Perspective on today's American culture is found in the book of Isaiah.
[Darris McNeely] Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump has created a media frenzy by calling for a ban on Muslims entering the United States until, as he says, they can get it all figured out and try to put a stop to the terrorism that has created a great deal of fear. I read in another place how this is a problem in itself, putting power into a government or a president to ban a particular group because of their religion or even their ethnicity. This is a major problem. I don’t want to see any individual get that kind of power… with the leaders of government at their disposal.
But let’s put that aside just for a moment, and let’s look at this season’s presidential leadership race and the candidates, and especially with what Donald Trump has become, and what it tells us about America. America is in the midst of a spiritual crisis, and I’m not hearing that being discussed as we really look at the issues that are confronting us. Our leadership don’t get it, and we need to. We need to understand what God’s Word says. Let’s consider Donald Trump for a moment, who is leading all the other Republican candidates. His candidacy has, frankly, defied conventional political wisdom in that he’s in, he’s still in, and he is leading by wide margins in the polls. Let’s look at this for a moment. Donald Trump is a billionaire businessman, and that alone draws a great deal of attention in our world today. He’s also a media celebrity. In years past he’s had a reality television series, which was very successful. Donald Trump is also a brand unto himself through his business interests, through his personality and his culture, and that in itself creates a power that transcends culture. This candidacy had blown away all other candidates who themselves have political status and should be in the running – two sitting governors, two sitting senators – United States senators – and a former governor who is the son of a political dynasty in America from way back.
What is this telling us about America? Donald Trump – his money. Donald Trump – his celebrity. Donald Trump – his power and his status as a personality and as a brand. Money, power, celebrity. These are among the modern coins of status in America that, frankly, are our own versions of idolatry. We worship that. We seek that. We like people who have money, wealth, fame, personality. And this now has come to the fore in the political season and in the Republican race, and it is creating, as I said, a frenzy.
This is not going to save us – the money, power, status. And I have not heard a political solution, an economic solution, even a cultural solution that is going to save America from the problems that it’s currently facing, whether it’s the terrorist threat that has created fear, or the economic malaise that is also creating uncertainty among the electorate. This is what is being tapped into by the candidates and Trump’s candidacy especially – fear of terrorist attack and the inability of the country and the leadership to effectively address it, as well as economic stagnation. And I would throw in a third, and that is the moral and cultural shift that had occurred in the United States in the last seven years especially, that has created a country that is different than it was before, in what many people in a generational issue recognize. And it’s creating quite a mix this particular year.
Our leaders don’t get it, solutions have not been there – do we get it? Do you get it? To understand really what is taking place, I think we need to go to the book of Isaiah and look at what the prophet Isaiah says, as God inspired him to take to the streets and to the issues of his day. There’s a mirror here that we need to hold up to ourselves in America today and look at.
Let’s look at Isaiah chapter 1, beginning in verse 2. “Listen, O heavens!” he says. “Pay attention, O earth! This is what the Lord says: ‘The children I raised and cared for have rebelled against me. Even an ox knows its owner, and a donkey recognizes its master’s care. But Israel doesn’t know its master. My people don’t recognize my care for them.’” They had forgotten God. God was not at the center of their life, even though God had given them the blessings that they had. God has given America the blessings that it has and has enjoyed, and been able to share with the world, and America has forgotten that source, and has not turned its attention to God.
God goes on here, and He says to the prophet. “What a sinful nation they are! Loaded down with the burden of guilt, they are evil people; corrupt children, they have rejected the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, and turned their backs on Him.” Isaiah begins to outline the problem – the problem that even in his day, they didn’t get – the leaders, the people. I don’t think that this has been talked about today. It needs to be understood, our audience needs to understand it. We’re going to begin a series looking at Isaiah and some of the other prophets, to help us put into perspective the debate, the issues, the matters that are facing not just America, but the world today, so that we can understand it from God’s perspective.
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.