Commentary: How Far Have We Fallen? (Part Two)
The Continuing Decline
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 26-Oct-13; 11 minutes
Two weeks ago, I gave a commentary, which I began by quoting Isaiah 5:20-21:
Isaiah 5:20-21 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 prudent in their own sight!
The verses speak of the degeneracy of the Jewish culture during Isaiah's time, which openly rejected the God-given moral standards of conduct given through Moses and other prophets, and replaced them with behavior concepts whose morality rose no higher than the perverted wisdom of men. Their culture was very much like our present one in that it was almost entirely secularized.
There was a time when the general behavior of the American people was on a higher level. I do not mean that there was no crime, but unlike today, it was not lurking in communities virtually saturated by it as it is today. The driving force involved in the gradual changes of standards, both in reference to the Jews and to the United States, has been the rejection of God as the authority, and the acceptance of standards that are entirely from human sources who have already rejected God.
What is so very interesting is that these influential human sources managed to be in the places where they were in the position to influence so many in such a short time. They were in the universities, governments, churches, labor organizations, fraternal organizations, entertainment, and the upper levels of corporate structures. I am sure—because I believe the Bible—they were placed there by the arch-enemy, Satan.
I believe that the overwhelming majority of those citizens accepting these fraudulent standards have done little or nothing toward proving their validity or their value of them. Now, why? Well, it's not complicated. It's largely because human nature is lazy regarding things that are moral and spiritual in nature. The average person to this day continues to be easy pickings. Human nature's path is always to seek and conform to the broad, popular, and easy way. It simply accepts, almost always without question, partly because it reasons that everybody—as the saying goes—is doing it. In other words, it allows itself to conform—to be bullied or bulldozed into acceptance—without critical examination because of its own desire for acceptance.
In my judgment, the moral decline began to speed up in the late 1950s and gathered momentum in the riotous '60s. In both the '60s and the '90s, this nation had presidents leading the parade into the gutter, setting examples of sexual perversions and political corruption. This was not at all unusual for most of the world, but by American moral standards at the time, it was still pretty highly unusual.
We have gone so far downhill morally that the American CIA has become openly known internationally as "Murder, Incorporated." Without a declared war, that organization feels free to murder those who our leaders consider enemies in virtually any location, anywhere in the world by way of drones, firing missiles at where they believe the enemy lives or at least operates from. And then the kills are announced on the next day's news programs as the government "protecting us" from our enemies. We did not used to do such sneaky things. We were simply so strong that enemies feared to do anything to upset us. But that was when we were a great deal more righteous, and I think that God was involved in that fear of us. Are the drones soon to be used against Americans right here at home who are perceived to be enemies of the leadership?
Almost nothing involving morals and ethics is done anymore the way it used to be done because (we are told) everything has changed. That is a terribly wrong justification because the God-given standards haven't changed, only the people have changed the standards that guide them. It is God who has been rejected, and the evidence is piling ever higher and reaching into areas one would have never thought possible.
I'll give you just a little example of something that has really changed. This week, I read articles of two people, one a man and the other a woman, who came to the rescue of someone being attacked. In both cases, it was the rescuer who was either fired or forced to resign for helping this person who needed help.
The man, an employee of Walmart, was fired after rescuing a woman being attacked in a Walmart parking lot. He was told that to do such a thing was against Walmart policy. Why? Well, further questioning revealed the Walmart Corporation is officially, by policy, afraid of a lawsuit. And so the employee who did a good deed is sacrificed.
The second one was a woman, a nurse who came to the rescue of a fellow nurse when a man in ICU went berserk and attacked the nurse that was attending him. He kicked her in the chest, sending her sprawling across the room. When a second nurse—the woman we are talking about here—went to assist her, she was in turn attacked and suffered severe neck vertebrae damage. However, she was able to wrench herself free and was just beginning to defend herself against the berserk attacker when security forces arrived and subdued the attacker. It was just then that she learned that if she, a nurse, had attacked her attacker, who was the patient, she would have been fired immediately by the hospital. The reason? The same as Walmart's. Well, she immediately resigned. She's no longer a nurse because she no longer desired to work for such a company that would not protect its employees.
The point is this: Incidents of this sort are happening all over the nation because the standards have changed. These two examples are not isolated events. Former standards are being turned inside out, upside down and backwards, so that what used to be common sense has all but disappeared over the horizon. And thus, according to this culture, homosexuality is good. Same-sex marriage is good. Lesbianism is good. Destroying families through the welfare system is good. Divorce is good. Unemployment is good. Adultery is good. Fornication is good. Thievery is good. Lying is good. Bribery is good, and corruption by government is good.
In Revelation, God says Jerusalem is Sodom and Egypt. He could just as well have said, "Washington is Sodom. London is Sodom. Paris is Sodom," because we are living through the transitioning of our cultures into cultures mirroring ancient Sodom, and it is not going to get any better.
This is why we must continue preparing while this is taking place. It is because God has willed that we must go through this for our eternal good. I think He wants to teach us what happens when sin is allowed to run amok. Do you disbelieve me? Well, then, just listen to what the cultural leaders of this nation are saying and demonstrating before us virtually every day. And their standards are reflecting what God has willed and Matthew 24 clearly agrees with.