LAWLESSNESS AS NEW MORALITY
Something has sparked my concern about the distressing lawlessness and so-called "new morality" in American society. At the mail counter the other day I noticed a rather large, popular, generally accepted pictorial magazine. Among good informative articles it had at least two features that couldn't help but stir an unclean mind and make a clean one feel disgusted and dirty.
Later on I felt a burden in my spirit, but I didn't know what it was. As I prayed, I came back to the current breakdown of clean-cut moral standards in our country, the loosening of restraints between the sexes pictured in popular magazines and made popular in society. Then I discovered something of the meaning of my burden. I don't weep for these things very much, but it seemed this burden drew tears and made me cry out to God.
IT IS NOT NEW
What is this thing that is happening? What it this sexiness, this looseness? Sex in itself is no evil, nor are we rebuking a person who has sinned and repented with contrition. But we are pointing out a conspiracy brewing in our country to get young men and girls careless in this realm.
People call it the new morality. We disagree with the idea that it is new. It is as new as the cult of Bacchus in Roman culture, as new as the cult of Baal in Phoenician culture, as new as the ancient social and religious practices of tribes that have never heard of law and grace and have taught their consciences not to be disturbed by moral laxity.So far as the word morality is concerned, this new morality is certainly not the morality of God, the morality of the absolute standards of righteousness. I am sure that it is a morality that is the launching pad for guilt and regret.
THREE GROUPS THAT NEED THE ALARM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Three groups need the alarm of the Holy Spirit. The alarm is a warning to Christians, a proclamation to society, a rebuke of evil forces.
First, the warning. This warning is not to the instigators of these large picture-filled, mixed-up magazines that inspire religious thought and moral laxity in the same issue. These editors not only publish, but seem to take particular pride in spreading their literature before a curious public.
Rather, we warn the Christians who pick up these magazines and cannot help being interested in the format, the startling presentation of their features. Just what is our relationship to these things? Are we sanctioning them? Are we being brainwashed? Have we somehow become reeducated to condone and not abhor evil when we see it? Have we not learned to be angry at the things that anger God? At least we should be angry enough not to subscribe to unclean things. Does not II Corinthians 6:17, "Touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you," apply to these matters?
PROCLAMATION TO SOCIETY
Perhaps the answer is not that simple. To never look at these magazines may be unrealistic. They often contain good things. But beware of the leaven. Take time for an inventory of your mind and heart. These magazines are propaganda to familiarize the mind with immodesty and sexiness which will lead to an easy compliance to both.
We face the danger of losing our ability to rise up and say, "With all my heart I reject this new morality, this propaganda of impurity."
Second, the proclamation to society which is facing a new kind of morality. We have lost the meaning of righteousness. Parents have lost their moral punch. They do not know how to instruct their children who are strongly carried along by this current of looseness in dating and the unashamed dialogue between young men and young women.
To be concerned in these matters of restraint is to be called a "square." Well, rise up, you so-called squares, because you are right! The cocky, insolent fellow with his cigarette or the pouting girl with hers is wrong. The publishers that sell sex are wrong. People may not agree with the gospel of Jesus Christ or think they need conversion, but despite their ideas, the citizens living in affluent America in 1974 need a good dose of the Ten Commandments. They need to come to terms with the commandment that says, "Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee" (Ex. 20:12). "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right" (Eph. 6:1).
IMPACT ON CHILDREN
Children often do not honor their parents because the parents are walking in the advice of the ungodly and listening to the lie that tells them they are old-fashioned to insist on obedience in their homes.
Parents ought to find out what kind of a man their young affectionate girl is going out with. They should insist that he come and spend some evenings in their home and that he should leave at the proper time. They should insist that no automobile is going to be a sitting place for the date.
What is the weak-kneed, soft-headed idea of morality which has taken hold of the parents of our country? Stand up, parents, and be honorable and deserve honor from your children. Show them you are concerned. Give them a good happy home, but remember, they owe you honor because God has said they ought to honor and obey you.
And you, young fellow, young girl, who do you think you are, telling your parents, "This is my life and I'll live it!"? It is not your life. It is God's, and as long as He has put you under your parents' care and you are living under their roof, you are to obey them and take their advice and counsel. All they are holding back from you is the unhappiness of a meaningless, independent, rebellious life.
And even if your parents are not using common sense, you are not excused. You don't own your life. The God of heaven and earth made you, and you did not evolve from an ape. But even if your premise is evolution and you believe you evolved from an ape, remember a monkey doesn't have your grey matter. And there has been a decline of morality among the apes as there has been among the parents and teens who have lost God.
The best thing - the thing we can stake our lives on - is this: The God of love who sent His Son to die for you waits for your submission to His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus, upon your request, will wash away the sin and rebellion and put order and meaning into your life.
TO REBUKE EVIL FORCES
Third, a rebuke of evil forces. Behind all this breakdown of morality is the problem of the wicked spirits in heavenly places. Only the Church of Jesus Christ is equipped to handle this final problem. The reason is that it, through the Bible, has the knowledge of the glorious person and redemption of Jesus Christ.
We aren't wrestling with magazine editors or movie producers or TV directors or the authors of books with unsavory plots. All these are but tools of unseen evil powers. For these impure unseen powers we have only the rebuke of Jesus Christ. Let everyone pray to God and rebuke in Jesus' Name these vile attempts of the Evil One. Let these evil things be bound and cast away, first of all from any inroads among God's people, and then also from their strongholds in society. Let there be a victory great enough to release a new moving of the Holy Spirit in America and over this sin-burdened world so that the cross and blood of Christ may cleanse many young people and restore many families to purity and order again.
Perhaps a decline of a million subscribers to publications and magazines would make the editors feel the pinch of a revolting public.
TIME FOR HOLY REVOLT
This is the time for holy revolt against those things that violate the law of God. God grant that we may hear what the Holy Spirit is seeking to say to us and obey His leading. This moral blot cannot be banished by law alone; it must be banished by the Spirit of Christ who indwells His people.
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