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Turn around before it’s too late

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By John Barnhart

    Michelle Bachmann suggested, last month, that the earthquake in Virginia and Hurricane Irene indicate that America is under divine judgement because of the federal government’s policies.

    I’m not so sure about that. I’m cautious about equating any natural disaster with God’s wrath. The earthquake we had wasn’t really that bad as earthquakes go, and Virginia does have earthquakes. They just tend to be small, not like the ones that cause major damage that California is prone to. They don’t happen often, here, either. The 5.8 magnitude quake we had last month is the strongest that Virginia has experienced since 1897 when a quake of similar size shook things up in Giles County. We aren’t in a shaky part of the world, but we do get the occasional mild earthquake.
    Hurricanes also hit the East Coast from time to time. New York and the New England states aren’t like Florida and the Gulf Coast, but hurricane’s do occasionally pay those folks a visit.
    I wouldn’t go so far as to say that these aren’t signs of divine wrath, either. Hurricane Irene seemed to do its worst in New York and Vermont. New York recently sanctioned same sex marriage and a woman, who became a Christian and renounced homosexuality, ended up having to flee the country because a Vermont court had awarded custody of her child to her lesbian former lover. The two had been in a Vermont sanctioned same-sex marriage. But, I would be more sure of declaring something to be God’s judgement if it were something that was highly unlikely to happen, like a piece of falling space junk beaning Barack Obama on the head while he’s playing golf.
    However, America could be in the beginning stage of experiencing what it’s like to have God’s hand against us.
    Twenty years ago, America was secure from foreign attack — more secure than we had been at any time since before World War II. Our security collapsed in the ruins of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. While Muslim terrorists have had little success attacking us since that time, that’s not for lack of trying. The level of security we now have to go through demonstrates the reality of the danger.    
    America has long been a very prosperous country. That prosperity became increasingly hollow in the 1990s as corporations downsized or relocated production facilities to foreign countries where wages are low and environmental regulations are virtually nonexistent. Then, in 2008 our prosperity collapsed as a financial crisis kicked off the worst economic downturn that we have experienced since the Depression. We are still trying to climb out of this pit and we could end up having a double dip recession, especially if the Europeans slip in Greece and trigger a new financial crisis.
    We still remain the biggest, hairiest gorilla in the global jungle. The overwhelming military superiority America has keeps any aggressive foreign power from seriously considering going to war with us. We may lose that in the near future as “Democrats” and some Republicans want to cut our defense budget. The defense budget could be in for big cuts if Congress rejects the recommendations of the deficit cutting committee, established in last summer’s debt ceiling compromise. This assumes that the committee actually agrees on anything.
    Maybe it’s time for us to end our defiance of the God of the Bible and repent before it’s too late. The Bible states that God is love, but it also portrays Him as a God who's patience with open defiance eventually wears thin.
    It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31)