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Degradation

Hardly a week or even a day goes by without another news story involving unthinkable acts of immorality.  Right in our communities, there are frequent reports of teachers seducing students into fornication in the public schools.  In those schools, children are learning and practicing not only fornication but even homosexuality.  The public schools passively endorse these behaviors by imparting the knowledge of such things and forging the situations and relationships in which these things happen.  Nationally, the latest story of this nature involves a football coach at Penn State University who used a charity as a front to gain access to boys he abused and defiled.  Christians are appalled to hear such stories, but we need to have a sense of what is happening in the world around us.

As shocking as these stories are, we ought not to be surprised that our culture is breeding such behavior.  For many years, the culture has been sliding down a slippery slope of deeper and deeper levels of immorality.  Progressively, we have seen it move from a tolerance of divorce and adultery to its present level of celebrating homosexuality as an "alternative lifestyle.”  Advocates of these behaviors have employed public schools, universities, news media, entertainment, government, social organizations, professional organizations, and even churches to promote their godless causes.  Men, women, and children have received a steady diet of increasingly godless and immoral messages from these sources for years, and the damage has been done.  The result of sowing these seeds of wickedness is the current harvest of evil.

This behavior is degrading for man, and it is leading the entire Western civilization down a path of destruction.  To degrade something is to lower it in dignity, esteem, character, or quality.  When man sins, he degrades from his original, perfect image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27).  The deeper man sinks into sin, the more he degrades into a godless, unthinking, passion-driven, self-destructive creature (2Pet. 2:10-19; Jude 10).  The apostle Paul described degrading behaviors and their effects in Romans 1:26-27:

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

These degrading passions include not only homosexuality but also every other perversion of the original design of God for men, women, marriage, and lawful, sexual relationships.

For Israel, God defined these behaviors as abominations and assigned to them rightful penalties.  An abomination is defined as a disgusting thing, and these behaviors are disgusting in the sight of God.  It is no surprise therefore that God forbade Israel from such behaviors in Leviticus chapters 18-20.  The forbidden acts and abominations included adultery, homosexuality, incest, and bestiality.  The penalties for these acts were severe.  Violators were put to death (Lev. 20:10-16), and the nation as a whole would be cast out of the land because of its defilement (Lev. 18:24-30).

These acts are no less abominations today.  They are just as disgusting in the eyes of God as they were in the time of Moses.  Although we are not governed directly by the Law of Moses today, the Law stands as a witness against such degrading behaviors.  The civil governments that have a certain, limited realm of authority do not always punish those who commit these abominations, but there are still providential penalties as well as the final, eternal judgment of God.  Moreover, there is the present judgment of God against nations, and our nation will not be immune.

Dear Christians, we must guard ourselves and our children against these abominations immediately.  We must not submit to the influence of our degrading culture for one moment.  "Flee immorality” (1Cor. 6:18).  "Flee youthful lusts” (2Tim. 2:22).  "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (1Thess. 5:21-22).  Whether this evil influence comes from television, movies, the internet, books, magazines, public education, universities and colleges, churches, or any other source, we must remove it from our lives.  Our Father in heaven says to us, "Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate…and do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you” (2Cor. 6:17).

We also need to prepare ourselves and our children for worse still to come.  The advocates of abominations have been effective in slowly evolving this culture of immorality, and they are far from finished.  They not only do these abominations themselves, but they "also give hearty approval to those who practice them” (Rom. 1:32).  They revel in anyone who will defy God, violate His law, and press farther into new depths of immorality.  This mentality has already allowed for various degrees of tolerance and legalization in Europe and Canada of the type of immorality that occurred at Penn State.  The normalization of such adult-child relationships may be unthinkable to us, but it is on the horizon.  The time is also coming when an article such as this one may bring legal ramifications for writers and churches.  What else is coming?  Tolerance, legalization, and celebration of polygamy, incest, and bestiality are not out of the question.  When the standard of God’s word is eliminated, nothing is off limits.  Don’t be caught by surprise by these degrading abominations, and don’t let them creep in around you unnoticed.

Stacey E. Durham




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