How Should We Then Live? This is the question posed by Francis Shaeffer, one of the foremost Christian philosophers of the 20th century. Much of what he foresaw about the moral decline of Western Civilization in his writings of the 1970’s has come to pass.
Moral decay is not new to mankind. Debauchery, cruelty, theft, murder and genocide are part of every era throughout recorded history.
We in America, have enjoyed a long stretch of blessing from the early fifties until the new millennium. (The Great Boom 1950-2000: How a Generation of Americans Created the World’s Most Prosperous Society by Robert Sobel) During this time we were a mostly Christian nation following the values and mores of the Bible.
In Tom Brokaw’s book, The Greatest Generation, he delineates character qualities that were expected to be emulated during this era. They are characteristics taught in the teachings of Christ- personal responsibility, frugality, humility, sexual fidelity, productivity, perseverance, and simplicity.
Although those who claim to have Christian beliefs in the US has declined marginally from 91% in 1950 to 77% in 2012 it is arguable how many adhere to Christian values in their daily lives.
Between 2006 and 2010, 48% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 moved in for the first time with a man to whom they weren’t married, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. In 2002, it was 43%. In 1995, it was 34%.( http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/04/living/women-premarital-cohabitation/)
The number of same-sex couples in the U.S. grew more than 80 percent since 2000, when there were 358,390 households in that category. http://www.adweek.com/sa-article/same-sex-couples-america-140505
There is also a decline in marriage. 51 percent of Americans are married as opposed to 92.3 percent in 1920.
Those that were raised during the years of Christian morality (remember the Moral Majority anyone?-google it) experienced little opposition to their Christian beliefs and lifestyle. Now that these values are declining in America, there is an interesting phenomenon that has become evident-an entitlement attitude among Christians. There is an expectation that because their values were once venerated in America, they should always be.
The outcome of this entitlement is a lack of tolerance or what the Bible calls “grace” for those who do not hold to these values. This entitlement attitude is creating a desire to discriminate against those who don’t hold to these values like the SB1062 legislation in Arizona. It is creating an atmosphere of anger and hate towards those that oppose them-a disdain for them. This was apparent at the CPAC2014 in many of the speeches that were given.
These behaviors are creating a growing chasm between Christians and non-Christians. This chasm must grieve The One whose name they bear.
It is time to accept that the Moral Majority is no more. It is time to accept that we are living in a culture “like the days of Noah” Luke 17:26.
It is time for the Christian right to stop feeling entitled to being “right” and instead model after Christ:
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
Remember Christ’s word :
Matthew 10:16 (NKJV)
16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
And above all it is time to bridge the gap like Paul who said:
I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. I Cor 9:22