America’s Great Change
Is change good? A better question would be: Is all change good? When someone starts smoking, is that a good change? The point is that some changes are good, and some are bad.
In Romans chapter 1, God talks of when a society goes through the changes of a downhill spiral into immorality and sin. The latter third of the chapter gives the details from verse 20 on.
In verse 20, we read, That every individual has the ability to recognize God. This ability is so evident that the verse ends with, “they are without excuse.”
As the passage goes on, a lack of recognition of God leads to ungratefulness. This ungratefulness leads to vain imaginations and a darkened heart. Verse 22 sums it up: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” These foolish hearts then changed who God is, and people started worshiping man and nature.
Then in verse 24, we see the first step of moral decline. Romans 1:24, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies between themselves.”
America professed itself to be wise and became a fool during the 20th century by watering down the Word of God with newer translations, then removing the Bible and prayer from schools and other areas of society. Removing God from social exposure led to God giving us up to the lusts of our hearts. This step in the decline manifested itself with the sexual revolution of the 1960s and seventies. Divorce became common as opposed to rare. Sex was no longer honored, cherished, and savored until marriage.
The sexual revolution brought us to verse 25. We “served the creature more than the Creator.” “Look out for number one” and “Take care of yourself first” were common themes. Participation trophies replaced championship trophies because no one should feel bad about themselves. One massive problem with this thinking is that realizing you are a sinner is the first step toward a relationship with God. Not that losing at an event makes you a sinner, but when feelings are so tightly guarded, no one can feel bad about themselves. How, then, will anyone admit that what they have done is wrong (sin)?
America had reached the point where, at best, God was an afterthought, and self-satisfaction was king. Then God gave us up to the next step in sexual, self-pleasure sin – homosexuality. Romans 1:26-27, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”
Sin is like cancer. If untreated, it will only continue to grow. The natural step for homosexuality is what we see today. Men claiming to be women, and vice versa. Drag queens now read to our children in schools. What did we expect to fill the void when we removed the Bible?
There are open discussions on whether or not pedophilia is a sexual orientation and how society should handle that.
Since God is the one who sets the rules, once we kicked God out of society, we became a society with no limits. America has changed, and this change is not good.
The Bible’s description of a society’s moral decline twice says, “God gave them up…” But, the last time, it reads, “God gave them over.” Does this signify that God is done with them, that it is over?
When you read the final five verses of Romans 1, you can see a description of America today. Romans 1:28-32, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
A final thought. The prophet Jeremiah warns Israel of their sin. He pleads with them to repent, or God will send judgment. However, there comes a point when Jeremiah’s message changes. He goes from preaching, “repent or else,” to telling them that judgment, in the form of the Babylonian army, was coming regardless, but God still required their repentance. Why the change? Israel reached the point where “God gave them over.”
Has God given America over? If so, what will be our Babylon? Reread Romans 1:28-32 above. Come to your conclusion, but anyone thinking we are not to this point has a difficult debate ahead of them.
Preacher Tim Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. His weekly column “Preacher’s Point” may be found at: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com