Didn’t See This Coming

by Deana Chadwell5/18/17
In the summer of 1787 our founding fathers sweated out the details of the new Constitution in locked, stifling rooms. They were remarkably prescient considering they were so new to governance, new to the idea of federalism, unused to living in a constitutionally controlled republic. They had to take what they knew of human nature, connect that to their copious knowledge of ancient civilizations, and try to write into this fresh constitution methods of heading off every pit the nation may ever stumble into. They did a great job. Here we are, after 250 years of the most rapid change in human history, and the pattern they designed is still holding – but just barely.

Some things they didn’t foresee. They knew, as a matter of principle and from the prosperity that they had already achieved, that a decentralized economic setup would create affluence, but they couldn’t possibly have imagined the vast and unheard of wealth that resulted, nor could they have anticipated the intricacies of that economy. That a single company could be worth hundreds of billions of dollars (inflated or otherwise) would have seemed unbelievable.

The Industrial Revolution was right around the corner, but not clearly visible. They didn’t yet know the extent of the continent on which they’d set up shop. They didn’t know the plethora of natural resources that were at their fingertips. They couldn’t possibly have pondered jet flight or instant, visual, and auditory communication. War, to them, was still muskets and gunpowder.

I don’t think it occurred to them the amount of power that would settle on this new country. They wanted to hold their own on the world stage, but I’ve never read any of their writings that indicated a vision of being THE world power.

Our Founders figured correctly that aggregated power was a bad thing so they broke the power up – leaving most of it to the states. They set up a legislature to create law, an executive to carry out the desires of the legislators, and a court to sort out the details. They left the fourth estate, the press, outside of the government per se so that they could ride herd on the whole thing. All that, however, was dependent on the assumption that the American individual would continue to self-govern under the commands of Almighty God.

The average American, stressed as he may be over paying his bills, enjoys a standard of living far above what most of history’s kings ever managed. It’s not easy to remember God once you’ve gained control over the elements, have more than enough to eat, and don’t have to destroy your body to earn all that.

These were wise men, our forefathers, but they may have over-estimated our ability to continue to fear God once we became rich. The average American, stressed as he may be over paying his bills, enjoys a standard of living far above what most of history’s kings ever managed. It’s not easy to remember God once you’ve gained control over the elements, have more than enough to eat, and don’t have to destroy your body to earn all that. You get to thinking you deserve it. It’s a challenge to remain humble in the midst of wealth. Job did. Abraham did. And many Americans still do, but many have not met that challenge.

As a result, power has leaked out of the containers we thought were secured. It has metastasized and festered, worming its way into our most private decisions and experiences.

Official power in America is well curtailed, but the unofficial power is operating completely outside the checks and balances we have always depended on. The press, no longer hampered by any conscience demanding truth telling, and baptized into the change-the-world cult, appears drunk on the power it has to control the average voter. We can’t vote for the best solutions to problems if we’re being lied to about those problems.

The press and academia have joined forces to erase from the memory of man the original America and replace it with an ungodly, dystopian delusion in which reality plays no role. As our willingness to govern and provide for ourselves wanes, the bureaucratic part of government burgeons. In fact, this gargantuan web of agencies now dwarfs the three Constitutional branches of government, in both numbers and power, and no checks and balances keep it under our control. We are governed now, not by duly passed law, but by silent unrestrained regulations designed to appropriate our money and to steal our freedom.

The press and academia have joined forces to erase from the memory of man the original America and replace it with an ungodly, dystopian delusion in which reality plays no role.

This is shored up by special interests all vying for their slice of both the power and the secondary wealth accumulating in Washington. Some of this has developed as a way for business to manipulate crushing bureaucratic power to its advantage; some is the result of greed untrammeled by any vestiges of Godly morality.

We sent Donald Trump to Washington to unravel this grasping tangle, to “drain the swamp,” but that may be like sending St. George in to slay a thousand dragons – dragons we keep feeding, for as long as we demand that the government handle everything for us, the dragons will proliferate.

So, how do we fix this? Have you ever tried to untangle a snarl of yarn or silver chain? You can’t just cut it – you need it all in once piece. Unraveling the jumble takes ultra-patient concentration for with every bit of progress comes another snarl.

Trump fires Comey – now the Dems ramping up their Russian allegations. Comey is countering with allegations of arm-twisting. The press is salivating over the mere thought of impeachment – never mind the fact that no crime has been committed. No one human can fix this. Not even a whole battalion of right-thinking people can do it. It’s going to take divine intervention.

How do we plug into that? WE don’t. It can only be done individually, one person at a time under each person’s free will. It doesn’t require that every one of us sign on, but enough of us must, and no one knows what that number is.

God has a lot invested in this country – which is a subject for another essay, but His reputation is at stake here, so I have no doubt He’d like to straighten us out.

God has always been active in human history, no less so now than ever. We cannot untangle the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into without His active assistance. What can we do to avail ourselves of His grace? Nothing but believe, accept His offer – each of us individually – of a free relationship with Him. The crux of everything in this world is the answer to this one question: What think ye of Christ?

This is what I think of Him:

  1. He is who He said He was – the Son of God – “I and my Father are one.” It is either that or He was a liar or a lunatic.
  2. He allowed Himself (in spite of His being also the 2nd Person of the Godhead) to be beaten, illegally tried, and nailed to a Roman cross so that the justice of God could mete out the punishment all humans deserve. This incredible gift was necessary because all three members of the Trinity are perfect and cannot tolerate imperfection (All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom 3:23). In order for God to accept any of us, this price had to be paid and we can’t pay it ourselves any more than we could repay a trillion-dollar debt.
  3. He rose from the dead. Another issue that needs more discussion.
  4. He is accessible through His Word. Internalization of that Word is our main responsibility in this life. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”
  5. We affect history through prayer.

We can do no more than this. The golden calves we worship in our souls must be replaced with divine thinking and that thinking will save our nation. Nothing else will. Nothing.


Deana Chadwell blogs at ASingleWindow.com. She is also an adjunct professor at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. She teaches writing and public speaking.
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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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32 Responses to Didn’t See This Coming

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Recall that Ben Franklin, asked by a woman what sort of government they had created, replied, “A republic — if you can keep it.” They may not have known all the details of what could (and did) go wrong, but they knew that it could if the people failed to maintain the necessary virtues.

    They may even have realized the danger of wealth in that respect — one can think of the moral turpitude of so much of the aristocracy in England. The sandwich, after all, was developed by a cook to enable the Earl of Sandwich to have some food conveniently available during his gaming. When a high official (it may have been that same Earl) told the scamp MP John Wilkes that he would die either of the pox or on the gallows, Wilkes replied, “That depends on whether I embrace your lordship’s mistress or your lordship’s principles.” The essence of this aristocratic degeneration was the Hellfire Club.

    What they would never have anticipated is how extensively such wealth would be spread throughout society. The rich can still afford far more toys, but even ordinary people, as you observed, can live fabulous lives by 18th Century standards of wealth. They can even do this, sometimes, on the public dole.

  2. Lucia says:

    Thank you, Deana. I’ve been reading Whittaker Chambers’ book Witness and realized that the body of our country has stage 4 cancer. I don’t know if we’ll ever live long enough to see our freedom reclaimed but then God can do anything according to His will. I needed to be assured that He isn’t finished with the USA just yet.

    Mr. Chambers wrote that the problem with communism isn’t economics, the problem is atheism, and, the battle of modern times is between the two great faiths, communism and Christianity. He also said the greatest threat to communism is Christianity.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Unfortunately, it’s now three faiths, with jihadist Islam as the third. And they combine well with the Western totalitarians, at least until they’ve vanquished their common enemy.

      • Timothy — I suspect that we can quite comfortably take communism (and its many manifestations) and bunge it right in with Islam and few would notice. Once you have an Islamic fundamentalist woman, in hijab, giving a speech at a leftist women’s rally, you can tell that something bigger is behind it all. Evil is coalescing into one huge, angry squid with poisonous tentacles grasping around everywhere. This is all Satanic and our sense that all this tension is building is correct.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          One must realize the importance of the concept of doublethiink to the Left. They can claim to stand for female equality and cheer on an advocate of Shariah law by simply refusing to concern themselves with the contradictions involved. Once the enemy (Western civilization and Christianity) is finally defeated, then they think they can deal with that problem.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Mr. Chambers wrote that the problem with communism isn’t economics, the problem is atheism

      I have been telling people for decades now, that there has been a concerted and coordinated attack against Christianity for over 250 years. Christianity, not economics, is the keystone of and frame around which Western Civilization has been built. Thus to destroy the West one must destroy Christianity. I don’t know why this is so hard for many people to understand.

      http://www.stubbornthings.org/christianity-must-die/

      http://www.stubbornthings.org/the-west-is-doomed/

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Of course, those who war on Christianity today are equally hostile to Western civilization. Which of these causes the other? It probably varies from individual to individual. But they hate both.

        • Steve Lancaster says:

          Tim,
          Think about A Canticle for Leibowitz, a 1960’s novel about the end of Western civilization.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Although, in that novel, Catholicism remained alive. I get the impression that the collapse in that case came from a nuclear war, which would indeed lead to the collapse of modern civilization.

            • Steve Lancaster says:

              I wonder if that is so. The Black Death killed at least 50 million in the 14th century and thanks to obscure monks in even more obscure locations in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and other parts of Europe civilization bounced back. I think it could even in the aftermath of nuclear war.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                The Black Death killed a lot of people, but didn’t lead to much destruction of the infrastructure. A nuclear war would destroy cities and other major facilities. It would like combining the Fall of Rome and the Black Death.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          It is the end of Western Civilization as we know it. That is their goal. The result is that old evils will be replaced by new ones.

          It’s anyone’s guess how this all works out. Some things could be better. It’s a fair bet many things will be worse. But it all hinges on the ability of “nice” to prevail over the realties of human nature. This is a big, big project for them. Are they up to it? They think they are. And with “science” and “reason” on their side, they presume they are well equipped for the task.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I read this and pretty much it was the hallelujah chorus from me. But let me say, in short, that I wish Deana would discover that Trump is exactly the kind of person who represents the worst of what she writes about.

    The reality is the God is having an awful time competing with science and technology for the hearts and minds of people. And I use “God” in the most generic terms (as do most, unless they go beyond generalities and list specific virtues). Science and technology (as well as the humungous need-evoking and sating mechanism of commercial marketing) are powerful players in our lives. People no longer kneel in the temple of Athena. They’re are bowing, quite literally, to their cell phones. And with a couple dozen brands of toothpaste to choose from on the shelves of the supermarket, what place is there for denying our amplified and obsessive sense of need and doing without or living simply in such a way that other virtues can find a place in our pantheon of material gods?

    If we find a bit of quiet time away from constantly plucking the keyboards on our phones, if we find time away from adding yet more to the horrid tattoo collection on our asses, if we can find some time away from the latest vulgar blockbuster movie, if we find time away from indulging one of the train of non-stop, easy, and abundant distractions, we might find value in something other than ego and need gratification or the compulsive need to always be entertained. “God,” proper, might be at the endpoint of this journey, but the journey cannot begin until you don a virtual Cultural Prophylactic and learn to see with new eyes and live in a new way.

    I, myself, do not respond to “God” as a proffered solution to what ails us. The metaphorical devil is in all the details. But what we can say for sure about our current Progressive culture is that it worships the profane. The uglier and more outrageous the better. I may not know “God” but, in truth, you do get some positive idea for what he is by what he is not.

    • That’s true, Brad. I’m not sure that I’ve been clear about where I stand with Trump. Donald Trump is just a man — a single man, flawed, glaringly eccentric, and unused to doing what he’s doing. He doesn’t have a strong enough core to be truly great, but he’s better than our alternative and his sheer energy is astounding. What I was trying to say in this essay is that it doesn’t really matter in the long run. The job is way too big to be solved be even the most skilled and talented leader possible. This country is like a stained carpet; the dirt and grease is so worked into the web of the rug that no amount of shampoo and steam will restore it. That’s where we are.

      But Israel was in that kind of place several times in its history and when the Israelites turned back to God, ditched the idols, and followed divine mandates, their prosperity and peace returned. This country — created, as it was, with almost as much divine input as with Israel — can be fixed, but only one person at a time and only the way God demands. This isn’t a DIY project; it’s going to take professional help.

      I understand that straight, dogmatic talk about Christianity doesn’t always sit well, but it is what it is. The real thing is. I’m not talking about churchianity. I’m talking about a purely (as far as that’s possible with flawed humans involved) biblical approach. It is rare because humans always want to get their oar in, but the real thing has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with the perfect power that made the universe and the willingness of that power to make personal friends with His creatures — IF they’ll have Him. I’m saying that if we won’t, well God is the King of Kings and we either run this ship the way it was designed or it sinks. Period. It’s up to each of us on our own.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        It gets down to the Founding Fathers’ conviction, stated many times, that the new country they had created needs a virtuous population. As virtue declines, so does self-government.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        This country is like a stained carpet; the dirt and grease is so worked into the web of the rug that no amount of shampoo and steam will restore it. That’s where we are.

        As long as you write in terms I can understand, we’re good. 😀 (Which reminds me, I wonder where Glenn is? I’ll have to email him but I don’t like bugging anyone.)

        I thought your article brilliantly encapsulated one of our systemic problems: We’re corrupted, to some extent, by our own success. I’m doing therapy for that myself. I try to get out into nature (away from all the “stuff,” that is), try to put things into better perspective (aka “not endless bitching and complaining and fussing”), and I like fixing up and working on old things (particularly computers). Every day we throw away technological miracles without a second thought. And there’s just that whole mindset out there that unless I have the latest-and-greatest new gadget, I’m missing out, my life can’t be complete. Give me Frank. They can have Miley.

        Trump can’t live forever on the nomination of Gorsuch or on the fact that “at least he’s not Hillary.” It would appear that even his own personal staff is rebelling. Leaks are coming from places that could have only been almost right-hand-man places. I think the man is a stain on our nation. The same thing would have been true of Hillary.

        I don’t mind the dogmatism. I’ll simply state my opinion regarding statements of “what we need to fix things is God”. In this case, it doesn’t really apply to you. But I think too many people cite “god” with seemingly all the emotional splendor as if they were recommending a TV self-help guru. I think God is mysterious. And the image of God as someone to fear I think is right-on, if only because I don’t think we mere humans can have much of a grasp of the game being played.

        I think for too many, God is just a feel-good pill….emotional therapy, if you will. For me, God remains powerful and mysterious. Perhaps you are right, Deana. We need to somehow make friends with this God. Easier said then done if one wishes the real God and not the figment of our emotional imagination.

        I think the real God likely is not a balm to soothe every misgiving or fear. I think connecting with the real God means one will walk through fire and likely suffer even more (not to be confused with the Islamic nuts who turn god into a mere fascist dictator). In terms of healing our nation, when we associate completely with external things (the Marxist/Progressive paradigm), sin (self-correction, fault, imperfection) also tends to become a thing outside ourselves. Man becomes this cultural animal with little or no introspective ability, or the ability to connect with timeless principles and ideas. This cultural man becomes a mere cog, an outcome of other people’s opinions. A loose cannon. A wing nut. He blows with the wind and cannot parse a good wind from an ill wind.

        Silent prayer? Check. Contemplation? Check. Slowing things down a bit and stopping to smell the roses? Check. Learning, self-examination, humility, burning away the layers of conceit? Check. Perhaps my God is more implicit in the way I am rather than a product of my language. I sort of cringe at the “God” word. I can understand to some extent why Jews write it “G-d” so as not to try to commit that whole concept to paper. One should have a healthy sense of not taking the Lord’s name in vain which (according to Dennis Prager) is very much about using the prestige of God to try to legitimize one’s own person bidding.

        Our nation is fractured. It can no longer parse the serious questions that any society must face. We are dysfunctional. Perhaps our saving grace is that no other country would want to invade us and take on our problems. We’re more useful to many of our enemies as a trading partner…for now.

        And as Timothy noted, as our virtue declines, so does our ability to self-govern. I am mostly checking out of the political commentary business. But not out of frustration or apathy. A person is what he fills his mind and time with. I think most people are beyond persuading. The only rule they may obey is the Tarzwell Rule (wait until they feel a little pain from their bad decisions). Until then, I think connecting to this God — as friend or otherwise — is a reasonably good pursuit. Personally, I recommend people find ways, and develop habits, that take them beyond this Daily Drama. For now, it can’t be fixed.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Brad,

          In keeping with your theme that many of today’s Christians appear to be anything but, please clink the below link and meet a representative of, no doubt, many of today’s millennial Christians.

          http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/05/23/pregnant-maryland-teen-fights-to-walk-in-christian-schools-graduation-ceremony.html

          This is wrong in so many ways. 1. She breaks her promise, 2. Does not seem to understand the tenets of Christianity, 3. Has no shame, rather she wishes to brazenly display her sins to the world and show her will is more important than rules and promises of any kind. Of course, her father is an idiot as well, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.

          I think this is Cracker-Jacks Christianity.

  4. Rosalys says:

    Our problems, always have, and always will be, spiritual. The solution always has been, and always will be spiritual; spiritual specifically as in putting our faith in the finished work of Christ.

    Deana, if I can disagree with you on just this one point…

    “God has a lot invested in this country…”

    God had a lot invested in the ancient nation of Israel, a rebellious and stiff necked people. They were chosen, not in that they were special and pampered, (time and time again He took them to the wood shed) but that they were to be a witness for Him to the surrounding nations. Time and time again, after dispensing some very hard discipline in order to bring them to repentance, He restored them back into fellowship with Him. In the fullness of time, when they reached a point where they refused to be restored, Christ came with a new plan, and within a generation God (using the Romans) took away their temple, their ritual law, and basically their nation, scattering them abroad.

    During Isreal’s best times there were always some bad eggs and unbelievers, and during their worst times there was always a remnant. God takes care of His own in the best of times and the worst of times. It appears that He is not averse to allowing a nation to crumble in due time as nations have become great and fallen in succession throughout history. So, I don’t believe He has any angst about the collapse of the United States of America, per se.

    The fact that the vast majority humanity is ignoring Him does cause Him sadness. He always knew that the vast majority humanity would refuse Him, but He always had a plan to rescue those who would be rescued. That plan was to put on humanity Himself, so that He could purchase our pardon; because we were/are ALL guilty and deserving of the sentence of an eternity separated from Him (hell.) The difference between the Christian and the unbeliever is that the unbeliever will get everything he deserves, and the Christian won’t. And, yes, salvation is personal and happens to individuals.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Even the better kings of Judah (e.g., Uzziah) generally didn’t get rid of the “high places” where people (probably many of them Canaanites) sacrificed to the false gods, although a few (such as Hezekiah and Josiah) did. Of course, Hezekiah saw his kingdom devastated by Sennacherib, though Jerusalem didn’t fall and he was able to retain some semblance of independence; and Josiah was defeated and killed by the Egyptians at Megiddo (aka Armageddon). But note that the destruction of the Temple and the beginning of the Diaspora were about 60 years apart. The latter was provoked by the revolt of Bar Kochba around AD 130 (late in the reign of Hadrian).

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        The Bar Kochba revolt is probably the single largest reason for what many consider the Diaspora. But one could claim that the Diaspora had started long before the Romans crushed Israel.

        The Babylonian Captivity certainly spread Jews around the ancient world, as did the Egyptian sojourn. A thousand years later, Jews had been well represented in Alexandria before the Roman Legions trod the Levant.

        I suppose much of this wandering was due to the fact that the Jews were a very fractious people. And when you decide to fight great powers, and lose, you must be ready to die, become slaves or run away. I guess this might be one reason Jews become so well known as merchants. A merchant can take his skills with him wherever he might have to go. The choice is practical.

        The Greek tribes, also a very fractious group, spread across the world as well. I think a detailed historical comparison with the Jews might be very interesting.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          One reason, at least in medieval times, for Jews to concentrate on mercantile fields is that agriculture was closed to them in much of Europe. The eastern European Jews were another matter (many probably were descendants of the Khazars). In addition, Christians weren’t supposed to commit usury, which at that time meant any interest-bearing loan. So that economic niche was filled by Jews. This didn’t help their popularity, since debtors tend to dislike their creditors, particularly when the debtors are having a hard time paying off their debts.

        • Steve Lancaster says:

          Diaspora is a very loaded term. While the Romans were brutal and ended the Jewish government of Israel they did not ethnic cleanse the country. Hundreds of thousands of Jews remained on the land. The Romans had need of the crops grown in the Roman province of Palestine to feed the 1 million people of Rome and destroying the farmers would cause riots from the starving mob.

          Even as late as the Persian invasion in 624 the Jews could muster an army of 20,000 trained soldiers in alliance with the Persians against the Greeks. To support an army that large would require a population base of 200-300,000. Christian monks record that during the crusades there were hundreds of Jewish communities living in Moslem controlled communities.

          The lowest population of Jews seems to have been in the 19th century during the Turkish occupation with the largest concentration being in Haifa, Hebron, Safed and Jerusalem.
          Zionism as a nationalist movement changed what had become a backwater of history into a vibrant, consensual democracy in a part of the world accustomed to tyranny.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Well, the Romans were quite brutal when they wanted to be, as with the mass crucifixions after the Spartacus rebellion. They certainly took away the Judean puppet government and renamed the province as well as the city of Jerusalem.

            But as KFZ pointed out, Jews had been migrating for a long time. My German history professor noted that the Jews of one German city (Worms, I think) were able to forestall pogroms by showing that they had been living there since before the Crucifixion (and were thus innocent of the murder of Christ). And a temple in Ethiopia claims to have the actual Ark of the Covenant.

            • Steve Lancaster says:

              By that definition everyone everywhere is part of some diaspora. My point is that Christians have the mistaken idea that after 72 CE there were no Jews in Israel. That idea is false and it doesn’t take a PhD to figure it out.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                My point is that Christians have the mistaken idea that after 72 CE there were no Jews in Israel.

                I don’t know who you have been talking to, but I have never read or heard anyone claim or even hint that; Christian or otherwise.

                As to everyone everywhere being part of a diaspora, that could only be true in a very imprecise sense.

                The word is generally, but not always, used when referring to large numbers of a certain group leaving their “homeland”, most often under difficult conditions. These immigrants do not leave to conquer territory or leave in large united groups or go to only one country. They disperse to many countries and end up being minorities among the indigenous populations.

                There is a Chinese diaspora, for example, but one does not hear of a Japanese diaspora.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                It’s interesting that the Japanese migration to the Americas, which led to large Japanese communities in several countries (Brazil, Peru, and the US) isn’t called a diaspora. Nor, as far as I know, is the spreading of German immigrants over the centuries. Ordinary immigration obviously isn’t counted as a diaspora. But the flight of the French Huguenots, which led to such notable Prussians as General von François (arguably the real hero of Tannenberg), isn’t either.

              • Steve Lancaster says:

                KFZ
                How about James Earl Carter, America’s carpenter, who made exactly that claim in the presidential campaign of 1980.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                In his book, Carter (one Christian?) wrote, “135 CE: Romans suppress a Jewish revolt, killing or forcing almost all Jews of Judaea into exile.”

                Please note the word “almost”. That means there were some Jews left. And anything Carter says must be seen in a political context, in any case.

                As to the history of the thing, estimates are that over 500,000 Jews were killed in the Bar Kochba revolt. And it is thought many more died from the main killers in wartime, hunger and disease. Then of course, many were sold as slaves.

                So when the three Roman/Jewish wars are taken together one can reckon that well over a million Jews died. I don’t know how many Jews lived in Judea, but clearly, not nearly as many lived there after the wars. Furthermore, the province’s name was changed to Syria Palestina and the Jews had little political say thenceforth. They were not even allowed in Jerusalem except for one day a year to commemorate the destruction of the Temple. Some Latin irony there.

                If that is not depopulation of a province, I don’t know what is?

                Nevertheless, Jews did remain behind. In fact, after the Muslims conquered the Levant, the majority populations were still Christian and I believe Jewish for some time.

                Many of the heralded accomplishments of the “Golden Age” of Islam were, in fact, made by Jews and Christians who remained in the area now known as Israel, Syria and Lebanon after the Muslim Conquest.

              • We’ve recently been studying the 70A.D. siege of Jerusalem and I found it very interesting that both Josephus and Tacitus make note of the fact that the majority of the soldiers in legions that sacked Jerusalem were not Romans at all, but Arabs — conscripts and mercenaries — because Rome liked to capitalize on the hatred between neighboring countries. These Arab legions were so antagonistic to the Jews that they ignored Titus’ order not to burn the Temple and then mocked him when he demanded they put out the fire they’d started. This comment has no other import other than that it’s is interesting.

    • Actually, Rose, I agree with you. I didn’t mean to imply any replacement theology sentiments. What I did mean is that the inception of this country very clearly involved a great deal of divine intervention in history. He brought the right people together at the right time with the impetus to do something astounding. It seems to me that Israel and the Law were instituted in part to show the insufficiency of Law and the need for grace. I suspect, sometimes when I feel hopeless about our longevity as a nation, that America may have been created to show that freedom doesn’t cut it either. Freedom and prosperity beyond any man’s dreams and we still find ourselves in desperate need of God’s unending grace. Humanity — at its very best — is incomplete without Him.

      • Rosalys says:

        I agree with what you say here. Sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying in the article.

        And I do agree with what you said in the article, “We cannot untangle the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into without His active assistance.”

        We have been studying the Book of Daniel on Wednesday nights. Last Wednesday it was chapter 6, Daniel in the lions den. Darius, through pride, allowed himself to be flattered into passing a bad law. When he saw that the law was engineered specifically to attack his friend and trusted advisor, Daniel, he realized his big mistake. I like the way the KJV says it; “Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself…” In other words, even though one could argue he was tricked or manipulated, he saw that he himself was to blame. (How unlike today’s “anointed ones!”) He then, “…set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.” He tried to fix the situation himself , but he couldn’t – the law of the Medes and Persians couldn’t be changed, and he was stuck with the mess he had made. Finally Darius did the only thing left to do, and that was either nothing, or to rely on God. I wonder if he expected God to deliver Daniel, or if he just hoped he would. Verse 18 tells us that he spent a sleepless night, refusing food and soothing entertainment. Then in the morning he hurried to the lions den, to see, perhaps hoping against hope that somehow Daniel’s God delivered him. Maybe this was one of those, “Lord I believe; help my unbelief!” situations. But this story really struck me. Here was Darius, a worshipper of many heathen gods, who, when his back was up against the wall, trusted the one true God. I’m not sure that even we Christians always do that. (Or maybe it’s just me and I mistakenly attribute my own failings to everyone else.)

        The moral of this story is, if you want to see the United States of America restored to any of its former glory, Pray For Revival!

        P.S. I often wondered why the Medes and the Persians made a law saying that any law passed may never be changed. I mean, whose dumb idea was that? I suppose the reasoning might have been, since a law once signed could never be changed or undone, that it would force kings and legislators to be extra, extra careful about what they are doing. That is prideful, Utopian thinking, and it’s stupid!

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Actually, Darius would probably have been a Zoroastrian, and thus a believer in a single god, Ahuramazda (there was also the evil Ahriman, but Darius wouldn’t have worshipped him). The timing is interesting, since Daniel was an established figure when he interpreted the “writing on the wall” (mene, mene, tekel, upharsin), and Darius came along a few decades later.

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