The Great American Bankruptcy

Our nation has been going through a drastic financial crisis.   Nearly everyone has felt the hit.  In the midst of all the pain this is causing on our lives, there is still a great "bankruptcy" occurring today.  It is one of morality.  Listen to the striking words of one of my favorite authors, the late Leonard Ravenhill, in his book "Meat for Men," chapter 7 - Modern Philosophy and Thinking - It's Fallacy.  His sentiment rings eerily similar in our day ...

"The reason history repeats itself is that human nature is ever the same.  Thus, the one thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history!  I am just old enough to remember with an effort the 1920’s – their sky glowing with the dawn of a new world order.  Strange, isn’t it, that this phrase about a new world order, shouted from the housetops after both world wars, has suddenly been dropped?  More than that, as a child they guaranteed me a war free world, and one secular prophet of that day (shunning religion – indeed he mocked it) talked about the inevitability of progress, the adequacy of materialism, and the sufficiency of man.

Such optimism as this swept into politics, so that in the British parliament, Lord Curzon said that the long dark night of barbarism had passed.  We were led to believe that the millennium, man-made, was just around the corner.  Then about 1937 a lady of international stature, the leader of a famous religious group, dared to prophesy that for a hundred years there would be no world war.  But there was one in two years!

Somebody also ventured the theory that progress in any shape or form was all a matter of education.  In another half century, so the tale ran, all men would write like Shakespeare, paint like Raphael, think like Einstein, and invent like Edison.  Poverty would soon be a bad memory.  The humanists would pull down the hills of wealth and fill in the valleys of poverty. 

Science, those past optimists told me, was the new messiah.  With their ductless glands, they got both me and the rest confused.  “Human love,” they said, “depended on the interstitial, growth upon the pituitary, intelligence upon the thyroid, charity and kindliness upon the suprarenals.  I was bamboozled, for it was plain to see that I was a cosmic accident, a mere bagful of chemicals, held together by a skin.”  Strange, isn’t it, that for almost half a century glandular extracts have been on the market, and yet no new race of Christlike men have appeared.  Now, to my horror, I know that I live in a shrinking world and an expanding universe.  I know that while science has spent billions of dollars perfecting death rays and putting the death certificate for millions in one single bomb, it has not yet learned to put human kindness into a pill, nor has it a shot that can end human bitterness and clean the heart of man.

The next disturbers of my pecace were the psychologists.  Some of these said that we were all creatures of our environment.  Tough, then, on the child of the slums.  After reflection, however, I remembered that some of the very best men whom I knew had come from the worst environments.  Out of this human jungle, a guiding Hand had brought miracles.  So I forgot the view of those men who tried to interpret the race as a bundle.

Just then I met men on stilts confidently talking of Frued, Jung, psychiatry; of Shaw’s Christ, and Einstein’s finite universe; of time and space and the fourth dimension; of theosophy, hypnotism, repression of the memory, supernormal faculties, the subconscious mind, and finally, crystal gazing.  These were all offered as ways of peace, as escapes from the burden and heat of the day; but, alas, they were as tuneless as a cracked bell.

In my workshops in those days I heard of the failure of churches, of hypocrisy, etc.  But then I remembered men who, having gone to savage tribes, always refused to carry arms for their own defense.  And what of those who entered areas famed for the jungle scourge?  For a wageless job in the steaming jungles, had not scores left fame and fortune to offer men Christ?  Then, too, I reflected on the brilliant men with who I had worked.  For years they had been treading the intellectual treadmill but garnering only husks.  While quite young, two of them committed suicide.  These men had creature conforts, well stocked brains, confident philosophies, but with all their scorn of religion were crippled with immoral living.

And so, once and for all I settled the issue: Life will work only one way – God’s way.  I took my Bible to my workshop and read it.  Some sneered, others enquired, a few commended.  I found that Christ could and did change my life.  And He could change other lives.  Often I have been ashamed of the Church; sometimes I have been ashamed of those who profess Christ’s Name; but never have I been ashamed of Christ.  Christianity has been weighed in the balances and found difficult but not wanting.  In the main it has been rejected.  For my part, I’m tired of clever men.  The simple gospel believed, works!"