The more decadent a culture gets, the more they have a need for what they don’t have at all, which is innocence, so you end up with kiddie porn and a perverse obsession with youth. – Joni Mitchell
Decadence is a process; a slow and sometimes barely perceived decline in the moral fiber of a society. Like hidden decay, the deterioration can often go unnoticed for a very long time; eventually reaching a point where the damage produced is well beyond mending. Words like honesty, decency, honor and ethics have already lost much of their significance in these post-modern times. It appears that our culture operates in such a state of delusion that people believe society is moving forward in progress when in truth it is crumbling at its very foundations. Have you heard this Proverb?
When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan. – Proverbs 29:2 (NLT)
Whatever happened to individual responsibility; the notion that we are each accountable for our own actions and outcomes? There was a time when achievement came from hard work and authenticity. People once took delight in genuine education; they acquired skills and self-sufficiency. Today these qualities are being replaced by self-indulgence often funded by unsustainable public assistance as the general population becomes ever more dependent on various forms of handouts.
Promises of freedom through economic equality, and a quasi-fascist approach to government (so often championed by liberal reformists) are regularly advanced through refined subterfuge. As a result, religious beliefs are attacked, and the once cherished traditions of faith, family and community are quietly eradicated. Modern progressives call this “fundamentally transforming the United States of America”.
Some would argue that we are simply discovering new ways to look at life. In this Cultural Revolution, our society is progressing for the furtherance of the collective through diversity. But others see a new way of life emerging where the people are being methodically stripped of real self-determination. Weighed down by confused logic and inconsistent morality, we are losing sight of the higher purpose in human existence.
Next to God we are nothing. To God we are everything. – Marcus Tullius Cicero
The United States of America is rooted in Judeo-Christian belief. Our traditional way of life (born of faith) is central to our well-being as individuals and as a nation. It was a shared moral code which allowed our founding fathers to find mutual cooperation. The “great experiment” cannot survive the dying of the very system of belief that brought it into being. When we lose the divine order, the culture will decay precipitously.
Nearly 2000 years ago, a man named Saul of Tarsus (who become known as Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ) waxed eloquent as he prophetically wrote these words,
18-21 Now the holy anger of God is disclosed from Heaven against the godlessness and evil of those men who render truth dumb and inoperative by their wickedness. It is not that they do not know the truth about God; indeed he has made it quite plain to them. For since the beginning of the world the invisible attributes of God, e.g. his eternal power and divinity have been plainly discernible through things which he has made and which are commonly seen and known, thus leaving these men without a rag of excuse. They knew all the time that there is a God, yet they refused to acknowledge him as such, or to thank him for what he is or does. Thus they became irrational in their arguments, and plunge their silly minds still further into the dark.
22-23 Behind a facade of “wisdom” they became just fools, fools who would exchange the glory of the eternal God for an imitation image of a mortal man, or of creatures that run or fly or crawl.
24 They gave up God: and therefore God gave them up to be the playthings of their own foul desires in dishonoring their own bodies.
28-32 Moreover, since they considered themselves too high and mighty to acknowledge God, he allowed them to become the slaves of their degenerate minds, and to perform unmentionable deeds. They became filled with wickedness, rottenness, greed and malice; their minds became steeped in envy, murder, quarrelsomeness, deceitfulness and spite. They became whisperers-behind-doors, stabbers-in-the-back, God-haters; they overflowed with insolent pride and boastfulness, and their minds teemed with diabolical invention. They scoffed at duty to parents; they mocked at learning, recognized no obligations of honor, lost all natural affection, and had no use for mercy. More than this being well aware of God‘s pronouncement that all who do these things deserve to die, they not only continued their own practices, but did not hesitate to give their thorough approval to others who did the same. Romans 1:18-24, 28-32 – J.B. Phillips New Testament
The morality and justice of God set against the sinfulness of man is nothing new. God will eventually put a stop to this stupidity. He alone can and will Judge. In the meantime we‘ll cling to our cherished traditions of faith, family and community as best as we can.
Paul wrote a word of instruction to his friend and fellow believer, Pastor Timothy,
2“Everything that you have heard me preach in public you should in turn entrust to reliable men (and women), who will be able to pass it on to others.” – 2 Timothy 2:2 (PHILLIPS)
That is an assignment we can all embrace!
Faith, Hope and Love – Pass it on!
Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is a noted author, broadcaster, a popular Bible teacher and a rabbid Coastal Junkie ®
For additional information write to: Coastal Life Ministries, P.O. Box 1283, New Port Richey, Florida 34656