There are so many things happening currently in the United States that are concerns: an escalation in the racial divide, growing immigration debates, gay rights disputes, political dysfunction and distrust, a tepid and yet volatile economy, and a decline in religious tolerance. All of these are very real and present issues that should be concerns for all Americans. But there is one subtle phenomenon that is of even greater concern to me than all these issues, because, if not checked, will impact all of these issues and more, making them worse.
What I’m most concerned about is a major shift in the moral foundation of our country. Morality has to do with determining what is right and wrong, but it is also rooted in something that guides it in that decision-making process.
America was settled centuries ago by those seeking religious freedom from nations, mostly in Europe, that had shifted their moral base away from the church and into the halls of the political elite. Determining what was right and wrong had moved from a quasi-biblical basis to the whims of monarchies and government officials. The result was a severe persecution of those who held the former moral base by those who had the new moral base.
Many fled to America with the hope of being able to re-establish an essentially Judo-Christian moral base for making decisions about what is right and wrong. This Judo-Christian moral base was essentially the Bible, and what it taught about right and wrong. Now skip to today in America.
Over the last 60 years, that moral base has shifted significantly in America, as it had in Europe centuries ago. Today we hear much discussion and debate about Supreme Court decisions legalizing such things as abortion and gay marriage. We are told things either are or are not Politically Correct (PC). But all of these more recent experiences are simply expressions of a national morality base that has shifted and continues to shift away from the Bible, and more to what might be called the “what feels good” base of morality.
The grave danger of this shift in our morality base is that the “what feels good” base is a clear shift away from God and His perfect design to mankind and his fallen nature. It is this shift in moral base that historically has led to “every man doing what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). For a glimpse of what this leads to in a culture, just read Judges 17-21.
This has been developing for several decades, but in recent years the floodgate has been opened and the raging waters of change are already beginning to sweep through our country. My deep concern stems from seeing the results of this morality base historically, but also from considering, “what’s next?”
Abortion is justified by what has been dubbed Pro Choice: the right of the mother to choose whether she wants to give birth to a baby that’s in her womb or kill it. We talk about a woman’s right to choose. What we are saying is she has the right to do “what feels good” to her in the moment, even if that means killing an unborn, living baby (see Psalm 139:13-16, for instance).
The Supreme Court has said we no longer need to follow God’s original design for marriage between a man and a woman (see Genesis 2:24, for instance), but we can do “what feels good” to us at the time, including gay marriage.
So with that logic from our new moral base, what can we expect in the future? Our American culture has opened up Pandora’s box.
Already we are seeing courts being told by defense attorneys that incest, pedophilia and even rape are justified, essentially because the person doing the act was just following the “what feels good” moral base. Incest, pedophilia and rape have been considered wrong in our culture because of our biblical moral base of the past. But with that being replaced by the “what feels good” base, there is no moral reason to not condone them in the near future.
One book publisher is already being sued for publishing a book – the Bible – which teaches against homosexuality and dares to call it a sin (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:8-10, for instance). The “what feels good” morality base is challenging the biblical base of the past in open court.
It seems obvious to me this same reasoning will lead to churches being challenged for teaching against incest, pedophilia, bestiality, rape, polygamy and homosexuality from the Bible. How long before the PC police and courts step in and shut down churches altogether for teaching the Bible and its moral base? It has happened before. It is headed in that direction in American now.
I think it is time for Christians who still hold to a biblical morality base and haven’t been seduced into the “what feels good” morality base to do two things: first, stand for biblical truth unashamedly and secondly, pray that God would grant us peace in the midst of this mounting morality storm in our country.