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commentary: Is This the Spirit of the Times?

The Spirit is Changing
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 03-Aug-13; Sermon #1170c; 12 minutes

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John Ritenbaugh,reflecting that our culture has undergone a vast change in zeitgeist (spirit of the times) in both leadership and standards of morality, suggests a change in national attitude, a lifting of mental fog and an emergent rage. Responsibility in leadership has disappeared. After they left office, Harry Truman rejected all personal entitlements, retiring only on his army pension of $100 a month and Dwight Eisenhower refused Secret Service protection. In contrast, former President Bill Clinton, the man who cast shame on the office of the Presidency through his philandering, now shamelessly has accepted $40 million dollars for speaking fees. The regal lifestyle of the Obama's has become legendary, but what is more sinister is the climate of greed his government is ushering in, granting exemptions to government workers and dishonest unions, casting a burden upon the true workers and producers, destroying the ultimate economic livelihood of this nation and any vestige of patriotism or sense of duty. The way of get (derived from the spirit of Satan) leading to a debilitating rage and violence has been destroying the way of give and civility.

The title of this commentary is, "Is This the Spirit of the Times?" and David's subject ["Anarchy in the Church?"] dovetails with major portions of what I have here.

Are you aware that in August of the year 2000, a bizarre incident took place on a Southwest Airlines flight to Salt Lake City, during which a 19-year old man exploded in rage, attacked the cockpit, putting a hole in the door, but then was subdued and killed by fellow passengers? You probably never heard of that. I never did until just recently, but that was before 9/11.

This commentary concerns what I perceive is America's present zeitgeist. Presently, it is what we in the church would term Laodiceanism, and it has been with us for decades. But I also believe that the stage is set for a radical change, and what I perceive will be a frightening experience. Considering how much has gone wrong already and is continuing to go wrong, it is almost unbelievable to me that the majority of the population appears to be so accepting of it, patriotism almost does not exist, and I think I know the reason why Americans are so accepting.

I think a great deal of this ready acceptance of conditions is because people are, in many cases, totally ignorant of what are acceptable national standards. The ignorance is occurring because Americans have deliberately been educated into ignorance. It has been done on the physical level by those who have gone before us, setting the stage for the way that things are now.

But the real culprit is Satan, who is following a biblical pattern. Revelation 12:9 says he has deceived the entire world regarding God. He has done a masterful job against the Israelitish people, using other Israelitish people as his agents, while he lurks in the background, hiding out of sight and out of mind. And those people who went before us have done their job of preparing this present generation's ignorance very well. In fact, many of these people are highly respected.

I also believe that a change of national attitude is well underway, and it is partly because the ignorance is slowly dissolving in the minds of many because the mental fog is lifting and the emotional aspect our human makeup is beginning to come to the fore.

Briefly consider a change in the nation's leadership. In my estimation—this is my personal opinion—we have had only two really good presidents since World War II. They were Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, and except for Ronald Reagan, the rest were really ineffective.

Let me give you a vivid picture of how great the change of attitudes with former presidents compares with our present one. When Harry Truman left office, he refused all Secret Service protection. In fact, he refused every other governmental service offered to him except for one. He and Bess, his wife, simply got into their own private automobile and drove themselves to their modest home in Independence, Missouri. He retired on his U.S. Army pension of $112.56 a month. That's the only thing he accepted from the government. Mr. Truman refused to cash in on his celebrity. He turned down lucrative offers for employment. He would make no commercial endorsements, accept no counseling fees, nor engage in any lobbying whatsoever. He stated that he would in no way commercialize the prestige or dignity of the office of the presidency. He did sell the rights to publish his memoirs to Life magazine. Such was his humility.

Compare this to Bill Clinton. In the first six years following his leaving office, he made over $40 million in speaking fees alone. It is said that Clinton's model was Bush, Sr. Bush, Sr. set an enviable record for receiving corporate monies, speaking to their executives for pay. In the meanwhile, our present president acts as if he is a messiah, a dictator king, even while he is still in office, if you get my drift.

Today, we are led, not by people providing humble service, but people of great pride, and their management of their offices shows it. Today we are led by a president and his administration who deliberately ignore the Constitution as though they are above it. Such is their pride.

In the meanwhile, resentment within the deteriorating influence of the middle class rises the loss of full-time jobs, the loss of many, many individual liberties; weird, absolutely nonsensical decisions in court cases; the loss of the influence of religion; anger regarding abortion, which is a deliberate murdering of the weakest of the humans—and the leadership does nothing except support it. The deliberate ignoring of other biblical injunctions; the fear of Obamacare; anger over the Obama administration's denial of religious exemptions, but at the same time, the giving of exemptions from Obamacare to government workers despite a law that deliberately and directly forbids such occurring. And now unions are petitioning the government for the same exemptions. What if they are given the exemptions, but you still have to pay it? And now we find our government has apparently made a deal with Russia for them to send in troops to help control expected riots in America.

Do you know that Muslims are exempted from Obamacare on religious grounds because they look upon it as insurance and the Koran teaches them that insurance is anti-Allah? But Catholic Christians are not exempted from Obamacare by their religious beliefs regarding abortion.

I wonder if you are aware that many—and I mean many—so-called "flash riots" are taking place in crowded places like shopping malls, triggered spontaneously by young blacks against whites shopping there and virtually unreported in the news media.

Are you aware that the president appears to deliberately and directly stir racial strife? The latest has been the Trayvon Martin case, in which he needlessly inserted himself. The state had no case against Zimmerman. They were forced by the administration into holding that trial. Some journalists are beginning to call [Obama] "the divider-in-chief. "

And then there is the years-long effort by the Obama administration to destroy the Second Amendment, which grants Americans the right to defend themselves against an enslaving government by means of possessing firearms.

Now, what new national spirit do I see rising, gradually building? That listing of things that are occurring in the United States could be made much longer, but they are simmering in people's hearts and minds right below the surface. And, I might add, that is not merely an American problem; it is international in scope, but it is most intense in Israelitish countries. It is frustration and anger, leading to rage, building from an information overload about which the recipients hearing them feel they can do nothing to solve. When that builds, that is when people explode.

We have a saying regarding what is in process on a national scale. We call it "going postal." People without the internal controls necessary eventually explode into violent action, like the 19-year old on the Southwest flight. Surveys that are beginning to show up in public now indicate that this frustration is building toward rage. How much more does it need to build before it breaks into the kind of expressions of violence that we are seeing in Egypt and Syria?

I believe that the only thing holding Americans is a still-mildly strong belief in the national religion called Christianity upon which this nation was founded. And so far, the explosions of rage have been extant only verbally, but the frustration continues. As it continues, rage will explode into violence. The change is coming.


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