Why, O Lord?
Observations on the Oklahoma City Disaster
Violence in America escalated to an awesome and chilling new level with the terrorist attack on the federal building in Oklahoma City. How could such a horrible tragedy occur in a country like America?
The first impulse was to blame it on Arab terrorists. After all, the car bomb is a technique of mass murder which they conceived and perfected. Furthermore, such an attack would be understandable in view of our nation’s support of Israel.
But Americans attacking Americans in such an evil manner? And doing so in the name of “patriotism”? It was more than most of us could fathom.
The Blame Game
As the lifeless forms of children were carried from the unimaginable rubble, the nation went numb with grief. But when the first suspect was arrested and it became clear that we were dealing with American violence against Americans, the numbness gave way to anger. Then, when the suspect was linked to the growing citizen militia movement, the liberal media began to point the finger of blame at “right wing crazies and hatemongers.”
Then President Clinton, who has never missed an opportunity to politicize anything, jumped on the liberal bandwagon and heaped the blame on “right wing radio talk show hosts.” He claimed they had created a nationwide atmosphere of hate, fear and paranoia.
The radio personalities pointed the finger back at Clinton, asserting that his “amoral socialist agenda” had alienated mainstream Americans, pushing some to the point of rebellion.
The irony is that there was an element of truth in all these allegations. The airwaves of America were full of irresponsible right wing commentators who whip up hysteria by talking constantly about “UN troops equipped with Russian tanks” who were “positioned to take over the country.” Many Christians had bought into this conspiracy mentality and truly believe that President Clinton was deliberately trying to deliver the country into the hands of an alien world government.
For his part, there is no doubt that President Clinton had alienated the American mainstream by launching a cultural war against traditional American values. It seems at times that he almost took a perverse delight in flaunting his contempt for heartland values.
The classic example was his handling of the Surgeon General appointment. First he appointed a loudmouth, obnoxious pusher of condoms and sexual immorality. After she self-destructed, he attempted to replace her with a practicing abortionist! It’s as if he was determined to rub the nation’s nose in his immoral swill.
Consider the perverse pride he took in bragging about the 26 homosexuals and lesbians he has appointed to top positions in the federal government. Consider his steadily escalating attempts to disarm the populace. Consider his arrogant attempt to cram a socialist system of medicine down the throats of people who are fed up with government intrusion into their lives. The list goes on and on.
Who, then, was to be blamed for the Oklahoma City disaster — right wing hatemongers or the White House socialists? First and foremost, it is the person responsible for the bombing — Timothy McVeigh.
The tendency to put all the blame on society or some group for the crimes of individuals is a classic liberal reaction because humanists see evil rooted in society rather than in people’s hearts. Thus, when President Kennedy was assassinated, the liberal spokesmen in America blamed the city of Dallas because of its “right wing climate of hate.” The real culprit turned out to be a radical, left wing Communist.
Conservatives must not make the same mistake by blaming the actions of a few deranged individuals on the President and his crowd.
What we all need to keep in mind is that when you point your finger, three of your fingers are pointing back at yourself! And I believe that is where the Lord would have us look as a result of the Oklahoma City bombing at ourselves.
We have all contributed to a climate that is producing an ever escalating level of violence and immorality. The Secularists, who have taken over most of our governmental institutions, are pushing a perverted form of freedom that is devoid of responsibility. Their rallying cry is “Do your own thing!” There are variations on the theme: “If it feels good, do it;” “Grab all the gusto you can get;” and “Different strokes for different folks.”
The Church has been penetrated by the world; and Christians, who should be standing for righteousness, are participating instead in the sins of society. The Cross has been replaced by the Rolex. Sacrifice has given way to greed. “Trust and obey” has been set aside for “Name it, and claim it.”
The result is a nation caught up in pride, materialism, and rebellion. We have turned our back on the One who lovingly brought us into existence and nourished us with unparalled blessings. We are determined to do our own thing, much like the Jewish people during the period of the Judges when the nation of Israel was consumed in anarchy because “every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).
A Previous Example
When a nation sets its face against God, He puts it under judgment by stepping back, lowering His hedge of protection, and allowing evil to take its course.
Read Romans 1:18-32. Describing the events that led to the pouring out of God’s wrath on Noah’s world, Paul states that when the people began to worship the creation rather than the Creator, God “gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity” (Romans 1:24). The result was a sexual revolution that led to moral depravity on a national scale. When the people continued in their rebellion, refusing to repent, “God gave them over to degrading passions,” and a homosexual plague broke out (verse 26). When the rebellion persisted, “God gave them over to a depraved mind” and the society descended into a living hell of anarchy (verses 28-32). That is where we are today.
Our Current Status
We are a nation under judgment. God has lifted His grace and is allowing our evil to multiply. Kay Hedger speaks of this biblical principle in her book, The Parched Soul of America:
A nation that continues to commit adultery with idols while God is screaming in its ear ‘Turn from your wicked ways and live’ gives children permission to disrespect authority and God just cause to remove His grace.
The Oklahoma City bombing was a wake-up call for the nation to fall to its knees in repentance. Will the nation hear? It is doubtful. Again, the prophetic words of Kay Hedger:
The trumpet sounds a wake-up call to a nation unprepared for the wrath to come. The People hear but they cannot flee for their feet are tied to the cares of the world.
Clinton’s answer to the bombing was a set of draconian legislative proposals that would, if enacted, have the effect of creating a national police force with powers reminiscent of the Soviet NKVD. Even the ACLU was warning that Clinton’s proposals were an overreaction that would lead to a serious erosion of civil liberties.
Many conservatives seem to believe that the answer to the nation’s sickness is to be found in the election of more Republicans. But Republicans are politicians, and the essence of politics is compromise, not righteousness. That’s why the Bible warns us not to put our trust in politicians (Psalm 118:8-9).
A man of God goes to Washington to uphold the standards of righteousness and impart the values of his constituents. He eats at the table of bribery and regurgitates his promise of ‘no compromise’ and the ballot box is sabotaged by political hobnobbing.
Yes, America desperately needs political leaders of integrity. But our greatest need is spiritual revival, and that revival needs to begin in God’s house.
Helpless to overcome her addiction to idols, she pursues her lovers like a prostitute for hire, enticing them to her bed of adultery with the world and conceives the illegitimate child of a demonized culture.
The Church needs renewal, and America needs to hear the Gospel preached not a watered down gospel of selfishness and greed, but the true Gospel of the Cross that calls for repentance.
“Methods of Manipulation”
Claiming divine inspiration, evangelists of self-deification give method to prosperity and handles of manipulation to hearts that worship idols, hands that play with sin, and minds that soak up lies like a sponge.
What are we to do in response to the horrors of Oklahoma City? We are to fall on our faces and cry out to God, confessing our sins and repenting. We are to pray “Daniel prayers,” asking God to forgive us, not “them” (Daniel 9:4-19). For we are all part of the problem, either through our active participation in sin or by our silent assent to it.
Note: The poems used throughout the article above were taken from a book by Kay Hedger entitled The Parched Soul of America: A Poet’s View of Our National Decay. The book is now out of print.