(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Augusta Press.)
For two hundred years, America has been recognized as the moral and spiritual leader of the world. Even today, with all of its wickedness and imperfections, our great country is still considered to be the moral bellwether of the world. It hardly seems possible, but the people of other countries all over the world actually look up to us for moral leadership. I think that this says something very disturbing about the moral and spiritual condition of the world at large because we know that our moral quality is declining rapidly. In fact, we have fallen to new lows in our personal morality.
If left to itself a society will degenerate very rapidly into a people mired in the filthiest moral quagmire. Things are happening today which were unheard of or not thought of until the recent past. Our founding fathers would be astounded if they knew how people have used their founding documents to pervert the morality and spirituality of the American public. Our U.S. Constitution is now being interpreted by a society dominated by secular humanists and liberals. One may wonder why some of the constitutional rulings which have been handed down over the past few years sound so weird and convoluted. I think the answer is an easy one. A document written by God-fearing Christian and deist writers is being twisted out of shape and form in an effort to make it apply to the demands of a liberal, secular society dominated by people who care very little about spiritual matters. The First Amendment has been abused by these same people to the point that they claim that it makes room for pornography and sacrilegious expression. Indecency is now supposed to fall under the First Amendment and anyone with a sound mind knows that it should not be so. Christianity is a favorite target for abuse and when it occurs it is supposed to be acceptable under some twisted interpretation of the First Amendment. John Quincy Adams said: “We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made ONLY for a moral and religious people. It is WHOLLY INADEQUATE for the government of any other,” (emphasis mine). And, that is the very reason the constitutional rulings are sounding so absurd today. They are trying to reinterpret a document made for a Godly people and make it apply to liberal, secular, Godless situations.
Thomas Jefferson made this statement: “No nation has yet existed or been governed without religion, nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man and as Chief Magistrate of this nation I am bound to give it the sanction of my example.” I only wish we had leaders who felt that way today. Our former President, Bill Clinton, made this comment while speaking to a meeting of homosexual activists. He said, “We are redefining in practical terms the immutable ideals that have guided us from the beginning.” It is clear that he wants to remake society into something the founding fathers did not foresee. Incidentally, if the ideals are immutable then they ARE UNCHANGABLE, and somehow, I think the former President of the United States ought to know that.
The church must stand against the spirit of its age if we are to be a moral and spiritual lighthouse at all. Ships crash upon the rocks when the light in the lighthouse goes out. I’m concerned that instead of challenging the spirit of our age, the church is absorbing that spirit, and as she does, the light in the lighthouse grows dimmer and dimmer.
The only entity which has the true message of hope is the church. Trillions have been spent pursuing the promises and hopes of the government and politicians, but society is in an ever-worsening condition. Where moral and spiritual guidance is lacking or watered down with secularism, the lowest common denominator of human conduct will prevail. Each generation can only teach its children the level of moral conduct it has experienced itself. But, it is easy for each generation to slip just a little more into the moral abyss. So, therefore, the continual trend of society is downward. Somehow this must be confronted and reversed, and the church is the only institution which as the moral power to do so. We must meet the challenge. We have no option but to continue to try to survive in an ever-decaying environment. And, while I know what scripture says about how man is going to get worse and worse until the end comes, I do not think we can sit on our laurels; enjoy our spiritual security and watch the world go by. That is not why God has kept us here. There are those to be saved, and each one who is saved will have a different morality and spirituality with which to impact this society in a Godly way. Our primary task is the redemption of the lost, but once that has happened then obedience is the issue.
But, God is still on the Throne of the universe and we are still His church. We must remain faithful to the task set before us because, I believe, that we are the last bastion of morality and Godliness. If we fail, there is absolutely no hope for this nation.
So, the church must stand up and confront a decadent culture. She is the only one empowered with the message which will succeeded and the only one empowered with the Holy Spirit of God who has equipped her for the task.
Reverend William (Bill) Harrell has been in ministry 49 years. He served as the pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez, GA for over 31 of those years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out his blog at www.williamfharrell.com