Rambling Thoughts,
And The Fall Of America

Dateline: 10 March 2015

And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. —Genesis 11:4

The Lovely Marlene is in Arizona, visiting her sister for nine days. I am home alone, doing what I always do… taking care of business and trying to finish some things, before I start some other things. 

One thing I really wanted to get done while I’m here alone is a little remodeling project in the upstairs hallway. It is a project that Marlene has been wanting me to do for years. Literally. So I’m into it, with clutter and mess everywhere. 

Carpentry and remodeling is what I used to do for a living. I know what has to be done, and I have the skills to do it. But I no longer have the physical capacity to do the work as quickly and efficiently as I once did it. So, unfortunately, the job is not going to be done before my wife comes home. But the worst of it will be over. And that will be a very good thing.

As I’m working along I am listening to my usual economic programs. A particularly good one was Chris Martinson’s recent interview with Grant Williams (Click Here to Listen). The short version is that the economy is broke and it’s gonna get a whole lot worse before it gets… different (“better” doesn’t seem like the right word). But you know that already, right? 

And, of course, I listened to Scott Terry’s weekly Christian Home and Farmstead Radio program. Scott says that his program is “the voice of the covenantal agrarian resistance.” Well, indeed it is, and Scott does a fine job with the program. 

I also listened to This Online Interview with Scott Terry (it starts at 10:50 into the recording). It’s an excellent interview, and Scott explains what “covenantal agrarian resistance” is. 

Another program that I wouldn’t miss is my daily dose of Kevin Swanson’s Generations With Vision. Yesterday’s Program was particularly good, for a number of reasons. First, the shows now start with “The Worldview in Five Minutes,” which is a daily five-minute news report with a purely Christian worldview. I don't think you've heard the news like this before.

Yesterday’s Generations program also mentioned that there is a town in Florida that's now requiring churches to obtain licenses…and pay for them. That’s crazy, but it is yet another symptom of a much larger problem. Mark my words, taxation of churches is coming. 

As the economy worsens, the government will find more and more ways to extract wealth from previously untapped sources. What better way to get a lot of money than to tax churches? We are, after all, no longer a Christian nation. We are an apostate nation. America has gone from being a Christian nation, to a post-Christian nation, to an anti-Christian nation. The majority of people in this country will see no problem with taxing churches. 

Personally, I’m more and more convinced that the Amish have a better idea about church. They have no church buildings. Church is held every two weeks in a different home. There are no mega-churches. If the congregation gets too big, they divide into two fellowships. 

And I’ll bet that none of those Amish home-fellowship churches are registered with the government as IRS-approved 501(c) corporations, which is to say… government approved churches. I never have been, and never will be, a member of a 501(c) church.

Kevin Swanson also spoke about the Obama administration's new push to take over local law enforcement. The federal government has now taken over education, the health care system, and the internet. They have almost total surveillance capability. And the mainstream media has become an agent of government propaganda and manipulation like never before.

We are witnessing an accelerated grab for more and more centralized control over all aspects of life and culture. It is a wicked Babylonian system going into overdrive. Anyone who does not comply with government decrees and secular/cultural norms will pay a price. The rule of law is crumbling. Our borders are no longer secure. Freedom of speech and assembly do not apply to dissenters. 

Welcome to the new America of the 21st century. Everywhere you look (if you have the eyes to see) this country is falling apart.

And (back to yesterday’s Generations radio program) Kevin Swanson responded to a Huffington Post article asserting that America was never a Christian nation. His discussion of that subject alone is worth listening to. 

Yes, Diesm and Unitarianism surged in America, but not until after 1800. America was founded decades before that by men who held to a sound and solid Biblical worldview. The foundations of the American Republic are based on Biblical law. That is an inconvenient truth that must be distorted and disputed by the propaganda masters.

We are on the cusp of an epic transition period in the history of this nation and the world. The economic situation currently unfolding is unprecedented. The challenges to America’s Constitutional form of government are unprecedented. 

Every institution that is built on the pride, and wisdom, and ability of mere men will fail, and fail miserably. I believe it’s a done deal. America has crossed the Rubicon. 

But will the fall of the great American Babylon, be all bad? 

I don’t think so. 

One thing is for sure... King Solomon (the wisest man who ever lived) summed everything up pretty well in the end of his fine little Book of Ecclesiastes:

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.”  —Ecclesiastes12:13

Do the centralized forces of power and influence in America fear God? 

No. Not at all. 

But I sure do.

If I ever get this remodeling work done, I hope to write more about this subject. Stay tuned.


19 comments:

deborah harvey said...

i am eager to hear your thoughts.
my daughter also thinks it won't be all bad.
it will be interesting to see if your thoughts mesh with hers.
deb h.

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Deborah,

The not "all bad” comment on my part relates to my opinion that the utter collapse of a nation’s economic system does not necessarily equate to the utter destruction of that nation.

Economic and institutional collapse could well lead to an era of personal and national humbling, and of spiritual realignment. Which is to say, it could result in the restoration of a godly and moral Republic. Which is to say, a nation that fears God and keeps his commandments (just like Solomon said), as was once the case in America.

Such an outcome would, in my opinion, be a good outcome.

I don’t mean to insinuate that the collapse of America, and the American empire will be easy or “no big deal.” On the contrary, it will be a very big deal for everyone.

I could be wrong. But that is the way I look at it.

Cynthia (C.L) Lewis said...

If churches end up being taxed then we will have to "disband" and meet as the church in Acts did. It is nice to have a building to meet in but the building is not "the church".

I agree with you on the collapse. It won't be easy and it will be hard but if God allows it to happen it will be for His glory.

Herrick Kimball said...

Cynthia,

Your comment brings to mind a quote from Rick Saenz, that he wrote in his Dry Creek Chronicles blog several years ago (I remember it because I put it in my Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian book)...

"The moderns will either follow the lead of Nebuchadnezzer, finally humbling themselves and acknowledging the one true God, or that of his son Belshazzar, wallowing in their pride until God finally strikes them down. In either case, God will be honored and glorified. The kingdom of modernity will collapse, and when the dust subsides and the rubble is cleared away, we will see the specifics now for what we can only take on faith—that the rise and fall of modernity was also part of the Father's plan, that the foolishness of the world has once again been weighed int he balance and found wanting, and the rule of King Jesus will have extended further than ever."

Mrs. G said...

I have little sympathy for the 501(c)3 churches, they sold out long ago so they could continue to milk the government tit. I think it's ridiculous that they think they should be shielded from paying taxes on their "social clubs." The true church could easily return to meeting in homes, let persecution begin and we'll all see how few of us there really are. Still, Sodom would have been saved with only 10 righteous people, let's hope that we have at least that many!

Herrick Kimball said...

Mrs.—
I hear you. But I think every church I've ever attended, was a 501(c) church. The one I attend now is also (but I am not a member). They are small rural churches, peopled by God-fearing folks who just don't understand (though, admittedly, a few do, and don't have the conviction to not conform to government expectations). I agree that the true church can easily return to meeting in homes, and I believe that is where we are headed. Fact is, it's already happening. Thanks for the comment.

Arthur Sido said...

Stop by where we live amid one of the largest population of Amish in the country and I will show you their "sheds" where they hold church that are as large and expensive as many church buildings and get used one Sunday a year except for occasional potlucks and buggy storage.

Herrick Kimball said...

Arthur,

That is news to me. One Sunday a year? Most all I know about the Amish I learned from a trip to Lancaster PA, and watching a few documentaries. I'm sure they are not all the same in their church practices, just like all Baptists, etc, are not the same. Thanks for the firsthand perspective. Do you reckon they are 501(c) corporation churches?

Mrs. G said...

As a former Plain person, I can assure you that they are not 501(c)3. The most liberal Mennonites *might* be, but not the conservative ones. There are Plain congregations that are into conspicuous consumption and there are congregations that are not; Plain people and their settlements vary a lot.

Sheila Gilbert said...

I have an opinion that most don't like, and none want to hear. We already know that this nation has no reverence for God, or country, and I believe every human in this country will have the opportunity to learn what the consequences of no respect for God,truly are, when they turn their backs on Him.
Not only the unsaved, but the saved also. Our Lord has the tendency to take His children apart to Himself, and deal with them, to make them come back to Him. (In full) We either learn to trust and respect Him, or we fall with all the others. He is willing to help if we ask, and He never fails. Compromise is not even on the table. No middle ground, you are with Him, or your not.
As far as the economy goes. It sounds like the perfect opportunity for our Lord, to "set us straight" and get us on the right foot. We see, we hear, and we obey, or we pay the same price a heathen pays.
I believe that the United States are no longer United, ergo civil unrest, and that we will have an economic crash that will be like nothing we have ever seen in the world before. If we are not ready, and follow God, as Noah did, we will go the way of those that laughed at him.
I don't believe that fear should be tolerated from this point on, and even though as Christians, we still argue with one another, we all need to settle the argument for ourselves, what we believe, and what God wants us to do about it. Trust in Him is the only salvation we have.
I know we see what's coming, and already feel the effects of it, so we are a Noah, or we live in fear of what we see and deny it. We have serious choices to make. It's NOW time to make them.
I believe that it takes a very firm hand to get the people of this county to face anything, and still they ignore. It's going to take a very firm hand to get the attention needed to even help those God wants for His own. I trust He will take a firm hand, for our sake. His son died for us, and our father in heaven will never let us go, no matter what it takes to get our attention.
I've been waiting for this for a very long time. It's already working in my family. Jobs lost, no salary, tough times.
What will it take for everyone to pay attention? A LOT, so one question, are you ready?
You can delete if you feel you should.

Herrick Kimball said...

Mrs. G.—
Thanks for the insight. I would have been very surprised if their churches were 501(c) entities.

Sheila—
I wouldn't dream of deleting. Thank you for the comment.

James Panos said...

Hello Herrick,
I follow your writings and have to say that I agree with most (if not all)of what you write. Of course, we are just about the same age so that might have a hand in it too.
I was reading something last week about fallen civilizations, and it went something like this: Bondage>Spiritual>Prosperity>Selfishness>Apathy>Dependency>Bondage.

This once great Christian nation prayed and broke away from the bonds of England. I truly believe that God shed his grace, answered our prayers, and blessed us for our true faith. Accordingly, the nation prospered for a long time. I believe that the 40 year span from 1945 to 1985 was probably about the most prosperous of times. Right now, I believe that we are in somewhere in between the Apathetic and Dependency stages.
Unless we repent and return to our faith in God and in our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, we are doomed as a country of free people.
Scripture will be fulfilled. His will is my will, and if His will is that the country falls than so be it.
I will continue to pray for our leaders, as well as for non-believers, that all repent and come to Christ. I will continue to also pray for revival, as it is much needed in these times.
Take care and may God continue to bless you and your work, your friend and brother in Christ
James

Herrick Kimball said...

Hello James,

Thanks for the comment. I agree.

The following quote is attributed to Alexander Tytler, a Scotch historian, circa 1787...

"Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage."

There are variations on that quote, and some confusion about exactly who first came up with it, but I think we can all see that it is a wise and sobering observation.

Herrick Kimball said...

A further note on the stages of a nation's rise and fall...

The following excerpt comes from the Maine Farmer's Almanac of 1867, and is part of my recently-published MARCH Farmer's Calendar Project:

"After all do they not er who talk to us about the wondrous progress which the race is making from age to age? Is the advance so actual as we are fain to believe, and are these shifting phases of human development anything more than the continued revolutions of a circle? “Virtue and prosperity,” saith Machiavelli, “beget rest; rest idleness; idleness riot; riot destruction; from which we come again to good laws; good laws engender virtuous actions; virtue, glory and prosperity, from which in its over ripeness again cometh decay;”— and so the round of change goes on. Nations rise and fall, dynasties come and go, institutions change continually, but it is hard to see wherein man himself is other than he was. Very possibly he may know more now than he did in the days of the Pharaohs or the Caesars, but it is much a question whether he has improved at all in point of morals. We have left off some of the evil practices which the imperfect information of a past age could tolerate, but do we live up to our fuller light any more faithfully than they did to theirs? We tunnel the mountains, net the continents with railways, and stretch our telegraph wires under the ocean, but are we any better men and women, any truer worshipers of God, or lovers of mankind than they who labored at the pyramids, or drove their heavy-wheeled chariots along the Appian way?"

Unlike most of the MARCH Farmer's Calendar essays from 1825 to 1900, that one does not discuss farming. But it does reflect something of the mindset of the "agrarian nation" in 1867. The post-war era was one of considerable "progress" and prosperity. The almanac editor was wary of such progress.

What I love about the old farm almanacs is that the Christian character of the agrarian nation permeates many of the writings.

Anonymous said...

I have ranted about this so often that I admit I'm a little self-conscious about it. Still, I think it bears repeating that America is no longer - indeed, if it ever was - a nation! At best it's a geographical boundary; at worst, it's a mere market for the corporatocracy's wares and a collection of tax slaves for their pet projects. Best, therefore, to abandon the increasingly and manifestly flawed paradigm of "one nation . . . indivisible." That America is waaaaaaay back in the rear view mirror, and who wants to be in union with people who differ so radically from us anyway, to include thinking it's okay to murder the unborn for the sake of some idea of abstract rights? I know the biblical principle of being unevenly yoked may not have applied directly to what I'm getting at here, but it seems pretty closely related!

Regards,
David Smith

deborah harvey said...

david smith,
it amounts to being in the world but not of it.

Pam Baker said...

This is a topic I hesitated to weigh in on, and wouldn't have until I read your last comment. That quote from the Maine Farmers Almanac of 1867 is spot on, indeed saying it better than anyone else, ever.

As a side note, I lived in Colorado Springs for 20 years and it was at one time, was reported to be the headquarters of 84 religious organizations. Let me just say from first hand experience, some of them, indeed, SOME of them were in the business of Christianity. They should be taxed or better yet, should not be in "business". But how would you decide whether a church was worthy of tax exemption?
Oh my, I can't even imagine. It's bad enough you have people deciding things about your life imagine them deciding that.
"Civilization"..."society" probably the hardest thing to "do". The original intent of making churches a tax free entity was a good measure until somebody figured out how to corrupt it for their own gain. As usual. Somebody always messes up a good thing.
No, we haven't changed much at all since 1867 or even as far back as the age of BC. In reality, we still have the same foibles and challenges.
Indeed, the changes we are expecting may be happening all ready. Maybe the only thing we are really good at is the speed at which our civilization falls/fell as compared to other "empires".

I guess the thing that fortifies me, is something my grandmother used to say and she was quoting/paraphrasing Nietzsche (but probably didn't know it) was, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger".

Well, that's my two cents worth. If it offends anyone, I apologize for making you uncomfortable.
Respectfully,
Pam Baker

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Pam,

Thanks for the comment. There surely are some individuals and some ministries that use their christianity (small c) to generate a lot of income from the faithful, and misuse it. There are plenty of sorry examples of this but, on the whole, I do believe the examples are a minority.

I discuss this to some degree in A Missive on The Prosperity Driven Life.

Along this same line, a man who often comments here on this blog once wrote me and mentioned that he was a radio producer for a range of Christian ministries in the past, but left that work because there was "too much selling of the gospel."

The problem with mankind is, of course, sin. The Nietzsche quote is interesting because he went insane, and, as the story goes, died of sylphillis (it didn't make him stronger). He is also famous for saying that "God is dead." He was a tortured and miserable man who lived and died by his own moral code. Some people admire that in a man (which brings to mind Sinatra's song, "I did it my way"). But there is, as Paul Harvey used to say, "The Rest of The Story." Meaning, we did not get to see Nietzsche facing his Maker and explaining himself.

An interesting agrarian connection... One of Nietzche's friends and admirers was Rudolph Steiner, the founder of biodynamic agriculture. Steiner was a spiritual man but did not hold to orthodox Christianity. He was a mixed bag, and though his development of biodynamic agricultural has some practical aspects, it has it's share of kooky thinking. But that is my opinion.

Thanks again for the comment, and for giving me an opportunity to ramble on. :-)

Pam Baker said...

Thank you for rambling. Sometimes it's the threads of a ramble that spark further thought, connections, ponderings,and conversation.
I'm not a fan of Mr. Nietzche but I do find that I have my own "eclectic" philosophy that pulls from a wide variety of sources. And I definitely have an unorthodox spiritual frame. One I would never attempt to discuss with anyone. I will say that I am open to listening to a variety of belief systems and in my mind, they boil down to a few basic tenents, but by listening and being open, I learn much. Some good and some bad.
I learn about the person as much as I learn about what they are saying.

For sure, working closely with the land, or an agrarian life is the only thing that makes any sense. It restores me, grounds me, and even a crappy day at farm chores is better than the best day on any job. I wish more folk understood this precept and followed it.

Now I'm rambling....
And in the spirit of the season,
Slainte,
Pam