A few days ago, I responded to a post by Waggles. In rereading his post and my answer, I now understand that his question concerned common American views, and those of world wide churches that are influenced by American churches, concerning the end times, particularly the Rapture, which is less commonly taught outside of the US denominations. I took his as questioning why America (both Christians and Americans in general) sees itself as ‘favored’ or special. My personal views on the Rapture should be of little concern to the brethren here since although I have looked into the subject years ago, the concept is not key to my spiritual life. Instead, I endeavor to follow the Lord in my daily life. If He comes and gathers me up, I will rejoice. If I live out my normal life and he tarries, or that particular view is mistaken, I will also rejoice. However, my mistaken understanding of Waggles’s post got me thinking about the blessings enjoyed by those in western countries. To be sure, there are many persons of strong and abiding faith who are experiencing very tough trials, but even at its worst, the economies US, Canada, Europe, and even Japan are able to ease suffering in ways undreamed of during most of history. Many Christians (and here I am thinking of the Church in America) believe we have been blessed because of the faith of the founding fathers & early patriots, and / or those of Christians through the years. I think that this is a little self congratulating. If you don’t take it too far, I would like to propose another explanation. Just as the purpose of Mosaic Law was not to produce righteousness, but to show that man is unable to be righteous by following a set of commandments; so I think that mush of today’s prosperity is showing that man’s governments, even when the leaders truly want to provide the best for their citizens, are unable to create a stable, just, and prosperous society. He is giving us the rope. Although I believe that it is the duty of the Christian to be a blessing to the country in which he lives, we cannot expect that by that means we will achieve a righteous society. The prosperity of those at the top has neither resulted in resources to be ‘trickled down’ to the least in our society, nor has society used the prosperity of the more fortunate to fight moral degradation. The Old Testament and Mosaic Law showed us that following a set of rules, even those given by divine instruction does not produce righteousness. Current society shows that a government, even one with vast resources and where the leaders are trying to achieve “liberty and justice for all”, is unable to combat moral decay. Looking to the government to provide a just and moral society will always be doomed to failure unless the individuals that make up the government are guided by the Lord God. This must be done individually, and cannot be legislated.