A subtle deception is sweeping the nation—one of self-service over self-sacrifice. Even churches are captivated by the lie, allowing what was once a godly nation to fall to its knees.
In Saving a Sick America, cultural commentator Dr. Michael Brown addresses the root of the moral decline.
"I believe that the reason America is in such critical condition is largely the fault of the sleeping compromised church. And I lay the blame for the state of the church on many of the leaders in the church that we have not awakened, we have not challenged," Brown tells Charisma News. "Many times, we've preached a politically correct message. Many times, we've gone away from the controversial subjects. Many times, we've preached a message just to build up self-esteem rather than being repentant because of which the church is in a lethargic church, because of which we're not salt and light in the world because of which the society is lacking moral clarity."
Brown penned the book after the Holy Spirit stirred his heart to write about the fall and rise of America, that the best days are yet to come.
"Naturally, it's easy to think about the rise and fall of the nation, and look back to our better days, and just think we're on a steady decline either till we collapse or Jesus returns. And yet I felt the Lord stir me to write a book on the fall and rise of America. I believe through great awakening and through transformation in the church and through a return to the Word, that American's greatest days could actually be ahead of us, and that's why the last chapter of the book is called the 'Church's Great Opportunity.' While this book is tremendously sobering, readers are coming away filled with fresh hope, and that's why I wrote the book."
Such a proclamation could be a daunting task when, from 1960-2000:
- Doubled divorce rate
- Tripled teen suicide rate
- Quadrupled rate of reported violent crime
- Quintupled prison population
- Sextupled percent of babies born to unmarried parents
- Sevenfold increase in cohabitation (a predictor of future divorce)
- Soaring rate of depression—up to 10 times the pre-World War II level, by some accounts
But don't let the pessimistic trap ensnare you.
"Sometimes people have no historical perspective, and they look at every new crisis as the end of the world," Brown says. "Think of America during the Civil War; that was a darker time for us in many ways than things are today. We've had very dark moments in our history, and throughout world's history, there have been times that have been very chaotic and very destructive. It's wrong to look at everything happening in society and think this is the end of the world. It's also wrong to look at all the downward trends as if they're irreversible. And to just be a gloom-and-doom pessimist and say this must mean Jesus is coming at any moment, we might as well capitulate, throw in the towel in fighting the culture war. So in point of fact, the whole push in some Christian circles saying it's too late for America—I don't hear that in my spirit at all, so the difference is, one person saying everybody's going to die, there's no hope, I'm saying people are really sick, but there is hope. It's going to take a serious turn, but there is hope."
Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.