Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 23 Number 3 March 2021
Page 2

Editorial

Immorality as a Social Problem

Robert M. NolandImmoral practices are prevalent in the United States today and represent a social problem. We begin by defining “immorality.” Webster defines it as a quality inconsistent with purity and good morals. Also, wickedness or unchastity are synonymous with immorality.

A leading senator sternly warned, “When people are allowed to trample upon the rights of others it will eventually follow that the rights of everyone will be rendered meaningless.” Crime, disrespect for laws, civil strife, the growing idea of something for nothing, courts that fail to protect innocent citizens are things, says Georgia’s Democratic Senator Herman Talmadge, that “can eat the heart out of America” (U.S. News and World Report, June 27, 1966).

A far greater moral problem in the United States today than the above mentioned is the growing trend toward widespread illicit sexual practices. Perhaps, never in the history of mankind has there been a more overpowering need for all people of all nations to heed the exhortation of the prophet Isaiah.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 1:18-20)

A recent national magazine portrayed the life and philosophy of a 22-year-old co-ed from the University of California at Berkeley. Among other things the article pointed out that she felt Berkley offered her “room to expand with no restrictions.” This “room to expand” would seem to include a semester of “renting an apartment” with her boyfriend, which she explained to her parents by saying that “all love does not necessarily end in marriage.” This was another one of her experiments, just as she considered marriage an experiment (The Gospel Vidette, August 1966). When young people and older people as well adopt this concept, the social standards of this country and other countries as well are truly in jeopardy.

Of course, we all are aware that the article of the Berkeley girl did not necessarily imply that the Berkeley faculty or the magazine carrying the article were in favor of her conduct or attitude. However, we do know that this type of attitude is definitely on the increase across the nation. A few years ago, school dropouts because of pregnancy were confined to only a few older college girls. Today, pregnancy is common in our high schools and also sometimes occurs in our junior high schools. High school students are known to brag about their immoral activities, where a few years ago, only shame would prevail. The article about the Berkeley girl tells of a wedding where the bride’s pregnancy was a part of the ceremony (The Gospel Vidette).

Even some in supposed “religious” positions are now teaching “the new morality” where no law governs one’s activities. Many will defend this by ascribing any moral code to the philosophies of men. “It is an outdated code of ethics belonging to the Puritans” (The Gospel Vidette) they tell us. The Berkeley girl calls it “society’s morals,” and she would rather write her own moral standards.

Although many would have it otherwise, man did not write the moral code. It came from God! It goes far back in the Old Testament when God proclaimed to His people. “Thou shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:4). The New Testament also abounds with the same moral code with such statements as, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulteress… shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). These statements will last through the years regardless of attempts to cast them aside. They will stand when all men turn their eyes toward the Creator to answer for the activities of their lives.

Nearly every day one can pick up a newspaper and read of cases just like this. People are coming to the place where they think nothing about immoralities. What is this world coming to when people cannot wait until after marriage to fulfill the urges given by God (but not to be practiced outside the bonds of matrimony)? Are we truly “going to the dogs?”

There is much sexual immorality in the world today. We can attribute several reasons for this. First, many parents let their child run around at all hours of the night. Secondly, there seems to be virtually no regard for the Scriptures or even one’s self esteem. Thirdly, the modern dance is a contributor to immorality.

The first reason noted above is from personal observation. I work on the weekends, and it is generally between midnight and one o’clock in the morning when I get home. I constantly see young people in their early teens out carousing around. Friends, it is not all boys as most people are led to believe. Just a few weeks ago, as I was returning home, I saw two young girls running the streets, and for obviously no reason. I happened to know the girls, and they were not going in a direction in which they had any business. When parents take no more interest in their children than this, something is bound to go wrong. Is there any wonder so many teenagers are in trouble?

The second reason stated is very evident. It seems that more and more people are herding into “churches,” but fewer and fewer are showing any knowledge or concern for the Gospel of Christ. Furthermore, people are coming to the point where they have little concern for what others think of them. With attitudes of this nature, moral standards are sure to decline.

The third reason, concerning the modern dance, is often debated. Yet, this is one of the greatest reasons for sexual immorality. What Stafford North states in his article called “Shall We Dance” stipulates facts that undergird my belief and conviction that the modern dance contributes to immorality.

Dancing over a period can lead one to an immoral life. Dancing can and usually does involve one in bad company and usually does involve one in drinking. It is no wonder that many do not stop with these but go on other immorality. Often the passions aroused on the dance floor are fulfilled “after the ball is over.” A host of studies by such authors as T.A. Faulkner (“The Lure of the Dance”) and John R. Rice (“What’s Wrong with the Dance?”) show that seventy to eighty per cent of women who have fallen to the lowest levels of immorality say that dancing was the beginning of their downfall. Any fair observer must admit that dancing can contribute to following of the path of sin.

Consider some of the other immoral acts of the day. Senator Talmadge, who was quoted earlier says:

When citizens take the law into their own hands and violate laws put on the books for protection and well-being of everyone, this is not civil disobedience, but criminal disobedience. Ours has almost literally become a nation of burglary, bars, and pocket-sized tear-gas guns. The fairer sex has found it necessary to master the art of self-defense and the use of firearms. Such is the fear of crime that in many parts of the country people are afraid to leave the security of their homes after dark, or the use of public parks even by day. This fear unfortunately is well-founded. The risk of being robbed or assaulted on the streets of our cities is greater today than ever before. Really, one need not even read the news to see the constant rise of immoral acts. All he must do is look around him, and it immediately becomes apparent that immorality is becoming a great social problem. What has happened to the moral climate in America when people refuse to go to the assistance of fellow human beings in dire distress? Are we known to shrug and ask ourselves, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” – as did Cain after he had slain Abel? (U.S. News and World Report, June 27, 1966)

Without a doubt, disrespect for the law has bloomed in America. There is a scorn for all established authority, whether it is embodied in the Word of God, in written law as found in the Constitution or in a state statue book. The President stated in a message to Congress this year (1966) that “the fact of crime marks the life of every American.”

Most people in this present day’s society are fully unaware of the statistics of crime in this age. Did you know:

My dear friends, this is an outrage! What has happened to the moral climate in America?

The prophet Ezekiel, speaking of the final desolation of Israel, uttered a lament which is sadly appropriate. “Make a chain,” said Ezekiel, “for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence” (Ezekiel 7:23).

[Editor’s Note: Brother Noland penned this article 55 years ago as a young Christian just beginning his adult life; he passed away in 2015. Five and a half decades after he wrote his article, immoralities that were emerging among the general population then are rampant, and the practice of godly morality is rapidly becoming a rarity. Immoralities are decimating even Christian families. The children of God are supposed to refrain from being of the world, though they must live in the world (John 17:14-16). “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). Too much of the world has entered the church through Christians, and not enough of the church and Christians have favorably affected the world. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]


Editorial

The Traditional Home

Rodney Nulph, Associate Editor

   Rodney NulphThe world is changing right before our very eyes! Just in the past 10 years, America has seen some big changes to our culture, the church, the home, industry and a host of other areas. Not all change is bad; for example, technology is a rapidly changing item that seems to make life easier. However, some change is not only harmful to America but sinful as well. One of the areas that is rapidly changing for the worse is the family and home. Not only are many embracing this change, but some are even promoting it. The traditional home is under serious attack! The traditional home by definition is simply a home where father and mother are both present, living together, married to each other, loving one another, and together rearing their children. Sadly, some scoff at the traditional home while others are vehemently opposed to it. In fact, there is a movement in America to change and to transform the traditional home. As such, more than ever, God-fearing, Bible-believing people of faith must rise up and defend the traditional home. We do not defend the traditional home because it is traditional but rather because it is designed and defined by God Almighty!

Firstly, consider the plan for the traditional home. Mankind has no authority to change what God has planned. God’s plan from the very beginning of creation was for one man to be married to one woman for life (Genesis 2:21-25). When His opposers tried to trap Him, Jesus brought their attention right back to the original plan for the home (Matthew 19:1-9). Jesus was not closed-minded, a bigot, hateful or caught in a rut here; He simply affirmed the plan from the beginning. When we preach, teach, write or advocate the original plan for the home, please understand, Dear Reader, that we are simply appealing to the ultimate authority from the One Who designed the home. We are not hateful or bigots by doing so. Not my way or your way but God’s way is the way that is right in every area generally and for the home specifically! The plan is simple, and nothing will change it; one man and one woman for life!

Secondly, consider some of the perversions to the traditional home. Today mankind is promoting many perversions to God’s plan. One of these is deliberate single-parent homes (artificial insemination, etc.). Adulterous homes where husband or wife, and sadly even sometimes both, are ineligible for marriage (Matthew 5:32; 19:1-9; Romans 7:1ff; 1 Corinthians 7:1ff) is another perversion of the home that God designed. Possibly more than any other, this perversion is affecting the purity of the Lord’s church in many locations!

Living together or “shacking up” is all too common in the world today, which is a perversion to God’s plan (Hebrews 13:4). Dishearteningly, lesbian, transgender and homosexual couples are a degrading perversion to God’s plan for the home as well. This perversion is at an all-time high and rapidly growing in most communities. It will never be accepted by God for two men or two women to be married, no matter what the law of the land may advocate (Acts 5:29). Please understand that Christians do not hate homosexual or lesbian couples. Rather, we simply want to share with them God’s plan, which is the best plan for them, not only here on earth but ultimately in eternity!

Lastly, consider the power of the traditional home. (1) God is Glorified! God can never receive the glory and honor that is due Him when man perverts the home. God is not honored and revered when two men “marry”! It is a disgrace and a dishonor to God when we laud and encourage such sinful actions. The opposite is true as well; when the traditional home is promoted and protected, God is honored and glorified (Psalm 127:1ff; Proverbs 31:10ff). (2) Families are unified! Social science research for decades has shown the vital and necessary role that both mother and father play in the stability of the home. The absence of a father in the home has been proven to increase fear, anxiety and low self-esteem in children. Children who have been raised without mothers tend to show a lack of feelings and sympathy, as well as exhibit hostile and antisocial behaviors.

Simply stated, both mom and dad add strengths to the home that no one else can. Families are strong and united when God’s plan for the home is honored. (3) Society is dignified! “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). God will not continue to bless a nation that promotes and exalts the breakdown of the home. As goes the home, so goes the nation! Therefore, when we, as a nation, promote sinful homes, God’s anger and vengeance is what we should expect (Genesis 19; Jude 7), but when we defend the traditional home, God’s blessings are what we will enjoy. (4) The devil is horrified! The devil is behind every sinful idea to destroy the foundations of the traditional home. Surely, one of Satan’s worst fears is for the home to be strong and spiritual. When we defend the home that God designed, we are deflecting one of the devil’s fiery darts (Ephesians 6:16).

God’s way is the right way! Only God defines the acceptable, traditional home. Dear Readers, we must unite and defend the very structure that is seriously under attack today, the home. May we together promote the traditional home, seek to practice the values and principles that make up the traditional home, and patiently teach and educate our friends, acquaintances and coworkers about God’s perfect design for the home and family. “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it…” (Psalm 127:1)!


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