While speaking for a few moments at the Fifty-Year High School Reunion of our Tifton High School class, I made the comment that we had been extremely fortunate to have been a teenager in the years in which we were at that age. Those years were the late fifties through the mid sixties. In those days the society, compared to the current edition, was relatively pristine. It was a time when society was “clean” at least to some degree. We were not faced with the temptations and opportunities with which to destroy ourselves such as the young people of today are dealing with. The American family was still intact with parents establishing a home and raising a family as it should be done. Men married women and women married men. Children were the byproduct of the home and society was expectant that they would grow up and function as good citizens.
We had no drugs in our high school in the late fifties. If there was any it was well hidden. One guy was always suspected of smoking those “left handed cigarettes” but no one was for sure. There were no mind-altering drugs being dealt at every turn. The teenagers were not looking for some kind of “high” in order to make life interesting or exciting. In fact, in those days, anyone who would take drugs would have been considered the scum of the school and no one would have wanted to have anything to do with them. The worst thing that was practiced was cigarette smoking, tobacco chewing and some…a very few…would drink a beer. Pornography was limited to the back room showing of a film at some stag party. It was not available at the touch of a keyboard to any young person or adult who knows how to turn on a computer and go to a website.
All this to say that my generation was privileged to grow up and be a teenager in the best years, in the best country, in the best society in the history of the world! How privileged we were! But all this is gone. Things have radically changed. The young people of today and for the past thirty years, have had to deal with a decaying and rotting societal situation. They have been faced with things we never dreamed of. We are fortunate to have some very good young people around today because some are shining examples of proper humanity even though they are faced with things that we never imagined would take place in America. Young people of today who are doing the right things and rejecting the decaying direction of society are very strong and inspiring people. The hope of America is for a stable future founded upon God and then it is dependent upon the young people of today growing up and assuming a responsible role in society.
A few years ago, during a sermon I preached at Abilene Baptist Church, I said: “Just what would America look like if we turned America over to the liberals as they would like for us to do? What would happen if, all of a sudden, we told the liberals that they could have their way? If we let them order society as they wanted, what would it look like?” I tried to imagine what it would be like to live in such a society, but I must say that I was woefully wrong in my conclusions. I was unable to go far enough in my speculations. I never dreamed that things could change so fast and as drastically as they have. In my conservative, logical Southern frame of mind I was basically incapable of imagining that we would come to the point that we have arrived at today. The following are some examples to which I refer.
Who, in the fifties or sixties, would have dreamed that this country would declare that same sex marriages are legal? Men marrying men and women marrying women???….why, absolutely it will never happen here!! Whoever heard of such a thing? But now, the Supreme Court has declared that it is acceptable. In fact, if one speaks out against it, they are accused of some hate crime and made to look like a backward fool. I would remind the reader that the opinion of society is really not what matters. It is God’s opinion that matters, and it never changes. One man for one woman for one lifetime is His standard. But, now we know what America would look like on this issue if liberals had their way. Yes….Now We Know.
Who would have ever dreamed that homosexuality would make such strides? I think that one reason it has been so successful in the last thirty years is that the general public thought that it was so aberrant that it would never make it out of the shadows. They, as did I, thought that the American people were so founded and moral that they had nothing to worry about concerning the “alternate lifestyle.” People knew that homosexuality was present in society but that it was a miniscule percentage of the people and would never be accepted. We are now observing just how wrong we were. Human nature is very, very adjustable and that is clearly seen in how our solid, basically moral society of fifty years ago has casually learned to accept this sin as a normal presence in society. If one raises his voice against this practice, then the politically correct masses react quickly in order to suppress them. This writer thinks that our society should realize that it’s not our opinion that ultimately counts on this issue. This country should take a quick look at what God did to Sodom and Gomorrah in reaction to this sin. They cannot be found today, and they have been gone for thousands of years. The same God is sitting on the same throne in the same heaven, and He has not changed His mind. He is not subject to the politically correct thinking of today and the Supreme Court does not hold session in Heaven. We will suffer the same fate if we continue on our present course. So, the liberals have had their way and Now We Know what America would look like under their insistence that all such sexual barriers be broken down.
Drugs are destroying millions of people and eating at the heart of America. Who, in their right mind, would have ever thought they would see marijuana made legal in our country? After putting thousands in jail for possessing small amounts of marijuana, our government has now created the environment in which that “gateway” drug is declared legal. State after state has capitulated to the pressure to make it legal and have done so. Of course, everything rises or falls on leadership and for the first time we have had a President who is not ashamed of the fact that he was a pot smoking drug head. He is not standing in the gap and helping to protect Americans from the legalization of drugs, but his own example encourages it. Why, if a President did it and then finally achieved the highest office in the land, it won’t hurt me!! My question is this: “What will the legal system do with those in jail for doing that which is now legal? Will they apologize to them? I predict that they will and that they will not only release them from jail, but they will compensate them for the time they have spent there. Now We Know what would happen if the liberals had their way. I might add that the way such things are accomplished is to make something legal. Things which would never have been accepted have been declared legal by liberal judges. Marijuana is now a medicine which states area allowing supposedly with great control. The way to get something declared legal is to say that it will be allowed but with great controls. Human nature will break those down in a very short time. Yes, Now We Know!
The people of this country have fallen into the trap that Thomas Jefferson warned us about. They have learned that they can write themselves a check from the treasury. In this age of excess, people don’t know when they get enough of anything. How much money will we borrow? Well, we are at thirty trillion (that’s a stack of $1,000 dollar bills 2,247 miles high) and our “leaders” are still looking for the bottom of the well. They need to remember something that my dad taught me long ago when he said, “Son, remember, you can’t borrow your way out of debt.” But now our leaders are giving away trillions of dollars and have no fear of the results to come. I often wonder just how much actual sense those in control in Washington have. They are not displaying much. I reason that you cannot display much sense if you don’t have it. We, as Christians, should be in earnest prayer for those in Congress who are seeking to do the right things to preserve our country. In this unrestrained frame of mind which now possesses our land, how much farther will it go? One wonders.
Speaking of unrestrained activity. People no longer know when enough is enough of such things as tattoos which, incidentally, God tells us not to do, (Lev.19:28). I think it is foolish to put even one on a person’s body but now people can’t get enough of it all and they literally cover themselves up. Recently, my wife and I saw a young lady with a star tattooed on her chest. Of course, she wore clothes which would show it off. They were far too revealing. I told my wife that the young woman had better enjoy that “star” now because in a few years it will look like a dead octopus with all the points drooping downward.
The “class” of our society is gone. No longer are people proud of themselves as they once were. We are on a downward turn which is not good for the future. Such downward turns tend to get worse instead of better. The effect is cumulative. Society in general is going down the tubes and it is speeding up in the process. When liberals are given free reign and when their “open and free” frame of mind is the order of the day we find ourselves wondering how far will it go. Now We Know!!! But, knowing human nature as I do, I am afraid that in the year 2050, people will look back and consider today as “the good old days.”
Anyone who is awake, and observant will readily agree that some of the things I have mentioned have been eclipsed with far more serious situations in recent days. Everything is backwards in our society and it will only get worse unless something happens that snatches our country back to its senses. If space provided, we could enumerate a number of things that only makes one shake their heads and wonder about the intelligence of those who are the “leaders” of America in today’s world. It seems that our country has a death wish for some reason. Most of what is happening today is totally against what is good for America. A person with only one modicum of intelligence is able to see the situation very plainly. As I said earlier in this piece, Now We Know what would happen if liberal minds were ever put in complete control.
There is only ONE thing that will straighten society out and that is if the Spirit of God would suddenly fall on this nation and bring on another “Great Awakening” such as has occurred in years gone by. Christians everywhere should be in concerted prayer about such a thing happening because things have gone too far to be corrected by humans no matter what “programs” they dream up to fix America. In fact, many leaders in Washington are now stating that the only way to save America is for God to do it in His own sovereign way. Man can’t fix it, but God can. So Now that We Know what man will do, let’s pray and hope that we will see what God will do.
Reverend William (Bill) Harrell has been in ministry 48 years. He served as the pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez, GA for over 30 of those years. He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also check out his blog at www.williamfharrell.com.