Society is being turned on its ear, and we are being given a front-row seat.
I could sit here for days and decry the many ways in which our culture is losing its soul. I could catalogue the multiple symptoms that are evidence of the demise of towns and cities all over America.
I mean, think about this ...
To steal an eagle’s egg in the U.S. carries a $10,000 fine, yet killing an unborn human is perfectly legal. Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, if the same fine was imposed for the nearly 55 million abortions that have taken place since then, the cumulative monetary fine would be more than $545,596,150,000.
Staying sexually pure is mocked, while sexual promiscuity is lauded as normal. While the acceptable age for sex education in our schools goes younger and younger, abstinence education is frowned upon and virtually ignored. Meanwhile, the out-of-wedlock birthrate in our nation is at a disastrous 40.7 percent.
To speak out against homosexual activity is viewed as more reprehensible than the activity itself.
Time and time again, the national media is caught in the act of “creating news” instead of “reporting news.”
The city of Detroit is now in the process of filing bankruptcy. Political corruption and out-of-control crime are being blamed as two of the contributing factors in the city’s demise.
While the country was focused on the George Zimmerman trial in Florida, the murder statistics in cities like Chicago continued to skyrocket, virtually ignored.
So, what do we do? How do we as Christians respond to such overwhelming bad news? How do we stand against the forces of dishonesty, corruption and division that would tear our country apart?
Now, you say, “Pastor, that sounds a little simplistic and naive.” Maybe it does, but the fact is that truth is not a difficult concept. Regardless of how complicated we try to make things, the best way is, in most cases, the simplest. Throughout history, the most popular ideas and inventions are often the most practical ones. The problems most people have with Scripture are not based on the doctrines of Scripture but on our own personal hang-ups.
We have an aversion to calling sin by its proper name: sin. Because of political correctness and fear of the “thought police,” we suffer from a lost consciousness of evil and confusion over right and wrong. Solomon tells us in Proverbs 18:21 that death and life are in the power of the tongue and that those who love it will eat its fruit. So, the question becomes: Are you eating the wholesome and delectable fruit of righteousness and truth or the poisonous, rancid, spoiled fruit of conventional wisdom and popular opinion?
There’s an old saying: “If you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for everything.” Truth is not subjective. Truth does not change. The consequence of standing in front of a speeding train is certain death, regardless of how much you disagree with the laws of physics. The consequence of breaking the laws of God is spiritual death, regardless of how much man ignores, defies or denies Him.
There is an immutable fact in nature: “You reap what you sow.” The Bible is very clear in Galatians 6:7-8: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." No society can long survive lawlessness and corruption. Any civilization that forsakes righteousness and truth is not long for this world. As President Ronald Reagan once said, “If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be one nation gone under.”
God didn’t call us to be a white church or a black church—He called us to be the church. We cannot begin to expect to change a culture that is (sadly) so racially divided until we break down the walls that divide us in within the family of God. In the Bible, the primary racial divide was between the Jew and the Gentile. Paul addressed that divide in Ephesians when he said, "For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit" (Eph. 2:14-18).
We don’t need a culture of more open-mindedness. We need a culture of godly righteousness.
We don’t need more gun control. We need more self-control.
We don’t need leaders who will prove themselves once they get into public office. We need servants who have already proven themselves in order to get into public office.
We don’t need more programs for fatherless children. We need more real men who will honor women and make them wives before they make them mothers.
If we are still bound and determined to be a “colored church,” then let’s be the “crimson church”—covered by the crimson blood of the One who died to make us all one in Him.
Ron Phillips is senior pastor of Abba’s House in Chattanooga, Tenn. His weekly television and daily radio programs are broadcast worldwide and available on the Internet. He is a sought-after speaker and the author of numerous books, including the four-part Foundations on the Holy Spirit, Our Invisible Allies and his latest, A God-Sized Future.