Friday, May 13, 2016

Culture Assault

Three areas that are significant to mention where our culture is continuing down a path that will bring the erosion of society and the judgment of God. I am definitely not qualified to deal with these in full, but I think it is important to note trends, and prepare accordingly. I am going to be brief, because of the multitude of topics.

Sexuality and culture: The sexual revolution in the '60s and '70s led to a number of things affecting our culture right now. Teen sexual intercourse stands now at 47% for up to high school students. Will they be yours? That's down slightly from 20 years ago, but still 47%! Marriage is going out of style too with the number of cohabitating couples rising 88% (and the latest stats from 2007). 55% of Americans now approve of this model for families (again, 2007). The culture advocates for marital privileges in law, healthcare, and benefits for unmarried couples. Gay marriage, of course, has been approved by SCOTUS, and therefore is making progress state by state. Finally, the LGBT community is forcing it's agenda on law, churches, education, and business--bathrooms, ordination of gay clergy, sex ed including LGBT lifestyle, college campus policy changes, and anti-discrimination suits against private businesses.

Politics: The Democratic party has gone off the deep end with issues like sexuality, socialism, abortion, environmentalism, and immigration. However, the acceptance of our country's more conservative population of leadership like Donald Trump with his character and behavior is insane! The only positive thing about it all, is that the possibility of the rise of a third or fourth party might be more possible than ever. The SCOTUS continually legislates from the bench, forgetting it's place in the constitution, which, interestingly enough, is used very little in government now anyway.

Silencing of the church: Christians and churches are among the most targeted groups in America. It's OK to be about anything else but white, middle-class, evangelical Christians (and to be fair, some of our behavior has earned this persecution). I only use the term persecution lightly, because in actuality, we experience little persecution compared to believers in other countries. In recent years, pastors have been forced to submit their sermons to governing bodies, sabotaged by spineless governors and legislative bodies to refuse to allow extra legal protection from discrimination because of their religious convictions. Churches are having to rewrite their by-laws to protect against gay couples desiring to marry in their sanctuaries, and after being denied, filing lawsuits.

One bright spot: abortion trends. I don't know if you can say that it is a bright spot when you are speaking of babies being murdered, but here is what I mean. The trend in the numbers of abortions nationwide is falling. We are under a million for the first time in 40 years. The high mark was back in the mid 1990s with over 1.3 million abortions. And since 2013 we have been just under one million. 2014 numbers, which are the latest we have, were ~977,000. Now, those numbers may not paint the whole picture. The "morning after" pill is not counted in that number; and there is no way of quantifying how many abortions that it may or may not have caused. Clinics have been closing at a record pace because of new state regulations. In 25 years prior to 2011, about 150 closed. Since then, we are seeing 31 per year closing; that's another 150 in five years. The number of clinics in now at about 400 (these are clinics that perform more than 400 abortions per year). Good trends, long way to go, still losing about 975,000 lives that would produce generations.

So, I lied. I said I would be brief. Most of this was preaching, rather that careful thought out writing. However, I want you to take away something from this: 1) prepare your children and grandchildren, or congregations for increasing relegation of our faith to a minority in society. Help give the tools to stand firm. Don't assume just because they go so church and seem spiritual that they will be fine. 2) Be bold. Don't shrink back from a witness to this cultural erosion. Do it in love, but maintain truth. It is not helpful to unbelievers to soften truth, but it is always helpful to love them to it. Change is continuing to happen, most of it not for the better for Christianity, but do not be dismayed, our God is with us, and He is large and in charge.

No comments:

Post a Comment