What is wrong with our society? We are destroying historical monuments to erase our history. We allow men, dressed as weird, gross caricatures of women, to read to our children in public libraries in order to confuse them about the distinct line between the gender boundaries. We allow men dressed as women, many who are sex offenders, to enter into women’s restrooms. People are mutilating their bodies and claiming to be some gender other than their biological gender. We are legalizing vices that were once off limits to any decent society. What is wrong with us?
What is wrong with the church? We are replacing a thus saith the Lord with movies, theater, plays and exercise classes and other social events. Churches that wear the Lord’s name are using translations that once would have been avoided. Things are happening today, both in society at large and in the church, that we never would have believed could have happened just a few, short years ago. It is as if we are witnessing the methodical and purposeful erosion of our culture. It seems to be spiraling out of control. How could this have happened?
One reason this has happened is that we have seen our society turn further away from God than ever before. A Pew research study released in October 2019 found that only 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christian. That is down twelve percent over the last decade. Is it any wonder, then, that there has been an increase in immoral and godless behavior? Even Richard Dawkins, a well known atheist, very recently admitted that those who believe in God, especially Christians, are more likely to engage in moral behavior. Of course, the Bible is clear about this. When people move away from belief in God they open the floodgates of depravity (Rom. 1:18-32; Psalm 14:1-7).
Not only was the United States founded upon Judeao-Christian principles and values, all of Western culture was, as well. It is these values that have made America the greatest nation, in many respects, to ever exist. Those values have formed the basis of our law and culture and have been a blessing not only to ourselves but to the whole world. But the further we turn from God to a more secular based society the more chaos ensues and the less unique we become. Those on the left criticize traditional values and tout post-modern, liberal culture and consequently are overseeing the dissolution of western civilization. When we turn away from God anything goes and that is exactly what is happening. And we seem to be letting it happen all in the name of tolerance.
Second, there no longer seems to be a concern for truth in our society. According to a recent Gallop poll, nine in ten Americans say they have lost trust in the media to tell the truth. The internet is rife with lies and half-truths. We once taught our children the importance of being honest. George Washington, for instance, was held out as an example of the virtue of honesty. We taught our children he said “I cannot tell a lie, I chopped down the cherry tree.” We used to hail the example of “Honest Abe.” Now we teach our children these were lies and encourage them to use lying as a survival strategy.
This all is a direct result of turning away from God. When there is no God there is no objective ground for the truth. Everything becomes relative. It is true that Relativism is not a new doctrine. It has been around at least since the fifth century before Christ. A Greek philosopher by the name of Protagoras said that man was the measure of all things and, in fact, denied we could know that God even exists. But today this view is very pervasive. For example, a child who has a Christian message on their t-shirt is disciplined by a public school but a child who dresses like the opposite sex is protected and even encouraged as brave. Many examples like this could be multiplied.
This became a serious issue in the church, as well, when certain brethren began saying that for all we know we may be wrong about this doctrine or that. Therefore, they said, we should not be dogmatic about any particular doctrine. They took up Protagoras’ view and ran with saying we could not even know if God exists. These men have taken up the relativists banner and changed the truth of God into a lie (Rom. 1:25). But the Bible is clear that we can know the truth and it will make us free (John 8:32).
Finally, because truth is no longer important, westerners are embracing false, eastern religions like never before. Islam, in particular, is making inroads into our culture at an alarming rate. Alarming because their stated goal “in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house” (http://www.theoakinitiative.org/pdfs/teamb/15-Shariah-The-Threat-to-America-Team-B-Report-Web-285-308.pdf). When you read their intent it is alarming to know that, as NPR stated it, “a record number of Muslim Americans ran for statewide or national office this election cycle, the most since the terror attacks pf Sept. 11, 2001.”
What is needed is a modern intellectual, moral and spiritual crusade to take back the values and traditions that are our heritage. We need to give an answer to every man for the hope that is in us with meekness and fear (I Pet. 3:15). Maybe it is because we have not sanctified the Lord God in our hearts that we are unwilling or unable to defend the truth and those values. Many of us will remain faithful to the Lord no matter what happens to our culture but we will have to do it in greater isolation and at greater peril if we do not make up the hedge and stand in the gap now (Ezek. 22:30).
Eric L. Padgett