When the Lights Go Out
By Dr. Carl McIntire
No sooner was it ordered that the Christmas tree at the White House could no longer be accompanied by its historic nativity scene than, In the providence of God, it was announced that the same Christmas tree will no longer have any lights. What is happening? The energy crisis, as it is called, has led to a national appeal by the President, the governors, and the media to cut back on fuel; and with it, down have come the lights. City after city is eliminating its Christmas lights.
Are we at war? These shadows, this darkness, should speak to America. They both have factual significance and symbolic meaning.
Oil, we are told, has been cut off from the United States by the Middle East. Oil produces light and heat. The lack of it means darkness, cold, and higher prices. But the loss of the oil came directly from the Middle East war of October, 1973, a war initiated by the Arabs with the full support of the Russians. America is now suffering the direct consequences of Soviet longrange designs. Russia provided for Egypt and Syria a full military build-up with the latest sophisticated missiles. Without these there could have been no war against Israel.
The Communists are tip to their old mischief, and more is ahead.. The tragedy is that the United States has provided Moscow, the Com munist world, with the steel mills, the finances, the electronic know-how, and the computer mysteries. "An enemy bath done this" (Matt 13:28), and the United States has made the enemy strong and courageous.
The steel mills, the truck factories, the wheat deals with Russia are now paying their dividends and Americans are retreating to the shadows and the darkness.
Russia .has plenty of bread, thanks to our wheat. A loaf can be purchased in Moscow for one half the price it may be purchased in Washington, D.C. Our folly is apparent to all. The Arabs use their oil as a weapon of national policy. The USA hands its wheat to Russia and even subsidizes its shipping. The kind of world that the United States thinks it live-, in with peaceful coexistence and detente does not exist.
Moscow has plenty of oil. It is lighted brilliantly while our Washington, D. C. , monuments, the obelisk in honor of George Washington and the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, stand silent in their darkness.
Darkness reigns when light is dispelled. Liberty suffers when darkness arises, and out of the darkness come all manner of troubles. The Lord said, "Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). Men stumble in darkness; nations do, too. and Zephaniah said, "They shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord" (Zeph. 1 :17).
The New York Times, November 10, reports from Washington, D.C.: "The strategic balance in the Middle East has tipped in favor of the Soviet Union and its Arab allies in the aftermath of the October war, according to United States military sources. The salient influence in their gloomy analysis is the prospective withdrawal of the Navy's Middle East fleet from the Persian Gulf within a year. The sheikdom of Bahrain on October 20 told the United States that the Navy had a year to get out..."
The story further indicates that American military presence in the Indian Ocean is at an end while the Russians now have 20 ships commanding that area of the world. The Soviet Mediterranian squadron has reached 90 ships. All oil has been cut off by the Arab nations to any port that would indirectly supply fuel to American ships. With such hostility it is understandable why we are told that we are in for a lengthy period of privation. Seven years it will be before we can be self-sufficient - seven lean years and where is Joseph?
Yet, despite these realities our leaders are determined to continue to strengthen and build up the Soviet Union economically, industrially, and militarily. A strange delusion has captured the minds of many of our political leaders.
The Lord Jesus Christ explained that Satan's kingdom is not divided against itself. Military analysts conclude, according to the New York Times story, "that the strategic situation has also been affected adversely for the United States by the difference of the behaviour of the Soviet Union's Warsaw Pact allies, which cooperated energetically in the Soviet assistance to Egypt and Syria during the current fighting." Russia and Red China are not truly enemies.
A recent national survey by one of the pollsters revealed that Americans are most concerned about the loss of liberty. The restraints and the pressures that are coming from the rising bureaucratic Government are contributing to this feeling. The loss of liberty is a judgment. Americans are being manipulated, controlled, boxed in by all manner of new regulations. Personal liberties surrender to a new regimentation in cars, education, ecology. The Government is even forcing us to be tied down before we can start our cars. The United States could have had oil from Alaska were it not for the ecologists, and now we are relaxing the pollution formulas and are empty-handed, It seems never to have dawned on millions that the Communist publications over the world and especially those in she United States have been the primary advocates of the ecology demands.
The new fifty-mile-an-hour speed limit slows America down and will affect everything that involves transportation, the gross national product, our production as a nation. The stock market fell 24 points the day after the President gave his energy speech. A weaker, more docile America, adjusting her plight to a thriving aggressive Communist world, is our new posture. Americans should be ashamed of the darkness, afraid of the darkness, and instead be determined to have more light than ever. With the crime that the present darkness has produced, there is no telling how much greater it will be under the new regime. The general deterioration of the position of the leadership of the United States is reflected in our new image.
The major issue however is freedom. A crushed soul, a pauperized spirit, is the greatest loss. Vigilance takes leave and perseverance is no longer a virtue. Character crumbles and permissiveness arises to command.
The major loss of liberty in the United States has come in the realm of speech. The radio and TV of the land have been denied the FirstAmendment rights enjoyed by the press. Fear of the Federal Communications Commission, the loss of station licenses as a result of complaints from opponents and their collusion with the Government has eliminated this media from the free market place of ideas and virile controversies. A bland diet and a poison propaganda are now producing an emaciated, impotent land. "Truth is fallen in the streets" (Isa. 59:14). The prophets are silent. The enemy presides, and Washington contrives to control these realms. One radio staion, WXUR, has been executed by the Government because of its speech. It has been held up as an example for all stations to beware lest they suffer the same demise. We find that our Government pursues, intimidates, and frightens the noble souls who would alert the nation to the perils of Communism. A free press is under attack. The anti-Communist is now becoming the enemy rather than the godless atheist who is responsible for our present darkness. Actually the present shadow is an appropriate companion to the humiliating Watergate.
The Bible now speaks with a freshness and a reality. It is light the nation needs - physical light, spiritual light, divine light. The Apostle Paul said, "All things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light" (Eph. 5:13). He speaks about the works of darkness. "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret" (Eph. 5:11, 12). His appeal is to those who are asleep and who would despair: "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light" (Eph. 5:14).
Jesus Christ spoke of this world's condemnation: "This is the condemnation that light is come into the world. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God" (John 3:19-21 ).
Jeremiah the prophet spoke of these conditions. "This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction. Truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth. Cut off thine hair, 0 Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the Lord hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath" (Jer. 7:28, 29). He is speaking specifically about their peace programs, how they say, "We are wise.... For they have healed Cie hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination ? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down.... For the Lord our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the Lord. We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!" (Jer. 8:8, 11, 12, 14, 15). This is exactly our situation.
Similar judgments were pronounced by Moses: "The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: and thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways" (Deut. 28:28).
Solomon said, "The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble" (Prov. 4:19). Isaiah called for a return to the true God: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20).
All of these circumstances - the confusion, the decline on the part of the United States - speak one message: return to the Lord thy God. America knows better. She placed on her coins: "In God we trust."
The appeal of the Scripture is that God's people recognize that we are not struggling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the prince of darkness. The call of God is that His own people stand and having. done all, to stand.
When the lights go out, it is time for those who love the light, who believe in the light to arise and put the lights back on.
The light of the world is Jesus, and the Apostle Paul said, "Ye shine as lights in the world" (Phil. 2:15). It is time for the Christians to be all that they are supposed to be, not ashamed, faithful witnesses, good soldiers, and champions of freedom.
With the rise of beastly powers and the destruction -of the Christian religion and of men's faith in God, it is time, as one sees the signs occurring in the heavens, to recognize that the return of Jesus Christ as He promised is at hand. His charge was to "occupy" and to "watch.
Now that darkness has reached our shores and Americans are confronted with the fruits of their own appeasement in the build up of the enemies of freedom and of God, they must reconsider the entire course along which they have been led. Is peace possible with the enemies of freedom? Can righteousness and wickedness join hands in support of a world of order and decency? The answer to all of this must be repentance, faith toward God, and a determination to preserve the freedom of which God is the author. How great is our humiliation! Russia has her lights. We do not like the darkness and neither do we want it - especially when the Communists put us in, it.
Turn on the lights. Let there be light.