Can Be Stopped—Here’s How
The riots in Los Angeles and many other cities are clear proof of the terribly thin veneer of civilized behavior that barely disguises the underlying violent, criminal mentality of countless thousands in society. Seizing on an astounding "not guilty" verdict in the trial of Los Angeles police accused of using "excessive force" in their arrest of Rodney King, tens of thousands went on senseless rampage, stealing, smashing, beating, burning, killing innocent victims. Simple cause and effect? Were the rioters justified in their violent, criminal acts?
It's time we looked at our society as God sees it; time we faced the tidal wave of crime that threatens to engulf every law-abiding citizen; time we saw what the real solution to crime should be.
Today, your chances of being the victim of violent crime are greater than being injured in an auto accident. The chances of the average young male in the United States being shot are greater than the average G.I. during World War 11. Why?
Why is America reeling under the massive assault of crime? Why do criminals go unpunished; why do murderers sometimes serve no time at all; sometimes serve only a few years for killing another human being? Why are thousands kept alive on so-called "death rows" in prisons all over the country, their lives prolonged by appeal after appeal, while their victims have long been buried? Here is what the Bible says about crime; what God thinks of weak, insipid judges, lawyers, and a spineless, ineffectual, chaotic "criminal justice" system. Here is how CRIME COULD BE STOPPED!
by Garner Ted Armstrong [printer-friendly] [pdf format]
Los Angeles in flames! Riots erupt following the "not guilty" verdict of the police officers who mercilessly beat Rodney King following a high speed chase.
As I was completing this booklet on violent crime, more than forty had been murdered in Los Angeles alone; hundreds of shops, restaurants, service stations, apartments, supermarkets and houses had been burned. Thousands had become injured. Thousands had been arrested. A curfew was imposed, and National Guard, regular Army, and Marine Corps troops called out.
The president addressed a shocked, angry nation as riots and violent demonstrations erupted in dozens of other cities. A policeman was shot in Las Vegas. Elsewhere, furious blacks took to the streets to vent their rage.
Today, America should hang its head in collective shame and remorse. While we attempt to display to the world a "kinder, gentler" face, yet maintain our "super power" status, we appear to the burgeoning, developing economic giants of Germany and Japan as a society suffering from the terminal disease of social rot. Right-wing Germans, among them neo-Nazis who demonstrate, beat minorities, and celebrate Hitler's birthday, are given aid and comfort by America's race riots. They see in them their own twisted justification for their violent, xenophobic racist hatreds; their raucous cries of "Foreigners out!"
World leaders were not especially kind in their remarks following the most violent race riots in America since 1965, in the middle of the Vietnam War. They commented on our "social problems," saying it was obvious our system was somehow flawed.
The world over, America's enemies smirked, rolled their eyes in disdain. Perhaps the U.S. can attempt to be "policeman of the world," but it is obvious it cannot deter, or stem the massive avalanche of crime and lawlessness within its own borders.
French President Francois Mitterand commented on America's grievous "social problems," and hostile Arab states no doubt shook their heads with knowing grins, as Americans killed and burnt out Americans.
By the time you read these lines, the ashes will have cooled; "order" will have been restored, and officials at all levels—local, county, state, and federal—will be attempting to deal with the aftermath of several nights of mind-boggling destruction, stealing, looting, burning, and murdering.
Now, it is time to review the entire scenario from top to bottom with Solomonic wisdom, from the point of view of God's Word.
Who was Wrong, and Why
In a series of related wrongdoing in the Rodney King case, a virtual litany of carnal-minded greed, vanity, ego, hatred and racism emerges. So does the utter failure of the American "criminal justice" system. So does the fact that you and I live in a violent-prone society, one that revels in violent entertainment, violent "solutions" to problems.
First, Rodney King was wrong; he was sinning against God, and he was breaking man's laws when he sped at the incredible speed of 115 miles per hour through Los Angeles neighborhoods! By doing so, he was turning his vehicle into a lethal weapon, a hurtling threat to life and limb which could have killed an entire family in a crash. He was most definitely "resisting arrest" when he sped away from officers attempting to pull him over for questioning. An alleged felon, suspected drug user, he allegedly bared his bottom, made obscene gestures, and shouted obscene epithets to a female Highway Patrol officer, who was one of the first officers on the scene. This was a shameful crime, a sin against God.
He now claims he was not "resisting" arrest. Many, many police officers claim he was. They thought, at the time, that he was under the influence of "PCP," a powerful, mind-altering drug; that, when four officers tried to pin him to the ground, he threw all four of them off. Later tests proved this was not so; that he was drunk on alcohol.
Nevertheless, once they had him on the ground, the officers were wrong, and they were committing sin against God and their fellow man, breaking the law, violating their own codes they swore to uphold, when they continued beating, beating, beating the man when he lay helpless. Reports say there were as many as twenty-one police officers present. How simple it would have been for six or eight of them to simply sit on the man until they quieted him, rather than beat him so mercilessly they broke several bones! That beating simply was wrong! It was excessive, unjustifiable, in the light of each person's civil rights, and millions of Americans saw the beating taking place over and over again on television.
The private citizen who video taped the final part of the episode was wrong. Had he been motivated by outrage, driven by a desire for justice, he could have made copies of the tape, placed them in a safety-deposit box. He could then have gone to the mayor's office, the police Commission, the chief of police, and other appropriate agencies and shown them the tape. He could have demanded justice for the beaten man; demanded a full investigation; demanded the officers be fired, that criminal charges be filed.
Instead, he was motivated by greed. He sold his tape to the highest bidder! Predictably, the media then did what they always seem to do. In a scramble for sensationalism, for ratings, they showed the tape to shocked Americans dozens and dozens of times! In the first two or three days following the beating, millions of Americans, and people overseas, saw the video.
Having seen it about forty times myself, I remarked to my wife how sickening it was, and how, if the media did not stop exacerbating the situation, there would be attacks on police, perhaps even race riots!
Those in the media who make such decisions are wrong; they are sinning against God and mankind! They must bear full responsibility for their greedy exploitation of sensationalism, for inflaming the passions of millions, for insuring it would be next to impossible for a fair trial to ensue.
Now, hamstrung by the vast publicity and notoriety, the judicial system became involved in this litany of sin and error. The responsible judge or judges who decided to move the trial to an all-white community, a community m which many white L.A. police officers live, were wrong. Had they been sensitive to the potential racial violence stiffed up by repeated showings of the film; sensitive to potential rioting if the verdict were anything but "guilty," they might have acted differently.
Ideally, the trial should have taken place in the community where the alleged crimes were committed. Ideally, the jury should have been racially mixed, with blacks, whites, perhaps even others, such as Oriental-Americans and Chicanos, or Mexican-Americans represented. That way, the appearance of a rigged, "racist" overtone to the entire process would not have been signaled to already angered, inflamed blacks all over the country.
The verdict was simply wrong. It was astounding, shocking beyond words that a "not guilty" verdict could be handed down. However, let us attempt to dispassionately understand how such a verdict might have appeared correct to the jury. First, viewing the whole episode with unbiased objectivity, one must admit the brief video clip seen repeatedly on the nightly news was but the final part of a very lengthy, very dangerous drama. One must review the entire trial, know who were the jurors, hear the testimony, hear the judge's parting instructions to judge the case solely on the merit of evidence presented. One must realistically face the fact that the jurors, all white, saw several young, typically American, clean-cut police officers daily for a period of many, many weeks; heard them testifying about fellow officers shot; about their fears that of being assaulted, perhaps shot with their own guns; about their fears such might occur in the case of Rodney King.
One must realize a mood was gradually set in that courtroom; realize how some of the white female jurors' prejudices might have been aroused; how the issue of drugs, crime, violence are disproportionately large among blacks in black communities.
The jurors saw and heard a great deal of evidence and information which was not contained in the brief tape seen on television. Further, in what seems an incredible decision, Rodney King never testified. It is hard to justify the prosecution's decision in this regard, unless one realizes the prosecution must have known that tough cross-examination about King's drug usage, his attitudes toward police, his criminal record, and his high-speed flight would have damaged their case.
Then came the shocking news: The jurors had found the officers "not guilty." Not guilty? Millions of Americans, white, black, yellow, and brown, asked themselves, "Do you mean to say those jurors are telling me the police DID NOT BEAT that man?"
I was astounded when one of the jurors, a white woman, claimed she didn't believe her verdict had anything to do with the rioting that followed. Such a statement, made on "Larry King Live" shortly after the riots broke out, is worse than prejudiced; it is stupidly ignorant, absolutely obtuse!
Now, once all these wrongs had been committed, the media once again committed another wrong. They should have tempered their announcements of a "not guilty" verdict with the message of new charges and of a new trial for the officer who did most of the beating. They should have spoken of federal investigation and of appellate proceedings.
But now the die was cast; now, furious, savagely angry blacks took to the streets.
What followed was a vast melee of sin and crime that made the Rodney King beating look trivial in retrospect.
It is axiomatic that sin plus sin does not equal NO SIN. No, it equals two Sins! Poison plus poison is twice as much poison! "Two wrongs don't make a right" is the way a parent with common sense might state it to a child. Black leaders urged us to "understand" the rage blacks felt. I do. We do. But must we "understand" why the only outlet for such rage is murder, arson, beatings, theft, and riot? Of course not. Rage can be channeled in constructive ways. Massive marches could have been organized; strikes, protests, petitions—a massive outcry could have forced changes in police procedure and in the criminal justice system. It could have been done within the law.
Because some third party I do not know beats a man I never met, should I kill an innocent bystander? Because I saw a beating on television, should I smash, steal, loot, and then murder—should I burn down the local supermarket where my friends and neighbors have jobs?
It is time those who are so quick to react with rage and violence realized some simple truths; think dispassionately, with Solomonic wisdom, and Christ-like love and mercy, for a change.
Think about two different men in Los Angeles. One, a white police officer, let us assume, for the sake of argument, is no more "racist" than any other person—perhaps he has a black partner; is not guilty of racial bias. He is a high school graduate, with perhaps a year or two of college, and a graduate of the police academy.
His preparation for graduation includes classes in police psychology, how to handle arrests, how to be sensitive to each individual's civil rights, how to avoid the use of "excessive force." In the course of his training, he hears of dozens of examples, sees films, attends lectures by senior officers who have vast experience.
Finally, he is qualified to wear a gun and baton, carry handcuffs, and wear a badge.
Is it now impossible for such a person to simply lose his temper in a violent, dangerous situation? Is it?
Consider a young black man in Watts. He dropped out of school in the fifth grade. He grew up in the streets, has "done drugs," and is the product of a broken home. He has no job. He seethes with resentment about his poverty, about living in a virtual ghetto, about the contrast between his grinding poverty and the obvious prosperity of many Korean Americans in the neighborhood. He has grown up with peers who tend to join gangs, who use drugs, and who resort to violence when it suits their objectives.
Of course, we are told by civil rights leaders and black leaders that we are to "understand" black rage; "understand" the anger and frustration which allegedly caused all the rioting, beating, shooting, and burning.
Are we to assume that every police officer, white or black, Mexican-American or Oriental-American, must possess the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, and the love and mercy of Jesus Christ? Are we to assume that, while such young black men are virtually expected to burst out in violent rage, a police officer always keeps his cool, no matter how violent, threatening, or vicious the provocation?
Would it not seem obvious to most that if you provoke a man armed with a baton and a gun, you might cause him to lose his temper; to FORGET, in his anger, his careful training? Is this not a risk people run when they insult, kick, spit upon, curse, hurl filthy epithets at police? Are police the ONLY people in society not allowed to be human in their reactions?
It was sickening to the marrow of the bone to see black leaders justifying this savage mob violence; to wait in vain for them to decry the violence, instead of being so quick to "understand" it; to take the leadership in showing how to mobilize and constructively channel outrage over civil rights violations to effect meaningful change, to make things better, not burn down cities!
Those who rioted—tens of thousands of them all over the country—were simply committing criminal acts! They were sinning against God and mankind; in many cases, destroying their own neighborhoods, where others earned their livelihood.
In the ultimate hypocrisy, as many young, violent blacks reacted against what they said was "racism," they singled out Koreans for beating and burning!
As the ashes cooled, some leaders began differentiating between understanding" the violence, and condoning it.
Quick to exploit any situation, politicians leapt into the fray. Democratic hopefuls condemned the Republican White House; blamed the whole thing on a poor civil rights record; on a lack of government housing, hand-outs, jobs. The president addressed the nation, tried to place the entire mess in some proper perspective. His message was predictably attacked as self-serving.
For weeks afterward, the debate raged. On every newscast, every talk show, every TV and radio call-in show, people vented their spleens, raged, blamed, shouted, made mindless, racist, bigoted statements spawned by miseducation and stupidity.
Here and there among all the screaming and invective, calmer, wiser voices were heard. Perhaps, in the tragic after-math, meaningful reform will occur. Perhaps.
Meanwhile, do you believe there was even one person out of the thousands who rioted who wondered, "What will our enemies, our critics, even our allies abroad think about all this?" Of course not. No, when hatreds and passions are aroused, all logic and all the Christian values of objectivity, fairness, meekness, patience, faith, and forgiveness go out the window.
God is not the Author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Satan is! God is not the Author of chaos, violence, looting, raping, stealing, vandalizing, shooting, stabbing, beating, burning, destroying—Satan is! Satan and his minions must have been cavorting amidst the flames, gleefully cackling to themselves as they watched the mindless mob furiously beat and shoot innocent victims to death!
The Thin Veneer of Civilization
It is, no wonder Godless atheists believe human beings evolved from animals, for, all too often, men act like ravening beasts! No, worse. Even a marauding lion only kills to eat.
God says "… the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). The fleshly mind, apart from God's Spirit, is a lawless mind; a mind of ego, vanity, greed, selfishness, pride, resentment, jealousy, spite, vindictiveness, and racist hatred.
God's Word describes perfectly the times in which we live, the attitudes of people: "This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves [selfish, utterly unconcerned for others], covetous [lusting after things, like VCRs, TV sets, radios, which the looters carried off with expressions of glee], boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents [most of the rioters and looters were young people], unthankful, unholy, without natural affection [brutish, calloused, pitiless toward victims], trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good; Traitors, heady [self-willed, head-strong], highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God..." (2 Timothy 3:14).
How utterly ironic that, as man has accumulated technical knowledge, he has retrogressed in behavior. For all our vaunted scientific and technological development; for all our boastful vanity and pride about our military power, our probes into space, our walk on the moon, and our attempts to "save our planet," we have not yet learned to live together in peace!
Notice how Isaiah characterizes all of society; education, government, science, criminal justice—all of it!
God says: "Behold the Eternal's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities [lawbreaking] have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; and your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity" (Isaiah 59:1-4).
This entire chapter is given over to a powerful indictment against the incredible Godlessness, immorality, and cynical, criminal mentality of God's people! Notice how God begins to describe murderers, liars, and an all-pervasive attitude of deliberate avoidance of truth and justice!
Some other excerpts: "Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
"Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness ... And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity [fairness] cannot enter.
"Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Eternal saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgment" (Isaiah 59:7-15).
You and I live in a Godless, law-breaking, immoral, nihilistic society of pleasure-seeking rebels who utterly refuse to keep the Ten Commandments of God! Not only is racism the so-called "justification" for crime, so is joblessness, lack of education, poverty, or simple envy!
Search through thousands of law books, investigate the laws protecting violent criminals, and study the entire process called "criminal justice," and see if you can find any reference to God, the laws and Ten Commandments of God, the justice and judgment of God, or even the acknowledgment that God exists!
Society sees criminal justice as a function of the judiciary branch of government and sees all government as utterly separate from anything having to do with God, or the Bible!
Since all man-made laws are based upon the concept that justice is relative—that the changing mores of society, the tiresome swinging of the pendulum of libertine people from one extreme to another, the gradual erosion of a former "Judeo-Christian ethic" into an era of permissiveness and licentiousness—forms the underpinnings of all legislation, there is no acknowledgment of God, no appeals to His Word, and therefore "...is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us..." (Isaiah 59:9).
Our Pitiful Criminal Justice System
Quite apart from the recent rioting, we live in a violent, lawless society where criminals rarely receive even a fraction of appropriate punishment for their crimes!
Just prior to the riots in Los Angeles, I was treated to the usual sickening litany of crime and violence I hear practically every morning over cable TV from Dallas, Texas. The body of a young woman had been found dumped in a gravel pit near the Trinity River in Southwest Dallas. Police were awaiting forensic tests on the badly decomposed body to determine whether or not it was that of a 22-year old who was abducted from a car wash in Waco in March.
The suspect in the crime had also abducted and murdered at least two other young women in the recent past. He was a parolee, who had brutally killed three young people almost twenty years before: a handsome young man and a beautiful young girl, fiancees about to be married, and the girl's younger sister, about fourteen. The man had been convicted of this savage, bestial crime; he had raped and then strangled the girl, and shot the other two. He was convicted and sentenced to death. Then, the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional," so his sentence was changed to life imprisonment. Less than twenty years later, a group of men and women who sit on a parole board decided he should be released.
Shortly after his release, he has gone out and kidnapped, raped, and murdered at least three more young women. The father of the young man killed twenty years ago was interviewed by the news media. He said, "That parole board needs to have its eyes pop open—needs to see the blood, and know about the pain and suffering of the victims." He said the responsibility for all the pain and suffering of the families of these new victims should be squarely on the heads of the parole board.
Even to the present, the parents of the slain youngster from so long ago visit the grave of their son each week, taking fresh cut flowers, grieving over their loss. Their son's killer, freed by a parole board, is presently roaming the country, looking for new victims to rape and kill. One cannot help but wonder how the parole board would feel if one of them, or one of their daughters or granddaughters, were his next victim.
A few years ago, a shaken young man went to the police here in Tyler, Texas, with a terrible story. He had brutally beaten a young woman with a motorcycle chain, thrown her into a copse of woods in the countryside. Thinking she may still be alive, and suddenly remorseful over his violent acts, he took them to the site. But it was too late. She had already died of her injuries.
At his trial, defense attorneys argued he should not have confessed, that the police had no right to know about the murder, that he should have had an attorney present to tell him not to reveal what he had done and not to disclose the location of the victim. Nevertheless, the murderer was convicted and sentenced to death.
But an appeal was filed. The appellate judge was more sympathetic. The verdict was overturned, and the man was set free. In the opinion of the appellate judge, the evidence was technically "inadmissible." Since the jury should have heard nothing of his confession or of his leading police to the scene; since the jury should have been met only with stony silence on the part of the murderer, there would have been no evidence to tie him to the killing. He was set free.
When the father of the murdered girl was interviewed by the local Tyler paper, he said he would kill the man if he could only find him.
So far as I know, this vicious killer is still free, today, while the body of his victim has moldered in her grave.
Not at all. Today, thousands of such cases are reported every year, all across America.
God's prophet Ezekiel wrote of our country, our cities. God told him, "Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence" (Ezekiel 7:8). The links of a chain were to represent the endless cycle of crime and violence among God's people—to show how blood touched blood, how one act of brutal murder followed another—to illustrate mass murder, "serial" killings!
Could there be any more apt description of our teeming cities?
Millions of Americans live in terror each night. In a recent television newscast, elderly Dallas residents were being interviewed by a reporter inside their homes concerning the high crime rate, drug "crack houses," gang shootings, and murder in their neighborhood. While the interview was being conducted, several gunshots were clearly heard outside!
All across the land—in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Houston, New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Forth Worth—violent crimes are being committed at an unprecedented, alarming rate. Youthful gangs, shooting at rivals, spray bullets into crowds, into homes, businesses. Almost daily, we see pictures of little children, babies in cribs, teenagers shot down. They just happened to be "in the way" when vicious little cowards sped by in a car, shooting out of the window.
The horror stories are endless. It would require a thick book just to detail the murders, rapes, arson, muggings, armed robberies, burglaries, drug deals, drive-by shootings, car thefts, and other forms of violence perpetrated in our cities and towns over just one weekend!
Why are the law-abiding citizens of our country oftentimes living in FEAR, cowering indoors, while violent, calloused, cynical, cowardly thugs are roaming free, looking for victims?
Hair-shirted, breast-beating, do-gooder, wimpish parole boards, defense lawyers, appellate judges, and radical left-wing civil liberties groups clearly espouse policies revealing they feel they are more righteous than God!
God says murderers should be put to death! The breast-beating do-gooders say, "Oh, how HARSH! How INHUMANE! Why, we would only be 'descending to their level' to do such a thing!"
God's method of criminal justice is completely UNFAIR to these people! What God's Word says about rape, arson, robbery, injury, and bloody murder—the penalties God prescribes for these vicious, bestial crimes are far too harsh for these spineless tremblechins who weep for the poor criminal but seem unmoved by the oceans of tears shed by the loved ones of their victims; unmoved by the horrifying terror, agony, excruciating pain and suffering, mental and physical, endured by those who were brutally killed!
Such arrogant, calloused, indifferent wimps are judged of God as being themselves guilty of horrifying crimes! The appellate judge; the crafty defense attorney who cares nothing for truth, but cares only for his fee and his reputation; the uncaring, indifferent parole boards who release hardened criminals onto our streets are themselves the object of God's righteous indignation, His Divine WRATH!
God says of them: "Woe unto them that draw iniquity [lawbreaking] with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:
"That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it! [In other words, God has gone way off somewhere, is not concerned, and cannot intervene!] Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
"Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight.... Which justify the wicked for reward [like defense lawyers and appellate judges who regularly "plea bargain" violent crimes into lesser offenses, allow murderers and hardened criminals to go free] and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!" (Isaiah 5:18-23).
Is not this an apt description of the entire criminal justice system of the United States today?
These quavering, spineless, God-defying people sit there on their parole boards and judge God as being TOO HARSH! To them, if evil people hurt or kill good people, the good people must not exact an appropriate penalty. It is perfectly all right, according to their Milquetoast attitude, for the bad to commit bad to the good; but let not the good commit bad to the bad!
See if a few examples of recent parole board decisions do not sicken you:
CASE: Carl Wayne Buntion: 11 felony convictions, 9 prison terms, serves 15 months of 15-year sentence for sexually assaulting a child, released on 6th parole. Weeks later he murders Houston police officer Jim Irby.
CASE: Samuel Barnett: 20 convictions dating from 1969, serves half of 12-year sentence for raping 9-year-old girl, released. Days later he rapes the same girl again, now 15, in the same East Oakland garage.
CASE: Alan Rose: Shoots wife, serves 7 months of 7-year sentence, out on probation in Florida. Shoots and kills his girlfriend.
CASE: Donald Leroy Evans: Long arrest record dating from 1974, serves 5 years of 15-year sentence for sexual assault, paroled. Arrested in Louisiana, claims to have killed 60 people in 10 years across 20 states.
CASE: Raymond Paul Wisecarver: Serves 4 years of 8-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter, released. Arrested in California for 60 armed robberies in a 7-month crime spree.
CASE: James Pough: Charged with manslaughter in 1971, plea-bargains to aggravated assault, serves 5 years on probation, criminal record expunged. His 1990 suicidal shooting rampage in Florida claims 9 lives.
In a recent ad campaign, the National Rifle Association announced a new campaign called "Crime Strike," with two-page, full-color ads in several American sporting magazines. Among the many startling statistics revealed, they reported that criminals have a ninety-five percent chance of avoiding any time in jail for their crimes; that a serious crime in the United States will only cost the criminal an average of eight and one-half days in prison; that thirty-eight out of fifty states are now under court orders to release tens of thousands of criminals presently behind bars; that two out of three released criminals will be arrested again within thirty-six months!
Further, they stated that four out of five state prison inmates are repeat offenders! As proof of the total collapse of the American "criminal justice" system, they cited how seventy percent of all violent crimes are committed by only six percent of all violent criminals. More than half of these are released to the streets while they await trial. Of those who are free to roam the streets, twenty percent escape, while another sixteen percent commit other crimes. Shockingly, for every one hundred serious crimes committed, only five criminals go to jail!
The NRA is attempting to mobilize the power of publicity and create a groundswell of outrage among honest citizens around the country in order to accomplish the following:
* Identify armed repeat offenders and demand just punishment.
* Disclose conviction and sentencing records of lenient prosecutors and judges.
* Expose plea-bargainers who downgrade charges against armed criminals.
* Reveal parole board members who release violent criminals to our streets.
* Unseat politicians who oppose mandatory sentencing and building adequate prison space.
* Overturn laws and rulings that favor criminals.
* Lobby for adequate manpower, equipment and resources for local police departments.
But will this be enough? Do you believe the failed criminal justice system in the United States is going to be corrected because of such programs?
If so, you had better think again. For, while we can laud the NRA and other agencies for doing all they can, the problem in the United States of America is so deep-rooted, so all-pervasive, so much a part of the sin-sick, God-rejecting, law-breaking, calloused, corrupt character of millions of people that all such efforts are like attempting to stop an onrushing tidal wave by tossing a handful of pebbles in its path!
Is It too Late for America?
Do you think for one minute that if a Democrat had been in the White House during the 1980s the criminal justice system would have been different?
Do you believe for one moment one political party is solely responsible for the incredible erosion of criminal justice? Can one say the Bush administration is solely responsible for the weak, insipid, spineless miscarriage of justice in the shocking cases listed above?
Then think again. Even more than any given administration, Democratic or Republican, the U.S. Supreme Court is at the heart and soul of the criminal justice system. Their "on again, off again" vacillation over the death penalty and their decisions involving prisoners on death row have done great harm. When some new administration comes in power, this does not change the character either of congress or the judiciary.
Newly-elected officials find they are driven by deep-seated forces which may have been put in place three or four terms previously, by a man long dead! It is easy for politicians to search for scapegoats, to make political hay over social unrest, blaming each other. For Republicans to blame Johnson's "great society" programs is ludicrous. For Democrats to blame George Bush for the riots in Los Angeles is equally ludicrous.
Can our politicians, our civic leaders, our civil rights advocates bring crime down to almost nothing? Can they succeed in creating a harmonious, peaceful, law-abiding society, with "liberty and justice for all"? Let's look at the true causes of crime, and not just deal with the effects:
The Underlying Causes for Crime
Crime is sin. It is the breaking of law. God says, "Sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4). Asking what causes crime is like asking what causes sin.
The answer is contained in human nature.
As God's Word says, "verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity" (Psalm 39:5), and, "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
Human nature is essentially vanity, jealousy, lust and greed. It is entirely selfish, self-serving, self-centered. This total selfishness manifests itself in self-preservation, self-determination, self-perpetuation. Without controls and restraints imposed by the institutions of society, there would be no such thing as "law and order."
Only when one understands that the basic nature of man is criminal—hostile toward authority—can one truly understand the problem of crime in society. Because some deceived professing Christian leaders teach that human nature is basically good, many do not understand.
Some dreamers even imagine that "God" is not a Person, not a Divine Ruler, or Creator, but is an abstract concept—the "goodness" and "decency" within human nature. So long as such deceived, Satanic concepts prevail, the real causes for human failings will elude them.
Human nature is a mixture of good and evil, with the evil tending to predominate. Most assume that man is good; that evil exists only in extreme cases such as mental derangement, temporary insanity, and rage. The verdict "not guilty by reason of insanity" for bloody murderers is shocking proof of this idiotic notion. It is proof that legislators and judges cannot bring themselves to believe that filthy killers were perfectly aware of what they were doing and probably enjoyed it as they killed fellow human beings. "Not guilty"? With bodies filling the morgue? With the killer standing there with a bloody knife or smoking gun in his hand?
Today, because of this underlying concept of the "goodness" of human nature, it is assumed bestial murders are aberrant behavior—an act of "temporary" insanity! Since no sane, good, decent person could ever viciously kill someone, juries are told, the murderer must not have known what he was doing; must have been "insane," acting in an aberrant fashion, completely the opposite of his innate "goodness." How many people have been killed, and the murderers go to comfortable quarters in a minimum-security hospital, judged "not guilty by reason of insanity," only to be released within months or years when some psychiatrist says they are now once again "normal"?
We apply terms like "humanitarian" to mankind, meaning God-like qualifies of empathy, loving concern. Ascribing these God-like qualities to human nature is erroneous. Certainly, under given conditions, human beings can be moved with compassion, can make great sacrifices out of feelings of protectiveness and mercy. Nevertheless, human nature, apart from God's Holy Spirit, remains hostile toward God, resentful of authority.
If the judiciary recognized that the nature of man is essentially sinful, and therefore law-breaking, perhaps the entire process of "criminal justice" could be revamped.
Law and Order
No society can survive without laws. No society can survive without protection of the innocent from criminals. No society can survive in chaos, anarchy, violence, a complete absence of orderly tranquillity. Yet, to many, the term "law and order" conjures up draconian visions of rednecked police brutality. Millions scoff at the term, equating it only with police brutality, excesses of police in certain sensational cases.
But without law and order, no society can function. Families cannot survive; businesses cannot thrive; schools cannot teach—society itself grinds to a halt. The kind of law and order needed is not the kind usually meant by blacks who speak of the injustices which lead to riot, but the kind of law and order which allows every citizen, black or white, yellow or brown, to pursue his goals of happiness and success; law and order which seeks to contain and control crime, drugs, violence, so communities may live in peace.
Unfortunately, human beings tend to paint given situations with a very wide brush. A case here and there of police brutality, and minorities react against all police. While minorities are enraged by racism, saying it is wrong to discriminate against all blacks because some blacks in the urban areas are involved in drugs and crime, those same minorities often tend to stereotype all police as red-neck brutes, just waiting for an opportunity to lord it over blacks.
Gradually, progress has been made. Many of America's largest cities now have black mayors; many blacks have sought employment in large city police departments; many blacks are active in city councils, city and state governments.
A few years ago, a young black man in the ghetto summed up the attitude of many toward Los Angeles police. He complained, "They come riding through here on those motorcycles, acting big…."
But how does a motorcycle policeman not ride on his motorcycle? Should he wear, instead of blue uniform, badge, and white helmet, a hippie costume, and a German army helmet? Was he "acting big," or does hostility and resentment toward symbols of authority just make it seem that way to some?
To many, "law and order" means white supremacy, police brutality, red-necked, southern sheriffs mistreating blacks. "Law and order" is not used in that sense here. Instead, it is used in its purest sense: equal treatment under the law; order, meaning tranquillity, calm, peace, safety, protection, for everyone!
Now, let us see one of the fundamental, root causes for crime and violence.
It All Begins at Home
At the very foundation of society lies the family. The family is where every child first learns acceptable social behavior; learns how to conduct himself in public, how to give, share, serve. When parents are in their proper roles, with a strong father figure who is breadwinner, and a mother who is supervisor of the home and children, an environment exists which is conducive to rearing children who embrace solid, Christian values; children who know it is a sin and a crime to hit, to lie, to cheat, to steal; children who know it is a virtue to tell the truth, to help, share, serve—to give, rather than get.
The family unit is not an accident of "nature." In the beginning, God created both sexes. He commanded, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).
God so designed human beings that the male and female are perfectly corresponding to each other; perfectly suited, adapted, mated. The family unit is not the end result of millions of years of evolution. It is designed by God. The Creator has given mankind a handbook to accompany His creation: the Bible.
In the Bible, the Word of God, are the instructions about how we human creatures function; the right ways which lead to success, fulfillment, happiness, reward. Also contained in the Bible are the warnings about the wrong way—the way of sin and crime, which leads to everything we don't want!
What do you want out of life, after all?
Don't you want, first of all, peace of mind, freedom from fear, good health, success, happiness, joy?
Each week, when our ministers meet with me in our Thursday morning prayer breakfasts, we must wade through dozens of letters, some tear-stained, begging for God to intercede. In most cases, the heartbroken appeals ask for help with the family. Divorce, desertion, wife-beating, drunkenness, drugs, child-abuse—we must read, each Thursday, the terrible results of sin within families!
Heartbroken grandparents tell us of children's marriages gone awry; of husbands who are unfaithful, and who will not provide for their children; of grandchildren on drugs—every conceivable human aberration, a litany of sin.
Sometimes, I must comment, after reading a particularly long, tragic letter, that what this person is really wanting is God's Kingdom to be set up on this earth—for Christ to come and RULE the world with a rod of iron! Read Revelation 2:26, and Revelation 19, to understand.
Yes, millions want all the wonderful things in life. Instead, they have all the sin and crime; all the aches and pains, kicks and bruises, failures and curses. Why? Because of one of the most fundamental sins of all society—the breakdown of the God-ordained family!
Today, America's families are disintegrating at an alarming pace. Divorce, "pair-bound" relationships, "live-ins," abandonment, desertion, illegitimacy, homosexual "marriages"—the assault on the God-ordained institution of marriage is enormous.
Statistics prove that, for decades, there has been one divorce for every two marriages each year. In the five-year period from 1981 to 1985, inclusive, there were five million, four hundred, thirty-five thousand children affected by divorce, averaging more than one million per year.
These children, now growing into their teens and young adulthood, victims of broken homes, will never know the security of a God-ordained home, with a father figure in his appropriate role, a mother in the home, being taught solid, Godly values. Any child taught to fear God and obey His laws will have little difficulty obeying the laws of man. A child reared by God-fearing parents who believe in God's Ten Commandments and strive to obey them will have no difficulty with respect for the rights and property of others. It was not children such as these who rioted in Los Angeles; who beat, broke, stole, burnt, and murdered. Instead, it was those who had not been taught Godly virtues, and who had not been told and shown by example that wrong plus wrong does not equal right, that crime does not justify more crime, that sin plus sin does not equal righteousness.
Any person who has been taught that one sin does not deserve another knows better than to give himself over to rage and go out and murder a Korean, or burn down a supermarket because police brutally beat a man they don't know.
In addition to all these children whose parents divorced, there are millions more who do not know who their father was; who are illegitimate, born out of wedlock, living with a single mother.
These arrogant, sinning young women, conscienceless about the lives they are bequeathing to illegitimate children, think nothing about the effects upon such children when they grow into their teens, and must endure the usual questions. How do they fill out questionnaires in school? How do they answer their peers' questions about their father, their family? These immoral, uncaring young women are like factories, producing shoddy, inferior, twisted, undependable goods. Their children have little chance of becoming useful citizens, little chance of real success in life.
Abortion, for all its genocidal, grisly evil, is another poignant reminder of the millions of illicit, God-defying sexual relationships where an unwanted pregnancy occurs outside of marriage. In too many cases (and abortion is not the answer), single women are paid by the government for giving birth to illegitimate children! By the time they reach their pre-teens, hundreds of thousands of these children are on the streets, rubbing shoulders with pimps, prostitutes, drug pushers, burglars, petty crooks, rapists, arsonists, thugs and murderers. Hundreds of thousands of them drop out of school in the fifth, seventh, ninth grades and everywhere in between, then blame society because they cannot get and hold a good job when they are in their twenties.
If divorce were against the law—if marriages were only contracted with the firm knowledge that, once married, the couple are bound for life, a massive tidal wave of evil could be dissipated; an enormous amount of crime and violence would disappear. Divorce should be made so difficult that it could only occur under the most extreme circumstances, and even then, with substantial fines imposed. If all religions understood God's teaching about divorce (God says, "I HATE DIVORCE!"), then the combined influences of family and church would cut the divorce rate down to a minuscule percentage.
If divorce were a social disgrace instead of the laid-back, devil-may-care, Hollywood marriage-go-round it is today among so-called "stars" and others in entertainment, families would stay together.
With such laws in place, people would not marry until they were more mature. Teenagers would not be marrying when they had no visible means of support, no savings, no future.
People would be much more chary about falling in "lust," instead of "falling in love." This is a ridiculous term, for a fall is an accident. People should not marry accidentally. Marriage should take place only after people really get to know one another in every way—except sexually. Today, the first thing people want to know is how they will be together sexually. The lust for sexual gratification is placed first, when it should be the last thing to be considered. Two people who genuinely like each other; who, through shared experiences, conversation, problem solving, shared interests, hopes and dreams, learn to deeply care for one another, who are attracted to one-another because of shared values; who gradually grow to deeply love one-another will have no difficulty whatsoever with the amorous side of marriage.
The entertainment media, books, magazines, TV, movies, exploit sex in a deafening roar, an avalanche of pornographic lust. If a book claims to be "explicit," or "steamy," it is sure to sell. Young people exposed to this never-ending stream of vivid sex scenes on home television, of centerfolds in pornographic magazines sold in local grocery stores, are given the clear impression that sex, sexual gratification, is the main ingredient in human relationships. How tragically, utterly wrong is this concept.
The statistics listing "sexually active" children down in the fifth and sixth grades are shocking. AIDS is now reaching into the primary schools! Debates rage about whether youngsters barely into their teens, and even pre-teens, should have access to private AIDS examinations, apart from parental knowledge.
All of this—the avalanche of sexual information and exploitation, without the balance of true, Godly knowledge about sex; why God designed us the way He did, how to live happily and successfully—is one of the root causes of crime. The so-called "sexual revolution" has ripped apart millions of marriages, cast millions of potentially successful, useful citizens onto the garbage heap of twisted, perverted values—hostility to authority, a criminal mentality.
Today, children marry children, who are often already pregnant. Children are giving birth to children. Half of teen-age marriages break up in the first year. Enormous numbers of single mothers are represented in the 25 to 44-year-old labor force; millions of waitresses, clerks, tellers, truck drivers, secretaries, servicewomen, go-go dancers, without a husband at home. Are the children of these marriages the stuff of a decent, productive, peaceful society?
If marriage were forever, it would be entered into only after a time of traditional courtship; a time involving both sets of parents, wholesome activities, meaningful dating, really getting to know the potential partner. Marriages would be contracted only when sufficient financial preparation had occurred; only when it was obvious that true love was present, not merely lust. Love is, first, outgoing concern. It is more a desire to serve, help, share than a desire to have.
Marriage should only occur after two people discover many, many mutual interests—intellectual, spiritual, and physical. Only after they become best friends, and not simply because they desire to "have" each other.
God's laws concerning marriage exude wisdom, love, and concern. Eventually, in God's Kingdom, such laws will be enforced upon mankind. But if you and I believe America's marriages will somehow be healed of the horrible, turgid, chaotic mess they are in today, we are simply wrong.
How pitiful it is that our educational systems do not emphasize, for men and women alike, the vast responsibilities of the home and family. Today, any minister who stood up in the pulpit and fearlessly preached God's laws about marriage, the home, and the family would be hated by many.
If you were to question the goals of most young girls in high school, you would hear that they intend becoming designers, artists, actresses, pilots, executives, computer programmers, executive secretaries, lawyers, doctors, police, or perhaps join the military. Not one in one hundred would say she is studying hard to become a fine wife and mother, a homemaker!
Such a girl would be laughed out of school. Yet God says, "But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: …that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed!" (Titus 2:1-5).
This blasphemy against God's Word, by both male and female—this assault on the God-ordained family unit in society—is one of the most fundamental causes for crime! Today, government agencies strive to deal with the effect, while unable to either see clearly or know what to do about removing the cause.
Because the pulpit has lost its power; because many churches are liberal about divorce; because some churches have abandoned God's commandments about homosexuality, perversion, aberrant sexual behavior, even ordaining into the clergy admitted "gays," there is no powerful, influential voice being heard across the nation that deviant sexual behavior is a sin. The churches do not teach that divorce is a sin, that it has enormous consequences for those involved, especially the children.
Because false ministers have joined hands with Satan in his sexual revolution, voters think nothing about electing men into high public office who are divorced, or who are obviously not influenced in the slightest by the laws of God.
Children are the responsibility of parents. It is not, generally, the well educated, highly-skilled, articulate, well-read, successful person who takes to the streets in a riot. It is not such a person who joins a gang, uses crack, participates in drive-by shootings, or burglarizes homes and businesses to feed a drug habit. It is, instead, someone's child, grown into young adulthood, with no values, no Christian conscience which says "do not do this—it is wrong!"
Recently, when a TV newsman held a microphone to the lips of a young black man stealing a TV set from a smashed store, and asked the looter if he thought what he was doing was wrong, the man answered, "No, man! This is right!" He had absolutely no conscience about smashing, stealing, looting! To him, a crime committed by third parties against someone he did not know somehow justified his own criminal actions! To him, one crime plus one crime is no crime!
If parents were held responsible for the crimes of their children until those children reach the age of adult responsibility; if parents were fined, or given jail sentences for crimes committed by their children, an avalanche of crime could be stopped!
If truant laws were made tough—if it were a crime to drop out of school—requiring millions of dropouts to stay in school, a great deal of crime could be stopped!
If state school systems could establish truant, or "reform"-type schools designed along the lines of military academies, or the FDR era "Civilian Construction Corps," making truant young people work on highways and bridges, building roads and repairing America's sagging infrastructure, along with attending vocational-type classes, learning skills, a great deal of crime could be prevented.
Nowhere in America is any child deliberately, by law or social pressure, deprived of a chance for an education. Public schools provide free education for underprivileged children. It is because too many millions deliberately drop out from school that many become indolent, ignorant, unemployable thugs, instead of upstanding, honest, hardworking citizens. Peer pressure; the "something for nothing," get-rich-quick mentality of America; entertainment and the attractions of the street are simply overwhelming for hundreds of thousands of youths in many of our big cities—particularly minorities, who live in communities where they daily see hopelessness and despair. Lacking any offsetting inspiration from a solid family, church, or other relatives, too many simply give up on education, and fall through the cracks of society at a very early age. These countless youngsters represent crimes waiting to happen.
Teachers are at the absolute bottom of the pay scale for professional occupations—far, far behind doctors and lawyers, engineers and pilots, executives and administrators. Yet, they stand at the very foundation of society, burdened with instilling the values and information into children's minds that will help to determine the kind of adults they become.
If state and federal government wanted to deal with the causes of crime, they would pay more attention to this fundamental area than they do attempting to deal with the effect, such as building more prisons, appointing more judges, passing more laws, making ever more convoluted and labyrinthal an already engorged, unwieldy, complex criminal justice system.
If teachers were paid at the same level as doctors; if the qualifications for teachers were raised to much higher levels; if teachers' certificates could be obtained only after one achieved at least a master's degree in special education, the educational level of our country could be revolutionized. In America, lawyers outnumber engineers ten to one. In Japan, the reverse is true. Lawyers are at the very top of national pay scales, teachers at the very bottom. Why? In a litigious society, where huge settlements have been won against major companies, the dollar signs attract young men and women who go directly from college to law school. Nowhere nearly so attractive are the monetary rewards for the noblest of all professions, teaching. Those who opt for teacher's credentials know they are locking themselves into a life of the narrowest margins—small home, economy everything, no frills. Therefore, one must look in clear, unbiased logic at the motives involved in various professional pursuits.
Thankfully, there are still a significant number of individuals who are preparing to enter the teaching profession who place more value on human success, human happiness, human fulfillment, than on large incomes.
An entire large volume could be written about the wretched conditions in America's schools, about gun-wielding students, murders, hostage-taking, drugs, "date rape," drop-outs, assaults against teachers, arson, and the simple inefficiency of education, and only the tip of the iceberg would be exposed.
Out of the classroom to the streets, to the prisons, is the pathway of too many young people.
Statistics prove millions of Americans possess a high school diploma—yet cannot read! Illiteracy is the stuff of riot and violence more often than a broad, comprehensive education. Illiteracy, and therefore lack of employability, forms another root cause of frustration, hopelessness, and rage.
But if you and I think our leaders will now begin to divert huge sums to pay professional teachers, to revolutionize our entire educational system, we are simply wrong.
Many teachers are themselves poorly educated. Some cannot write or speak effectively. Therefore, they cannot teach. A few years ago, teachers in Texas violently reacted against proposed state-wide tests for teachers, to evaluate teaching effectiveness and the educational level of teachers. If the pay for this vitally important profession were attractive enough, such semi-literate people could simply never qualify.
Education in America is simply decadent.
First, it is based entirely upon the theory of evolution. From math to science, from English to biology, the evolutionary, no-God concept is instilled in young people's minds. It is illegal for children to pray in school. Recently, a brazen, rebellious young boy became embroiled in a court action because he refused to say the word "God" in a boy scout oath. Such is the fruit of our Godless, atheistic, hedonistic, decadent educational system. Now, a young boy barely old enough to develop pimples on his face, dares to stand up and claim, from his 13-year old "vast storehouse of knowledge and research," that there is no God worthy of his notice.
Since this kid is in contempt of God, what do you suppose his attitude will be toward teachers, parents, and the police? What will be his attitude toward the law, the very laws he uses for his own ends, so long as they suit his mood?
Second, education deals only with material knowledge and information. It does not instill the values of God's Word; does not teach children how to live, how to lead successful, happy lives.
Schools are hotbeds of crime. Many a young boy is introduced to a gang in school; learns how to extort "protection" money from others, how to terrorize teachers, how to beat up on those of another race, how to "make it" with the girls. The underground subculture of the hallways and lavatories is much more powerful than the classroom environment.
Much of what is "learned" in school is learned from interrelationships with peers, and is therefore corrupt.
Only when law-makers completely revolutionize education will we experience a real change of social and moral behavior.
How to revolutionize the educational system? First, pay the salaries required to attract the truly excellent into the teaching field.
Next, insist on discipline, and permit the use of suitable punishments for infractions.
Next, break up huge, unmanageable classes, where students are merely numbers and names, into smaller, more intimate groups—perhaps twelve to twenty students to each class, so teachers can deal individually with students.
Next, systematize the various academic levels to acknowledge differences in heredity and environment, differences in basic IQ, differences in learning ability, differences in gifts and talents, or the lack of them. In other words, break up the "fourth, fifth, sixth" grade system into different categories where students can learn at their own best pace, where those needing special attention can receive it, where those most gifted can progress without being held back by the majority, and where those who need to be receiving more vocational training than intellectual training can receive it.
Next, provide alternative vocational training as an adjunct to formal education for those with handicaps, those with learning disabilities, those who are simply unable to move through the present educational system successfully. Teach them skills. Teach them to become automotive mechanics, carpenters, painters, concrete finishers, TV repairmen, cooks, bakers, butchers, truck drivers, firemen, aircraft mechanics. Provide vocational training for less gifted students so that no student ever comes out of high school without an employable skill so he can get and hold a good job!
Finally, for those who refuse to attend, refuse to submit to discipline, refuse to learn even vocational skills, provide "special educational units" like the "Civilian Construction Corps" during the FDR administration, or like "Company 8" in boot camp. In the military, the so-called "scrounges"—those from backgrounds which seemed to make it impossible for them to learn cleanliness, orderliness, and discipline—were transferred from other companies into "Company 8," where measures were specifically designed to administer special discipline, special attention, by skilled leaders who were saddled with the responsibility to make sailors or soldiers out of them.
Many such programs presently exist. The old "reform schools" of the 1930s are still out there, some of them teaching agriculture, animal husbandry, and other pursuits. In effect, they are like a half-way house to prison for miscreants, a kind of last-ditch attempt to make useful citizens out of rebellious, violent, uncooperative young people whose parents utterly failed to instill in them the slightest concepts of civilized behavior.
In short, make education so attractive, so rewarding, that every student looks forward to it with alacrity, knowing only success lies at the end of his or her formal education.
Will We See an End to Crime in Our Time?
If the American home and family could be restored to its God ordained status; if the educational system could be revolutionized; if the criminal justice system could be completely changed; if criminals were given swift, sure, unvarying punishment to suit the crime, then violence and crime could be reduced to only a tiny fraction of what it is today.
But since such profound changes would require a fundamental change in society itself, and a change in human nature, none of those changes will occur under the governments of man.
Mankind is simply incapable of governing himself apart from God! This is not God's world. He is not ruling it, not controlling it. The god of this world is the arch-demon of violence; of hatred, jealousy, anger, rage, chaos, blood, and death! He is Satan, the devil (2 Corinthians 4:4), who delights in human suffering, delights in death, seeks the destruction of the human race to prevent the plan of God from coming to fruition!
Your Bible says Satan is controlling this earth today, that he is influencing the minds of world leaders (Revelation 12:9). He is called the "prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2), and is described as a "roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
But Jesus Christ came preaching the Gospel, which few realize is the good news about the coming WORLD-RULING GOVERNMENT OF GOD! To most, the "gospel" is a message about Jesus. Few know it is also the message He brought, the message of coming Divine RULE over this earth that He commissioned His disciples to preach to the world.
God is going to send Jesus Christ to this earth to put down all corrupt human governments, to smash them (Daniel 2:44,45). Christ will rule this earth, and His saints with Him, with a rod of iron! Notice: "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers [shards, splinters]: even as I received of my Father" (Revelation 2:26,27).
If you had such power now, what would you decree should be done to a mass murderer? Should he pay for his horrible crime with his life, or would you, like the hair-shirted, breast-beating, wimpish, sob-sister, liberal believers in the innate "goodness" of human nature decide the murderer was only "temporarily insane," and therefore should merely be sent to a hospital for a psychiatric examination, perhaps be placed on a prison farm, so he can grow potatoes for the rest of his life?
For, if you would so decree, you will never qualify to rule the nations of this world with Christ!
What is the very first thing Christ is going to do when He returns to this earth?
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon Him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.
"And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God" (Revelation 19:11-15).
Jesus Christ is going to return to this earth, not as a humble carpenter from Nazareth, not as a soft-spoken, humble carpenter who willingly allows Himself to be abused, beaten, and then murdered!
Now, He is going to return to this earth as world CONQUEROR, at the head of angelic armies, to absolutely smash war-mongering dictators, despots, arrogant, swaggering, egocentric, vain military leaders, and to pour out upon God-rejecting, sin-sick, law-breaking mankind the very wrath of God! His commands are likened to a "sharp sword," meaning the swiftest and surest kind of justice, which He will enforce upon all nations!
Your Bible says Christ is coming to "rule with a rod of iron," not a tiny little switch, or a wand, or a feather!
Notice that one of the first acts Jesus Christ personally accomplishes upon His return is to impose the death penalty upon the two arch criminals of the years just ahead of us, the beast (the military dictator at the helm of ten nations) and the false prophet!
"And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. And the beast was taken [arrested!], and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before Him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that had worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
" And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh" (Revelation 19:19-21).
Whether or not we want to believe it, we are living in the prophesied last days!
Whether or not we want to believe it, it is now TOO LATE for America! Only a total, national repentance can save America from the Great Tribulation and the coming Day of the Lord!
Our leaders could stop violent crime—or at least reduce it to but a tiny, minuscule fraction of the amount of crime and violence in our society today!
They could enact the kind of laws that would act as a powerful deterrent!
If murder resulted in a swift and sure death penalty carried out within WEEKS; if the commission of any crime with a gun resulted in an automatic twenty-year sentence at hard, physical labor; if those who murdered by a gun were executed by a firing squad, violent crimes could be dramatically reduced!
But such measures are simply not going to happen in a society which is essentially godless, atheistic, imbued with the notion that human nature is essentially "good."
Therefore, I tell you in the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ that the avalanche of crime WILL NOT be brought down to tiny, insignificant proportions during the years just ahead. On the contrary, your Bible prophesies we are entering the time just before the GREAT TRIBULATION, when not only will there be riots, civil disturbances, violent demonstrations, mounting crime—there will also be religious persecution!
Jesus Christ said so!
He predicted the time would come when "They which kill you [meaning His own servants, who are preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God as a witness to the world] will think they do God a service! "
This is why Jesus Christ says those who "endure to the end," whether that "end" means the end of their own lives as a result of martyrdom, or the end of this age, will eventually be given a rod of iron with which to rule!
Those who believe in mollycoddling violent criminals will never be given such a rod of iron! They simply will not be in God's Kingdom!
Notice what Micah said about our judiciary: "Hear this, I pray you, you heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity! ... The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they [pretend to] lean upon the Eternal, and say, Is not the Lord among us? None evil can come upon us ... But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Eternal shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
"And many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up the mountain of the Eternal, and unto the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for the LAW shall go forth of Zion and the Word of the Eternal from Jerusalem.
"And He shall JUDGE among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
"But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: For the mouth of the Eternal of hosts hath spoken it" (Micah 3:9-12; 4:1-4).
The Kingdom of God on this earth will be virtually one hundred percent crime free!
Then, and not until that time, the family will be restored to its God ordained place! Education will be universally available, and it will be of the highest possible caliber, covering the most essential subjects, and it will include discipline, as well as truthful, broad, balanced, truly inspirational teaching!
Children will be taught to obey their parents, to obey the commandment which says "Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Eternal thy God giveth thee." Divorce will be absolutely forbidden! Dating and preparation for marriage will be done under parental and grandparents' supervision, under the direct supervision of the very family of Almighty God!
There will be no such thing as "racism," for Almighty God will settle all the races according to their "old estates," and each nation will excel according to its own talents, gifts, and special abilities. The millennial reign of Jesus Christ is described in many chapters in your Bible—not the least of which is Isaiah 11, where a picture of global peace is presented!
No wonder Jesus Christ commands His people to pray "Thy Kingdom come! "
Yes, violent crime could be stopped if today's leaders were converted, if they would but turn to the Word of God and the laws of God as their guide.
But since they will not do this, it is going to require the return of Jesus Christ to rule this earth with a rod of iron in order to finally stop crime!
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This publication is intended to be used as a personal study tool. Please know it is not wise to take any man's word for anything, so prove all things for yourself from the pages of your own Bible.
The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association
P.O. Box 747
Flint, TX 75762
Phone: (903) 561-7070 • Fax: (903) 561-4141
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