What's Behind Our Moral Decline?
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
One does not have to be a prude to conclude that our country is suffering a serious moral decline. Our rulers and law enforcement agencies seem powerless to cope with it. Campaigns to check it seem vain. J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI warned us again and again that the alarming rate of this downward trend would spell ruin for America if not checked soon. But what most people fail to realize is that behind this moral decline there is a spiritual decline. America has departed from God and His Word.
Paul’s letter to the Romans tells us how the heathen got that way. Romans 1:21,22 says: “When they knew God they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools,” and the verses that follow tell how God finally had to “give them up” to “uncleanness” and “vile affections”–all because “they did not like [wish] to retain God in their knowledge” (Ver. 28).
St. Paul further describes them in Ephesians 4:17-19, as walking “in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling [conscience] have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” This, sad to say, is an accurate description of increasing numbers in America today. They are throwing off restraint and going after uncleanness “with greediness.”
But this is not libert, it is enslavement. It is not a sign of strength, but of weakness. It does not indicate superior intelligence, but grossest ignorance, and is the result of alienation from God.
How much better off are those who have come to know God through Christ! Of these the Apostle says:
“And you, who were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled, in the body of His flesh, through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight” (Colossians. 1:21,22).
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