May 8, 2012
SPECIAL BULLETIN 09-2012
A National Check-Up
by Rick Joyner
The Oak Initiative was born through the coming together of Christian leaders who are concerned about the rising national crisis in five major areas. Quickly two more were added. They are the following:
5) The Environment
This Bulletin is the first of regular evaluation check-ups on each of these. We’ll lay a foundation by making a separate report for each one, beginning with the Spiritual/Moral and continuing in the order listed above. We’ll then make follow-up reports that will be much briefer but especially addressing current events and trends.
The Health Meter goes from 1 being the lowest and most dangerous, to 10 being the highest and healthiest. The Trend Arrow is for a quick reference rating with UP for getting healthier, and DOWN for getting worse. These will be followed by a commentary to explain the ratings.
The Oak Initiative now has members in over 160 nations. As reporting stations are developed in these nations, we will include those reports, but we will begin with the United States where we have the most information. However, many of the trends in the U.S. can be applied to many other nations, but this should not be assumed.
Spiritual/Moral Present State (2) Trend NEUTRAL
Six months ago the trend would have been DOWN, but there are encouraging signs that the downward spiral in this area has not only leveled off, but is starting to turn. Even so, overall America remains at what is probably its lowest state spiritually and morally possibly in its history.
1) About 90% of Americans believe in God, nearly 80% claim to be Christians, and nearly 65% claim to be born-again Christians (this includes many Catholics and members of other denominations that are not known as evangelicals).
2) The largest and fastest growing churches in America are all evangelical, and most are Pentecostal, Charismatic, or Third Wave. New and vibrant movements are constantly emerging. Catholic and Protestant churches that emphasize sound biblical doctrine and a living relationship with God are also growing.
3) The popularity of Christian television is so great that nearly a dozen Christian channels are now thriving. A major barometer of spiritual hunger and spiritual health are Christian books sales, and this too is showing encouraging trends.
4) Christian television and conferences have chipped away at the barriers between denominations, and the interchange between different denominations and movements is becoming almost universal, greatly strengthening the body of Christ.
5) Some of the most effective missionaries and church leaders of all time are serving in these times, and are having a significant impact. Their effectiveness is to some degree the result of the large support they generate, which reveals a large base of devoted believers behind them.
6) Some of the greatest intercessory prayer movements of all-time have emerged in recent years. Prayer, one of the greatest signs of spiritual health, is increasing in popularity and practice.
7) North America and Western Europe virtually missed the last great move of God that touched the rest of the world, which was the greatest ingathering of new believers in history. Even so, signs of a third Great Awakening now can be seen in America. The moral, spiritual, political, and economic corruption that is close to destroying the nation is causing many to awaken.
8) The Scriptures repeat how the shedding of innocent blood brings a curse upon the land. What blood could be more innocent than the unborn? For this reason, abortion is one of the most debasing of all evils. The trend in America has now become very strongly anti-abortion. There is much left to do to remove this terrible plague from our land, but the trend is definitely positive.
1) Studies reveal that only 6% of those claiming to be Christians have a biblical worldview, indicating that we have made converts but not disciples. The failure to make disciples, which was described as “teaching them to observe everything I have commanded” (see Matthew 28:20), has allowed even the basic biblical definitions of sin and righteousness to become blurred or abandoned by many who even claim to be Christians. This has resulted in a tragic meltdown of morality in our times. Immorality among Christians has risen to staggering levels. Drug and alcohol abuse remain at epidemic levels.
2) About 75% of Christian youth who go to college will abandon their faith, often within the first few weeks of school. There is an intentional, systematic attack on Christian faith at most secular colleges that begins on the first day with Orientation, and it is obvious that few have been prepared adequately to stand in the face of this attack.
3) False teachings such as Chrislam (the merging of Christianity and Islam) and a wave of teachings that God no longer judges are in basic conflict with Scripture and have been preached without much protest in many churches in America. This is evidence of a serious weakness in basic biblical foundations of the church and the weakness or failure of the authority of the present leadership of church that has failed to confront them.
4) Though the trend is positive in regard to winning the debate about abortion, millions are still taking place in America each year, with the law of the land unjustly siding with those who murder their own young more than with protecting the most innocent of all—the unborn. As Ronald Reagan once remarked, “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion rights has already been born.” Because of the inhuman way that abortions are carried out, especially late-term abortions, this is one of the clearest signs of the depravity of a people, and it is still a part of the culture of America.
5) The entitlement mentality that has gripped the people has permeated the church in America, and the life of sacrifice that is the mark of a true disciple is rarely seen or taught. This has kept many in such a depraved state of spiritual immaturity that they cave in quickly before hardship or testing. We are approaching some of the most trying times in history, but they will be the most glorious for the true disciples, which the Scriptures refer to as “overcomers.”
One of the great promises in Scripture is II Chronicles 7:14: “If My people, who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (NKJV). We have been experiencing humility, and some of the great prayer movements in history have arisen in recent times.
We have had an emphasis of seeking the Lord’s face for over a quarter of a century, but there is yet to be a turning from our wicked ways. This is why repentance had to be preached before Jesus came, and it must be preached in America and received before He will heal our land.
Without another Great Awakening, both the American Republic and Western Civilization will not last much longer. Both have been in this situation before, and both have had their greatest leaders emerge during those crises. Every movement and every advance must have leadership, and though we are in a leadership drought now, the King of kings is still on the throne, and He will save us if we call upon Him.
In Revelation 3:20, we have one of the most remarkable of all portrayals in The Bible—Jesus is standing outside the door of His own church knocking to see if any will hear His voice and open to Him. This makes it clear that in this age He will not come in where He is not wanted. The United States wanted Him possibly more than any other nation in history until the last half-century when we started asking Him to leave—to depart from our history, and even the mention of Him in our public places. It is obvious that He left these places at that time.
The biblical promises for the nation that serves the Lord is that they will be blessed in many specific ways, and one of these is that they will lend and not borrow. At the time that prayer was removed from schools in the U.S., and then the systematic attack began to remove God from our public discourse, America was the greatest creditor nation in history. Immediately, the slide began with His removal, and now America is in the worst debt in history.
On 9/11 there was almost a universal outcry, “Where is God?” We asked Him to leave, and He did. For a week or two, Americans flooded churches seeking Him again, but this did not last long, and soon it was back to business as usual. We beg Him to come back. We need leaders who without apology will ask Him back, caring far more about offending Him than the loud but small minority who has been controlling our country spiritually like a spoiled five-year-old who controls the whole family with their tantrums. We must throw off the tyranny of the minority and never again let such a small group control the destiny of our nation.
Without revival, or another Great Awakening, fixing the other crises is not only unlikely, but the lack of integrity and moral stature would only lead us right back to the same place very fast. This must be primary. Getting the right person in the White House is not nearly as important as inviting God to return to our country.
In Matthew 24:12 Jesus said, “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.” Here we see that lawlessness and people’s love growing cold is linked. In Romans 6:19, we are told the major source of lawlessness:
“For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness….” Here we see that lawlessness is born out of impurity. One can refrain from adultery or fornication but still be given to impurity.
Recent studies have indicated that more than 50% of Christian men and women are now “addicted” to pornography. The biggest increase is with middle-aged women. This could be the single biggest factor contributing to so many people’s love for the Lord growing cold, and all but a small remnant being lukewarm. If we have fallen into this trap, and we still have any love for the Lord, we must repent now and resolve that our love for God and one another will grow. Growing in love is the single greatest indicator of spiritual health.
In Galatians 5:19-21, we are given one of the most poignant and timely warnings for this condition:
“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
In Matthew 7:23, the Lord also made it clear that He would say to many on that great Judgment Day, “Depart from Me you who practice lawlessness.” How many believers are going to hear this? We can believe in Christ in our minds, raise our hands in a meeting to make a decision to follow Him, but then not follow Him. The truly born-again become disciples, living to learn from Him, and are devoted to resolutely following Him.
The meltdown of the moral and spiritual integrity of the church in the West over the last half-century is one of the most devastating spiritual disasters of the church age. This has happened on our watch, but it can also be turned around on our watch. It has been done before.
Overall the church in America may be drier than it has ever been, but this can be turned into the greatest opportunity—dry wood will ignite much faster. Who knows—a single person who throws off the sin that has entangled them and becomes the flaming fire that His messengers are called to be could spark what begins the greatest revival in history. Why not us? Why not now? If it does not happen soon, Western Civilization will cease to exist like the previous ones. If it does happen, having learned from our most recent and tragic mistakes, we can reach much greater heights in every way.
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