If you're a Christian and wringing your hands over the national descent into moral decadency, re-read this week's article title and consider yourself consoled. It may not seem very consoling, but Christians should not be wringing their hands.
What we are witnessing is a collision of contradictory truth claims that have laid side by side but are anything but parallel or equally true. God speaks to us through His written Word and through creation. We speak to ourselves through our sin nature. The Word tells us that we are sinful by nature (Ephesians 2:3; Romans 7 and 8). But the national civil justification is based on the claim that humans are "...endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
This last statement is contrary to what Jesus said. Jesus specifically warns against the pursuit of happiness. (Luke 12: 13-21) Pursing one's happiness will usually be in competition against another person's pursuit of the same. Human reasoning is crippled by our sinful nature and is contrary to God's will. (Romans 3:11) What was done to Jesus on the cross was based on human reasoning. But God the Father raised God the Son from the dead.
God responds to sin by two ways: repentance/salvation or judgment. And neither is only about the future. Repentance and salvation give us hope. But the Old Testament records what happens to people when they reject the Lord--they are conquered or handed over to their sins and self-destruct. Among the national arrogance and unrepentance here, we see the poverty of heart as this nation suffers from a lack of unity and purpose beyond what Shakespeare called "our basest metal" or Freud called the "id".
We see what happens when we try to separate God from our public lives. The result includes the racial supremacists of the 18th through the 20th centuries and the self-described "progressives" today. "White Like Me", supporting slavery, has been replaced with "Bright Like Me", celebrating abortion on demand, killing more than 53 million American children since 1973. The former presumes race-based ascendancy, the latter claims mental and moral superiority, but both lack evidence beyond their egos for their presumptions. They both play god by judging who is fully human and who is not and who should possess what. One false judgment is based on race, the other on physical ability and subjective definitions of justice, but both claim ownership of fellow humans whom they believe exist to serve them. Contrary to what is often said and believed, the Bible does not support slavery and Christians were among the most vocal abolitionists, just as we are today in helping to defend the lives of preborn children AND their mothers.
As Christianity continues its Asian and African boom, our unrepentant nation faces doom, embracing sin and death, the fruits of human reasoning that was first practiced in Eden. What we are witnessing today does not contradict Scripture, but confirms it. But Jesus Christ, fully human and fully God, is not a consolation prize given to the loser. He has already won, and He has given believers His victory over death. We believers are free to salt the earth by calling for repentance and boldly proclaiming His truth that is always, always marching on. Gloria Deo--Glory to God.
Rev. Timothy Matthew is pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kennett.