A Pastor’s Perspective On The State Of Our Culture

April 2008

Recently our local paper asked me to respond to the question, “Is the United States a Christian Nation?” This was my response:

In his powerful study, When Nations Die, Jim Nelson Black identifies ten factors that have appeared in great civilizations of the past and led to their decline and fall. In some cultures, Black observes, as few as three or four of these symptoms of social, cultural, and moral decline would be enough to bring a society to the point of imminent collapse. The list includes:

1. Increase in lawlessness
2. Loss of economic discipline
3. Rising bureaucracy
4. Decline in education
5. Weakening of cultural foundations
6. Loss of respect for traditions
7. Increase in materialism
8. Rise in immorality
9. Decay of religious belief
10. Devaluing of human life

Tragically, according to Dr. Black, the United States is the first nation in history where all ten symptoms are present in one society at one time!

Would these words, prayed before the Kansas Legislature, be shocking if America were a Christian nation? “We confess we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it moral pluralism. We have worshiped other gods and called it multiculturalism. We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation. We have rewarded
laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem. We have abused power and called it political savvy. We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and
called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values
of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.”

Editorial Note: Over 40 years ago, my Latin teacher, who was something of a student of history as well, told us that our culture was coming to resemble more and more the Roman culture that we studied in our Latin lessons. Over the years as I have studied history I have become convinced that my Latin teacher was right on target. Our culture has taken on many similar characteristics of the Roman culture which was decadent and dying.

I believe that Abernathy is correct in saying that our culture has drifted very far from any Christian values. I would also agree that we should have great fear for the survival of our culture.

I know Abernathy would agree with me, however, that the Church of Jesus Christ will go on no matter the fate of the American culture.

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