How Violent Crime Is Threatening to Wipe Out Godly Values in Our Youth

Judge Phil Ginn

President of Southern Evangelical Seminary
Updated Jan 31, 2024
How Violent Crime Is Threatening to Wipe Out Godly Values in Our Youth

There is only one thing that will save our nation and its inhabitants, and it is twofold in nature. First and foremost, “God’s people, who are called by His name,” must turn their hearts to Him. Secondly, this nation must return to its intended status of being a government of laws that are based on the morality of God-given standards of conduct.

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It was almost 20 years ago when a 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck an undersea fault line in the Indian Ocean. The size of the quake and the location gave rise to a perfect storm of enormous devastation. In the space of about 10 minutes, the quake had released the intensity of over 1,000 atomic bombs. Spreading quickly toward both Thailand and India, walls of water exceeding 100 feet in height delivered catastrophic destruction to anything in their wake. Within a matter of minutes and hours, over 230,000 men, women, and children lost their lives to the most disastrous tsunami in recorded history. Many of the deaths occurred on or near beaches that were so far away that the quake itself was not felt. Only the overwhelming magnitude of the wall of water gave any precursor of the apocalypse that overtook the victims.

The forces of nature can be extremely violent, and the turbulence often comes, as in this case, with little or no advanced warning. However, humankind can sometimes be just as violent and erratic as nature. For those who are close observers, the destructive nature of the “faults” in our genetic makeup will often emit clues as to any pending decimation of our peaceful existence. 

At the risk of crying wolf, there is evidence of a pending tsunami of great destructive force within our society. The vexing complication is that not many people are observant enough to detect the danger as it unfolds, and even if they are, our government seems at best impervious to the dilemma and, at worst, impotent to even act. 

With my background as a retired trial judge, I have been trained to pay attention to details that may not be as apparent to the average person. This is increasingly so if statistical analyses reveal a pattern of a potentially menacing trend. Such is the case in considering crime statistics over the last couple of years.

If you look closely, the first thing that you will see is that the numbers have shown a decrease in the overall crime rate over the last decade or so. Mind you, these statistical graphs can be skewed as a result of various factors, including the handcuffing of law enforcement personnel during events like the “mostly peaceful demonstrations” that occurred in the summer of 2020. There were obvious and widespread violations of the law that police officers could not contain, whether because of the sheer magnitude of the violence or because of “orders from above.” Either way, statistics can be misleading because of this or other reporting failures.

Regardless, when considering the overall crime rates again for the years 2022 and for those trickling in for the year 2023, you may find bureaucrats focusing on what they will refer to as the “leveling out” of the crime rate for their city or jurisdiction at the low levels of the previous several years. The problem arises, though, when you peel back the curtain and look at crimes being committed solely by juveniles and those with juveniles as victims.

For example, the Raleigh News and Journal in my home state of North Carolina is reporting the alarming news that “across North Carolina, the numbers of juveniles accused of murder, shootings and other violent crimes increased from 2021 to 2022, along with the number of alleged crimes.” The statistical data also shows that “the number of North Carolina youth charged with committing violent crimes, such as robberies, murders and shootings, rose 9%.” But perhaps the most significant increase comes in the number of violent crime complaints against minors in the juvenile system (equivalent to criminal charges in the adult system), which astonishingly rose 21%. 

Apparently, the news for 2023, at least in Charlotte, NC, one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, is not any better. In their report, which was released just a few days ago, officers in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) described juvenile crime as a “major area of concern” for their department. The startling statistics report a 34% increase in the number of juveniles who were arrested. Additionally, there was a 33% increase from 2022 in this young age group who were named as suspects in shootings. Also, the number of underage victims of gun violence sharply increased to 18% up from the year before. The CMPD spokesman concluded his session by reminding us that “this should be extremely alarming that children are allowed to wreak havoc of this magnitude in the city with minimal consequences.”

Mind you, this phenomenon is not restricted to North Carolina. In fact, Fox News recently ran a story about Cleveland, Ohio, and the surrounding Cuyahoga County. It appears that although overall homicide rates are declining in Cleveland, children are increasingly facing what has been labeled as “rising risks of violence and murder.”
The article goes on to say, “Of the 165 murders reported by Cleveland Police in 2023, 22 victims were children, and eight were under the age of 10.” Michael Polensek, chairman of the Cleveland City Council Public Safety Committee, proclaimed, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my lifetime, and I’m the senior member [of Cleveland City Council].” He went on to say that “the current level of youth violence — against minors and perpetrated by them — is unprecedented.”

The cause for alarm deepens when the data provided by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office shows that juveniles incarcerated on murder charges in 2023 represent an astounding 90% increase over the number incarcerated in 2021. Is it any wonder that Councilman Polensek voiced his total frustration with the situation when he continued, “We have to figure out how to save these kids from themselves and protect the community? If that does not happen, this situation is not going to get any better. In January 2024, I see nothing on the horizon to tell us that the county is really understanding the severity of the problem.” Almost prophetically, the good councilman then proclaimed, “Kids and families are not a priority; our priorities are out of whack. . ..”

Though many of the alarms are anecdotal and somewhat confined to larger cities, the threat should be no less evident. Even the Wall Street Journal acknowledged this reality in an article appearing on January 23, 2023, when it reported a headline that read, “Juvenile Crime Surges, Reversing Long Decline. ‘It’s Just Kids Killing Kids.” The subheading was even more telling when it declared, “Violence among children has soared across the country since 2020. One consequence: a mounting toll of young victims.”

While all of these numbers may seem like “much ado about nothing” to many casual observers, we should also remember that the undersea earthquake that gave rise to the terrible tsunami catastrophe was in this same category, at least initially. The reality is that with the cyclical nature of the criminal activity being as it is, if the current trend of increased violence and malfeasance continues, then these dangerous increases will not be confined to the youngest grouping, but they will sweep upward through every age bracket until the overall crime rate goes through the roof. 

At the same time, it should also be noted that this current analysis is not taking into account the influx of criminals, including gang members and terrorists, across our borders. According to some reputable calculations, the total number of illegal immigrants roaming American soil at this moment is in excess of 20 million, more than double the population of North Carolina. The final result of the onslaught on America from this invasion is yet to be determined, but anyone with any sense whatsoever already knows the end result will be calamitous to the infrastructure of our society, particularly in regard to our criminal justice system. 

Then, on top of all these aggravating factors, the homelessness problems along with the total breakdown of our mental health system and the intentional deconstruction of the family in our nation have now created the same kind of perfect storm that wreaked havoc in around the Indian Ocean almost 20 years ago.

Notwithstanding, even with at least some form of early warning system seemingly in place, the danger is exponentially exacerbated because America is simply not currently equipped to deal with the potential deluge of criminality that is about to befall us. Not only is our southern border in a “catch and release mode,” but so is our justice system. When Soros’ prosecutors decide to continually release violent offenders with little or no bond requirements or when they refuse to prosecute or under-prosecute felonious activity, then we already have “sown the wind,” and we will soon “reap the whirlwind.” Arguably, we as a nation have already crossed that threshold of no return. In the words of the famous Bachman-Turner Overdrive song, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

Other than failing to bring criminals to justice through the court system, the bleeding hearts amongst us would argue that we need to throw more money into hiring more counselors, developing more intervention programs, and legalizing other destructive behaviors while giving out free synthetic drugs to addicts to keep them from buying “real” drugs on the street. Well, we have already been there, wasted the money, and the failures are conspicuous.

The final question then that remains in the quest to quell the threat of our ultimate destruction is simply, does America have the guts to do what is necessary to control the impending violence? If steps are not immediately taken to beef up law enforcement, put teeth back into our court systems, and increase the capacity of our prisons, particularly by adding beds for the treatment of drug and alcohol abuse, then our nation will simply drown in our own blood.

Ultimately though, there is only one thing that will save our nation and its inhabitants, and it is twofold in nature. First and foremost, “God’s people, who are called by His name,” must turn their hearts to Him. Secondly, this nation must return to its intended status of being a government of laws that are based on the morality of God-given standards of conduct.

At Southern Evangelical Seminary, we understand that a resurrection of true faith is the only thing that stands between our beloved nation and total annihilation. That is why we have begun a new initiative we are calling Truth That Matters, which is designed to reach out to our churches and our families with the foundational training and inspiration that is so sorely needed in our country as people of faith seek to live in these evil days. We will begin, as we should, with 21 days of prayer in February. Concerned Christians from all across this nation are invited to join us in this endeavor because therein lies our only hope for our nation and the precious souls of her people. 

Photo Credit:©GettyImages/Meyer & Meyer 

Judge Phil GinnAfter a distinguished career as both a lawyer and a judge, Judge Phil Ginn retired as the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge for the 24th Judicial District in North Carolina. Over the course of his 22-year judicial career, he was privileged to hold court in almost 50 percent of the county seats in North Carolina. He has been married to his wife, Lynn, for almost 45 years. Together, they have 4 daughters, three sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. Currently, Judge Ginn serves as the president of Southern Evangelical Seminary.

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