well-being.
Girls who were pregnant out of wedlock were frowned upon but not “thrown away” like trash or told to abort their child. The boys involved in such cases were also frowned upon. The message was clear: you don’t have sex until after you are married. That is the standard. That is what society has deemed to be proper.
Furthermore, there was no talk of same sex marriage. Any such relationships were condemned. Multiple genders were not even mentioned when I was a child. Oh, you might have a girl who behaved somewhat like a boy occasionally. We called them “tomboys.” Tomboys were often revealed in our town by their love for baseball and how they played the game. But a tomboy was still a girl. Any form I filled out would require me to check either the “M” box or the “F” box for my sex/gender. Two genders were all that had ever existed from the beginning of history.
They were divorces but they were not common. A single parent home in those days was usually because of a death of the other parent. Divorce was also frowned upon.
But we played with our neighbors and with our school friends. Sometimes we would celebrate July 4th with one another by setting off fireworks in our own yards. And it was always a thrill to follow the mosquito truck down the street and run in its glorious spray (likely DDT!).
What a great country and a fun time to grow up!
After seven decades I see the America that has been left to my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. I want to weep and weep and weep. What a disaster it has become. It seems every social standard from the beginning of time has been discarded. Pregnant out of wedlock? No big deal. Living with the opposite sex prior to marriage? No big deal. You’re a male and want to become a female? No big deal. In fact, you have at least two options of accomplishing this feat. First, simply tell everyone you are a woman and then freely use the ladies’ bathroom. Second, undergo operations and devour medicines to take on the appearance of a woman. How ridiculous.
We had immigrants back in the fifties. However, such immigrants came to our country legally, sought citizenship, and work to make a living. Today, invade our country by coming here illegally and receive benefits from the taxpayers without ever becoming a citizen. Why that’s not a big deal either. One entire political party supports that position even if it means permitting terrorists to come into our midst.
As I write, our nation is cursed with inflation, sexual degradation on all fronts, illegal “immigration”, district attorneys more interested in prosecuting victims rather than criminals, increasing taxes, lower and unstable stock market, a Justice system against parents at school board meetings, transportation systems in chaos, crime way up especially in major cities run by Democrats, attempts to eliminate guns, ongoing killing of the unborn and there’s much more. I feel ill merely typing the words.
Our children were mostly watched over by us. Rarely did they leave our neighborhood without permission. Our car doors and house doors are always locked. Most of us (including myself) converse mainly with our devices. The later generations seem to live their life with the sole goal of being happy all the time. If, for ANY reason, they do not feel happy, they find themselves depressed or bored. I can honestly say I was not happy as a child all the time; no child is. But I had a happy childhood. Was I ever depressed when unhappy? Not that I can recall. Was I ever truly bored in life? Again, not that I can recall. We always found something to do. Make something, read something, play a game, sit around and talk, pester my siblings. There was always something to do and it didn’t necessarily require parental supervision or assistance. If you were sitting around and doing nothing (which was fine too), you would get up and find something to do. Period. Why there might even be a show to watch that did not contain sex, nudity, extreme violence, profanity, etc., yet taught a good lesson for life, especially for children.
I regret what America is becoming, not so much for me but for my descendants.
The prophet Jeremiah knows of what I write. Israel had been a great nation under David and then Solomon. But, upon Solomon’s death, the kingdom split into two kingdoms. The Northern Kingdom remained the Kingdom of Israel. The Bible tells us each of its kings was evil. They failed to follow the teachings of God. They even followed false gods. They worshipped idols. After two hundred years, the Assyrians invaded, defeated them, and scattered them throughout their empire.
The other Kingdom, the Southern Kingdom, was known as the Kingdom of Judah. It was also governed by evil kings but there were also several kings who were obedient to the Lord. Over the centuries, though, evil began to triumph in Judah. Around 620 B.C., God called Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah (a priest) to be a prophet to Judah in its waning days. This great prophet is referred to as the “weeping prophet” for throughout his book he weeps for his people and what the future held for them. God gave the Kingdom of Judah to their enemies, the Babylonians, just as He had foretold to and through Jeremiah.
So, Judah, once a great kingdom founded upon and, under some godly leaders, is virtually destroyed and taken captive. Many of God’s people were driven out of their homeland to other locations. Oh, the mighty have fallen.
I see many similarities in America that compare to those in Jeremiah’s book. We were never a perfect nation nor was Judah. Judah and the USA have experienced good (perhaps godly) leaders, good times, strong military, a worship and obedience of the true God, and freedom. But American is on decline in similar ways that Judah declined. Is our captivity around the corner? I do not know. As a prophet, my prophesies are limited to the Word of God as was Jeremiah’s. He received his directly from the Lord. I receive mine from the Lord through His Word, the Bible, and the Bible does not mention America.
Recently, my Bible reading brought me to Jeremiah chapter nine. I would encourage the reader to read the entire chapter. I will quote only a portion of that entry and will do so in three parts.
(1) Jeremiah 9:10-11
“I will take up weeping and wailing for the mountains, and a lamentation for pastures of the wilderness, because they are laid waste so that no one passes through, and the lowing of the cattle is not heard; both the birds of the air and the beasts have fled and are gone. I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a lair of jackals, and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.”
Here we have the promise of the Lord God concerning the impending doom of the Kingdom. God will do it, and nothing will stay His hand. One part of this section did strike me, though. God will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins (remember, Jerusalem is the capital city), a lair of jackals (no one likes jackals; does our capital city already have a lair of jackals? I’d prefer to use another “jack” word to describe them but will hold my tongue!). Now onto part two.
(2) Jeremiah 9:12
God is speaking directly to Jeremiah in this verse. Who can understand what He is about to do? Who is the man who will declare the forthcoming doom to others? Obviously, Jeremiah and others called to be prophets are the ones God expects to understand the forthcoming judgment and proclaim it to the inhabitants.
Then comes a key question from the Lord.
“WHY is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through?” Does Jeremiah understand why punishment is coming from God upon Judah? What has Judah done (or not done) that has led to this moment? Before we read God’s answer to His own question, isn’t this the question we should ask ourselves?
Anyone having lived the past seven or more decades clearly sees an America on a decline. Will we decline into oblivion much like Judah? I do not know. But the question on our hearts should be the same question posed by God. What has caused this great decline in our great nation in such a brief time. WHY, O God, is this happening? Part three provides the answer.
(3) Jeremiah 9:13-14
“And the LORD says: ‘Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.’”
Judah’s demise was for the following actions.
1. They forsook (abandoned) God’s Law that He gave them. They did not obey His voice or obey His Law.
I recall the Ten Commandments posted on the walls of some of my elementary school classrooms. Try to do that today! People do not follow or even know the law of God. No murder (including the unborn child), no sexual perversion (LGBTQ+...), no sex outside of marriage (perversion and adultery), ignorance of what marriage is (one man, one woman, lifetime commitment to one another) and so forth.
2. Instead they “stubbornly followed their own hearts”.
They did whatever they wanted to do, whatever would bring “meaning” to their lives, whatever would make them happy. They have put their desires above the very will of the Almighty. They must live their own life as they “best see fit.” They do so “stubbornly” for it is their depraved heart which rejects God that has caused this stubborn rebellion against their Creator.
3. Furthermore, they have followed the Baals, i.e., the false gods.
Their worship and their lives were not committed to the Lord Yahweh. Instead, they devoted themselves to their personal gods. Many Americans are behaving in the same way. Their god might be the LGBTQ+ camp. Their god might be work or money. Their god might be the environment (“Mother Nature,” i.e., climate change). Perhaps their god is politics or some union. Far too many Americans worship the god known as “self.”
Furthermore, if you attack one of these idols, the idol worshipper will not listen to you and, most likely, outright reject not only what you say, but also you personally. The more you attempt to explain the Lord’s Word concerning their idol, the more hateful (“stubborn”) is their response.
Despite the doom and gloom of this Biblical chapter, the Lord has good news for the people. I quote from chapter nine, verses twenty-three through twenty-six:
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.’”
What are you boasting in? Do you understand who God is and what He demands? Do you know God personally? Have you experienced His steadfast love, His justice, His righteousness? If not your boast is in the wrong god and that god will do you no good in the future.
God calls upon you to repent of your sins. By repent, I mean not merely tell God you are sorry for them and desire forgiveness, but also that you intend to no longer pursue them with God’s help. Then God calls on you to believe in the person and work of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. This belief, this faith, is not merely a belief of facts or knowledge (head faith). It is also a belief in your soul (heart faith). To believe on Jesus is to put the trust and care of your entire being in His hands and to follow Him.
If you are not a believer, repent and believe today for now is the day of salvation.
America is on that downward path. As Christians, we have the responsibility to proclaim the Gospel to all, even those who stubbornly reject us and to pray for the Lord’s intervention in their lives.
May God work a mighty work of revival in our land and turn our people back to Him so that, once more, our descendants may find their America to be wonderful!