O Tempora! O Mores!

Posted by Michael A. La Framboise on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 Under: Politics
O, Times! O, Manners! It is my opinion
That you are changing sadly your dominion —
I mean the reign of manners hath long ceased,
For men have none at all, or bad at least;
And as for times, altho' 'tis said by many
The "good old times" were far the worst of any,
Of which sound doctrine l believe each tittle,
Yet still I think these worse than them a little.

“O, Tempora! O, Mores!”, Edgar Allan Poe (c. 1825)

Today is certainly an historic one in our country. In two separate but similar rulings, the United States Supreme Court has summarily paved the already well-beaten path of homosexual rights: both affirming states rights pertaining to gay marriage, and granting federal benefits to same-sex couples.

While I am often discounted for my left-leaning ways, I am without hesitation a committed Christian who not only believes the Bible as God’s Word, but furthermore makes the practice of my Christian faith the highest priority of my life. I do not approve, nor do I condone the sin of homosexual conduct. However, I am not surprised that the unredeemed world, in this case, unredeemed Americans, support and endorse an explicit sin. I do not expect the world to join me in my Biblical beliefs and convictions, for they are under the sway of the wicked one. My surprise comes when politically-charged Christians throw up their hands in disbelief and hang their heads in defeat when a sin-cursed world full of sinners go deeper into their sin.

There is always some issue on the burner to get hot about. A hundred years ago the Church waged the battle for Temperance, and after a struggle that went on for over fifty years, finally won a constitutional amendment making prohibition the law of the land. In that instance the Church secured a massive and unparalleled victory only to usher in one of the most violent times in our nations history, as organized crime took hold of our streets, let alone our city governments. It sometimes seem we can’t win for losing, and prohibition was revoked after a short-lived and disastrous run.

Today, the Church, or at least Bible-believing Christians, feel the sense of a loss. It seems we are watching our country plunge into the abyss. It is certainly difficult for American Christians to get a grip on how Christians around the world get along in truly secular environments. Our nation had such a righteous beginning, or at least it seemed so. We were one nation under God, and we presumed that the world around us meant the same God we do when we think of God. We saw Moses and Solomon depicted on the South Wall Frieze of the US Supreme Court, and failed to notice Confucius and other pagans right along side of them; not to mention that Muhammad appears on the North Wall Frieze of the building as well as on the pantheon above the judges bench, with a special plaque in the halls honoring him as one of the greatest Law-givers of the world.

It is strangely and painfully difficult for Christians in this country to accept a fact that other Christians take for granted: we live in enemy territory, and we always have. Satan simply dressed as an Angel of Light for us, and appeased our sensibilities while it suited him and his schemes. Satan slithered into our country long ago, enslaving humanity by the millions under Christian hands and whips. He slithered easily into our churches when our fathers could not confront the lie of evolution with any conviction, with entire denominations swallowing whole the poisoned pill of satanic doubt and subtlety. He wielded the social gospel to the exclusion of faith, until the American Church could not recall the day when faith and good works were inseparable, thus creating a church environment that could be either doctrinally sound and selfish, or charitably engaged but powerless.

In this luke-warm state, the old serpent slithered into our families, snatching away God’s heritage to accomplish the destruction of his own façade: The myth of our Christian nation. And so began the sexual revolution, the drug movement, and an epidemic of greed, materialism, disintegrating marriages, un-wed parents, overdoses and STD’s, and even the beginning of the gay rights movement. During those times the Supreme Court weighed in on school prayer, abortion and media censorship. The world of America was aligning itself out rightly with evil, and yet the Church saw the Holy Spirit work in incredible ways in the midst of the devil’s carnage. Yet in spite of the Jesus Movement and the birth of mega-churches, the devil had a foothold on the American family, and on the kids of our country.

Those children grew up in a world where even the Mega-church was inadequate to the modern challenge of multicultural relativity. And as more and more homosexuals appeared in society, no longer driven to hide their sin in a world where sin is self-contrived and truth is relative, more and more people found it difficult to shun the sin that touched them so closely through family ties or friendships. Christians often found themselves confronting the same conflict in their own families and churches. And so it is, that while a generation ago homosexual conduct was generally deemed intolerable, it has now become accepted by the masses and protected in law.

Yet what have we lost, but something we never truly possessed! We are not citizens of this place, for we are not of this world. We look for a city not made with hands whose Builder and Maker is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Father of Jesus Christ our Lord! The Church was born into this world by the Holy Spirit, but this world was never intended to be our home. The Church was birthed in a world which accepted homosexual conduct 2,000 years ago, and no surprise, it accepts it today. Yet that first generation Church wielded such dynamic power that even then sinners living in homosexual sin were redeemed by the message of the gospel, being washed, sanctified, and justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

Our duty is not political, for we are not called to convince men of sin; that is a unique work of the Holy Spirit. We are called to persuade men concerning the Christ who died for them. Prohibition did nothing to change the reality of our sinful country, rather it exposed it in vivid horror; Proposition 8 in California worked in much the same way: instead of changing the reality of sin, it likewise exposed how deep the sin had permeated our country. But the power of the gospel does work changes in sinful humanity, as can testify so many of the redeemed, including some of our number who have been redeemed out of homosexual sin, like Dennis Jernigan, renowned Christian musician who has given the Church so many songs.

It is the gospel that changes hearts, and minds, and people. Politics never has, and never will. When the church remembers from whence it came, and once more wields the sword of the Spirit, proclaiming the gospel with such confident fervor that even we would affirm with the wise Apostle- we wish to know nothing else but Christ and Him crucified- then we will see real victory, the likes of which the gates of Hell cannot overcome. Jesus said, “Fear not, for I have overcome the world.” And we are called in His steps to overcome, for it is the Faith of Jesus Christ which overcomes the world.

So today as America ignorantly rejoices in its depravity, may we not huddle together in a pity party. Stand up, for you have been called to stand. You have no challenge set before you but what Christians around the world, and believers through the ages have faced head on. Our spiritual might may be atrophied from disuse, but that is no excuse. Pick up your Bible, get into your prayer closet, and allow your Weight Trainer- the Holy Spirit- to prepare us for the cross we have neglected for so long to lift.  

In : Politics 

Tags: gay rights  homosexuality  sin  courts  law  proposition 8  doma  gospel power 
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