Sunday, June 25, 2017

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon America Is in A Moral Crisis ]

Lonnie Branam
2 Corinthians 7:1

2 Corinthians 7:1 says, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the f ear of God.” The promises referred to were stated in the preceding verses, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” God's message to the New Testament church is, “You shall be holy because I am holy.” The religion of Christ insists on a high standard of moral behavior, but Christians find themselves in conflict with the views of society in general. In fact, we are living in a time when there is a crisis in morality. Sadly, there is a most serious moral crisis in America, the most providentially blessed nation in the world. Our forefathers who came to this land from Europe had a strong love for Christian morality. However, three things have happened which have almost obliterated the traditional view of morality which has characterized America from its very beginning.

The first thing is the unprecedented expansion of scientific knowledge in the last three centuries.. The sciences have increasingly helped to define this century's view of mankind scientifically, morally, socially and religiously. The traditional view of man, which the founders of our nation had, was the biblical view that man was created in the image of God, and this alone accounts for his great intelligence, morality and spirituality. Because of these higher attributes, man has a dignity and importance which animals do not have. Furthermore, because of this splendid and divine nature, he is obligated to be a moral being in likeness to his Creator. To all who live below the dignity belonging to high moral creatures of God, the Creator has given the name of “sinners.” The word literally means, “to miss the mark,” a metaphorical expression for failing to meet God's expectations. To sin is to live below the moral level God expects of creatures who are made in His likeness. It is to transgress God's holy laws. Whether we want to admit it or not, we represent the one true and living God, and He will not allow us to live an immoral life without due punishment. He made us too high to let us live so low.

Historically, Western society has derived its belief in the dignity of human beings from its Judeo-Christian belief that man, of all creatures on earth, is the glory of God, the highest of all His creatures because he was made in the likeness of God. After all lower creatures were made, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” That is the difference between man and the animals. This view of man greatly affects


one's views on human rights and morality. Please note these words from The Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” If man is endowed by his Creator with inalienable rights, then it is necessarily implied there must be a moral law over all nations, and to which all mankind is accountable. Americans, from the founding of our nation, believed in a code of morality which existed independently of the state or federal government. That right and wrong have validity apart from governmental decree, and that man was created by God in His own likeness have always been fundamental beliefs of our nation. More importantly, our forefathers founded this country on that belief.

However, as you well know, this view is not the scientific viewpoint. Many educated people in the Western world and those in high places in our state educational institutions have abandoned this traditional view of man and replaced it with a more contemporary scientific view– one that promulgates a less exalted view of man. According to this view, a fish can evolve into a scientist. Call that scientific if you will, but I call it gross idolatry, just another form of nature worship, similar to the idolatrous nature worship of the ancient Romans and Greeks. They worshiped the heavenly bodies, but at least they believed in the existence of supernatural beings. Today many worship the laws of nature instead of the Mighty Creator of the natural laws. They give honor to the things He created but not to the Creator. The more scientific view is that man was not created and has no special dignity above animals. He is here by an accident of nature. If this be so, there is no absolute code of morality. With this new view of man gaining in popularity and being taught on all levels of our educational institutions, it is not surprising to learn there is an obvious decline in moral standards in the United States and many other parts of the world. Man is learning by experience that he cannot run this world without God. Why worry about morality if man is no more than an animal?

The second thing which has caused the crisis in morality in America is the sexual revolution of the 1960's. I agree with many other thinkers who believe that a great change in attitude about sexual relations has come over America in the last thirty or forty years. The first was the sexual revolution of the sixties, and the second was the new feminism movement which followed it. As a new view of man has arisen, a new view of sex has also arisen. The new view is that it is not wrong to have sex with anyone and whenever you wish, in marriage or out of marriage, with men or with women. The young people of the sixties demanded a greater freedom in


regard to sexual relations. The traditional view of sexual morality was done away with. The traditional view of sexual morality was done away with. The new view is that virginity is no longer accepted as a virtue, by and large. They threw out the idea that sex before marriage was wrong. It has all been changed since the sixties. Educators recognize that there was a movement in the sxties which is now called the sexual revolution. This movement marched under the banner of freedom and individual rights, guaranteed by our constitution. The result was they became sexually liberated. In the view of 21st century society, only religious fanatics appose this new view of sex. The disapproval of parents and teachers of youngsters sleeping or living together was easily overcome. The moral inhibitions, the fear of disease, the risk of pregnancy, the family and social consequences of premarital sex and the difficulty of finding places in which to have it– everything that stood in its way suddenly was no longer there. Sexual misbehavior considered dangerous and shameful for women in the 1920's, 30's, and 40's became as normal as membership in the girl scouts. Before the sixties, there was a strong sense of female modesty which was supposed to resist this free sex by men and women.

The sexual revolution and its demands for free sex has been incorporated in the sex education classes in the public schools. It cannot be taught that there is anything morally wrong in the practice of sex in or out of marriage. The practice of sex is taught without any moral considerations. Whether we Christians like it or not, this is the way it is. There has been a change of thought among Americans. There is little fear of venereal disease among these young people. Birth- control devices and ready abortion have been available to them from the time they were 13 or 14 and were able to bring children into the world.. One educator in one of our great state universities said, “Many live together almost always with no expectation of marriage. It is just a convenient arrangement. They are simply room mates, which is what they call themselves, with sex and utilities included in the rent.” The Bible has something to say about this dangerous conclusion that society has accepted. The Bible teaches every sex act out marriage, and every promiscuous sex act of a married person with someone except their own mate are sins, respectively of fornication and adultery, and such people will be shut out of heaven unless mercifully forgiven by God(Revelation 22:14,15). These are pardonable sins, but they must not die unforgiven of these sins. Moreover, the one and only way all these young people can clean up their lives and be forgiven of all this moral filthiness is to become Christians by belief in Christ, by a great moral and religious change of mind, and immersion in water for the forgiveness of all sins they committed from their youth. Christians who fall into these sins can also be forgiven by sorrowfully confessing those sins to God and ask

forgiveness through Christ's blood. Society around about us has arrived at a very dangerous conclusion indeed. The Bible clearly states that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to receive the things done in
the body, whether they be good or whether they be bad. Society has made their conclusion about the sexual revolution, but God also has arrived at a conclusion, “It's appointed unto man once to die, and after that comes the judgment.”

God's moral requirements in the Christian religion have powerful competitors in the new scientific view of man and the recent sexual revolution. However, there is a third formidable social movement in America, just as powerful as the ones just discussed. I speak of the new Feminine Movement, a movement that followed the sexual revolution of the sixties, and is directly related to that sexual revolution. In fact, it was the sexual revolution that produced the Feminine Movement. Although there are similarities, there are also great differences between these two social movements. The sexual revolution wanted men and women to get together bodily to fulfill sexual desires at will, but the Feminine Movement wants men and women to get along separately. It rejects the biblical and traditional view of marriage, childbearing and child-rearing.

This movement claims the right for women to be free from the responsibilities of marriage. Sexual gratification is to be had on the woman's terms. She feels the right to go to bed with anyone she pleases at any time she pleases, and if this results in an unwanted pregnancy she can terminate it by abortion without incrimination. What she does with her body is her buisness and her business alone. No man has a right to dictate to her. She claims the right to have children on the female's terms, with or without fathers, who usually get in the way of the mother's free development. With sperm banks becoming popular, women don't need marriage any more to have children. The Feminine Movement says that children have always been, and still are, more the mother's than the father's. We are told that 90% or more children of divorced parents stay with their mothers. So now they claim the right to have reproduction and children without family, that is without man. Feminism is a triumph over the family. It strikes at the very foundation of the marriage institution, and marriage is one of the three divine institutions established by God on this earth; and that my friends is the problem with the Feminine Movement. Women who are in this movement are in trouble with God.

According to the knowledge of God revealed in the Bible, woman was created for at least four purposes: to be a helper of man, human companionship, reproduction of the human race, and to fulfill the sexual


desires of husbands. When a woman fulfills these responsibilities she has fulfilled the reasons for her existence. Whatever other honors come to to women in life, they should give careful attention to their womanly duties, divinely revealed. Even if she chooses not to marry, she can still be a helper of mankind in various ways. In regard to her sexual responsibilities and rights, she cannot gratify her sexual desires before marriage, and after marriage she can gratify her sexual desires only with her husband. The same rules apply to men before and after marriage. . Sex before marriage is the sin of fornication, and sex with someone other than one's own mate is the sin of adultery. One of woman's chief responsibilities is satisfy the sexual desires of her husband, and if she does not he will usually find a woman who will, even if it means divorce. God gave man this powerful desire to reproduce the human race, but it must be controlled.. God created woman to help man control his bodily desires, and if she does not help him he will find someone who will help him, unless he is a very religious man and a devout Christian. We are told the three greatest causes of divorce in the world are over money, sex and religion, and sex ranks high on that list. This is God's answer to the Feminine Movement. God's marriage institution is God's provision to prevent all these illegal sex relationshps, , such as homosexuality, lesbianism, child molestation or what have you. Ladies, marry a good man; men, marry a good woman. The Bible says these other sexual relationships are sinful, contrary to nature and contrary to God's will.

In conclusion, the church and the home have a great responsibility to counteract the three movements we have discussed, and which present a serious threat to Christian morality. These three movements have made it much more difficult to evangelize the world. These people will perish unless they are reached with the gospel. The only weapon powerful enough to counteract these movements is the knowledge of God as revealed in the gospel of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4 says, For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, brining every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” This message is an effort to pull down some of these strongholds that are exalting themselves against the knowledge of God and cursing the youth of this land. The Bible says we should not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation.

I sincerely believe that the church must incorporate into the Bible class curriculum teaching materials to counteract these movements. We must raise up a new generation of young people. We may not be able to reach many adults who have become so deeply involved in these ungodly movements and are committed to them. However we can reach boys and


girls by teaching them the true origin and nature of man and woman, the proper and improper fulfillment of sexual desires which are good and God-given, and the God-given place and role of man and woman in society. We desperately need such teaching materials. We must raise up a generation of young people who grow up with the knowledge of God. It has been suggested by wise teachers among us that those who determine the curriculum for materials for our Bible classes, should keep a diligent outlook for excellent materials on Christian morality and well written materials which deal with creationism as opposed to Evolution, the moral responsibilities that go along with sexual behavior, and the proper role of men and women in society and in the church. As Israel, God's Old Testament people, were plagued with Canaanites around them and the evil ways they lived, so Christians, and specially the young, are endangered by these ungodly views and movements accepted by a secular society.

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