Confronting a decadent culture

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For 200 years, America has been recognized as the moral and spiritual leader of the world. Even today, with all of its wickedness and imperfections, our great country is still considered to be the moral bellwether of the world.

It hardly seems possible, but the people of other countries all over the world actually look up to us for moral leadership. I think this says something very disturbing about the moral and spiritual condition of the world at large, because we know our moral quality is declining rapidly. In fact, we have fallen to new lows in our personal morality.

If left to itself, a society will degenerate very rapidly into a people mired in the filthiest moral quagmire. Things are happening today that were unheard of, or not thought of, until the recent past.

Our Founding Fathers would be astounded if they knew how people have used their founding documents to pervert the morality and spirituality of the American public.

Our U.S. Constitution is now being interpreted by a society dominated by secular humanists and liberals. One may wonder why some of the constitutional rulings which have been handed down over the past few years sound so weird and convoluted.

I THINK THE answer is an easy one: A document written by God-fearing Christian and deist writers is being twisted out of shape and form in an effort to make it apply to the demands of a liberal, secular society dominated by people who care very little about spiritual matters.

The First Amendment has been abused by these same people to the point that they claim that it makes room for pornography and sacrilegious expression. Indecency is now supposed to fall under the First Amendment, and anyone with a sound mind knows that it should not be so.

Christianity is a favorite target for abuse, and when it occurs it is supposed to be acceptable under some twisted interpretation of the First Amendment.

John Adams said: "We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."

That is the very reason the constitutional rulings are sounding so absurd today. They are trying to reinterpret a document made for a godly people and make it apply to liberal, secular, godless situations.

These words were attributed to Thomas Jefferson: "No nation has yet existed or been governed without religion, nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man and as Chief Magistrate of this nation I am bound to give it the sanction of my example."

I only wish we had leaders who felt that way today.

Bill Clinton made this comment while speaking to a meeting of homosexual activists: "We are redefining in practical terms the immutable ideals that have guided us from the beginning." It is clear that he wants to remake society into something the Founding Fathers did not foresee.

Incidentally, if the ideals are immutable, then they are unchangeable , and somehow I think a former president of the United States ought to know that. The church must stand against the spirit of its age if we are to be a moral and spiritual lighthouse at all.

SHIPS CRASH upon the rocks when the light in the lighthouse goes out. I'm concerned that instead of challenging the spirit of our age, the church is absorbing that spirit, and as she does, the light in the lighthouse grows dimmer and dimmer.

The only entity that has a true message of hope is the church. Trillions have been spent pursuing the promises and hopes of the government and politicians, but society is in an ever-worsening condition. Where moral and spiritual guidance is lacking or watered down with secularism, the lowest common denominator of human conduct will prevail.

Each generation can teach its children only the level of moral conduct it has experienced itself. But it is easy for each generation to slip just a little further into the moral abyss. So, therefore, the continual trend of society is downward.

Somehow this must be confronted and reversed, and the church is the only institution that has the moral power to do so. We must meet the challenge. We have no option but to continue to try to survive in an ever-decaying environment.

WHILE I KNOW what Scripture says about how man is going to get worse and worse until the end comes, I do not think we can sit on our laurels -- enjoying our spiritual security and watching the world go by. That is not why God has kept us here.

There are those to be saved, and each one who is saved will have a different morality and spirituality with which to impact this society in a godly way. Our primary task is the redemption of the lost, but once that has happened then obedience is the issue.

But God is still on the throne of the universe, and we are still His church. We must remain faithful to the task set before us, because we are the last bastion of morality and godliness. If we fail, there is absolutely no hope for this nation.

The church must stand up and confront a decadent culture. She is the only one empowered with the message that will succeed, and the only one empowered with the Holy Spirit of God who has equipped her for the task.

(The writer is pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez.)

Comments (10) Add comment
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paulbaughman28
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paulbaughman28 07/09/11 - 11:50 pm
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Morality and religion are two

Morality and religion are two different things. And, our Constitution was founded on Masonic principles... not Christian ones. Someone is going to try and tell me that Masonic principles were founded on Christianity... Maybe, maybe not.

Techfan
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Techfan 07/10/11 - 08:31 am
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I wonder how much has been

I wonder how much has been spent on fancy church buildings and a nice house, clothes, and Mercedez for the pastor?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/10/11 - 08:47 am
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I'm curious about something.

I'm curious about something. Does Abilene Baptist Church have any black members? Anyone know?

allhans
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allhans 07/10/11 - 09:22 am
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Riverman1..Yes to the black

Riverman1..Yes to the black members. I can give you some names.
I appreciate Rev Harrell, he is my all-time favorite pastor (after Billy Graham) and I agree that moral decay is a concern and growing.

@ And Paul, morals and Christianity go together like a hand in a glove. Morality for some is perhaps in the eyes of the beholder but the morals of a Christian is simply what it says... morals.

southern2
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southern2 07/10/11 - 09:44 am
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Thanks to the good Rev. for

Thanks to the good Rev. for attempting to clear the water that has been muddied by those who teach evil as good. I wish other preachers would be so bold in their message. I missed the part about black members and am not sure why that issue was brought up. Featherless darts looking for a target.

allhans
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allhans 07/10/11 - 10:29 am
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I made a trip to the dentist

I made a trip to the dentist Fri morning, the nice technician spoke of her belief and her concern for current events. Later in the day I went to my rheumatologist and a lady in the waiting room struck up a conversation about the corruption and decay in the world. While I was being escorted to the treatment room the worker mentioned her faith and how it gets her through the day.
These were ordinary women who sincerely believe in God and his teachings and are giving testimony. I regret that some are so against the one thing that is for some life's greatest pleasure.

fd1962
26
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fd1962 07/10/11 - 11:14 am
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Holy cow, can't wait until
Unpublished

Holy cow, can't wait until this guy gets raptured and out of our hair...

fd1962
26
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fd1962 07/10/11 - 11:39 am
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"The most preposterous
Unpublished

"The most preposterous religious notion ever dreamed
up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the (astonishing) expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history."
Robert Heinlein (somewhat abridged)

allhans
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allhans 07/10/11 - 01:30 pm
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If the people of the

If the people of the congregation don't mind doing the pastor's yard work, it is no sweat off my back.
The members of many small churches keep the church grounds clean and also the parsonage grounds.

ITALIAN
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ITALIAN 07/10/11 - 03:54 pm
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Rev. Harrell says our

Rev. Harrell says our forefathers (most who were slave owners and used their female slaves for their own pleassure,ie Thomas Jeffeson for one). Created a document which was meant to change with the times, that is why we have amendments to the original document. When I was taught about the US Constitution my 6 th grade teacher said it was a living document that was always evolving and growing stronger ! Just one other thought how does REV Harrell justify the churchs turning a blind eye to all the hatred and cruelity that members of their churchs did against the African Amercians! I guess it was Christian teachings that said it was okay to sell ones children right out of a mothers arms! Please don't say it what a differant time etc, cruelity is cruelity!

dougk
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dougk 07/10/11 - 05:29 pm
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Slavery is condoned in the
Unpublished

Slavery is condoned in the Bible...thus, apparently part of God's plan....and man should not question it.

Brad Owens
4838
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Brad Owens 07/10/11 - 05:51 pm
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He needs to read up on the

He needs to read up on the "Founding Fathers" because it is obvious he doesn't know much about them or their feeling when it comes to churches and governing.

Patty-P
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Patty-P 07/10/11 - 06:11 pm
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Good point paulbaughman...

Good point paulbaughman...

fd1962
26
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fd1962 07/10/11 - 07:57 pm
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"Our primary task is the
Unpublished

"Our primary task is the redemption of the lost, but once that has happened then obedience is the issue"
Now there is a prospect to frighten the bejesus out of you -
...along with legions of the chosen anxious to enforce that obedience with rod, staff, sword, and tasers, I suppose.

hounddog
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hounddog 07/10/11 - 08:31 pm
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dough, ‘Slavery is condoned
Unpublished

dough, ‘Slavery is condoned in the Bible.’
Slavery has been around as long as man has. Slavery still goes on in many Arabic and African countries

allhans
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allhans 07/10/11 - 09:58 pm
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Italian, "Created a document

Italian, "Created a document which was meant to change with the times, that is why we have amendments to the original document."

Where did that come from. I have never heard Rev Harrell say anything even close to that. As for the hatred of African Americans, maybe you can explain this since this is the first time I have heard it.
Some of the prominent members of Abilene are black.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 07/11/11 - 01:31 am
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(A)llhans, Pleased to read

(A)llhans,

Pleased to read your last sentence. Hope you're correct.

After all, it's the color of a person's heart that is important.

dougk
3
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dougk 07/11/11 - 09:41 am
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Oh how very progressive of
Unpublished

Oh how very progressive of you, Jefe, to trust a black man with your wife and children. LOL.

broad street narrow mind
348
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broad street narrow mind 07/11/11 - 10:08 am
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wow.
Unpublished

wow.

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