The Iron Curtain
It’s ugly, really – laying there on the bookshelf behind me: A drab gray, broken piece of history made from a concrete-like substance without a shape or form anyone could easily describe. It looks like what you would find on the floor of a dilapidated building – not really something one would care to pick up and hold in their hand – much less save as a souvenir.
A young female soldier who had just returned to the United States on leave from Germany handed it to me on a stage near Ft. Worth, Texas almost twenty years ago when I was still playing music and singing for a living. She told me it was a piece of the Berlin Wall.
I was absolutely dumbfounded.
As best I can recall, it was a gift to me for having sung Neil Diamond’s hit “America” that night – an inspiring song about people from around the world coming here in search of freedom. Apparently, in the young soldier’s eyes, that piece of the wall represented, at least in part, the fruits of her labor. I don’t know her name – haven’t seen her since and couldn’t even tell you what she looked like; but I’ll never forget her sharing that important remnant with me from her tour of duty and a very moving moment in her life.
I remember watching in amazement as events unfolded on CNN back when breaking news came mostly by television – communist governments dropping like dominoes not long after President Reagan’s memorable speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin where he said: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
Those were exciting times – no question about it. But, now on this 20th anniversary, with America deteriorating like an old and obsolete relic of our patriotic past, I’m left to wonder if the fall of the Berlin Wall back in 1989 let freedom in or tyranny out.
You see, as I write, the wall is being rebuilt – not with concrete, mortar or razor wire – but instead, with satellites, cameras, computers, databases and an array of impressive and oppressive technologies that can monitor, record and analyze the movements, expressions, words and even thoughts of an unsuspecting populace now evermore willing to exchange God-given liberties and freedoms for governmental guarantees of health, safety, security and prosperity.
These are the new guard towers that cast long shadows from above that to many are far more intimating than they are comforting.
But, if the government can’t protect soldiers occupying their own country’s largest military base from a single terrorist with a handgun, how can it protect you and me from enemies and threats both foreign and domestic? I don’t care what politicians promise or provide; government in any form – local, global or otherwise – is simply not a suitable substitute for Almighty God, and never will be. Trusting in government to meet all our needs in life from the cradle to the grave is at best, a misplaced faith – and at worst, idolatry.
“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” – Jeremiah 17:5
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the wall is indeed returning – and this time it extends around the world. When the powers that be are finished with it, there will be nowhere to run and hide. It won’t protect us from the evil without, but will only chain us electronically and spiritually to the wickedness within.
It doesn’t matter how many guns are purchased or how much ammo one has stored away. Ultimately, this is a spiritual battle with eternal consequences and God Himself is the only One who can deliver us from what lies ahead. The sooner we fall to our knees, confess our sins, repent and cry out for a salvation that comes only by Jesus Christ, the sooner we will have “the peace of God which passeth all understanding…” and the wherewithal to carry on into the future, uncertain as it may be.
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13
That’s real freedom, liberty and security – the kind the Apostle Paul sang about joyously while bound and imprisoned for his faith as told in the 16th chapter of Acts. Without it, there is no hope – not in this life or in the life to come. If your preparations for the future don’t include the “Whole Armor of God,” you labor in vain.
1. From Famous Quotes by Fraser Tyler, Cycle-of-Democracy-1770
2. From Washington's Farewell Address, 1796
See also God's Warnings for our Times
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