Before we start this week’s continuation of man’s attempt to ‘out-do’ God, I happened to be reading the Book of Amos in the Old Testament. Amos spoke for God in the rebellious Northern Kingdom, Israel, at the height of its prosperity and self-assurance. Sound familiar? He disclosed the case against Israel: her perversion, her injustice, her arrogance, and her hypocrisy. The land and people were experiencing great prosperity and were at a high point in their political and economic life. Sound familiar, except maybe the ‘high point in political life’…the jury is still out on that. Because of Israel’s failures God says…”I will shake the people of Israel among all the nations…” [Amos 9:9]. Amaziah, a priest in Israel’s corrupt religion, tries to defend Israel’s evil practices and orders Amos back to Judah, which Amos does not comply with. Can we see a connection between the churches today who ‘attempt to tickle the ears of potential customers’ and those few who take a stand for ‘God’s politics’? ‘Man’s politics’ has so invaded some churches that evil practices are not only ignored but welcomed into the church. Much of what I have been writing about is the failure of the Christian church to take a stand against the evil the ‘politics of man’ has promulgated on our society. Amos brought to Israel a warning against spiritual complacency. Israel did all the ‘religious’ things but they did none of the ‘God-pleasing’ things. They play-acted their religion very nicely but they let ‘God’s politics’ be replaced by ‘man’s politics’. They forgot about real love, justice, mercy, and compassion. They forgot about obedience to the covenant; about servanthood and humility and sacrifice of themselves for the blessings of others. They feared being offensive when speaking God’s truth. They created their own self-serving religion established around the laws and demands of man. They became so blinded with pride that they could not see the deceit in their own hearts. Can we see that in some of God’s churches today? We must know which church is which. Shall we continue.
Let us continue with the crisis we started to discuss last week. Something awful is happening to men in America. What’s odd is how rarely you hear it publicly acknowledged. When a man does attempt to display the traits God ‘wired’ into him he is condemned as a ‘toxic male’…which our nation needs more of and should be thankful for. Our leaders pledge to create more opportunities for women and girls, who they imply are failing, when the opposite is true. Thanks to intimidation from a relatively small group of influential feminist, no one can or is willing to admit it.
The average American man dies five years before the average American woman. One of the reasons…addiction. Men are more than twice as likely as women to become alcoholics. They are also twice as likely to die of a drug overdose. In New Hampshire, a state surprisingly among the hardest hit by the opioid crisis, 73% of overdose deaths were men.
In a nation that has been so blessed, the saddest reason for shortened life span is suicide by men. Between 1999 and 2014, there was a 43% rise in suicide deaths among middle-aged American men.
You often hear of America’s incarceration crisis…among the highest in the world. It is almost exclusively a male problem. More than 90% of inmates are men. This unfortunately equates to fewer job opportunities once they are released. We see almost daily the problems that creates. Survival starts to take priority over civility.
These problems are complex and they start young. Relative to girls, boys are failing in school. More girls than boys graduate from high school. Considerably more go to and graduate from college. Boys account for the overwhelming majority of school discipline cases. One study found that one in five high school boys had been diagnosed with hyperactivity disorder, compared to one in eleven girls. Many of those were medicated for it. The long term effects of such medication is not yet fully understood but it appears to contribute to depression in later life. Women decisively outnumber men in graduate school. They earn the majority of doctoral degrees. They are now the majority in both law and medical school.
But how has ‘man’s politics’ and plans effected our society as a whole when it comes to God’s plan for man and woman and their part in humanity? For men, the consequences of failing in school are lifelong. Between 1979 and 2010, working-age men with only high school degrees saw their real hourly wages drop about 20%. Over the same period, high-school-educated women saw their wages rise. Our decline in an industrial economy disproportionally hurts men. About seven million…7,000,000…American men between the ages of 25 and 54 no longer have jobs. That is more than 10% of the entire working-age male labor force in the US. Nearly half of these men take pain medications on any given day, the highest rate in the world. It is predicted that most of them will never return to work.
Some of the causes are well known. Competition from lower-priced foreign labor crushed the American manufacturing sector. President Trump is trying to correct this but with much condemnation from the liberal side of politics. China’s entry into the World Trade Organization by itself destroyed more than two million…2,000,000…American jobs. Automation is doing its share also. A disproportionate number of these jobs were in traditionally male industries: manufacturing, agriculture, logging, heavy industry. A 2016 report found that “90% of what welders, solderers, and brazers do” could be done by robots.
Jobs in which women are the majority tend to be far less venerable to automation. Three of the fastest growing professions are dominated by women. The jobs that remain for men tend to pay far less than the ones that disappeared. You may say,”So what!”. The feminists’ efforts are making things more equal. That may be so depending on your definition of ‘equal’. Next week we will look at what the equality is doing to our society. I do not believe this to be God’s intent for our society but we may very well have to learn hard lessons in adjusting to this ‘man made’ society. Is this really what was intended when these ‘good intentions’ were put into motion?
– Bob Munsey