Want to know the recipe for disaster? When you combine a culture that has lost any semblance of a conscience and a Church that no longer has any convictions, disaster and destruction won’t be far behind. History is full of the stories of once great societies and nations who collapsed under the weight of their own wickedness. A path our nation is foolishly, perilously and currently pursuing.
COMMON SENSE IS NO LONGER COMMON PRACTICE and what used to be mainstream morality is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Here are a few examples from just the past few days.
A couple in California was fined for holding a Bible study in their home, allegedly in violation of the city’s zoning regulations. Stephanie and Chuck Fromm have lived in their home in San Juan Capistrano for 18 years and were shocked to receive the notice from the city. They only have one next-door neighbor and the space on the other side of their house is six acres of empty land. But one neighbor didn’t like it. The couple’s attorney said, “Millions of Americans regularly gather at Bible studies, a tradition dating far back into American history.” The ordinance in question would also include organizations like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, as well as groups who meet weekly to watch Sunday night football games. 1
Speaking of the Boy Scouts, the organization announced it was dropping the name “Boy” from the name of its signature program, due to their decision to include girls. Even that decision didn’t reverse the declining membership. They decided to keep the gender neutral name, Cub Scouts. Do you remember the Boy Scout Pledge: “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” Today, that oath is considered out of date and offensive to some in our culture. 2
Or how about the recent White House Correspondents’ Dinner last Saturday night? Comedian Michelle Wolf took the event to an all time low that included some of the most vulgar, profane, mean-spirited comments ever shared at the event. While many raised objections and concerns about what was said, how it was said and should it even have been said, others defended the evening as a great example of the first amendment. 3,4
When you combine a culture that has lost any semblance of a conscience and a Church that no longer has any convictions, disaster and destruction won’t be far behind.
Jeff Myers, President of Summit Ministries, just cancelled their planned student conferences in California after the State Assembly passed a proposed bill that legal analysts have called “an effort to limit free speech and the free exercise of religion.” Calling the bill “the most blatant chilling of free speech in America in my lifetime,” Myers said he thinks the bill will pass in the state Senate and will most certainly be signed by Democrat Governor Jerry Brown. “According to the California Family Council, some legal experts have concluded the bill targets the ability of religious non-profits, churches, and pastors from teaching and practicing their faith regarding sexual orientation and gender.” 5
Here in our community, the Mansfield Independent School District has become the center of a controversy due to an art teacher being suspended from her job. According to Texas Values, at the most recent School Board meeting, parents and taxpayers addressed the School Board commending them for placing a teacher on paid leave after the teacher continued to promote the LGBT agenda to elementary school students. “The parents also urged the school board to not adopt any policies that would promote the LGBT agenda, including policies that would infringe on religious liberties and allow boys into girls’ showers, locker-rooms, and bathrooms. Parents in support of the school board’s decision outnumbered those who opposed the board’s decision.” 6
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
One of the reasons our culture has no conscience, is due largely in part, to having a Church without convictions. Too many seem content to coddle those who continue to do what God’s Word condemns, irrespective of the fact the Bible is clear about sin (Matthew 7:21-22; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-11; Revelation 22:14-15). Just because some people lower their standards and approve of, endorse and encourage others to live lives of sin, doesn’t mean God has lowered His. In fact, God said, “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 who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight” (Isaiah 5:20-21).
Someone said, “A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good, just because it’s accepted by a majority.” When morality is left up to a majority, it’s only a matter of time before anything goes and moral absolutes become obsolete. Thankfully, Heaven isn’t a democracy determined by majority vote. It’s a theocracy decided by One vote: God’s.
God’s Church cannot and will not compromise what God’s Word says. We can love our relatives and friends who make bad choices that go against God’s Word. But we cannot condone those choices or ignore what God’s Word says about them.
The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). So every sinner is certainly welcome at Crossroads. However, as Jesus declared to the woman at the well in John 8:11, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” If someone wants to live in sin the Bible says, “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him” (1 John 3:6).
Those who leave their sin and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior can be saved (Romans 10:9-10), which is what we encourage everyone to do. No one can continue to live in sin and claim to be a follower of Jesus. That’s living in deception and defiance when God calls us to live and walk in repentance.
In 2 Peter 3:9, the Bible says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” The Church should do the same thing, being patient, not wanting anyone to perish. However, being patient doesn’t mean being silent or compromising the truth of God’s Word. We should always be civil, but we should never be silent. We need to stand up for what’s right and hold high God’s unchanging Word.
Because a church without convictions can never help a culture without a conscience.
© 2018. Barry L. Cameron
1 Ng, Christina. “California Family Fined for Bible Study in Home.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 22 Sept. 2011, https://abcnews.go.com/US/california-family-fined-bible-study-home/story?id=14582868
2 Bacon, John. “Boy Scouts Are Dropping the Word 'Boy' from Flagship Program; Girl Scouts Shrug.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 2 May 2018, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/05/02/boy-scouts-scouts-bsa-girls-joining-cub-scouts/572036002/
3 Michael. “Did Michelle Wolf Kill the White House Correspondents' Dinner?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 Apr. 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/30/business/media/michelle-wolf-white-house-correspondents-dinner.html
4 Garber, Megan. “The Slow, Awkward Death of the White House Correspondents' Dinner.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 29 Apr. 2018, https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/04/what-happened-at-the-white-house-correspondents-dinner/559232/
5 Warren, Steve. “Ministry Cancels CA Conferences Over Bill Banning Biblical Views on Sexual Identity.” CBN.com - The Christian Broadcasting Network, 2 May 2018, http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/may/ministry-cancels-conferences-after-calif-bill-banning-biblical-views-on-sexual-identity-passes-state-house
6 “Mansfield ISD Parents Rise Up: ‘Educate, Don't Indoctrinate’ After LGBT Push Fails | Texas Values | Standing for Faith, Family, and Freedom in Texas.” Texas Values, https://txvalues.org/2018/04/25/mansfield-isd-parents-rise-up-educate-dont-indoctrinate-after-lgbt-push-fails/
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.