Some Thoughts on Moral Deterioration
By Al Stoner
It is good for us soberly to remember at all times that this nation was not founded as a "Christian nation" as many claim today, but nevertheless, many of America's founding fathers had more wholesome views of God, reflected in the things that they wrote, than the majority of those professing faith in our day. It is amazing to read some of the thing which they held to be "self-evident." And with all of the rejection of God, and the things pertaining to God, that have occurred over the past several decades, and before, it is good for us to think soberly about what is actually preserving America to this day?
Every nation in the world's history has had both a beginning, a decline, and finally an end (with the exception of Israel). Nations such as Babylon, the Medo-Persian Empire, Greece, Rome, and Egypt each had their turn to rule the world as world empires. Today what is left of those nations are mostly archaeological relics, greatly downsized remnants of former world powers, and places of tourism. Each of these countries fell altogether, or, at least, fell from their once-held place of world prominence because of moral disintegration. They fell because of the sinful debaucheries that they gave themselves to and lavished themselves in. From another perspective, they fell when their iniquity was full (cf. Gen. 15:16), and when they had finally served the purpose for which they were ordained of the Holy One. They rejected what knowledge of the true God that they had with a preference to feeding their sinful lusts, and God humbled them. The LORD is the Governor among the nations, and He is not a respecter of persons or of nations.
I personally give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ that I was born and have lived all of my life in America. It has been a particularly unique time and place in the world's history. This has been a time characterized by what I would call a general, but extremely rare, normality of life and of good days. We get up every day, go to work, go to school, make plans, go here and there at will, go on vacation, go on trips, come home, and have a place to come home to. Whether men are rich or poor, there has been an element of relative safety that has characterized most of our days, safety and normality that are for the most part taken for granted. It is, however, safety and normality that men shall give account to God for not taking advantage of.
Times such as these, particularly, are times that God gives, not only to seek Him, but also to cultivate a love and devotion for His holy Name through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is so that those professing faith, especially, may "we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (I Tim. 2:2. Times of relatively less distraction are times that God gives to men so that they may give themselves to setting their affection on things that are above, and not on things on the earth (Col. 3:1-4).
Many others in the world's history have grown up in such places as a war zone, or "theater of war," or in a time of great plagues, or pestilence, or famine, or in a time of great oppression by the government. These were times when people lived from day to day, not knowing whether or not their family circle or circle of close associates would be unbroken before the day was over. For many, this was what became to be regarded to be normal.
In my lifetime, however, I have personally, as well as many others, witnessed a steady and significant deterioration in the moral fabric that is all about us. There has been a marked and increased rejection, in almost every quarter, of the Lord and of His Christ, evidenced by such things as the banning of prayer and Bible reading in the schools, the murdering of unborn children (as well as the legalizing of this practice), the banning of capital punishment for murderers, and other like things have all crept into the fabric of America's society, causing it to steadily disintegrate. Listening to the evening news one soon becomes persuaded that the situation is worsening on every hand: unprecedented droughts, major forest fires destroying homes and livelihoods, devastating floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, the deadly Ebola plague, terrorist threats, the increasing disrespect of human life, the legalization of things that simply are not right, etc. The Lord Jesus Christ said to the Pharisees, who were seeking from Him a sign, "When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (Mat 16:1-3). When men refuse to have God in their knowledge, it is characteristic of God to give those rejecting Him over to a reprobate mind. In our judgment this is what we are beholding before our very eyes. When men do not repent of their vanities and evil ways, God pours out His judgments upon them.
The exploitation of concupiscence and violence on television, in movies, in children's games have become increasingly and aggressively prevalent. We have also lived to witness the almost complete devaluation and disintegration of the husband and wife relationship in marriage. In most recent months and years we have witnessed the legalization of same-sex marriage!!! (In the plumbing industry, male threads have be joined together with female fittings. Couplings and male elbows simply do not go together of themselves. It is the same in the electrical field. Male plugs have to be inserted into female receptacles. That is the only way they go together. Everyone knows this. That is the only way that they serve the purpose for which they were made. Also, in the animal kingdom, roosters always mate together with hens, and stallions with mares, bucks and does, and they are productive.) These examples will suffice to express our exasperation and holy concern.
Lest I be misunderstood, I again want to state that I am thankful to God that I was given to live in the time and place of the working out of His purpose in Christ Jesus. But I also know that the God that made the world and all things that are therein is holy. He is holy and righteous in all of His ways. In the gift of His only begotten Son, He has made abundant provision for the putting away of sin once. But He has made no provision for men neglecting Him and His great salvation in Christ, unless it be the provision of being cast away forever from His Presence. Before Christ's coming into the world to lay down His life a ransom for many, the Scripture says that God winked at, or overlooked those times, but now He commands all men everywhere to repent and take hold of the salvation that He wonderfully provided in Christ Jesus. "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else" (Isa. 45:22).