The Moral decline in America

and what we can do about it

Contender Ministries

It seems one can hardly watch the television anymore without being bombarded by profanity, sexually explicit content, or barely clothed women prancing around – and that’s just the commercials!  When I was growing up, I wouldn’t have imagined the filth that is shown regularly on broadcast television today.  My father, who was born before televisions were around, has told me that in the fifties it was scandalous just to show a fully clothed and covered adult married couple in bed.  My father also had to walk ten miles to school, uphill both ways, in four feet of snow – but that’s a different story.   My, how times have changed.  And not just in the media. 

How about schools?  When I grew up, my school day started with the pledge of allegiance to our flag.  Prayer was still allowed in schools back then, and my high school graduation opened and closed with prayers led by the local clergy.  We didn’t have condom machines in the restrooms, and immoral behavior was the exception, rather than the norm.  Today, seventh graders are being taught how to pray to Muhammad and wage their own Jihad.  Saying the pledge of allegiance is disapproved of in many areas.  Elementary school children are forced to watch plays that portray homosexuality as a perfectly normal and acceptable lifestyle choice.  Children are taught that parents who object to homosexuality or its indoctrination in our schools are divisive, intolerant, narrow-minded, bigoted,…you get the idea.  How have we gone astray?  Can anything be done to reverse this trend?  The answer to the latter, encouragingly, is yes.  But let’s answer the former question first.

How did our nation end up at this point of moral decay?  The answer, quite simply, is slowly and steadily.  My wife and I used to ride motorcycles in the mountains.  Jen was always quite fearless, and I was a bit…. well, cautious.  In some ways I was a bit of a coward, but it’s nicer to say I was cautious – or PRUDENT, that’s even better.  I remember on one ride, we were on top of a ridge, and decided to get back down to the valley below.  Jen knew a good trail that would get us to the bottom in “no time at all”.  She led the way, and as she reached what appeared to be the edge of a cliff, she disappeared.  I slammed on my brakes, and was relieved to see that she hadn’t fallen off a cliff, but was riding down a rocky incline so steep that gravity was acting primarily to keep her moving forward, rather than helping her to maintain contact with the ground.  My heart stopped beating, and I barely breathed for about two minutes until I saw her level off onto the valley floor.  I was so relieved to see her survive her trip, but I was not about to follow.  Instead, I found a path carved leisurely against the hillside.  It was about a two percent downgrade, and took me the better part of 30 minutes and ten miles, but I finally reached the valley floor and joined my wife.  Yes, we arrived to the same point, but I couldn’t deal with the rocks and the nosebleed downgrade.  My path was slower, but it was steady, and smooth.  What does this have to do with anything?  The moral decline in America did not happen overnight.  If it had, there would have been an outcry.  It simply would not have happened.  Our culture would have rejected the change.  But it didn’t happen overnight.  It took decades.  Each moral concession made was barely noticed with the passage of time.  I’ve used this analogy before, but I’ll use it again.  A frog dropped in a pot of boiling hot water will jump right out.  Put that same frog in a pot of cool water, and heat it to its boiling point, and that same frog will cook.  It does not notice the slowly increasing water temperature, and suddenly it’s too late.  That, dear friends, is how we’ve ended up here.  But we can do something about it.  And we must.  

Are you registered to vote?  If not, you should register right away.  If you are, do you carefully read up on the candidates and issues at election time?  Do you vote regularly?  It is important for Christians to be informed of the issues and candidates, and to make your voices heard.  We can make changes by making a huge showing at the polls, and by making our voices heard at the ballot box.  This is true for national elections right down to school district issues.  Christians are behind the curve on advocacy issues.  Other groups aren’t.  Unfortunately, there’s a double standard in this country.  Homosexual advocacy groups are accepted readily into the mainstream, and their advocacy groups are respected.  Even other religions are given a loud voice.  When was the last time you heard a negative word in the mainstream media about the Anti-Defamation League, or the American Muslim Alliance.  Even good causes can be a threat to Christian values.  The NAACP regularly supports very liberal political candidates, who see Christianity as a threat.  You may notice though, when the Moral Majority or the Christian Coalition are mentioned in the media, they are often lumped into the pejorative “Christian Right”, which is practically spat out of the mouths of media pundits.  National Public Radio (funded by your tax dollars) recently hinted that the source of the anthrax letters sent to Senators Daschle and Leahy were the handiwork of the Traditional Values Coalition – a Christian advocacy group.  NPR did not have any evidence, but was hoping that the mere mention would besmirch the reputation of this organization.  We may not be able to control the opinions of the liberal media, but conversely, they cannot control how we vote.  They cannot keep you from writing to your elected representatives and making your voices heard.  They cannot keep you from attending city council or school board meetings, and standing up for what you know is right.  You have a voice, and you have the right – and duty – to make that voice heard.  Shout it from the mountaintops, and do not be ashamed!

            Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Daniel Lapin says this in his book, America’s Real War, (1999, Multnomah Publishers): 

“Often, as I speak on these issues across the country, someone in the audience hurls this tired old corker: ‘The religious Right is trying to force its values down our throats.’  I have a standard response which I enjoy offering.  I inform my listeners that the secular Left has introduced sexual indoctrination and condom distribution to eleven-year-old public school students.  It has made the enjoyment of tobacco the moral equivalent of child molestation.  It has dramatically increased illegitimacy in America.  It has created an entertainment ethos that brings smut and vulgarity into our living rooms.  Take an honest look at the values that the secular Left has already succeeded in forcing down the throats of religious Americans.  How can anyone honestly confront the changes that have been inflicted by the secular Left and worry about the changes that the religious Right might force down our throats.  I contend that the values concerned Christians desire for America are not really changes, but simply the return to an earlier and legitimate status.  If you fling an invader out of your land, back over the border he illegally crossed in the first place, you are not guilty of aggression.  It is called self-defense.  You are worried that the religious Right might succeed in forcing their values onto us?  I am worried they might fail, for they are our values too.  Or at least they ought to be.”

            Yes, our nation is in a moral decline.  This decline is still progressing.  It is up to us as concerned Christians to take an active role in the democratic process of our nation.  Don’t be afraid to stand up and be counted.  You have a voice.  Make it heard.  God has called on us to all contend for the faith.  That is not simply in the context of interpersonal communication.  Contend for the faith in any way you can.  God has blessed us so much by offering us the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ.  How can we not stand up for Him?  I leave you with two passages of scripture, and implore you to stand up as a soldier of the cross – contend for the faith, and make your voices heard!  God bless you.

 Mark 8:34-38, “Then He [Jesus] called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

 2 Timothy 1:8-9, “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner.  But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done, but because of His own purpose and grace.”


Contender Ministries