Know Your Bible

VOL. 9                           July 11, 2010                           NO. 28

 A Changed Morality In America


            The face of America has changed so dramatically that without hindsight it is difficult to notice how subtle the changes have been. Images splash across the television with common abandon that describe the levels of depravity being accepted by society. Men kissing men and women kissing women is now a common theme on television. How many commercials hawk the cry of the old medicine man and his traveling side show with new drugs for male impotence, sexual fulfillment, depression, heart disease and some drugs I am not sure what they are for. Violence is presented in CSI investigations, made for television crime series, criminal stores with multitudes of heinous violent deaths, and all the end-of-the-world scenarios filled with chaos. Reality shows exploit the bachelor and bachelorette in sexually provocative series and endless dribbles of other reality shows where people show their supposed real life. Talk shows bring mindless victims to their stage to humiliate themselves to find out who the father of the seven children really is and why your daughter is a prostitute and marriage counseling before millions of people. And then there are those ungodly cartoons that use foul language and sexual immorality to make stupid people laugh. Welcome to American television.


            The wise man Solomon said,Is there a thing of which it may be said, See, this is new? It has already been in days of old, which were before us(Ecclesiastes 1:10). Immorality is not a new dish that man has dined on the past few years. The challenge to morality has been going on since the Garden of Eden when Satan said to Eve,Has God indeed said(Genesis 3:1). As a society America has moved away from being “One nation under God” to “One nation under Man.” God is slowly being eroded away from the moral conscience of the people of the land. The minority has begun to rule the majority. The days of Isaiah have returned:Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those wise in their own eyes, and bright in their own sight(Isaiah 5:20-21).


            As people of God it is important to “discern the weather” and be prepared for the coming storm. On the horizon clouds of immorality, worldliness, persecution and the godless armies of the devil are gathered. They sweep across the land even now but a greater conflagration is looming in the years to come. Opposing homosexuality, adultery, divorce, religious division and the hosts of schemes of the wicked one will bring the church of Christ into full battle. Tolerance will be intolerable for those who stand for truth. The words of Jesus will echo throughout the land:Do you suppose that I have come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division. For from now on, there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law(Luke 12:51-53).


            The message of the Revelation will become a dear book for the saints of God. John the apostle portrays the struggle of the people of God with the hosts of enemies like government, immorality, worldliness and the battle of good and evil. For the saints of God who cry out, “How long” (Revelation 6:9) the answer will come from the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:11-16). The battle will be long and the hardships difficult but the victory is assured to those who are not defiled with the changing morality in America. The country may fall victim to snares of the devil but the people of God must rise above the tide of destruction to live for the King. Citizens of the Kingdom must stand for truth and righteousness on every hand. There may come a day when we must follow the example of those in Ephesus:Many of those practicing the curious arts, bringing together the books, burned them before all. And they counted the prices of them and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver(Acts 19:19). Standing for the Lord may require standing alone – but stand we must (Ephesians 6:13-18).


---Kent Heaton

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Pennies in the Road


            It was just a penny. Not even a new penny. Just an old, dirty worn one. I saw it on the sidewalk as I was walking to the grocery store. I saw it like you do so many things as you busy yourself during the day. I was barely conscious of seeing it. It was just “something” I noted along my path like the car that I waited to pass before crossing the street or the bird that landed by the puddle and flitted away. The penny was not an important thing. It was just “something,” another “thing.”


            To stop and pick the penny up was too much of a bother. I had other pennies in my pocket. Another penny would just be another coin to fall out of my pocket when I sat in a chair or when I retrieved my keys. It was just another object to empty from my pockets at home or, being overlooked, to wind up in the washer or making a racket in the dryer. The penny was not worth the trouble. I didn’t muse over all these things when I saw the penny. Those are just some of the reasons that the penny received so little thought. The only thought that went through my mind was “penny” before it was shoved aside by more important thoughts.


            I saw the penny again later—I don’t know how much later. It wasn’t worth taking note of how much time had passed since I saw it last. I’m sure I had passed its exact location many times without seeing it. This time it was on the street. Perhaps I had even kicked it there unknowingly or, knocking it on several occasions, moved it there in increments. I saw it and I thought “same penny but now in the street” (or something like that) and I thought no more.


            Much later—again I know not how long—I passed the dirty, worn penny. It had traveled to a place in the road that had been patched with asphalt. The heat of the sun had softened the asphalt and the frequent passage of traffic over that spot had pressed the penny into the asphalt until it was flush like a sort of seal. I was hardly fascinated with the spectacle though I gave the penny a fleeting second more thought than I had previously—not for the penny’s sake, but only for its new predicament.


            I fear that some people receive as much attention from me as the penny now on the sidewalk, later in the road. I pass by them often, maybe over them at times. I may even nudge or kick or step on them—certainly not on purpose but just because my attention is elsewhere. I don’t think of them as unimportant. I know better. I just don’t think of them at all. To think of them is to be bothered with them and I’m bothered with so many things already. If I carry their burdens along with my own that’s just something else to fill up my already bulging pockets. That’s just something else to fall out on the floor and interrupt my leisure when I try to sit. That’s just something else to become tangled with other receipts, notes, memos, names and phone numbers stuffed in my pockets. That’s just another thing to come out in the wash—which is fine, but I have enough laundry of my own. It’s just another problem to go round and round with a racket in my mind like a washed and worn penny in the dryer.


            It’s not that I muse all those thoughts about other people and their troubles. Those are just a few of the reasons why I give so little thought to them at times. Sometimes I only think “person” and go on my way. They are just another “someone” like the so many “someones” and “somethings” that are in my path—the “car” that I must wait to pass, the “bird” that drinks from the puddle, or the “penny” on the asphalt. I’m afraid sometimes such people fall off the sidewalk and into the traffic without my notice—maybe even on my account. It’s not until I just happen to look—not because I was looking for them, but just because I was looking around—and see that they’ve become pressed into one of the ruts on the road. “Now they’ve done it,” I think. They’ve gotten themselves stuck, and I can do nothing to help, lodged as they are. Wonder why they never asked for help?” Then, my thoughts run on to other things. I gave them a fleeting more second’s thought than I had previously. I briefly pity them for their new predicament and walk on jingling the change in my pocket, oblivious to the pennies in the road.


            Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?” And He will answer, “To the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me(Matthew 25:44-45). I didn’t drop the penny that fell on the sidewalk and wound up in the road. I just didn’t pick it up.


---Jason Moore

Taken From Eastside Enlightener, 7/4/10


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