Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Our nation has fallen prey to the Athenian spirit, always seeking "something new." As a result people drift from social fad to social fad in hopes of stumbling upon that which will satisfy their cravings—always hungry but never filled. We live in a culture that has abandoned the certainty of God's revealed truth for the empty promises of self-proclaimed leaders. "Professing to be wise they became fools and exchanged the truth of God for a lie" (Rom. 1:22). Ethical matters in our society, having no plumb line as a standard, are left to be determined by the latest public opinion poll. Truth is constantly put to the popular vote and whim of the ever-shifting majority. Elected officials and judges at all levels trim their ethical sails to catch the prevailing winds. No standard that rises above all men is allowed; how old fashion and naive. We live in more enlightened times. Those old standards put too many restraints on us. Surely we can have our cake and eat it too.
The sexual revolution provides vivid illustration of this cultural dilemma. The Bible was unrealistic when it demanded chastity and monogamous marital relationships; how repressive. Christianity simply does not take into account human sexuality and its need to express itself. There is nothing wrong with free sex and multiple partners of the opposite or same sex. Freedom from this bondage was demanded. Well, like a train freed from the bondage of its tracks, this new popular sexual ethic soon bogged down under its own weight. Freed from God's repressive law, new social problems soon surfaced. As one may not violate the law of gravity with immunity, neither may God's moral laws be violated without severe results. (There have always been individuals who violate such laws, but we are speaking now of an entire social shift of ethical standards). This new freedom brought with it a harsh taskmaster that demanded his price for such liberty; broken marriages, unwanted pregnancies, abused children, diseases, and an increased burden on the social welfare system are but a few of the personal and social costs for this enlightened ethic.
Having failed so dismally, we might expect a social shift back to those less costly standards found in the Scriptures. However, being wiser than God, men sought ways to violate God's laws without having to pay the high price for their actions. Education in "safe sex," public distribution of condoms (even to children), abortion on demand, and increased welfare benefits would enable us to sin against God without facing the consequences of that sin. "We will show God that we can circumvent His law. Nobody can tell us what to do. We will not have this man to rein over us."
We might have hoped that the Christian community would have been the clarion voice in this deficient culture, standing firm to proclaim and live by God's holy standards as they are revealed in His Word. After all, we are a holy or separate people, set apart to follow Him and to submit to His Lordship. The unbelieving world may question the Scriptural ethical standard but certainly not those who profess Him as their Savior. We would be the salt and light of the culture that would illumine and preserve. Though all others forsake Him, surely we would remain faithful in declaring the righteous standard of God's law in which we delight. This would-be army of believers has fainted and withered, scattering in order to avoid the cultural confrontation. Liberal church members have defected to join the ranks of the pagan culture as they too have abandoned God's Word and called its authority into question. Scripture has become a bankrupt document for them. Fundamentalists and pietists have often retreated into their churches to hide. Some are packing their bags in anticipation of being raptured out of the mess, and many have traded in their once firm stand on the Word of God for and arbitrary pluralism that seeks to make peace with the enemy.