- Baptist Beacon
First Person: Getting what we asked for
ONTARIO, CA (BP) – No matter who wins the presidential election, it appears the American people are about to get what they have asked for over the past 50 years -- institutionalization of their rejection of moral authority. Since the 1960s, there has been a concerted effort by multiple groups to cast off moral restraint in the name of personal freedom. Special interest groups demanding abortion on demand, sexual liberty, marriage redefinition and gender abolition -- all in the name of civil rights, personal rights, and individual entitlement -- have won the day.
Persons who oppose them are marginalized as bigots and rights-denying obstructionists. We are said to be on the wrong side of history, meaning we will look back someday and see how supposedly misguided -- even ignorant -- we have been. That, however, is a truncated, revisionist view of history. When you consider the record, the historical pattern -- in both Old Testament and secular history -- is quite the opposite. When any society rejects moral authority, chaos and anarchy always lead to collapse.
One of the ways this happens is when God allows leaders to arise who will institutionalize the amorality and immorality their followers demand. Those leaders are the culmination of a populace rebellion. Check the record -- every time this has happened in history the result has been cultural collapse. Many Americans arrogantly believe this cannot happen to us. How naïve! In this context, God-fearing people are being laughed at or ignored today. We are mocked for warning about God's judgement. That's considered an archaic concept, an out-of-touch superstition from a past era.
A final, concrete step in rejecting God's standards is when people demand leaders who model and institutionalize their demands -- and God gives them what they have asked for. Regardless of who wins the White House on Nov. 8, he or she will represent and amplify the prevailing values of an electorate that, by and large, seems to have acquiesced to the inevitability of amoral and immoral behavior becoming our new normal.
As our moral decline accelerates, it's important for Christian leaders to retain our prophetic voice. We must continue to advocate moral positions based on timeless truth, call people (including people in power) to repent, and help people learn to make better choices. While we may be in a marginalized minority, our prophetic responsibility -- even though we feel like voices in the wilderness -- has never been more important. God help us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Iorg is president of Gateway Seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention.