We often refer to the times of our childhood or other times in our lives when things were either easier, more enjoyable, more profitable or just radically different from what we are experiencing today as being "the good ole days'. I know I do. Though my growing up years at home had a lot of stresses, I still have very fond memories of my childhood that my grandchildren are not experiencing. Times have surely changed and are continuing to change at a rapid pace!
My grandchildren can still swim in the creek, play in the woods, catch lightening bugs, raise baby wild animals, play hide and seek in the dark and watch cartoons. The extent to which they do these things and the opportunities and conditions in which they do them have greatly changed since my youth. There is so much violence, crime and just pure evil in our culture today that threaten the lives, the innocence and the freedoms of our children and grandchildren. Evil actions that were once only heard of occasionally in our country a few decades ago, are now witnessed everyday on the news and on social media.
I never lived in town, but I remember staying with one of my cousins who did. We could get on his bicycles and be gone most of the day without fear of anything except getting run over by a car if we got in the road. In the country, if we needed anything, Mama would send us off walking to the nearest neighbor, or if we were with our Mama Brooks, she would send us on an errand to the nearest country store. There was no real fear that anyone would harm us or treat us badly. The only fear that we really had outside our home was that of a nuclear attack, but even that threat, though real, did not consume us, divide us, or make us cower down in fear.
When we had television, (both or all three channels), my parents did not have to worry about us being exposed to obscenities, sex, thoughtless violence, tolerance for sin and crime, disrespect for our country, the burning of our flag, disrespect for authority (parents, elders, teachers, military, police, or anyone else for that matter). We also were not allowed to sit and watch TV all day long--nor did we have the desire to. For the most part, we all ate at the kitchen table and we ate whatever was put before us. We said 'Yes Ma'am" and "No Ma'am", "Yes Sir" and "No Sir." We took pride in our Country and we supported our President. When the President was on TV, everybody had to be quiet and watch him. You may not have liked him or supported him, but you respected the office of the President of the United States of America!
Most of what I remember about "the good ole days" involved people--those that I knew and those that I did not. Though the world and our culture were not remotely perfect or sinless, I remember that there was a kind of mutual respect that people just had for one another and human life was valued (and so was their property for that matter). People greeted and acknowledged one another's presence with a smile, a nod, or a flip of the hand when they passed on the street. I remember feeling safe because most people had a similar compass for morality that was somewhat Biblically based. There were laws and standards that were expected to be upheld. Moral character, integrity, clear boundaries, mutual respect, liberty, justice and the value placed on life were valued, expected and respected. A man's word or a firm handshake was as binding and respected as a signature.
I know that there is still a lot of good in the world. I know that for born again Children of God, the best is yet to come. But; I also believe that life is going to get harder, pains are going to be greater and the spiritual and physical battles are going to intensify from this day forward until Jesus returns to take His people home.
It seems that our decline as a Society and a Nation has been very sudden recently, like an unexpected volcanic eruption. However; when we look at a little recent history, we can see that the seeds we have been planting since I was a child, are just coming forth and producing fruit. The poisonous weeds that we have been neglecting and allowing to flourish in our homes, schools, media and even our churches, have also produced their fruits and many of our people have partaken and are drunk from their poisons.
Here are a few recent landmark moral and spiritual battles that we have lost under our watch. Most of these battles we lost because we either never showed up for the battle or because we showed up but had no real will to fight.
a. 25 Jun 1962: Prayer was banned in public schools.
b. 1968: The Courts ruled that while evolution could be taught in public schools, Creationism violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
c. 22 Jan 1973: The Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion in Roe Vs Wade. An estimated 61,700,000 babies have been murdered since then. The abortion rate among blacks is 5X that of whites, among Hispanics is 2X that of whites, yet whites make up 1/3 of all abortions. You cannot respect life and say black lives or any lives matter if we can kill millions of innocent babies and deem it as a right.
d. 1980: The Supreme Court ruled to remove the 10 Commandments from public schools. At least two generations of American young people have been taught that morals are nothing more than personal (or societal) preferences. Recently, an incredulous professor of philosophy wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts.” In it he noted, “Without fail, every value claim is labeled an opinion” (italics in original). This extends to assessing the most glaring of evils. Since the Nazis thought killing Jews was right, there is no way to know for sure whether it was wrong; it’s the Nazis’ opinion against that of the Jews and anyone else who objects. (Dennis Prager: 'America's Accelerating Decline').
e. 21 Jun 1989: The Supreme Court ruled it was okay to burn the American Flag.
f. 1992: Voluntary prayer was banned in public schools.
g. 20 Aug 2003: Judge Thompson ruled that Judge Moore's 10 Commandments had to be removed from the AL Supreme Court.
h. 2012: The U.S. Presbyterian USA Church approved ordination of openly gay and lesbian clergy.
i. 26 Jun 2015: The U.S. Supreme Court made same sex marriage legal in all 50 states.
j. 11 Sep 2015: The AL State Board of Education ordered that in 2016, in order for students to understand 'unity' and 'diversity' (both key political and social terms for the liberal agenda) all AL public schools must teach evolution and climate change.
k. 2017-2019: The United Methodist Church "prayed about" whether or not it would ordain openly gay and lesbian clergy. Only the African delegation of the UMC kept it from being approved!
l. At some point in this timeline, we quit teaching World History, Western Civilization and U.S. History. That is one reason who so many unruly, spoiled, uneducated, entitled Millennials are destroying statues and monuments they know nothing about. To the extent that American history is taught, beginning in high school, American history is presented as the history of an immoral nation characterized by slavery, racism, colonialism, imperialism, economic exploitation, and militarism. More than any other country in history, the United States has been the beacon of freedom to mankind, and the country that has spent more treasure and spilled more blood to liberate other peoples than any other nation.
You see the trend that has been playing out, and this is just a short list. All this did not happen suddenly, it has been happening for decades. All of this happened under the watch of my generation (I was born in 1959). For the most part, the vast majority of Churches and Christians have been silent and have conformed to and/or adopted all of the demands that have been placed upon us. Instead of being agents of change in our culture and the world, we have kept huddled inside our homes and our enclosed campuses and let the world creep in and change us.
It is high time that we actually come together, across denominational and racial divides, not just to have Church meetings or fellowship, but to fight the battles on our knees together as if our lives depend on it! After we repent ourselves--(which does not require a committee or a convention)--and as we continue to pray, we have to get up, dress up (put on the full armor of God), show up, and do all that Jesus has commanded us to do.
We may or may not live long enough to have to make a choice to either deny Jesus or die as many in history have done and as many in the world still do today, but our children and grandchildren surely will! I have seen time and time again what societies look like who have already lost their freedoms and God's favor and blessing. The Father, the Son and the Spirit are not Americans, nor or we their favorites, so be careful not to confuse patriotism with Godliness. God's love is unconditional. However; all of our blessings are God given and undeserved, but they ARE conditional. Now is the time for the Church and for the American people to wake up, to repent, to unite, to pray, and to get out and change our culture and change the world. The war is raging! It is now in our own backyard. The time to fight the spiritual battles is here.
Jesus is still on the Throne! He has never failed nor forsaken any of us in the past, and He will not in the future! The only questions is: "Will we fail or forsake Him?"