Today, Pastor Doug spoke about the markers of a deteriorating society, comparing the state of current American society with that of Israel in the book of Judges. The similarities are unmistakable, and God’s truth for the ancient Israelites is the same for us today in modern-day America. Pastor Doug outlined three indicators that a nation is in decline: religious syncretism, moral relativism, and compromising materialism.
Religious syncretism involves incorporating idols into our worship of the one true God, whether overtly or covertly. God has expressly prohibited the use of idols in worship (Exodus 20:2-4). In Judges 17:1-5, Micah and his mother decide to literally turn their money (silver) into idols to worship- -idols that they could see and touch. But God has prescribed the kind of worship that pleases Him. Jesus stated, “God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
In today’s society, science is a good example of a modern-day idol. Just because someone in a white lab coat said it does not mean it is true. Whether it is the theory of evolution or pop psychology, as Christians, we must be constantly hold it up to the truth of Scripture and if it doesn’t align, trust God’s word over the shifting and often conflicting opinions of men. In addition, don’t try to “add” any man-made ideas or “truths” to Scripture; you can’t mix biblical truth with extra-biblical beliefs. You can trust your Bible; it is the inspired Word of God.
Moral relativism is at an all-time high in this country, as it was during the time of the Judges in Israel: “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). There is no denying this is where we are in America at this moment in history. When you abandon God’s word as the source of truth and morality, then every man is left to his own opinion of right and wrong. There are no moral absolutes.
Some examples of moral relativism at work in our country include the acceptance of premarital sex, abortion, adultery, and homosexuality. Homosexuality, of course, has been the major hot button issue–with secularists, and some churches, declaring it an acceptable lifestyle, and even promoting same-sex “marriage.” Because of a recent Supreme Court decision, same-sex marriage will soon be legal in all 50 states. But what is legal is not necessarily moral. Abortion is legal, but from a biblical perspective it is immoral. The same is true for same-sex marriage. We as Christians must not affirm as good what God declares in His word to be evil.
Compromising materialism basically means compromising your spiritual and moral beliefs for financial gain. Again, in Judges, we learn of a Levite (priest) who is out of a job due to Israel’s spiritual disintegration, and Micah offers him a job as a priest in his (idolatrous) home. This Levite has become a “preacher for hire,” willing to promote idol worship in exchange for 10 pieces of silver, a suit of clothes, and room and board. Even worse, according to some biblical scholars, the identity of this particular Levite is Moses’ grandson–meaning that in just one generation, Moses’ descendants lapsed into idolatry and compromising materialism. We as Christians must never compromise our spiritual convictions for financial gain–God has so much more for us!
Application / Challenge
- Avoid religious syncretism
- Shun moral relativism
- Refuse compromising materialism
- Book Resources for additional research:
- Darwin on Trial – Dr. Phillip Johnson, InterVarsity Press
- Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology – Dr. William A. Dembski, InterVarsity Press
- Darwin’s Black Box – Dr. Michael Behe, Free Press
- Signature in the Cell – Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, Harper Collins Publisher
- Darwin’s Doubt – Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, HarperOne