[A repost, with redactions for typos, orthography and tenses, of a post buried two years back in the archives]
Originally stated as, “A decaying moral fiber, especially in America’s so-called ‘Christian’ churches.” And, of course, once again I’ll not do more than skim a very, very small aspect of the issue, leaving you, faithful reader, to do your own homework to discover the veracity of my observations… or not..
Now, before some subliterate self-lobotomized moron jumps in making a defense of “slut and rut” sexual mores resulting from a thoroughly moribund sexual morality and attacks the raising of this issue as mere prudery, let me remind us all that morality relates to all of our daily lives, not just sex.
Honesty, respect for property, respect for persons, etc., that results in a condemnation and avoidance of lies, thievery and unjust violence against and manipulation and coercion of individuals: those are hallmarks of moral individuals and a moral society.
What we have is… not that.
Simple example: heck, forget cops who speed on their way to a donut break–an all too common occurrence. What about so-called “Christian” pastors who break traffic laws speeding to a preaching gig?
…it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. — Romans 13:5-7
So-called “Christian” pastors who think nothing of disobeying traffic or other laws are worse than politicians and LEOs who break whatever laws they wish, because in breaking the law, these so-called “Christian” pastors know they are accountable not only to the State and to society at large for their behavior but have represented themselves as accountable to a Higher Power for obeying the laws of the land.
But even if the shepherd of a flock leads the sheep astray by his actions, the sheeple of individual flocks of self-proclaimed “Christians” are still responsible for their actions.
Years ago, a group of us were discussing the passage above (and others) in a morning study group one Sunday. A deacon who was present had responsibilities in the service that followed, and interrupted the service for a personal confession and act of repentance. Between the time of the study group and the morning service, he had gone out to his car and removed his radar detector which he placed on the communion table saying that he was “convicted” of his sin in using it to disobey the law and get away with it. He made a public commitment then to start obeying the law.
Laudable, on its face.
After the service, of course, he picked the radar detector back up and re-installed it in his car and drove off as usual.
Now, you may think I’m playing nit-picker singling out traffic scofflaws as examples of moral depravity among churchgoers. Well, imprimis, traffic scofflaws can stand simply as examples of the many ways in which “good” church folks are often anything but. And those who stand as some sort of authority figures within churches who are scofflaws in one area of their lives have no moral suasion when speaking in others. And, as with the deacon mentioned above, most often the outright lies and blatant hypocrisy are moral wounds that even more deeply hamper “good churchgoers'” ability to impact society for good.
And after all, why should they even try to do so when their congregations are more and more openly embracing the “bread and circus” atmosphere of society at large in order to draw “seekers” in for fleecing?
Bah. The fundamental lie that blemishes most so-called “Christian” churches today is that they claim to be “people of the Book” all the while picking and choosing and explaining away or just flat denying what the Book they claim to use as their manual for life says.
And that’s the fundamental immorality of much of so-called “Christendom” today: the lie of claiming to be followers of Christ while trampling on His teachings.
(Liars are always immoral, by definition. )
Go ahead. Apply these thoughts to yourself, if you claim to be Christian, or even if you claim–if only in your own eyes–to be as “good” as a Christian ought to strive to be. Are “white lies” acceptable to you? Where do you draw the line between telling the truth and lying? Does it make any difference that you draw your own line? No. Does it make any difference that intellectual and spiritual laziness and dishonesty permeates much of what calls itself “Christian” today? Yes. Such, “Well, sure I do such and so (or, alternatively, “fail do any bit of real good at all, at all”), but I’m still a good person!” lies do nothing to persuade onlookers who see only the lies, the hypocrisy, the self-serving disrespect for law*, the fact that so-called Christians cannot be discerned in behavior from those who are outside the club. (Indeed, because of a long association with Christians–both genuine and typically fake–I avoid doing business with anyone who sells themselves and their services by promoting their self-proclaimed Christianity as a reason to do business with them. Almost always a sure sign of fakery, IMO.)
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is… Romans 12:2
Anyone who denies that distinctly Christian principles and manners of thought and behavior form the basis for (former?) American success in creating a free and open society is an idiot, a liar or an uninformed idiotic liar. And one has to ask oneself what the motives of the liars who deny the Christian foundations (or who deny the value of those foundations, as the ACLU and its ilk regularly do) are. Still, as those values steadily erode and I watch more and more Christian churches wallow in pellagianism, embracing “hip-hop theology” and denying the life and work of the One they putatively claim to follow, I have to wonder, “Where is the Amos to call these contemporary faux Christians to account?”
I dunno. It certainly doesn’t seem to be something many (most?) of the pulpits of contemporary “Christian” churches seem wont to do. I do know a prophet is without honor in his own country, and that anyone who points out that the emperor’s new clothes… “ain’t thar” is in very deep doo-doo.
As [a past] quote in the header of this blog read,
“Speaking the Truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.” George Orwell
Methinks we need a few more revolutionaries.
*BTW, is there such a thing as a true Christian who nevertheless disobeys the law deliberately? Of course there is. One instance in the New Testament gives an example of the only legitimate excuse a person claiming to be a Christian may have to deliberately disobey the laws of his community. Other excuses are bushwah, B.S., phony, lies. None of the folks I’ve heard make arguments for churches running “sanctuaries” for illegal aliens meet the criterion for biblically proper civil disobedience. None. Not one. Zero, zilch, nada, a big suck on a sour lemon’s worth. And never is simple personal convenience, pleasure or advantage a legitimate excuse for flouting laws, at least not for people who claim to be following the Nazarene. People who claim to be followers of Christ but who routinely and habitually and illegitimately flout the laws of their community without pang of conscience are plainly and simply liars, hypocrites and the truth is not in them–and that’s a fundamental failing of morality.
for more along these lines.