The World Tomorrow

Juvenile Delinquency

by Herbert W Armstrong


One of the reasons that we don't have better news today, is simply because we have so much juvenile delinquency in the United States today and one reason we have that is so much parental delinquency and some rather wacky psychological ideas of a modern psychology, perhaps I should say, falsely so-called, that has been permeating some of our school systems and a good many of our parents in this country in the last thirty or forty years. Now, whether you realize it or not, a good many of the psychologists and the experts are about ready to return child rearing back to the home and to get back to the idea that if you spare the rod you'll spoil the child.

Now, let me tell you a little something about what a man by the name of Howard Whitman has said. He quoted this, from a boy just 17 years old, he said, "'My father, he's a 'beaut.' He is just a low down so-and-so, my dad! He don't give a darn if I live or die.' Now, that boy, his name was Bud, is only a 17 year old, wearing a faded purple jacket, gray denim slacks." And, Mr. Whitman says, "He stopped me as I was entering the hotel in New Orleans, and asked for money to get something to eat. The boy had been on the bum for three weeks, sleeping in flop houses, washing dishes, and pan handling for money to buy food. He had quit High School in Chicago, and had struck out for Miami, in hopes of 'striking it rich', as he put it, in vacation land. When this failed, he started bumming and hitchhiking back with nothing but the clothes on his back. He'd been washing his clothes at night, but his one pair of socks wouldn't take it any longer. They gave out and he'd thrown them away the day before."

Now, Mr. Whitman says,"Before I took him to a local family agency to get him back on the track, Bud told me his story. His mother, he said, had died three years ago. She was the only person who ever gave a darn for me, said the boy." I'm just quoting it as exactly as Mr. Whitman wrote it. "Bud's father had divorced her three years earlier and had gone off and had married another woman. And so, Bud was kind of an orphan. Staying with grandparents and hating life, for the raw deal it had given him, running away now and then, to get revenge. He was bitter when he talked about his father. With a choked and a sullen voice, he said, 'They oughtn't to let him walk out like that, he's just for himself, looking out for his own self and for a good time. What happens to me doesn't matter, he never sends any money, he never even writes to find out if I'm alive.'"

"Now, if Bud were the next boy to turn up on your front page as a delinquent, would you wonder whom to blame? The next day, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana," so continues Mr. Whitman, "I visited the juvenile detention home and met Charlie, aged 15 and his brother Leonard, 16. Charlie also was a runaway from Kansas City. He wore the blue jeans and the tee shirt, of the teenager, and had a mop of sandy hair, which was three weeks overdue at the barber shop. Charlie had run away to join the merchant marines and been picked up as a vagrant. We sat down together in the green living room of the new detention home."

"'Len and me,' Charlie said, 'Len and me left home because we couldn't stand it any longer. All Mom cared about was card games. She played cards and bingo five and six nights a week. She even used the money that Len and me made working after school.' Then, Leonard added, 'When she got mad, she'd curse at us and tell us that we were just in the way, that if it weren't for us that she could be free and could have a good time.' The boys described the professional card games, to which their mother was addicted. She would pay fifty-cents or a dollar for a seat at a table, and then play cards until she was either broke or intoxicated with winnings, which she would take back and lose the next night." You know, that's one thing about gambling, incidentally. I'm going to break in here since that's been mentioned.

Gambling (Play from 5:03)

I don't know whether you read the article by the owner of one of the biggest, I guess, the biggest gambling house up in Reno, one of the biggest gambling houses in the whole United States, of the whole world, and of course, gambling is legal up there. But anyway, this gambling house owner said, he wanted to answer the question, 'Do we cheat or is it straight or is it crooked in our gambling house?' "No," he said, "we don't have to cheat. It's absolutely straight." And that's the truth in these gambling houses, they don't have to cheat, not at all. It's fixed in a certain way. For instance, the roulette tables and things of that sort, by the law of averages it's fixed that the house is going to get a certain slight break on it, and a profit provided it breaks even, as it does of course over thousands of plays or thousands of dollars, or however you want to rate it. But here's the way he explained it. They don't have to cheat and they don't have to keep anything hid or crooked or anything of the sort. They're piling up money and they're making themselves millionaires running these gambling houses without it. And here's why, it's a matter of human nature.

A man comes in to gamble. It gets in his blood If he begins to win a little bit, he wants to win more and he can't stop. He can't stop when he's ahead. He hasn't got sense enough to stop because he's all intoxicated with the whole thing by that time. He's got to win more, 'Just a little more and then I'll quit.' But before he gets that little more, where he's willing to quit, at least before he comes to the time where he's willing to quit, he begins to lose. Well, if he loses a little bit now, he's got to keep on long enough to get that back. But probably he goes on losing more and more. Now he's got to get that back.

Well, if he gets a little of it back, he hasn't got up where he wanted, so he keeps on. Pretty soon he gets down even and now he's got to get back again up on top. Well, then he begins to lose and go under. Now, he has less than he came in with. Well, now he's got to continue to play until he gets at least even with the game. He can't quit behind that game. So he keeps on and it goes up and down; up and down and of course it goes back and forth and then there's a good many of the games that's an even 50-50 break between him and the house but, you know first he's winning and then they are winning. But the thing is when he's winning he never can stop until he gets just a little more. He hasn't won quite enough to stop.

And when he's behind he can't quit until he gets back up ahead again. And so what does he do? Well, he continues until he's broke. Now, the thing is, the house never goes broke. The house has enough money, they don't have to stop. They have more money than the customer and the customer continues to gamble until he's broke. And one of them has got to go broke because they won't quit. And it is always the customer who goes broke and so the house gets their money.

Now, actually, as this man said, and they have cards all over as you're driving anywhere in the western whole third of the United States you'll see the cards of this house, or their billboards up all over the highways and every place. And, it was an article in one of our largest popular national magazines, I think, where this was written. I think it was some years ago now but not too long, it comes back to me I remember it. 'Now,' he says, 'supposing a man does win 10,000 dollars or something at gambling at his house? Do they hate to give it him? 'Why no!' they're perfectly glad to give it to him. Not only that, they want to publicize that, they want everybody to know how much this man won, because that makes everybody else want to come and win. Of course, the others aren't going to win, most of them are going to lose. Now, in the law of averages, once in a while a man wins and has enough sense to quit when he's ahead.

In fact, I had business over in Las Vegas one time, and I was over there to see a man, who I had been informed wanted to make a donation to Ambassador College. And, we were staying in a certain hotel, and we were to see the man, we drove over and got there in the evening or late at night and we were to see him the next morning. Well next morning, the man who was, well our agent and taking care of this matter for us, came to see me and he said, "Well," he said, "you know something, that you maybe didn't know, this man has a part interest in one of our casinos here and he said there were two or three men from Hollywood that were over here last night and took the thing, for I think for, over a hundred thousand dollars," - I believe it was something like a hundred and ten thousand dollars - "and they quit when they were ahead!" Now, that was such a loss, that really hit the gambling casino, that hit the owners and the management and they said that he had such a headache, that he wasn't going to feel like donating anything today and so we didn't see him. Well, of course I didn't know that he was in the gambling business or anything of that sort because this man had a very high reputation. And, one of the best thought of men in the state, as far as that is concerned.

What Happens To Gamblers (Play from 10:17)

Now, what actually happened to those gamblers? Did they quit a hundred and ten thousands dollars ahead? I think that was the amount, maybe it was more. It might have been over two-hundred thousand, it was a terrific amount, I don't just remember. I believe it was, come to think about it, I believe it was over two-hundred thousands dollars! And I believe it is in what they call a 'crap' game, that's shooting dice, you know. I don't know much about it, cause I've never done it. Never in my life have I ever gotten into such a game and I don't understand it. I'd seen it, when I'd been over there, you have to walk past those places to get to the dining room. But, I never stopped long enough to have it explained and I don't understand the game and I don't care to understand it.

But nevertheless, here's what happened to those fellows. They went over to another gambling casino from there, where they lost a big share of their money. And then they went to another one where they got cleaned out and lost all the money they'd come with and in addition to that hundred or two hundred thousands dollars they'd won. And so, this one gambling casino lost but the others made it up, and that's the way it goes. You know, you might just as well realize, my friends, you just can't beat it. There's no use of trying. Too many people in America are trying to get something for nothing. They're trying to get money without earning it.

Now, I've heard of a lot of people who will go to Reno or to Las Vegas to gamble. And, will make a trip once or twice a year. And, they set aside a certain amount of money. And they say its their pleasure and they enjoy it. They go there with a certain allowance, a certain amount of money. They know they're going to lose it. But they feel that's their way of spending that much money for pleasure. So they gamble, and it may last two, three or four days, they take enough money to let it. They win, then they get behind then they get ahead and then they get behind. But they keep on until they're behind all the money that they set apart to come with, they are there to gamble. And, when it gets to that point, they quit and go home. Now there are people that go to Las Vegas every year who do it just that way. But what fun they get out of that - I never could see.

You know, some people can get dope in them. They start out with marijuana and then they go to heroin. And they get to the place they crave it and they have to have more. Well, it just isn't healthy, don't ever get yourself to the place where you crave that sort of thing. Now, I've never been inoculated with it. What fun they can get out of it? I've seen them in these gambling dens, I've had to walk past those places and, I don't see them looking really happy. They don't have their faces wreathed in smiles and happiness and just exuding joy and seeing how much good they can do for everybody and everything of that sort.

No, the best you can say is, they're just tense with excitement, but most of them have a worried look. And I've seen some that have had a terrible worried look before they got through and I've heard of many cases, in Las Vegas, for instance, and places like that, where people come in there, they lose all they've got and where men will gamble away all of the money they had. And they'd planned on something that the family needed and was going to do, but they thought they could run it up for just a little more money, well they don't do it, they lose all they had. If they do run up a little bit they haven't got sense enough to quit when they're ahead. Course you think probably you'd quit when you're ahead, oh no, you wouldn't, you're human just like everybody else. Very few ever do. And if they quit when they're ahead in one place, why they lose it later. And it's just like this boy said, if his Mom got ahead tonight, she'd lose it tomorrow night. Now that's human nature. You know that sort of thing just does not pay.

You know, my friends, I read in the Bible that that there is a personage quoted, as if He existed, of course a lot of people think He doesn't exist, because He doesn't seem real, not even as real as Santa Claus because a lot of people dress up like Santa Claus and, I guess a lot of little children really think that they've seen Santa Claus. But, not very many people think God is real, because they haven't seen Him. But I read in the Bible where one is quoted, saying, "I am God, and there is none beside me..." (Isaiah 45:5 paraphrased)

And where this God said that He had sent one called Jesus Christ to this earth. And that Jesus Christ was not just an ordinary man, in the same sense that you and I are, that is that He was not born from two human parents like us, but from one human parent and from God. But He was born of a virgin, the virgin Mary and that God was His only Father. And, that this Christ who came from this one who calls Himself God and says He's God in the Bible. That He said that if we would seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, that all these material benefits and everything would be added to us. (Matthew 6:33)

You know, I have found, that if a man will try to improve himself, if he will study, if he will think about what he is doing, if he will work diligently at what he does, and think about it and study about it, and always try to improve himself and to get ahead. If he will honestly seek the Kingdom of God, and if he seeks the Kingdom of God and God's righteousness he's going to be doing those things. He's going to be diligent in his business, he's going to be honest in it, though, and he's going to give a dollars worth of service and the effort for every dollar that he receives in pay. He's not going to try to get something for nothing. He's not going to try to cheat the other fellow, he's not going to try to get rich quick at all. And he's going to be honest and industrious and studious. And you know, I've found, he may have some ups and downs, he may have some financial worries, but in the end he's going to come to a confidence, in the end he's not going to have to worry, and when he becomes past sixty years of age, he's not going to be in the position that I understand, let's see, it either 95 or 98 percent of all people past sixty in the United States are dependant on their children. Rather he'll be able to be in the position to help his children instead of having them having to help him. And, he won't have to worry about where his bread and butter comes from, he's going to be alright because he'll find that these material things have been added. It really pays off. It really pays off and I can give you any number of experiences where that has worked out and where it's true. It certainly does.

Well, to get back, and since I've started this I'd better finish this little story and show you exactly what happened. Now this Leonard added that when this woman got back home, she was mad, she'd curse at us and tell us that we're just in the way and if it weren't for us she could be free and have a good time. The boys described the professional card games - only, I guess I was a little farther along, I'm reading this of course, from something that I whipped out. I was down here where she would lose the next night, whatever she'd win one night if she did win at gambling. Well, that's the way it goes. Now, the boy's father, as they described him was well intentioned but weak and unable to do anything about it. When, their mother, isn't that the common idea today, yes, just as I told you. Now that's in the Bible too.

The Bible Makes Sense (Play from 17:47)

A lot of things are in the Bible that make sense. Only, most of you say, Well, I just don't understand the Bible. And you somehow got it in your head that the Bible doesn't make any sense. Well, let me tell you it does. If you think that, you just haven't understood it. Now the Bible foretold our condition today. That women would be the masters over their husbands. And that the children will really rule the roost and that's what's happening today. And so here was one of those sickly, weakly husbands that was more of a mouse than a man. So, he was weak and unable to do anything about it. "When their mother used the household money for her card games it was bad enough; but when she insisted that they turn over - the boys now - turn over the money that they made, working after school, they decided to light out. Bud, Charlie and Glen, were living illustrations of what judges in a dozen juvenile courts had told me. That ninety percent of the youth problem is irresponsibility of parents." Now listen, my friends, that's coming from dozens of judges and juvenile courts that have these problems brought before them. That isn't just from one case, that's probably coming from many, many hundreds of cases in the experience, the voice of experience from these judges.

That ninety percent of the youth problem is irresponsibility of parents and the main trouble, my friends, is that we do not teach respect for authority. We do not discipline anymore. And children are not taught to obey authority. From the beginning of the Bible to the end - the first chapter of Genesis of course, deals with creation, not God's teaching to man, but what God began creating. But you begin to find God's teaching in the very second chapter of Genesis. And there you find God commanding the man saying, 'Do so and so, I, am the supreme ruler. And it will go well with you and everything is going to break right for you and you're going to prosper and going to be happy if you obey. But if you don't, the wages of sin is death.' (Genesis 2:16-17)

Why do you need salvation? It's because you have sinned! Because "...all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23).

What is sin? "...sin is the transgression of the law" [of God]. (I John 3:4)

That law is love, it's a great overall law of love. Love is the principle of righteousness. God is love. God showers His love upon us. How much love do you have? Love is the fulfilling of God's law and that is the right way and that is righteousness. But sin is the transgression of that law. And the law is basically love. But now, we define it a little bit. God doesn't leave it up to you to decide what love is. Because, you'll read back here in Proverbs, in the fourteenth chapter and the twelfth verse, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12)

There is a way that seems right. Now if God leaves it for you to decide which is the right way to express love, in the way that seems right to you, you're going to get the wrong way. So, God goes on and tells us how to express love, what this love is. And it is next sub-divided into the two great principles: love towards God and love towards your neighbor or man. And the first is love to God because, my friends, we are helpless human beings. Just as a little baby is helpless and needs its parent, so are we helpless and we need our spiritual parent, God Almighty. There's so much we need that we can only receive from God. And when you're cut off from God, you're cut off from all of those blessings, all of those benefits that you need. And so, the very first two commandments of God's law when He defines how to love God, if He leaves it to you to decide how to love God, you're going to do the way that will seem right to you. You're going to love God in the way that seems right to you and that's going to end up in death which is the wages of sin, and therefore it will be sin and the wrong way. Now, we need God! Very few people ever turn to God until they come to a plight where they realize their need of God.

And you find that very thing explained as God was explaining it to the very first man in the very second chapter of the Bible. And, did you ever turn over and see what is in the very last chapter in the Bible? And it's all the way through, it's all through the Psalms, it's all through the writings of Moses, it's all through the prophets, it's all through the teachings of Jesus, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, it's all through the book of Acts, it's all the way through the letter of James and the letters of Peter and the letters of John, it's all the way through the book of Revelation. Clear to the end of your Bible where you read here in the very last chapter in the Bible, where Jesus Christ Himself is saying, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments [the Father's commandments], that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." (Revelation 22:13-14)

What's your passport into the Kingdom of God? You have to have a passport to get through and that is obeying God - God's commandments. God's commandments are His law and sin is the transgression of that law. And that law is active, that law is in motion, that law was set there to make you happy. That was set there to give us peace, world peace and happiness and joy and everything good. But we violate it. Nations violate it. Men and women violate it. And we have nothing but family troubles, and we have families and homes broken up, we have juvenile delinquency, we have wars between nations. And what do we have, my friends? Nothing but troubles and headaches and sorrows and sufferings because we break these laws of God.

Respect For Authority (Play from 23:44)

Let me tell you, there's nothing more important in life to learn, than respect for authority and obedience. How much authority does the Bible have in the average home today? You tell a person, "Well the Bible says 'so and so' that you ought to do 'so and so'" and they'll say, "Well yes, I know, the Bible says... but then look, now here's the way I look at it." Yeah, they want you to know how they look at it. When the Bible says 'so and so' that's God speaking and that is God's law. When you violate it - I don't care how you look at it - when you violate it you're going to suffer but the unfortunate thing is you deserve that. But what you don't deserve or someone else doesn't deserve is, that you're going to make other people unhappy along with you. And every one of us is suffering because of the wrongs and the sins of other people besides ourselves, as well as from our own sins. That's one of the terrible things about disrespect for the authority of God - we make others suffer.

But, not only that, your Bible teaches that we must respect the authority of man where he has authority over you. And the laws of the government. God Almighty has set all authority and law in motion. Now, actually, what do we have in this world? We have a system where man has usurped authority from God. And this world is not God's world as most of you have supposed it was. It isn't at all. But nevertheless, God is allowing it, and there could be no authority that God didn't allow. And He is allowing it because He's made us free moral agents - you don't have to obey God. And He has allowed man to set up man's own ideas and systems of government and that sort of thing. But God has allowed it and God tells you and me to pray for those that have the rule over you. Are you doing it? Do you have respect for the traffic laws? You'd save a lot of lives if you did. Do you have respect for the laws of the land? Well your Bible teaches you that you should. Or does that make sense to you? A lot of you think that the Bible doesn't make sense. Well, it does and that's one of the things it says and if we'd all do it, we'd all be a lot better off.

Well, here's the thing. There's been a psychology that you must never punish a child. You must never say 'No', you must never say 'Don't'. Well, let me tell you, my friends, the leading psychologists are beginning to wake up and realize that was a wacky idea. That was not right and they are beginning to admit they've been wrong. And they are beginning to find out that what God says is right. Now, in the twelfth chapter of Hebrews, we come to some of this. I won't have time to begin at the first and go through it, and I'll try to do that in the next program. But God says here,

"...My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth [what? Not who He hates but whom He loveth, He chastens. Notice that], and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." (Hebrews 12:5-6)

God has punished me, and oh, I thank Him for it. It wasn't pleasant. Oh, no, I didn't like it at the time. I would have done anything to have escaped it. But I know the good that it's done me and now I'm thankful.

"If ye endure chastening God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are you bastards and not sons." (Hebrews 12:7-8)

I'm reading that out of the Bible. That's a word I wouldn't use on the air except I am reading it out of the Bible. And that's what God says and "thus saith the Lord", my friends. He goes on to say that if we're without chastening, we just don't love our children if we don't punish them. And God says, you don't love your children and in another passage, He says that you're just about like a murderer if you do not punish your children.

Let me tell you something, my friends, God Almighty is the supreme ruler of the universe and we have the kind of teaching that doesn't want to acknowledge any authority, doesn't want to obey, and submit to any obedience. We don't like to submit to law. Why do we have more lawbreaking in the United States than any nation on the face of the earth? It's because we have this kind of teaching. We don't even believe in punishing our children. We don't even believe in causing our children to have to obey their parents. And you know what God says. Back here in Isaiah, about how women dominate the men, and they certainly do today and the children rule the roost. That's my own language for it but it's been read to you a good many times and that's precisely the way it is today. That's just the way things go on. "As for my people, God says, that their children are their masters and the women wear the pants..." (Isaiah 3:12 paraphrased). That's modern language for it. Well, we've got a lot of wrong psychology and that's the way it's working out. We've produced a generation of puzzled parents.