Holding fast to the Word of God is our best hope and our best defense.
Think about these present realities.
irst, really “smart” people actually believe that all that we see, the created universe, was not created at all, that it is actually the result of a cosmic accident. No purpose or will caused this miracle. It just simply happened. Of course, a child could refute this with one question: “Where did the matter that makes up the universe come from?” Because everyone knows, “Ex nihilo ex nihil fit”—out of nothing comes nothing! Even so, the dogma of Darwinism continues its hegemony in our public schools and universities. However, although we may not have the universities to back us up, we have God’s creation continuously declaring His glory! “In the rustling grass I hear him pass; He speaks to me everywhere.”
Second, and perhaps even worse than this cosmological nonsense, is the reality that many of these same “smart” people also believe that a baby in a womb is not a living person. Therefore, the baby can simply be removed, like you would remove a splinter or some other foreign thing from your body. Never mind that our own senses can clearly see that this is a pernicious lie. If you doubt me, you should stop by my house and check out the picture of my granddaughter that is hanging on my refrigerator. There she is, depicted as situated in her mother’s womb. Literally, my two-year-old son was barely talking when he saw an ultrasound printout in the waiting room of our doctor’s office. But he pointed to it and simply said, “Baby.” Yup, a two-year-old can recognize a life!
If all that isn’t enough, think about a third reality. We have a supreme court justice who does not feel qualified to state the differences between a boy and a girl. Sadly, she deferred to “the biologists.” At least she acknowledged there’s science behind the differences.
As we reflect on these incredible examples of deception— ideas that defy basic decency—we are ultimately stuck with the question, How could we have fallen so far? For a good technical explanation, I recommend the prescient book, The Abolition of Man, by C.S. Lewis. But if we want to find out the real reasons, we must turn to the Bible.
I stumbled across the answer to that question as I was reading my Bible one morning not long ago. Our Israelitish forefathers found themselves in a similar spiral of degradation. In 2 Kings 17, God explains that the reason the nation was in decline was that they had rejected God’s Word. Verse 16: “they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God.” The whole passage describes a five-step progression of why and how a culture declines:
They abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.
Step one deals with the why: they Abandoned God’s Commandments.
Then, steps two through five describe the how:
Step two – Embrace Idolatry
Step three – Embrace Sexual Sins
Step four – Sacrifice Children
Step five – Sell Out to Do Evil
The progression is clear. The decline starts by insisting that God’s Word is not true. The thinking goes like this: because God’s Word is not true, I don’t have to consult it to determine if something is right or wrong. And from there, it’s a short and inevitable step to replace God with an idol. For our present culture, the true God has been replaced by the god of materialism. Today, people believe that only the things that can be seen and touched are worthy of our worship. At the top of that “high place” is man himself. The idea is that since there is no God, I will consult myself to determine whether or not something is right or wrong. Phrases like “my truth” and “what is right for me” underscore this reality. This of course establishes passions on the throne of our lives.
Once self is enthroned, human appetites end up determining morality. Paul talks of those who have become enemies of the cross as those “whose god is their belly.” Arguably, sex is the single most powerful passion in humanity. It certainly has the most significant consequences. No sin leaves a larger and more destructive wake than when sex is corrupted. So, like our Israelite forefathers, our sexuality becomes perverted as we bow to that idol as to an Asherah.
Tragically, this of course leads to the sacrificing of our children. People sacrifice them both directly and indirectly. When they kill children that they don’t want, they are sacrificing them for their own perceived well-being. Also, if people raise children in an environment of illicit sexuality, they’re proliferating sexual pathologies. Many books have been written about trying to pick up the pieces of shattered lives when people have been exposed to sexuality too early or in an illicit way. The “baggage” is real!
Again, let me summarize the progression. Once a person has lost their way regarding the importance of God’s commandments, replaced God with an idol, lost their way regarding the sanctity of life, the loss of the sanctity of sex naturally follows. From there, the progression concludes with a “selling out” to do evil. It seems to me that we’re in a time where people are doing just that—“selling themselves to do evil.”
The question for us then becomes, How can we protect ourselves and our families from this downward spiral?
The first thing we must do is embrace God’s Word. “It is written” must be the anchor for determining right and wrong. The Israelites rejected God’s Word; we must embrace it. Of course, we can’t embrace it if we don’t expose ourselves to it. Although the Bible does not specifically command us to read it daily (though the Kings of Israel did have this commandment), it does encourage us to meditate on it. That being said, we are enormously blessed to live in a time when we all have access to a Bible. God’s Word is the only thing that anchors believers and prevents them from drifting aimlessly. Going to church and regularly exposing our minds to the mind of Christ is imperative for normal Christian development. “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet.”
Secondly, we must put away all our idols. This involves more than simply hiding them as Jacob did. We must, like Josiah, tear down all the high places! Depending upon how much we have become dependent on idols, this process can be extremely arduous. With this reality in mind, my former mentor once told me, “Be ruthless with yourself.” The bottom line is that if we have replaced God with anything else—money, material possessions, relationships, or ourselves—we must remove it from our lives. “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”
Thirdly, we must value life. Whether it is simply voting for candidates that value the sanctity of life, or not getting an abortion yourself, we must be unequivocal when it comes to this issue. “Thou shalt not kill.”
Fourthly, we must embrace God’s design for sexuality. In August of 2020, Pew Research took a poll and found that “half of U.S. Christians say casual sex between consenting adults is sometimes or always acceptable.” I am sitting here wondering how this is even possible, when God’s Word says, “But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.” Just in case that wasn’t enough, the Word also says, “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Oh brothers and sisters! Let’s take back our birthright when it comes to sexuality! This is more significant than defending a “plot of lentils.” Where are David’s mighty men? We need God’s Word to cut like the two-edged sword that it is! Is it any wonder that a generation of Christians, raised on sitcoms and movies that flaunt anti-biblical sexuality, have little or no feelings regarding contemporary debauchery? Sadly, they see nothing wrong with cohabitation. In fact, “waiting until marriage” is viewed as weird! Enough of this!
Men and women of the Kingdom, let us determine to remove from our lives anything that can be deemed immoral by God’s Word. No filth on the TV. No filth on the computer. No filth in our minds. Of course no amount of “determining” will actually do it. Only the power of God can free us from these shackles. But God tells us to “turn,” to “repent.” We can do that. “Flee fornication.” And once we are reoriented, He works in our hearts such that we begin practicing another passage: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
If we find ourselves mired in sexual sin, we must first understand that there is help. Paul said, “Such were some of you…but you were washed!” Praise the Lord, we can be washed! Sometimes God, in his mercy, instantly delivers people from sin. However, very often, the journey from sin is protracted. But there is help, and we just need to honestly seek it. The point is, “Having done all, stand.” Stand in that plot of lentils until you are either dead or victorious; never surrender! And be certain of this, God will glorify His Name—in our present lives.
In closing, as we consider how to resist the downward spiral of our culture, our only hope is to anchor our lives to God’s Word. “Hath God said?” the serpent queried Eve. Let our answer be a resounding, “It Is Written!” ■
—A 1987 graduate of Fairwood Bible Institute, Chuck is the father of five adult children, and his favorite pastime is when he and his wife Lisa can enjoy spending time with their five grandchildren.