When you listen to the news, most of it negative, have you ever wondered what’s causing all this chaos?
Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #66 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.
How does decline in Christian influence upon culture, in numbers of believers, in theological or worldview understanding of Christian teachings, of a Judeo-Christian moral consensus work itself out in everyday life?
How does this decline evidence itself in culture in ways beyond declining church attendance or increasing biblical illiteracy?
Depending upon the memory of who’s doing the analysis, the dates vary, but there’s general agreement that a dramatic shift in American culture has been taking place for some time. It’s a shift from a culture widely based upon a Judeo-Christian consensus about what public morality and mores should be to one based upon a largely de-Christianized or post-Christian understanding of life.
How does this shift manifest itself?
If an increasing number of Americans do not believe in the Sovereign God of the Bible and his moral will expressed in the Word of truth – I did not say, do not believe in God, just they do not believe in God as he reveals himself in his Word – If an increasing number do not embrace a Creator God, do not understand responsibility and accountability, and believe they create their own truth, these values will most assuredly result in different choices and a different way of of life than what used to be considered good, optimistic and uplifting, right and righteous, humble, and productive.
Today, we are experiencing increases in every form of human problem, especially emotional, e.g., traumatized youth, anxious or anxiety-ridden celebrities, psychological issues, for example increase rage and mass shooters, and a laundry list of what’s now called mental illness.
These developments are not happening because 21st Century residents are less intelligent or less educated than their forebears. These developments are occurring because human beings have rejected or are rejecting patterns of life God said would allow the human race to flourish.
Ignoring God and moral absolutes results not just in an increase in “Nones” – the people who check surveys saying they have “no religious affiliation” = but an increase in every form of social pathology.
What we are witnessing in America in recent years is not just a blip, some political anomaly, but the consequence of ongoing value choices in which, as a culture, we embrace death instead of life, despair rather than hope, selfish aggrandizement in place of selflessness.
This shift toward a non-Christian worldview also helps explain rapid increases in these categories of behavior:
- Gambling viewed as harmless entertainment.
- Pornography, like prostitution, now considered a victimless crime.
- Debt accepted as almost an entitlement, because in contemporary outlook, debt does not matter.
- Promotion of self-actualization as the highest good in life. Only what please me matters, an idea carried with grave effect into familial, marital, and sexual relationships.
- The idea that mental illness, often vaguely defined, and not human choices and certainly not sin, is the source of human problems.
- The Hollywood idea that marriage is socially unnecessary.
- Maybe even the wholesale embrace of the idea climate change is the greatest existential threat to human existence.
- The sad Sodom and Gomorrah confusion now vested in attitudes toward human sexuality, so-called sexual “orientation,” and abortion on demand.
- Woke philosophy, or should I say nonsense, that in a very short time has infected virtually every part of American culture.
- The constant renewal of racism wherein everything is reduced to discrimination, hate, prejudice, and victimhood.
All of these viewpoints are rooted in non-Christian assumptions about God, humanity, life, and culture. The more we pursue our newfound irrational and unbiblical values, the less free, less humane, and less prosperous our culture becomes. We are losing, nay we are jettisoning, the blessing of American commitment to life and liberty.
Where once Emma Lazarus’s poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty was a beacon of hope to the world –
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
– now, for many, it sounds like a false promise. Not because America does not still teem with opportunities, but because political ideology has twisted our outlook on immigrants, once a source of strength and new ideas, now viewed as votes to keep politicians in power.
Immigrants given open borders across which to traffic children, hustle fentanyl and other narcotics, only reinforces America’s opioid crisis.
Immigrants as human beings in want deserve better than to be used by both political parties. They deserve to be invited to participate in a legal process of naturalization, vetted such that the criminals among them are held out, and assisted so they can find a place to put down roots where they can pursue the American dream.
Add to this the sexualization of children that is now so widespread and growing, so heinous, that even listing what is occurring can make you sick.
How can a culture allow this? It does so because we’ve become convinced that for sex anything goes, that anything short of licentiousness is somehow an affront to freedom and well-being. We are a culture that is upside down.
So, for Christians who still have faith in the Sovereign God of the universe, who still believe and attempt to obey the principles of the Word of God, the task is now a tall order in a pluralistic, secularized culture running amok.
But God is not mocked. He is not gone or absent. He has not forgotten us. Our assignment is not simply to believe the truth but to live it.
This is our moment to shine Christ’s light in this dark world. It is our moment to share the ultimate tipping point, the Good News that faith in Christ can transform anyone into a New Creation.
That’s a message of hope for addicts, convicts, the sexually confused, those trapped in unforgiveness or followers of false ideas, religions, or isms that offer no way out. Becoming a New Creation in Christ is there for all, from the Thief on the Cross to the drug-controlled, psychotic killer in the world’s worst prison. If they are still breathing, there is no one beyond the reach of the Holy Spirit of God.
And Christians know this. We have the message of reconciliation. What a mission. What a Great Commission. All in all, it’s a great time to be alive.
Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com.
And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2023
*This podcast blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.