Wednesday, November 2, 2016

on Leave a Comment


          The consequences of forgetting God are many and far reaching.  They can easily be observed in the destructive changes that have been brought upon the stability of today’s family.  I was born in 1942, and I view that as a blessing because I was raised in an America during a time when God and his word were still relatively revered as sacred, worthy to be believed in and trusted, and when Judeo/Christian ethics were a valued part of the founding pillars of our nation, whether you were a Christian or not.  Today, it is more often asserted that we were never a Christian nation, but rather a secular nation that looked upon all gods as equal.  Unfortunately, the religion of secularism has been used, for all practical purposes, to replace our Judeo/Christian values.  Over time, people have forgotten the blessings bestowed upon our nation due to the fact that we were a nation which revered and acknowledged the God of the Bible.  When a generation forgets to teach their children about God, His word, and His ways, eventually each succeeding generation thereafter, unless there is a purposeful decision to turn back to God, will experience a steady decline into a state of increasing immorality.  The society as a whole will become more and more depraved, having not the “mind of Christ,” but a mind that is given over to “a reprobate mind,” willfully and purposely serving their lustful desires.
          The sad thing is that, more often than not, the young generations of today, don’t even know what they have lost.  The religion of humanistic secularism has been used to indoctrinate people to think that God, the Bible, and Jesus are myths, antiquated ways that should be cast aside, and even viewed as bigoted, intolerant, and hateful.  Many of those who may still profess to believe in Christ are eager to hear all about God’s love, but run away at the mention of recognizing the sin in our lives, and the need of confessing our sins that we may be forgiven; thereby, virtually erasing our need for Jesus, and removing the importance of His death on the Cross in payment for our sin debt. 
          I’m not asserting that there was ever a time that all people in America were Christians.  But I do submit that there was a time when Judeo/Christian values were revered as a source for a basis and foundation for the standards of morality that were accepted as standards of right and wrong in our country.  One proof of that is the fact that the first “reader” used in our schools was the Bible itself. The Ten Commandments held a prominent place on the walls of our school.  We began the school day by saying the Lords prayer, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and even reading a scripture from the Bible at times.  Therefore, even if one was not a Christian, people were generally held together in society through a belief in biblical standards of right and wrong, even if they did not believe in the Creator of those values.  Over the years, God’s  standards of absolute right and wrong have been replaced by man’s idea that right and wrong are not absolute, but merely “relative” to what man determines it to be, and subject to change as he sees fit to suit his own desires.  When God’s absolute standards are discarded, that is the same as saying that God, His word, and His ways are no longer relevant in the life of man.  If God is no longer relevant, then man no longer has any reason to be accountable unto God for his actions, acknowledgment of sin is seen as unnecessary, the need for a Savior is no longer understood, all gods are equal, and belief in any god, or no god at all, is preferential to believing that there is salvation only through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  If this is true then we have declared God to be a liar, and we have declared our own wisdom, that changes from day to day, to be wiser than God.  Worse yet, we have declared ourselves to be our own god.    
          How has this new religion of humanistic secularism, which replaces God’s standards of absolute right and wrong with man’s standards of relativism and tolerance of all things, affected the stability of the family in our present day society? The family is the most basic unit upon which civilization is built.  The powers of the darkness of this world are always endeavoring to corrupt and destroy mankind, that which has been created “in His (God’s) own image.”  What better way is there to corrupt all of mankind than to destroy the family unit?  God has instructed man that he is to leave his mother and father, choose a wife to be his partner or help mate, and cling only unto her for the rest of their lives.  However, as usual, Satan never ceases to try to destroy anything and everything that God has meant to be for our good.  In America, one of the most glaring seeds of destruction to the covenant of marriage and the family was planted in the sixties by the “free love and hippie movement,” which seemed to pop up out of nowhere and spread like an all consuming wildfire.  In the anti God atmosphere that was taking root in our society, laws were passed through the Supreme Court to take prayer, the Bible, and God out of schools.  The seeds of destruction were spread across the nation, beginning the indoctrination, or brain washing, among America’s most vulnerable, the children.  The religion of humanistic secularism was used to chip away at the Judeo/Christian foundations of our faith, and a weak and increasingly impotent church sat back and said little or nothing.   Thus began the purposeful and intensive brake down of the hedge of protection that God had built to under gird and support the vitality of the family, where children could be raised in a secure and safe atmosphere under the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  I do not mean to infer that the era before the sixties was a time of perfection, for we live in a fallen world.  However, even if one was not a Christian, for the most part, Judeo/Christian values were respected enough in society to provide a standard for what was, or was not, morally acceptable.  Marriage was still valued as a covenant between a man and a woman:  divorce was frowned upon; living together outside the bonds of marriage was not acceptable; getting pregnant outside of wedlock was more than discouraged and seen as shameful; and a gay or lesbian lifestyle was not just unacceptable, it was deemed to be sinful and a perversion.  All of these were recognized as being sinful, that is immoral, and totally against the word of God and His plan of what was good and right in His eyes.  God doesn’t hate the sinner, but He does hate sin, for He knows that sin hurts us.  He wants to protect us from that harm for He knows that “the wages of sin is death.”  Compliance with His standards was recognized as valuable in order to produce stability for the family and society as a whole.  However, in the sixties the door to the idea of “free love” and “if it feels good, do it” was opened. More and more, the people began to turn away from God, preferring to go our own way without Him.  If anyone has even read one book in the Bible, namely Deuteronomy, with an open mind to learn from God, anyone could plainly understand for themselves the blessings of following God and the curses (punishments) for choosing to go your own way without Him.  God only wants what is for our best, but He has given us free will and the choice to rebel against Him and leave His protection.  A simple example, from our earthly life, can be seen when parents endeavor to protect their children by teaching them such rules as: look both ways before crossing the street or a car may smash you flat; and don’t touch the hot stove, or it will burn you, etc.  In the natural, those things make sense to the adult, yet the child, often out of ignorance or out of open rebellion, thinking he knows more and better than his parent, will choose to think to himself, “Humph, who do you think you are? I’m three years old, and you can’t tell me what to do!”  The next thing you know he has been hit by a car and suffered the consequences of a broken limb or death; or he has touched the hot eye on the stove and suffered the consequences of third degree burns.  So it is with our heavenly Father.  He has given us His word to direct our lives for our good, yet what do we do?  We act like the spoiled rebellious child all too often, thinking that we know more and better than He does, thinking that we can determine standards for right and wrong better than God.  We don’t like being confronted with sin in our lives; we don’t like being accountable to anyone but ourselves, and we really don’t like listening to the fact that there really are absolutes for right and wrong, or that there is salvation under heaven on earth through no other name than Jesus the Christ.  We are much more comfortable with the idea of deciding for ourselves what is right or wrong.  In so doing, we have determined for ourselves that God does not really exist; thus, we can make ourselves the only god we need to listen to, and it’s okay to do anything we want to do.  In fact, we have now decided that there are no absolutes for right and wrong.  Instead, all is relative and subject to change at anytime and in anyway.  We have given ourselves the right to do whatever suits our own desires, removing any idea that we are accountable to God for our actions.  How absolutely foolish of us to think that, by our own intelligence and ability to reason, we could ever remove the very God who has given us our intelligence and ability to reason!
          Well, down through the decades since the 1960’s, what were the consequences and effects upon the family unit?  To cover the topic completely, would take much more knowledge than I personally have.  But I know enough through observation, personal experience, and research, to speak with at least a modicum amount of understanding.  I think the best way to exemplify and explain the corruption that has taken place in our American society is to point out how the very definition of the word family has been redefined to suit our present conditions.        There is no intent to condemn anyone, but merely to demonstrate what has happened to us as we have turned away from God. 
          The more we push God, His ways, and His word out of our lives, the more immorality takes root and even becomes condoned, changing what was unacceptable into the normal and acceptable.  In the words of the Bible, this is known as “calling good evil, and evil good.”  This can be observed everywhere you look these days, though we are not the first nation to turn away from God and bring down His judgment and wrath against us.  Like I said before, the Bible tells us His truth better than anything or anyone else ever could.
          As the idea of “free love,” which is a misnomer in itself, was touted as the latest and greatest, or “good” path to follow, the walls of modesty, fidelity, morality, and loyalty to the marriage vows began to crumble and fall like the walls of Jericho.  Rightly, this period of time should not be called the era of “free love,” but of “free lust;” real love has nothing to do with it.  In reality, it was opening the door to the worship of the idol of pleasure.  An idol is anything that takes the place of God, and sin is anything that comes between us and God.  At that time, societal attitudes, whether one was a Christian or not, still encouraged both sexes to remain virgins until they were married.  Girls who slept around were looked upon as loose tramps that no self respecting young man wanted to be seen with, at least not in public, and never the type to take home to meet mom and dad.  Even being a guy who slept around was disparaged, and girls knew not to have anything to do with that type of guy, if she knew what was good for her.  I’m not saying they didn’t indulge in sex before marriage, but that it was not seen as good and acceptable behavior.  Yet, along came the sixties and suddenly the world in America was turned upside down.  Not all, but many more were openly rebelling against all that had previously been viewed as good, right, moral, and acceptable behavior.  This not only lead to sex outside of marriage if one was single, but also to more adultery, and eventually making divorce easier, more frequent, and condoned as acceptable in society.  Divorce then led to more single parent families, and more fatherless children.  Eventually, it has now often become more “normal” and acceptable to have several sexual partners, live together before getting married, and the promotion of the idea that “if it doesn’t work out to the satisfaction of one or both, just walk out and search for the next relationship to satisfy your desires.  More and more relationships were and are based on lust and physical attraction, and less on the bonds of friendship, true love, loyalty, commitment, and common goals and interests.  Many live together, with or without marriage, based more on the loose bonds of being room mates and the idea of “what have you done for ME lately,” instead of the loving bonds of “what can I do for you, and the rewards of making each other happy.”  Of course the latter, is only truly accomplished when the relationship is based upon living out the godly principle of “esteeming the other more highly than you do yourself.”  Frequently today, relationships are more like going through the drive through restaurant, ordering fast food for instant gratification, instead of taking the time and effort to go to the grocery store, pick out good quality food, and taking it home to prepare and make a good meal that takes more time, knowledge, and work, but often brings much more satisfaction and greater appreciation.
          God created sex to be an expression of true love between a man and a woman bound together, not by a contract, but by a mutual covenant before the Lord, with a caring and loving commitment between one another like the vows say: “I, ___, take you, ___, to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”  Sex was not just for procreation, but for oneness between them as husband and wife that would, and should, bind them together with cords of love that can not be broken.  When two truly become one through God’s work in them, they will be able to stand against the storms of life, and not be torn apart with every little rain or thunder storm that passes through their lives.  Have you ever heard or spoken such words as: “Well, I’m just not happy; I didn’t sign up for this,” “If this is all there is, I’m out of here right now,” or “If only he would ___, then I would __”?  Whatever happened to the kind of love that was willing to work on problems together, to mutually do whatever it takes to find solutions to make things right and good for both of you?  When did it become so appealing to walk out at the first sign of trouble because things weren’t going just the way you wanted them?  It seems, more often than not, couples have the attitude that nothing is really worth the effort that it takes to work and “fix” what is wrong.  It’s better in their minds to just take the easy way out, throw it away like a piece of garbage, and look for the next thing to fulfill self centered desires.
          As we walk away from God and His absolute and established standards of right and wrong, we have contributed more and more to our own destruction and demise.  “Free lust,” as I call it, has led to rampant sexually transmitted diseases, and not just among the young as you may think.  Recently, I was made aware of the statistics which show the highest percentage of sexually transmitted diseases is found within senior citizen communities.  In addition, I did not learn until I was in my fifties that the more sexual partners a woman has in life the greater were her chances for cervical cancer.  Just recently I learned through TV that parents are now being encouraged to vaccinate their teenagers against HPV cancers.  They don’t inform the public that HPV is sexually transmitted, and also related to having several partners beginning at a young age.  They leave the public to infer that HPV just happens to anyone with no relationship to the factor of being sexually active or having numerous partners.  It’s almost assumed today that becoming sexually active at a young age is considered to be normal, but does not warn that it has consequences.  Isn’t this knowledge in itself enough to demonstrate the value of why it’s important to follow what God has said, proving that what He has determined to be right and wrong, moral or immoral, is for our own good?  There we go again, acting like the three year old that tells her/his Dad, “I’m __ years old, and you can’t tell me what to do!”
          I’m not even going to go into the homosexual behavior thing as being unacceptable to God.  In truth, homosexual and heterosexual immoral behaviors are both that, immoral, sinful, and subject therefore to consequences.  Involvement in sin always brings consequences that are never for our good as individuals, families, or the society as a whole.  I’ve written about this topic more than once.  If anyone disagrees, your argument is with God, not me.  Determining what is sin, (right or wrong), is in God’s hands, not mine or yours.  Whether you agree with Him or not, will not change Him or His word, but disagreement with Him opens the door for Satan to have the right to bring his destruction into your life or mine.  God is a loving God, but He is also a just and righteous God.  We can not go on sinning, never confessing or repenting of our sins, (turning away from them), and expect God to just turn a blind eye as we disrespect and rebel against Him.  If we never recognize the sin in our lives, we will never realize our need for His forgiveness, or acknowledge that we need Him as Savior and Lord.
          As the decades have gone by, the present generations are not even aware of what they have lost.  They have no idea of what life was like in America before the door to “free lust” was opened.  I do not mean to infer that life before the sixties was without immorality; it was far from it.  The difference between then and now is that immorality is practically celebrated and even condoned as good from the source of our laws.  Couples who were in difficult, and sometimes tumultuous marriages, still stayed together, because there was a commitment to their marriage vows before the Lord.  Yes, there were still consequences, but not as devastating and harmful in the end as it could have been.  I had the example of my parents.  They might have been locked in a WWIII battle one moment, but the next moment one was encouraging and caring for the other to fight back against the results of a severe stroke.  My Dad was bathing and feeding my Mama when she could no longer do that for herself.  They were flawed and imperfect people, but they perfectly demonstrated what it meant to be totally committed and loyal to one another through the good and the bad.  Throughout their lives, they demonstrated a commitment of what it meant to keep their vows to one another for “better or worse, in good times and bad.”    Though they often fought with each other like cats and dogs, still they had to have a kind of love for one another that was not willing to quit or walk away, even in the worst of times.  If nothing else, their difficulties and problems with one another in their marriage relationship made me all the more determined to do all that I needed to make my marriage work, and, thankfully, so did my husband.  Anything worth having is worth working for to make it through the trials of life which will always are exist.  Nothing will be perfect, for we are all imperfect humans.  But all will be made perfect when we meet our Savior and Lord in our real home in Heaven.  Until then, we are to trust in the Lord that as we learn to be obedient unto Him, He will work within us to continue to perfect us, making us more and more into His image.  When we submit ourselves to His Lordship, we then will also desire to do that which pleases Him.  Doing what pleases Him is always going to work for our good, and not for our harm.  “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand.”(Psalm 37: 23, 24)
          In our own arrogance and pride, we are contributing to our own downfall, from our existence as individuals and including the existence of society as we know it.  We act as if there is nothing sacred anymore.  We no longer know what it means to fear the Lord, to hate evil as He does, or even acknowledge His right to have authority over us.  We want His blessings, but don’t want to be accountable unto Him.  We have forgotten that if we love Him, we will strive, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to keep His law, not because we “have to,” but because we want to do that which pleases Him.  Living out our lives, according to His word is to be led and protected by Him. “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”  “Wait on the Lord, and keep His way, and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.”  “But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: He is their strength in time of trouble.” (Psalm 37: 31, 34, 39)
          As long as you have breath, it is not too late to pray to the Lord, confess your sins, repent, turn from our wicked ways, and ask Jesus into your heart to be your Savior and Lord.  If you seek the Lord you will find Him.  As you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you.  He will remove your stony heart and give you a heart of flesh, one that is ready and open to hear His voice and willing to submit your will to His.  Won’t you open your heart to Him, that He may come in and change your life forever?  Learn what it means to be led by His Spirit, instead of being led by your flesh.

          I have read the following scripture many times before, but never did I understand the significance of the last part of it until recently:
“And Elijah came near to all the people and said, ‘How long will you go limping between two different opinions?  If the Lord is God, then follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him.’  And the people did not answer him a word.” (I King 18: 21)  I repeat: “AND THE PEOPLE DID NOT ANSWER HIM A WORD.”  Did you get the significance of that last sentence?  The people were given a choice, God or Baal.  And yet they chose to say nothing. They didn’t cry out unto God with all their being to proclaim, “Lord God, of course we choose you, for you alone are the one and only true God.  We are your people, and you are our God!”  No, they thought they could continue to receive God’s blessings even as they chose to go after other gods, and forget the one that had delivered them from sin and death.  Believing in God is a covenant.  He promises to love, care for and protect those who have entered into that covenant with Him.  The people also promise to love and obey Him with all their mind, heart, and soul.  To understand how this relationship between God and man is supposed to work, let us use the relationship of a man and woman, bound together in a covenant before God.  Just how long do you think their marriage would last if either of them decided to run around and cheat on one another?  That is a simple example from an earthly point of view, but it certainly should help us understand why the promise from us to God is even more important. 
          I repeat, “The people said nothing.”  I ask you, how long will you be silent?  How long will you waver between two opinions?  I pray that TODAY you will make the decision to declare God as the only one true God, and choose to follow Him, and none other.  Who do you say Jesus is?  Is He your Savior and Lord?  Do you strive through the power of the Holy Spirit within you to live out your life guided by His word in your life, to do that which is pleasing unto the Lord? Let us remember, pray, and live out our lives just as Jesus did; “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”


Post a Comment