It is incredibly sad to see the long-standing institution of the Gouverneur nursing home being shut down.
I could speak on so many levels as to why it happened and what it says about our future, both as a community and a nation. But what I find myself forced to look at is the bigger picture. What this relatively small incident shows us about ourselves as a community, a nation, our democracy, our values and, lastly, our spirituality.
First of all, I believe that it is very shortsighted to try to save a few dollars at the expense of our senior population. Everybody will be part of this group one day, but apparently most of us do not want to spend much time thinking about that.
Secondly, you have heard the statement, Is nothing sacred anymore? Well, the answer is that there is always something sacred, but what used to be sacred is no longer sacred.
What is sacred now? Money, vanity, selfishness, power, lust and life in the present moment. What was once sacred is being wiped out, little by little, by a concerted effort by some very large and powerful global entities that are being controlled by hidden spiritual forces that dwell behind the scenes in the spiritual realm.
I am a Christian minister and firmly believe in a huge, behind-the-scenes war going on between the forces of God and the forces of Satan. I believe that our nation is the greatest nation that history has ever known.
The reason for this greatness comes from our roots. Another way of putting this might be that this greatness stems from the original motivations of our founding fathers.
Many of our ancestors came here because of religious persecution, and the founding fathers began this wonderful experiment based on biblical principles. Generally speaking, the hope for this country was based not only on this new form of government called democracy but on the good will and protection of the almighty God as we try to please him with a country that believes in and obeys his precepts. The other factor was the fact that people were real tired of being ruled by one person or even a small group of people.
If you accept this premise, then it also follows that Satan would do anything he could to destroy us by alluring us away from our faith and obedience to God. The Bible says that Satan is the father of lies and deception, and it also follows that one of his strategies would be an indirect approach.
Distraction, temptation and propaganda. This is where I get, The frog is boiling.
Many of you have heard the story of how to boil a frog. What you dont do is drop the frog into a pot of already boiling water. He will immediately jump out.
So the proper way is to put the frog into a pot of cool water and slowly turn up the heat until boiling. The frog being cold blooded does not know he is being boiled to death because of the slow increase of temperature. My friends, I believe that the citizens of the USA, or you and me, are the proverbial boiling frog. One sign of this phenomenon that is super apparent to any minister is the lack of attendance in our churches on Sunday morning.
There has been a long-term push to change the hearts and minds of our country toward the so-called new morality (or, should I say, immorality), atheism and idolatry by the media, our education system, by our government, even by some churches. And, of course, behind it all is Satan.
You cannot deny that our ideas about what is sacred have drastically changed over the last 50 years, thanks in large part to Hollywood and Madison Avenue. The things that all of us allow ourselves to view on TV now would be unthinkable just 20 years ago.
We are being desensitized toward God and our fellow human beings. I include myself in this picture, and it is very bad.
What does God have to do to get our attention back on the right track? I have to say that our acceptance of bad language, inappropriate sexual content, incredibly gory violence on TV and movies is proof of where we are going. This downward spiral of ethics and morality affects every part of or lives, including the economy on all levels.
Economically speaking, we were sold down the river a few years ago by NAFTA. This happened because most of our major corporations have become multinational and therefore not beholden to any nation but their own profits.
We have become a country that is owned by other countries, a country that can be bullied about by Russia, Iran, North Korea.
China is spending billions on infrastructure. We are so bad off that we cant keep a nursing home open. I say wake up and smell the coffee.
Or is it too late? You might say, What would you have us do?
First of all, you need to fall to your knees and cry out to God for your salvation and that of our country. Second, participate in your government. I and a few others will continue to do what we can to see a new nursing home come to Gouverneur, but I need to be honest with you, my friends. I thank God for those who stepped out and sacrificed for the cause, but this community could have done a whole lot more to save that nursing home than it did.
But trying to pry people away from their TVs and put some real time and effort and, yes, money into a cause is really hard. Why is that?
Boiled frog; that is what it is. There is only one hope, and his name is Jesus!
The Rev. Robert LaVeck is a resident of Gouverneur and pastor of Christian Life Fellowship Church.