|By: Dr. John G. Weldon; ©2011|
|The "occupy Wall Street" protests are not unique to America but are part of a larger global phenomena of social unrest which we see acted out in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.|
Occupied Wall Street, Satan, Fairytales & Me – A Preview of Things to Come?
The "occupy Wall Street" protests are not unique to America but are part of a larger global phenomena of social unrest which we see acted out in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The Middle East has been on fire for some time and hundreds of thousands of people have protested in different European cities such as Madrid, Rome and Barcelona. In the US, the protests have apparently hit about 150 American cities, ranging in size from the tens to the thousands.
Since the Wall Street protests began, probably over 100,000 people have been involved, much smaller than the Tea Party protests, but not insignificant. The unofficial defacto website OccupyWallStreet.org sports the typical radical clenched fist logo and declares that "The revolution continues worldwide!" claiming it has spread to 1,500 cities globally. It acknowledges that "We are using the revolutionary Arab spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence…" It believes "The only solution is world revolution." The fact that some 6,000 people have been arrested currently is only one of many contrasts between this movement and the Tea Party.
I know a little bit about social and political radicalism, its good motives and hidden motives, naïve hopes and ultimate agenda – an agenda which (despite denials) is often to take away everyone else's freedom in the hopes of producing that perpetually elusive utopia. I know because I used to be a "fellow traveler" for Marxism, one of Lenin's significant numbers of Western "useful idiots" (held in contempt by the "pure" Marxists).
Decades ago I worked with the (old) Black Panther party and almost single-handedly elected a communist to the student body presidency, which caused much trouble. I wrote papers extolling the virtues of Marx (such as his 1844 theory of alienation), participated in university "takeovers," engaged in "community organization" and antiwar demonstrations, was a radical environmentalist – all of which I am now ashamed, and for good reason. Thinking I was doing good for the world, all the while I couldn't see that I was part of the problem and that, in the name of progressive values, I was undermining and damaging the very world I was trying to help.
My Lord Jesus Christ, the One "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3); the One who is "the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6) "in [whom] all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily" (Colossians 2:9), radically changed all that, but that's another story.
The Wall Street protests, ironically, had been supported by most Americans until recently. They likely contained an unknown number of unemployed and otherwise disgruntled citizens legitimately concerned about the issues, but were largely manipulated and usurped by the Marxist/socialist Left, unions, and other fellow travelers for their own (sometimes) positively motivated but ultimately harmful ends. As a former leading radical observed, "what is behind them is ACORN, [billionaire atheist leftist] George Soros, and the core of the Democratic Party. That’s why we ought to pay attention to them… We can expect this to go on and on in the future.” True, but probably in a different form, as the current shape of the protest is altering. In general, the tighter the financial squeeze becomes in America, the greater the chances for social unrest that turns violent. The Wall Street protests, the flash mobs etc., may only be the beginning; sooner or later, we should prepare for more. And we should prepare to look more and more like Greece.
The protesters and radical Left generally have been mistakenly attacking Wall Street, the banks and big business as the real culprit of our current malaise, failing to diagnose the true problem as our national tossing of Christian values out the window and resultant cultural moral decline, as well as increasing government corruption. They also apparently fail to understand what economists mean by "the tragedy of the commons" (e.g., the documented harmful consequences of socialism versus the demonstrated benefits of private ownership of property and free markets.)
As a former committed Leftist, I understand well that the protesters’ commitment, naïveté and worldview blinders won't allow them to see things as they are. The unwillingness to accept reality as it is leads to more and more frustration and increased anger until at some point violence can ensue, at the moment convinced that the ends fully justify the means. Some of the demonstrations in Europe and the Middle East are also currently experiencing this. While peaceful assembly and social protest is a guaranteed freedom, violence is another matter entirely. As the Bible warns, "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves." (Romans 13:1-2 cf. Titus 3:1)
The end of that long path is always failure because the problems have never been diagnosed accurately, making solutions unachievable. In the end, the hoped for social utopia not only never arrives, it typically achieves the opposite, such as some form of political repression and totalitarianism – as in Nazi Germany, Marxist Russia, Mao's China, North Korea and many nations in Africa understand all too well. In the name of social progress, the minority of committed zealots takes political power and runs roughshod over everyone else.
The liberals, radicals, nihilists, anarchists, socialists, street bums and drug users that are currently "occupying Wall Street" form a heady brew and they are also Lenin's "useful idiots." Marx knew what everyone does, that all one has to do to destroy capitalism is collapse the currency, as is happening with the Euro – and in America we are well down that particular road with the US dollar. The new Pravda ran an article, "Karl Marx predicted collapse of US dollar in 1857," by observing, "The tendency of the US dollar devaluation has been observed for a few years, but the current rate of decline is unprecedented. Some jokesters even rushed to re-read the letters of Karl Marx to Friedrich Engels written during the US financial panic of 1857 discussing the collapse of America. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so serious."
The protesters who are blaming free markets while demanding more and more government handouts leads nowhere; the greater the "progressive" government, the less the individual freedoms. But free markets won't survive long without moral values and independence from the heavy hand of big government and its crushing regulations. And big government won't last long without moral values either. Thankfully there are at least 100 members of the Congressional prayer Caucus that, if expanded, may give one reason for hope.
Unfortunately, today, even American capitalism is increasingly corrupted. (Gratefully, much American small business is not.) Wall Street and global corporations have become largely marinated in greed and self-centeredness, a false American crony capitalism which has abandoned moral values, partnered with shady government and has become another welcome fellow traveler for Lenin. Wall Street isn't so much occupied by the protesters today as it is by its own life-denying materialism. This may indeed have its passing pleasures, but the end result is only torment. Our $15 trillion debt is rooted in moral insanity and has a very small chance of resolution – any genuine solution will come at a hefty price. But letting things slide will be many times worse. Regardless, given the current social, moral and political climate, returning to the days of moral sanity is unlikely unless God is merciful or there is national repentance within both the Church and the culture.
This could mean that we are headed toward something like a hyperinflationary depression, where the dollar becomes worthless and barter becomes a national way of life and America perhaps evolves into a totalitarian police state. If the conditions are right, millions in America could lose everything, including their lives; that's the eventual cost of amoral financial and governmental policies. Grocery store shelves will be empty the first week after the collapse. Almost everything will change dramatically. A society spoiled with luxury unparalleled in human history and severely wounded by secularism, philosophical relativism and political correctness will be taken off guard. Because the populace has no absolute moral standards, once it understands what has happened, the violence will escalate dramatically and people will do anything necessary, legal or illegal, to survive. Crime rates will soar, martial law will be declared, and who knows what the end result will be. The Rev. Dr. Pat Robertson recently warned, "it's coming… bread lines… rioting, looting, shutdown of services – you just can't imagine how bad it can get, and how quickly it can happen."
Unknown outcomes are particularly likely in a world where not just America but Europe also is on the brink of financial collapse -- the combined debt of the Euro zone and the US is an incredible $25 trillion. There is no guarantee that current efforts to save Europe will succeed. If the Euro falls, some European nations are likely to experience a financial depression and the overall impact will hit America. The Middle East is also on fire and evolving into something new; nuclear, cyber, biological or pulse bomb terror could be just around the corner; Israel is about to attack Iran (many in the Iranian government are apparently hoping for the attack to escalate global chaos to bring about the appearance of the promised Savior of Islam, the Madhi) – and it seems that at least half a dozen equally alarming scenarios exist which have the potential to spark the emergence of the Antichrist himself. As Bob Dylan once sang in the days I was a radical, lyrics which are still relevant, "the times they are changing," and "a hard rain's a gonna fall."
But again, perhaps not; God may always choose to be merciful. Nevertheless, in the face of the increasing horror of our national sins and world conditions generally, mercy is hardly something we can count on. It's best to be prepared.
If worse comes to worse, the greatest nation on the earth will have imploded upon its own increasing transgressions over the last generation – upon its rejection of God and the Christian values that made it great and gave it freedom – supported by a leftist media/government/educational establishment/liberal church/radical atheists/secularists and Hollywood elite that wanted "social justice" and a utopia no matter the price, not to mention a Wall Street that frequently desired wealth at any cost. Despite some 3/4 of America apparently being a conservative/center-right/moderate nation, in 2008 we elected who we wanted. Was it Bob Dylan who also pointed out that even good motives could be evil?
“Obama presents himself, at least in the first campaign, as a centrist, a uniter, and so forth. Those were all bald-faced lies. Based on his whole career you would have known that. The left doesn’t really have a positive agenda. It’s an anti-American agenda. Bankrupting the country for a leftist is a good thing because America is the ogre.”
Even as things disintegrate, the Left seems oblivious and continues to seek that perpetual social myth – the ultimate utopian fairytale that always illustrates, like the daily newspaper, the truthfulness of the biblical Fall and it's rejection of God for self-perceived interests– a "New World" order no matter the price tag.
In the name of social progress, many people are simultaneously unwilling to accept the sinful reality of human nature proven throughout 5,000 years of recorded history. They are equally unwilling to accept the only true solution to individual and social problems – faith in the one true God and in his Son Jesus Christ. Christ alone can truly and dramatically change human nature – indeed, He died for our sins on the cross that we might be spiritually reborn and live forever – a gracious, undeserved and free gift of eternal salvation that can never be paid back even throughout endless time:
Those who do not know Christ personally should consider the biblical admonition: "I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2, emphasis added), because the time appears short and no man is guaranteed even another minute of life.
Trusting in Christ and his amazing love for us, while time remains, is the only logical option, because the alternative is unbearable (Matthew 25:46). "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
For Christians, let us "make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:16) and "whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). This brief and fleeting life is the only time in all eternity we are permitted the joyous opportunity of bringing God glory in the midst of adversity. We are here for one purpose: to trust and glorify God regardless of our circumstances, to evangelize the lost and serve others based on biblical truth – while enjoying and prizing the Greatest Treasure in the universe, Jesus, who is ours now and yes, forever (John 5:24; 6:47; 1 John 5:20). If that's not our goal, then perhaps we may be part of the problem.
Lamentably, in today's toxic culture, many people have become unwitting pawns of the devil (as I once was), that "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4; cf. Ephesians 6:12), a liar and a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44), whose goal is always deception made desirable in the expanse of his purpose and territory. But in the end, he is destined to fail along with all those who side with him (Revelation 20:7-15); together, they will have exchanged the most precious of birthrights for something of infinitely lesser value: self-worship in whatever set of clothes.
But given our current state of affairs, Christians should be forewarned and forearmed. Persecution and various trials may also be coming to us who love Christ; it’s in the (politically correct) air. “You know quite well that we were destined for them" (1 Thessalonians 3:3). "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." (John 15:20) We should be aware and prepare spiritually, knowing full well that "all things work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). We should be storing up eternal treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:20), not fleeting possessions on earth, and rejoice greatly at all times, for "We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love." (1 John 4:16a NLT)
Indeed, "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.” (1John 3:1)