It would appear that certain segments of our society are flagrantly participating in, and riotously proving that rebellion is indeed inherently anchored in the soul of every man, woman, and child. And truly nothing has shown itself to be more proficient at destroying families, communities, cities, and nations quicker, than open, flagrant, rebellious actions spewing forth from rebellious hearts. Hearts which operate from a position of hedonistic pursuits and the motivation of ‘self’ as king.
And unfortunately the American “church” is apparently just as bad as the rest of the unsaved world because after all, the “church” of God is really nothing more than people. And even though a lot of those people CALL themselves followers of Jesus Christ, a large majority of them are now living, thinking, acting, speaking, pursuing, and participating in — the exact same things the world is! So who are they really following and/or serving?
Now look, I do realize that it is perhaps more difficult now, than perhaps it has ever been, to hold fast to God’s unchangeable standards and His “Word of Life” (Philippians 2:16) while surrounded and bombarded by a generation of self-serving, sin-loving, amoral citizens.
Frankly it is just plain easier to go with the flow and live and think like the rest of the world around you, than to choose to follow God and live your life according to His standards and guidelines rather than the world’s …… right?
But we must…
As I said, I fully recognize and want to emphasize, that I know it is indeed extremely difficult to hold fast to God’s immutable Word of Life — especially in a culture that is being dominated and undermined by philosophical ideologies and principles like: secular humanism, moral relativism, neo-atheism, new thought metaphysics, syncretistic tolerance, and the exaltation of hedonism and the pursuit of pleasure.
Truly we are bombarded with, encountered by, and regularly influenced by these types of ideologies, principles, and practices on a regular, daily basis. And this is the kind of moral decay and self serving destruction that is all around us.
But the good news is, THERE IS AN ANSWER!! Of course the problem is, we don’t like the answer … or the solution — because the REAL answer is, and has always been…God’s unchangeable Word. It is truly everything we need for life and godliness. And it always has been.
Noah Webster, a lexicographer who lived from 1758-1843 was known as, “The Father of American Scholarship and Education” in this country’s early years and authored the infamous “Blue-Backed Speller Books” which for over one hundred years taught FIVE generations of Americans how to read and spell…just think of that!
In addition to all of that he was also the original author of America’s first English Dictionary! Truly it can be said this man no mental slouch or scholastically challenged Neanderthal. So take to heart what he once declared:
“The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”
Now, as soon as non-Christians or non-Religious people hear a statement like this they usually start freaking out a little bit and claim, “You Christians are just trying to implement and create some kind of authoritative, stifling theocracy in which all citizens are required to serve God or else.”
But I want you to notice that Noah (and the majority of the other founding fathers) didn’t say we need to use the Bible AS the actual law of the land in some kind of theocratic way ….. no, he’s just stating quite astutely and accurately the Bible ought to be the BASIS upon which the civil laws of the land are created.
And just as astutely, Mr. Webster recognized that if you want a life free from vice, crime, [selfish] ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war; then live your life, and establish your principles and ideologies, upon the Word of God. Use IT as your standard of conduct and IT alone!
After all, let’s not kid ourselves. Every single person walking the earth has to admit that every society in the history of mankind had to have something upon which it is governed and lived in cohesion with their fellow citizenry. And of course all throughout human history that is precisely what we have seen. Every time people come together in community, regardless of race or ethnicity, they have to eventually come to agreement on how they are going to govern themselves and learn to coexist in harmony and unity.
And governments have always dictated, ruled, and governed all throughout the ages with either completely made up rules, self serving rules, religious rules, or through governmental entities like communism, autocracy, oligarchies, totalitarianism, or the most prevalent institution utilized in all of history: through dictatorships and monarchies based upon bloodlines and kingly despotism.
Either way, groups of people are always going to be governed and ruled by something……some kind of set of rules and laws. And as Noah Webster just said, the best set of rules on earth has always come to us from the pages of scripture … and again Mr. Webster wasn’t some uneducated, dimwitted, scholastically challenged knucklehead.
As I said, he, and others like him, weren’t just looking to establish some kind of religious theocracy to rule the masses; he was simply wisely recognizing that IT IS TO OUR DETRIMENT AND DEMISE THAT WE IGNORE THE PRECEPTS AND PRINCIPLES CONTAINED IN THE WORD OF GOD FOR DAILY LIVING AND CONDUCT.
And he was right. And so were a myriad of his early, governmental contemporaries.
This is why Noah Webster also stated, “It is extremely important to our nation, in a political as well as religious view, that all possible authority and influence should be given to the scriptures, for these furnish the best principles of civil liberty, and the most effectual support of republican government. The principles of all genuine liberty, and of wise laws and administrations are to be drawn from the Bible and sustained by its authority. The man therefore who weakens or destroys the divine authority of that book may be accessory to all the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer.”
What’s the problem in a society run amok with immorality and self indulgent wickedness? What’s the heart of the matter for society’s insatiable lust for more, more, and more? It’s an open, flagrant, rebellious disregard and disdain for God, and for His holy Word.
Because whether we like it or not, the truth is, as King David so poignantly stated in Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,” and his son Solomon (the wisest king who ever lived) understood right along with his father, that as declared in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness [does indeed] exalt a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”
Archibald Alexander, who lived from 1772-1851 and served as a professor and first Principal of Princeton Theological Seminary for 27 years said it this way:
“Men may induce to abandon their old religion and to adopt a new one, but they never can remain long free from all religion. Take away one object of worship and they will soon attach themselves to another. If unhappily they lose the knowledge of true God, they will set up gods of their own invention or receive them from others.”
And how true it is; because you are in fact going to serve SOMEBODY. Many people like to run around and declare, “There is no god! Religion is a man-made ideology used to control the masses. I don’t believe in the God of he Bible, and I don’t believe in any ‘gods’ period! I’m not going to be fooled into serving some so called ‘god’ who doesn’t even exist and is simply the creation of somebody’s furtive imagination.”
But the truth is, they are in fact serving a ‘god;’ it’s called the ‘god’ of SELF. The Bible describes it as serving your sinful self, or as is stated in other places, serving the ‘god’ of this world. I think Archibald Alexander was right; when people choose to reject the one true God, they will indeed soon attach themselves to some kind of other ‘god’… it is only a matter of time.
Perhaps the god of money and riches…
Or the god of sex and sexual pleasure…
Or the god of selfishness and self serving endeavors…
Or the god of television and entertainment…
In fact, in many ways, it seems we are now an entire generation of people (Christians included) who are precariously falling headlong into a lifestyle of literally entertaining ourselves to death!
The fact of the matter is EVERYONE … EVERYONE is living their lives according to some kind of moral code and some kind of ethical standard, whether they want to acknowledge it or not. And what is predominantly being chosen today is the standard of moral relativism and universal tolerance. But look where that is taking us. Just stop and ask yourself a simple question: Is society in general becoming better…or worse…when it creates its own truth and standard of morality?
Are societies all over this planet becoming more loving, caring, empathetic towards their neighbors, unselfish, and forgiving? Or are societies becoming more hateful, uncaring, apathetic, selfish and unforgiving?
This is precisely why the 4th president of the United States, James Madison said, “We’ve staked the whole future of American civilization NOT ON THE POWER OF GOVERNMENT, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us…to Govern ourselves according to the commandments of God. The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.”
If you’re a Christian, don’t try and fix your life, your neighbor’s lives, and the world around you with YOUR opinions and ideas. Don’t argue with them about your OPINIONS and personal beliefs and practices. Instead, simply stand on the immutable, life changing Word of God.
Present GOD’S Word to people, not YOUR words. And as the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 2:16, hold fast to the Word of Life, and let God’s Word confront people right where they are, and it will do what it has always done.
It will bring light to a world drowning in darkness.
It will bring hope to the hopeless.
It will bring freedom to the oppressed and enslaved.
It will bring love to a world full of hate.
It will bring joy to a world wallowing in misery.
It will bring clarity to a world lost in doubt and uncertainty.
And it will bring salvation to a world shackled in sin.
So don’t shy away from God’s Word just because it is unpopular and the majority of the world chooses to ignore it. Because it is actually what they NEED; just like God’s Word was exactly what you needed at one point in your life. And it is precisely the cure for what ails us as a nation and as a conglomerate of humanity all over the globe. God’s Word is life!
We are currently caught up in the tempestuous throes and turmoil of a shifting morality that changes with the winds and whims of the common man. And the difference between morality and ethics is huge and the chasm dividing them is enormous, succinct, and just as hugely important to recognize.
Because morality can, and often does change from generation to generation. For example, what was morally unacceptable for people to do in this country just one hundred years ago is now not only acceptable but universally prevalent and widely permissible.
Sexual promiscuity, pornography, and sexual immorality used to be morally reprehensible, but now it’s not only acceptable and commonplace it is simply referred to as ‘hooking up.’
And murdering an unwanted, inconvenient, pre-born child used to be something people would do in secrecy and shame, but now it is as common as throwing out the garbage and thought of as the same.
And cussing at your parents or being disrespectful to those in authority used to be shunned but now it’s a badge of honor to be insubordinate, a ‘free thinker,’ and a rebel who doesn’t allow anyone else to tell him/her what to do!
The point is when you base your life, your principles, your ideologies and beliefs on society’s shifting morals and relativistic impulses, then you will live and die upon a morally bankrupt foundation that changes from moment to moment depending upon the shifting sands of societal speculations and popular sentiment.
But when you base your life, your principles, and your ideologies and beliefs upon God’s unchanging ethics and standards—His WORD, then you are no longer tossed about by every wind of doctrine and morally relativistic rhetoric which actually destroys societies instead of building them up and sustaining them.
Let’s remember that there is an answer for a lost and dying world; and there is an answer for our own troubles and difficulties too. Is your world falling apart? Are you suffering under the weight of not knowing what to do from one moment to the next? Are feeling lost and confused with no moral or ethical compass to guide your life … your decisions … your beliefs on how to live in the world?
Then go back to scripture. Set your feet back on the ROCK upon which you CAN stand! Go back to the living Word that has always been the answer for all of life’s problems, predicaments, and painful pressures.
Hold fast to the Word of Life!