Hosea 4 (~740 B.C.)
1Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel!
The Lord has brought charges against you, saying:
“There is no faithfulness, no kindness,
no knowledge of God in your land.
- From 1990-2001 the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as “Christian” dropped nearly 10%.*
- More than one-quarter of American adults (28%) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion – or no religion at all.**
2 You make vows and break them;
you kill and steal and commit adultery.
There is violence everywhere—
one murder after another.
3 That is why your land is in mourning,
and everyone is wasting away.
- 2012 saw the highest number of mass shootings in the last 30 years (with six). +
- Six of the last twelve deadliest shootings in the last 30 years have taken place since 2007. +
Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky,
and the fish of the sea are disappearing.
- At least 15 species have gone extinct over the past few decades. #
- One in three amphibians (32%) and almost half (42%) of turtles and tortoises are now known to be threatened with extinction, along with one in eight birds (12%) and one in four mammals (23%) #
4 “Don’t point your finger at someone else
and try to pass the blame!
My complaint, you priests,
is with you……
6 My people are being destroyed
because they don’t know me.
- Between 80-85% of churches in the US are in numeric decline. *
- the number of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith today (16.1%) is more than double the number who say they were not affiliated with any particular religion as children. **
Since you priests refuse to know me,
I refuse to recognize you as my priests.
Since you have forgotten the laws of your God,
I will forget to bless your children.
7 The more priests there are,
the more they sin against me.
They have exchanged the glory of God
for the shame of idols.
- March 2012~ The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), founded by Paul Crouch Sr. and his wife, Jan, has been hit with a lawsuit alleging millions of dollars in fraud. The suit claims that TBN bought mansions, a luxury jet, and even a $100,000 motor home for Jan Crouch’s dogs. It was filed by Brittany Koper, Crouch’s granddaughter, who says she was fired for blowing the whistle. ***
- October 2011~ Members of Eddie Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church accuse him in a lawsuit of endorsing a flawed investment scheme that caused them to lose more than $1 million. ++
- June 2012~Georgia megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar arrested for allegedly assaulting his teenage daughter. Though the charges are later dismissed, Dollar is required to enroll in an anger management program, report to probation and pay court fees. ##
8 “When the people bring their sin offerings, the priests get fed.
So the priests are glad when the people sin!
9 ‘And what the priests do, the people also do.’ (NLT)
## CBS news