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Breaking the Power of the Narcotics Trade

By Editorial Staff
Published March 1, 1988

When Panamanian military strongman Manuel Noriega was indicted in February by U.S. officials on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering, we found ourselves once again facing the ugly realities of the illegal narcotics trade in America. It seems that no matter how loud and how often we “Just Say No” to drugs, the problem does not go away.

It is indeed a complicated, multi-faceted dilemma. We are dealing with a domestic crisis of horrific proportions: Americans currently consume 60 percent of the world’s illegal narcotics. The drug war is an international concern that has entangled many national leaders besides Panama’s infamous dictator. Consider this list of leaders from neighboring countries who have been caught in the web of Latin American drug smuggling:

It could never be said that the U.S. government has not made a forceful and expensive attempt at stopping the influx of cocaine and other illegal narcotics. In the last few years, we have spent upwards of $1.5 billion dollars annually to launch an all-out attack on the menace – but we have been met with minimal success. Millions of dollars have been poured into increased police enforcement, a 30 percent increase in customs agents on our borders, a high-tech surveillance system along the Rio Grande, expensive drug testing programs, costly drug treatment centers for the chemically dependent, and the“Just Say No” educational campaign.

But with all the money spent, we have little to show for it. Dr. Charles Schuster, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, stated in a recent report, “Clearly, the nation’s high school students and other young adults still show a higher level of involvement with illicit drugs greater than can be found in any other industrialized nation in the world.”

One would think that $1.5 billion a year would go a long way to stop the flow of drugs into the U.S. But sooner or later we are going to have to face the fact that the war on drugs is not just a matter of stricter laws and more advanced detection equipment. Until we recognize the spiritual side of this battle, millions more lives will be destroyed and the Latin American drug lords will continue to rule over us.

Rebuilding the Walls

Despite increased law enforcement in our cities and the tighter controls in our airports and seaports, there is an obvious leak somewhere. The amount of cocaine and marajuana smuggled into this country staggers the imagination – the DEA says the astronomical figure is “impossible to calculate.” But how are the drugs getting in? Where is the breakdown?

The Bible has much to say about a nation’s “walls” and “gates.” Walls in Scripture represent much more than physical protection; they symbolize the protection of God that He gives to a nation when the people honor Him and obey His moral requirements. A nation that is walking in covenantal obedience to the God of the Bible will always prosper and be protected from its enemies.

On the other hand, a nation that dishonors God, neglects His covenant, and rejects morality will begin to experience what life is like without the protective walls of His favor and blessing. And without that divine safeguard, no amount of human effort will be able to stop the enemy’s influence or advancement.

Psalm 127 reminds us that our national walls are kept safe and secure by God alone, and not simply by a defense budget or other natural means. It states, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain” (verse 1).

Our billion dollar anti-drug budget is nothing but an experiment in futility if we fail to address the root problem of our national sin. In Deuteronomy 28, we read of the awful curses that come upon a nation that has broken covenant with God. Among those curses we find several which explain how God will send enemies to rule over the disobedient nation:

Is this not what has begun to happen in our nation through the power of illegal narcotics? America seems to be fighting a losing battle against this scourge from the south. Our teen-agers, and even grade school age children, are being seduced by the lure of cocaine. Our inner cities are literally under seige by the “crack” dealers. The minds of millions of our citizens have already been permanently damaged by this unseen force which enters our ports and crosses our borders every day.

If we want to devise an effective strategy to stop the narcotics trade, then our first move must be to recognize this assault for what it really is: a curse from God for our national sins. No other plan of action will be successful unless we make repentance the first item on our public policy agenda. We must then call upon God to deliver us from the control of our enemies.

When the leaders of the American colonies faced certain defeat by British forces during the Revolutionary War, our generals and statesmen did not hesitate to call upon Almighty God to defend the nation – nor did they refrain from calling upon the general population to do likewise. Throughout our early history, American presidents called the nation to prayer and fasting for deliverance from evil, safety in war, and strength of national character.

Yet today, calling upon the name of the Lord has become a “sensitive issue” that has spawned lawsuits and a growing controversy on the place of religion in politics. Secularists today reject the need for a wall of divine protection around our nation; instead, they worship the “wall of separation” that they have erected between church and state. We cannot have both: we will either return as a nation to God, and see a rebuilding of the walls of His covenant protection around us, or we will forever shut ourselves away from His mercy with this “wall of separation.”

Conquer or Be Conquered

When God led His people Israel into the Promised Land of Canaan, He commanded them to utterly subdue the Canaanites and bring the entire region under their domain. When they failed to do this, God allowed the enemies whom they spared to rise up against them and defeat them. He was making a very serious point: we will be conquered by the very enemy that we do not defeat.

The scourge of illegal narcotics passing through our borders should serve as a reminder to the Church in this nation that we must take seriously our responsibility for our southern neighbors. We must be faithful to bring the claims of the gospel to bear upon the nations closest to us lest God allow us to be conquered by the evil influences originating from that region.

One-third of the cocaine which arrives in the U.S. flows through Mexico. The Mexican government is rife with corruption, bribery, and deceit on every level. Why? Because missionary activity still has not brought the claims of Christ to bear upon the government and the institutions of that nation. It is a reproach to the Church in America that our closest neighbor is still enslaved by poverty while we enjoy the benefits of a biblical economy. When will we take the principles of economic liberty to these people?

What about Panama, the outpost of General Noreiga? Panama is a nation that has been totally opened to American influence for many years because of the Canal Zone; but where are the Christians who can assist Panamanian leaders in building a Christian republic that will truly respect the rights of every individual citizen, and deliver the people from countless military dictatorships? Where is the Christian influence in Colombia – where fear of the powerful drug cartel now rules the churches, the courts, and the legislative assembly?

The wickedness that is breeding in Latin America does not have to overtake us. We can conquer if we will make the right choices. God can deliver America and the world from the power of the drug lords. As we join together to repent of our national sins, and to pray for deliverance from the judgment of illegal drugs that has come upon us, may the Church be fervent and obedient as we labor to establish Christ’s government in this hemisphere.


Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Latin America

Your comments are welcome!

300%+ More Prescription Narcotics were consumed in America in 2008 vs. 1998. Until we stem the rampant growth of prescription narcotics whose breadth has grown with amazing stride, our efforts toward the illict will be inherently hindered.

Hydrocodone APAP is the #4 most common RX. Its hard to contemplate narco wars while the free flow is clearly established through legal means.

Posted by anon mous on 02/14/2009 02:01 PM #

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

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All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

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Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
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5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

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Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

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