Also See One Nation Under God, In God We Trust?, America’s New Religiosity, America’s End, Too Late For America?, Living in Babylon, When Nations Die,
The Contemporary Church
More than 2,500 years ago, a lonely prophet watched as the nation of Judah spiraled downward into the depths of spiritual and physical depravity. His heart broken and his soul wretched, Habakkuk mourned:
Why do you show me iniquity,
And cause me to see trouble?
For plundering and violence are before me,
There is strife, and contention arises.
Therefore the law is powerless,
And justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous,
Therefore perverse judgment proceeds. (Habakkuk 1:3-4)
On February 12, 2004, during what homosexual activists claimed as "Freedom to Marry" week, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, ordered the city clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He did this on the pretense of "justice" and "equal rights." Over the next week, more than 3,000 homosexual couples received marriage licenses, and most of these couples were immediately "married" by San Francisco city officials. Like a swarm of locusts descending upon a field, the deluge of these homosexual "marriages" was remarkable not only because it was unprecedented in the history of Western civilization but also because of the swiftness with which it occurred.
With one decree, with neither lawful authority nor the consent of the people, one low-level government official altered forever the social compact we call the United States of America. Lawsuits were filed but judges stayed their hands, allowing same-sex "marriage" to continue. Just as it was in Habakkuk's day, today in San Francisco "the law is powerless" and "perverse judgment proceeds." The dam has burst, and the floodwaters are rising. The only thing remaining is to assess the damage and contend with the consequences that are sure to follow.
President Harry Truman said, "The only thing new is the history we don't know." The rebellion against the natural order of God's creation that has gripped America is nothing new. In 1994, Jim Nelson Black authored a book called, When Nations Die. The book traced the history of civilizations, and catalogued the symptoms present in a culture in crisis.
Black said in the past 2,000 years, every empire -- even those that seemed invincible at the height of their glory -- collapsed into ruin. Every one of these empires had three factors in common before they fell: civil society devalued human life, forsook religious belief, and celebrated sexual immorality. These three factors took root in the United States in the early 1960s. And the seeds sown 40 years ago have ripened into bitter fruit.
The Apostle Paul told us that in the final stages of apostasy men will be "inventors of evil things" who, "knowing the righteous judgment of God," nevertheless "approve of" those who practice evil (Romans 1: 30, 32). Moreover, "they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers, and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Indeed, today most of America's elitist judges and educators echo the words of Pontius Pilate and cry out, "What is truth?"
Faith, Prayer Removed from Public Arena
Inscribed into an iron gate at the entrance to Harvard University is the maxim, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." But truth cannot be known apart from God's Word. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 1:7, 9:10). What is the fear of the Lord? "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil" (Prov. 8:13).
We as a society today do not hate evil. On the contrary, we embrace it. This is seen not only in the acceptance and celebration of homosexuality, but also in the country's acceptance of abortion and pornography. It is seen, too, in the rejection of the knowledge of God. In the past 40 years, prayer and Bible study have been removed from public schools; the truth of Creation has been replaced with the theory of evolution; the Ten Commandments and nativity scenes have been banned from the public square; and a federal court of appeals has stricken the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. All because men love darkness, and hate light. This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, in the end times, the enemies of Christ would "glory in their shame" (Phil. 3:19). And same-sex marriage may be the ultimate shame because it is a blasphemous counterfeit of the God-ordained institution of heterosexual marriage, which Paul tells us, is a temporal manifestation of the eternal mystery of the union of Christ and His Church (Eph. 5:31-32).
Acceptance of same-sex marriage represents a paradigm shift in American culture, and may well signal the beginning of the end of western civilization. As American Family Association senior trial attorney Brian Fahling observed, re-defining marriage is tampering with our cultural DNA. When DNA is altered, the result is mutation. A mutating society is one that has lost, or rather rejected, its moral underpinnings. Proverbs tells us that, "where there is no revelation, the people perish." Put another way, when God's revealed truth is disdained by the people and its leaders, the nation dies.
Genesis records God telling Abraham that not he, but his descendants, would possess the land because "the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." And an angel of the Lord told Lot that Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed because the outcry against the inhabitants had grown great before the Lord. The Bible does not reveal the source of the outcry, but it may well have been nature itself wailing against the cities' acceptance of unnatural sexual conduct. We do know, however, that "the land vomits out its inhabitants" when unnatural sexual conduct reaches a zenith (Lev. 18:25).
Only God's People
I am persuaded the only thing that will stay God's hand of righteous judgment is the intercession and repentance of the Church. God's will is not swayed by political or governmental action. God's hand is moved only by the prayers of His people. God promises us in 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land."
The current state of our nation is the fault of the Church, not the State. It is the believer, not the unbeliever, who has pushed America to the brink of destruction. Indeed, "the natural man does not receive the things of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14). Unregenerate man is, of course, "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1). We cannot expect dead men to do what is right.
The Church is commanded to be salt and light, which means to preserve virtue and expose sin. Yet we have failed miserably in this task. Thankfully, the Bible demonstrates that God has always accomplished His purpose through a faithful remnant. God will heal our land only in response to the true humility and supplication of this remnant. Are you one of those faithful few?
Michael DePrimo is an attorney with American Family Association Center for Law & Policy. This article appeared in the April 2004 issue of AFA Journal, a monthly publication of AFA.