The current plight of NYC is no secret. Living here for 40 years, as a student, social worker, and State Parole Officer, ‘chaos’ has fueled my career, my social life and increasingly later – my spiritual life in the Lord. In my 20’s, my neighborhood was laden with drug dealers, so bold in fact that they set up chaise lounges on the sidewalks to sell comfortably! The huge armory two blocks away from me provided beds for 800 homeless men – broken, addicted, and many dangerous – often spilling out into doorsteps and stoops.
This city snapshot of the 1980’s slowly faded as Federal, State and local law enforcement intervened, politics changed, and social initiatives began. Uplifted and revived, NYC began to prosper and excel in every way. There was, of course, still chaos but we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Crime, black outs, recessions, terrorist attacks…all brought chaos, but all brought us closer together. Neighborly bonds strengthened and believers clung together with each other and the Lord. Ministries grew as the Lord seemingly casted nets out to drug addicts, convicts, and others – many were drawn to the Lord and repented at our church, Times Square Church with Pastor David Wilkerson. God reaped a harvest in NYC chaos!
No one is sadder than me to say, “those days are gone”. Why is our current ‘chaos’ so different?
The celebration of sin…
New curriculums for children….
“New York Teaching Pre-K Kids About LGBTQ, Transgender ‘Rights’”
Children gather to new story tellers….
There are, of course, too many events and developments to numerate. But defining truths became evident – repenting of sin shifted into celebration of sin with a zeal to proliferate into school classrooms.
As debauchery fermented, the season of strong church leadership seemed to dissipate. The ‘torch was passed’ to new leadership that focused on social programs and benign outreaches, often acquiescing to and even accommodating for prevailing moral landslide.
The current urban whirlwind of chaos and destruction is not from a terrorist onslaught or natural disaster, but the dark fruit of leadership given over to depraved, reprobate minds.
“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity…” (Romans 1 excerpt)
God unravels man’s biggest delusion: that you can sin and get away with it, you can disavow and offend God and prosper.
Foundations of socialism and Marxism taking root in the rubble of shuttered businesses…desecrated social icons….law enforcement utterly scorned, systematically dismantled…a not-so-slow train wreck that will end up worse than we imagine. If this is the evidence of God’s abandonment, believers need to boldly step back, strongly resisting any fleshly ambition to rescue a fallen city or land.
There is nothing more important for the believer, the follower of Christ and lover of His word, than to discern the signs of the times. While there’s always a call in times of chaos, Christ’s Body should not blindly jump into this condemned world’s foray.
As ‘mega-churches’ obscure and unravel and traditional denominations scramble for relevancy, God is igniting pockets of believers. God’s call in the chaos may not be loud but quietly powerful. Within homes or through electronics, the Lord is shepherding sheep together, even just two or three, to exhort, teach, encourage and sharpen one another, “as iron sharpens iron”.
I pray the Lord dim my view of this temporal and imploding world. As celebrity Christianity rightly deflates, I pray to value and esteem the precious one or two that the Lord may bring forth to disciple and counsel into His Kingdom.
May we press in to hear God’s call and follow His lead, with a heart of growing anticipation of Christ’s return. Press on brethren, Maranatha!