BGEA: Fiscal Cliff? What About Our Spiritual Cliff?

Fiscal Cliff? What About Our Spiritual Cliff?The eldest son of Billy Graham published a letter (dated December 27, 2012) via the Billy Graham Evangelical Association website. This letter calls an awareness and a warning to America regarding the spiritual and moral cliff that we are facing.

Dear Friend,

As we come into the new year, America is facing many challenges. For the past few weeks, the media has been focused on what has been termed as the nation’s “fiscal cliff.”

Our country’s financial problems, however, are nothing compared to the spiritual and moral cliff that is far more destructive to our nation than any economic concerns.

Since the recent election, we’ve seen same-sex couples lining up at courthouses in several states to receive their marriage licenses, and hundreds of people gathering in public places to light up marijuana cigarettes in the states where it has just been decriminalized.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. The moral decline we see on television programs—blatant immorality, senseless violence, media-friendly gay and lesbian behavior—is just a reflection of the moral corruption that has infected our entire nation. These are indeed dark days … but there is hope.

In this letter, Franklin Graham compares the current spiritual state of affairs of America to that of King Manasseh’s time period when he is known as the wickedest king to rule over Judah:

Throughout his 55 years of evil reign, the land had been defiled with innocent blood. He led Judah into witchcraft, sorcery, and the worship of false gods and idols, including the fertility goddess Asherah*. He even sacrificed his own son in the fires of idolatry.

Graham continues to provide a background to Josiah commissioning the high priests to collect funds so that the Temple could be repaired. Upon finding the law and having it read aloud, Josiah and those who inhabited Jerusalem were pierced to the point of a national repentance. This national repentance resulted in the turning away from idols and the return to the worshiping of YHWH was restored.

Graham then provides this sobering observation:

For far too long, as a nation we have neglected – and even rejected – the Word of God and His commands. Yet the Scriptures are mighty, able to penetrate even the most hardened and darkened hearts with convicting, life-giving power. They are God-breathed, and any new season of repentance and revival in America can only come through a renewed focus on the great truths of God’s Word.

Graham is not alone in his observations as to the moral decay and spiritual atrophy of our society. Modern day prophets and apostles have warned us about the dangers of a society traversing down the road of wickedness, embracing ideology and doctrine that replaces the simplistic message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, in one of the most unique scriptures of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Doctrine and Covenants warns of the dangers of personal and national apostasy. It is the only volume of scripture that contains a preface given by Jesus Christ himself. In that preface, he warns of the conditions of national and global apostasy that we will be facing. An apostasy that will precede His second coming:

Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh; And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth. And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of  the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people; For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant; They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall. Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth … (Doctrine and Covenants 1:12-17)

Only the Lord knows the time and day of His coming, however, he has warned us constantly through Ancient and modern prophets that if we do not heed these warnings, walk in obedience to the commandments that he has revealed to his servants – the prophets and apostles – then we will come to face the wrath and judgment that we have heaped upon ourselves. Today, many claim that there is no God, that such things are nothing more than fascinations and mythologies of ancient people who did not understand science and technology as we do now. Others walk according to the dictates of their own conscience, implementing that particular acts of unrighteousness are not so bad or detrimental to themselves or society.

The sad and sobering reality is that there is a coming spiritual cliff. One that the Book of Mormon shares with us in its pages about how wicked nations fall and collapse because of the rise of wickedness. It is called the pride cycle. Our nation has moved from righteousness and prosperity because of that righteousness into wickedness and abominations. Greed and political corruptness is the bedrock of this, and as we tumble headlong over the spiritual cliff, we will wake up in spiritual ruin and realize  the devastating effects of a morally decaying society – if some of us are not already awakening to this.

Eventually, we will stop tumbling, eventually, we will wake up. The question is going to be when, how and to what extent will the damage be? In our own lives, we must search and investigate whether we have stumbled over the spiritual cliff. If so, what are we to do in order to repair the damage done by our own wickedness? The answer to that question is engaging in rebuilding our own spiritual foundation back to where we are in compliance with righteous living and restoring our faith in Jesus Christ.

In addition, there are many others who see the spiritual cliff looming ahead, if not on the precipice of falling over it. While they will tumble over it with the rest of society – their sobering faith has a secure anchor in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of their faith, they are prepared to serve, to grow, to strengthen, and to be the shining beacon of hope to all others that will eventually break and shatter on the jagged rocks below. For us, we will continue to strive to walk in righteous paths, having our eyes fixed on the Gospel of Christ, the atonement, and the power of our faith and testimony. For the righteous, there is protection. For the wicked, there is destruction and despair.

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