Liberal societies never approach the problems of society through the preaching of moral norms. The liberal news media will report and cry out against the opioid epidemic and other social problems. However, they will never interview a Bible believer who has the solution for the problem of opioid addiction. The news media cannot interview the Bible student because the very definition of a liberal society is that the people seek to forsake moral norms. The lack of moral norms of the liberal society of Noah’s day led the people in the direction in which “every imagination of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil continually” (Gn 6:5). There was no return of that civilization to preserving moral standards. The same is true of Western society today.
We are not optimistic about the solution the liberal West will provide for the opioid epidemic. The West may build more jails, but jails are only a legal bandage to a real social cancer. The West is on its way to legalize certain euphoric drugs. But this too is not the solution. Since the West has lost its religiosity, it is doubtful that the West will ever deal with the sin beneath the sin by religiously dealing with the psychological depression of those who seek a chemical solution for social depression. Religion represents moral standards, but the Western liberal seeks to throw off moral standards that bring relief to both stress and depression. This means that any faith that promotes an absolute moral standard must be changed, or sent out the back door of the church house. Society would rather overdose on opioids than overdose on faith.
We have now introduced ourselves to a paradox in reference to what we formerly called a “Christian” nation. Why would a supposedly “Christian” nation end up with a social sickness that leads to the death of over 64,000 people every year from opioid overdose? Why would a “Christian” nation have a decrease in life-expectancy because of the opioid epidemic ? Where are the religious guardians of this society?
The answers to these questions is quite simple. We would suppose that a “Christian” nation would morally direct its society by moral norms that would preserve society, which moral norms are commonly stated throughout the Bible. These moral standards were the foundation upon which the West was originally built when the first Puritan immigrants stepped off the Mayflower. But something has gone terribly wrong.
All went well until about half a century ago when the religious community of the West became simply religious, having forsaken the authority of the word of God. And in forsaking the authority of the word of God, society was released from the moral norms of the Bible. Religion in Western culture today is generally not Bible based, especially in reference to the application of moral standards. The liberal thinking of the society moved into churches. In order to keep the liberals in attendance (particularly the Millennial Generation), religious leaders could no longer preach “hell, fire and brimstone” sermons. Western religion has subsequently become biblically sterile. And through the international communications media, this sterile religion has been broadcast throughout the world. Around the world, pastors and priest watch or hear their sermons on the communications media, and then stand up on Sunday morning with the same morally sterile, “Bibleless” sermons. Social media as Facebook and Tweeter have brought the world together, but they have also become the engines to propagate the moral decline throughout the world. Bible study is not longer of a part of faith.
The mission of the Western church has for half a century propagated their religiosity through motivational sermons that build assemblies and draw contributions, but do not strike fear in the hearts of the those who continually violate Divine principles for gospel living. If Jesus were to speak out today to these religious groups, He would surely say,
“I have a few things against you because you have there those who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication” (Rv 2:14).
“I have a few things against you because you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and deceives My bondservants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols” (Rv 2:20).
“You say, ‘I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing.” But you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Rv 3:17).
In these times, “miracle-working” charismatic prosperity preachers have captivated audiences. The attendees are overwhelmed in hysterical faith-healing assemblies, but go home with the same immoral behavioral life-style by which they conducted themselves on the way to the religious theater. Because the people are deceived by experiential religiosity, they do not hear sermons today coming from pulpits that use the word of God to bring judgment on homosexuality, same-sex marriage, fornication and a host of other sins that destroy both the family and the moral fabric of society (See Gl 5:19-21).
Therefore, we are not surprised with the opioid addiction in a society that has rejected Divine social norms to deal with stress. When a society is in social turmoil, stressed out about having no moral compass, then drugs, not faith, are always the solution in such secular societies. A faithless society never adopts solutions that deter the moral fall of civilizations.
The opioid epidemic is primarily among the Millennial Generation, those who are in their late twenties. According to Rainer and Rainer, this generation is only 6% religious in reference to believing in the authority of the Bible and Jesus as the One through whom one would approach God (The Millennials, p. 232). This is a faithless generation of about 80 million strong in a nation of 300 million that is bringing down the religious core of Western civilization.
And for us who grew up on a farm in Middle America, even now, America is not what it was in the days of our youth. Unfortunately, many of those who are seeking to immigrate to America are driven to do so by a dream that no longer exists in reality. The “Christian” nation of America has long since faded into a memory of years gone by. If you do not believe this, then consider the following moral norms that were once considered sin in the days of our youth: Abortion, fornication, same-sex marriage, homosexuality, abuse of drugs of any kind, including alcohol, pornography of any kind, premarital sex, disrespect for dignitaries in government, disrespect for the President, etc. If we would continue listing the specifics of the sins of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21, we could mention many dysfunctional behavioral sins that are now accepted by Western civilization.
A liberal society is highly critical of those societies that are governed by absolutes, especially religious absolutes. For this reason, no Western liberal news media has been kind to the President of the Philippines, or the existing President of a divided American society. The Western news media simply cannot understand why a woman wants to wear a veil in an Islamic society. The liberal West will never understand Islamic countries, for the social fabric of Islamic countries is religiously conservative, and thus functions in contrast to liberal Western values. Islamic countries thus consider themselves threatened by the liberal West. They believe that Islam is under attack by the behavior that is promoted by liberal moral norms.
For liberals, the religiously conservative Russia and principle-driven China are to be feared because he cannot envision that we can live with absolutes in a liberal democratic world. We cannot shoot the drug offenders. We cannot execute thieves and punish adulterers. The death penalty is considered barbaric.
A liberal society, therefore, is continually in judgment of a social order that is controlled by conservative values. Since the liberal thrives in a social order wherein freedom from control is the foundation upon which all things can be changed to satisfy the status quo, then the liberal concludes that citizens who live in controlled societies have no freedom. This may explain why the citizens of Western civilizations are so fearful of both Russia and China, and some Islamic countries. But the liberal has simply forgotten that there is no freedom without law.
[To be continuded.]