May 24, 2013

“We will not give our daughters to the people of the land or take their daughters for our sons. And if the peoples of the land bring in goods or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on a holy day…” Nehemiah 10:30-31

The general moral decline of Western Society seems to be a favorite topic among Christians.  It does not take long before the topic is raised in some context when Christians gather.  I have heard it preached from the pulpit  in various forms.  I have discussed it after violent tragedies.  I have read about it in research studies.

This decline tends to be present in an abstract, third party manner.  Like it is something that is being imposed upon us Christians, the last bastions of moral piety in our society.  I have heard some folks attribute statistics of immorality as evidence that the end of the age is upon us.  It might be, but then again it might not.

Consider the premise of the lament; our society should be moral.

True morality is a fruit of the Spirit.  Therefore, a truly moral society is a society that is made up of individuals who are saved in Christ and filled with the Spirit.  Why would we expect a society made up of people who are not in Christ to act like they were?

What should concern those who are in Christ is not the society as a whole.  What should concern us is the body of Christ – the Church.  Our lament should be associated with all the indicators that suggest the Church is not statistically that much different than the society in which we are imbedded.   The implication is that there are a lot of unsaved people in the Church and in our society.

I know the overwhelming feeling of this lament.  What can one person do about a world that seems to be changing so quickly in the wrong direction?

God did not make changing the world our responsibility.

God did not appoint any of us with the charge of transforming our society.

God called us, as individuals, to follow Him; to love Him and to love our neighbors.

He has called us to be holy as He is holy.

He has has called us to be imitators of Him.

A moral society comes from the agglomeration of individual hearts that are seeking the Lord.  True holiness comes only from walking in the Spirit.  Walking in the Spirit comes when we are settling our minds on the things of the Spirit rather the the things of the flesh.  It comes from individuals wanting to follow Christ when they roll out of bed in the morning.  It comes from friends who want to please God more than the crowd.  It comes from parents who love their kids enough to teach them about Jesus rather than being their buddies.

I have talked with a brother who could quote the statistics of declining church attendance in Europe; yet, he was an irregular attendee here in the US.

I heard a Christian mother complain about the violent video games her sons played; games that she bought for them.

I have seen Christian girls walking through the mall wearing the “short shorts” and skin-tight tank tops; clothing their parents bought for them.

I have known parents concerned about their kid’s friends; friends that they pick-up and haul around town.

The general decry against the sexual agendas presented on television has been stated in so many ways; yet, we still are watching – we know characters and who they are sleeping with; we know every scantily cladded dancer on Dancing with the Stars.

The number of murders a child sees on TV is staggering but that has not gotten us to turn away.

We put our money down for movies and music containing images, language and beliefs that are directly contrary to that which we claim.

Basset Hound at Sesimbra, Portugal.

Basset Hound at Sesimbra, Portugal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sad reality is that we Christians, in general, are not that distinct from the society in which we live.  I realize that I am more like the lazy basset hound, who loudly barks at those who don’t belong but wags his tail in hopes that they will bring a tasty treat, then I should be.  That speaks more to my heart condition than anything else.  I delight in the things of this world more than I should.  I like to momentarily allow my mind to rest on the things of the world.  I support the immoral through my indifference, familiarity, and occasional sampling.  My heart condition is what I present before my Lord.  I have a portion of responsibility in the general moral decline of my society.  I have no power or influence of the world.  I will let God handle the grand plan.  I am responsible for what He has called me to do – follow him with all of my heart, mind, and soul.

If we all just do that, it will be amazing to see what the Lord will do with our society.  Let’s live what we believe, lead our families in the way of the Lord, and let God take care of the rest.

PRAYER: Lord, give me a desire to be like you.  Create in me a longing for personal holiness.  Lord, I want to be a pleasing fragrance to you.  I want to walk in your Spirit continually.  Forgive me for allowing my mind to drift away from you.  Forgive me for sampling the offerings of the flesh.  Forgive me for pointing out all that is wrong with the world around me and ignoring the unrighteous desires of my own heart.  Help me to walk every step of my life in your Spirit, to produce abundant fruit.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.


  1. Tis true and sad and the Lord wants us to intercede for the unsaved in the world, as well as those sitting in church buildings. What many call the ‘church’ is not the body of Christ. Too many unsaved people sit in churches believing they are okay with God. It is a weekly ritual. The truth is there is a church within the church. The true body of Christ are those who walk in Christ’s Spirit and obey Him. The ‘real church’ that Christ will return for will be holy and blameless before Him. The Word says that Jesus is the author of salvation to those who ‘obey Him’. Unfortunately many cannot obey Him because they are not filled with His Spirit.

  2. I agree with the general idea of your post. We, as the church, are just barely, if at all, distinct from the world. I do have just one comment though. I think that each person needs to decide for themselves (or better yet, let the Spirit decide for them) which parts of the culture are ok for them to partake in. For example, I have no problem watching a violent movie or playing a violent video game. It doesn’t upset my conscience or my walk with Christ. However, if I watch a movie with nudity or sexual content, it screws me up for days. Some people are just the opposite. I do think that we need to be discerning in what we allow our eyes and ears to take in, how we dress, and the lives we are leading in general. It’s extremely hypocritical to pretend like it’s everyone else that has gotten it wrong, when we ourselves are far from perfect. All in all, I agree with you completely. Great post! Can’t wait to read more!

  3. As Christ followers, we are not immune to the ‘log and speck’ syndrome. Let us soberly reflect upon our own lifestyle state and prayerfully seek Holy Spirit help to change and grow, before decrying the state of our unbelieving neighbours. And remember to pray for their salvation!

  4. You hit the nail on the head! I like what you said, “A moral society comes from the agglomeration of individual hearts that are seeking the Lord. True holiness comes only from walking in the Spirit.” Why do we expect a society of unbelievers to act like saved folk? Passing laws will not bring back a moral society. Hearts converted by the Holy Spirit will bring the change we need first and foremost in our own individual lives. Great reminder! Thank you!

  5. We might not be able to change the whole world; but we can change the little bit of the world that we are in.
    Thought provoking post, thank you.

  6. You have stated the issue very well. When did we become such “victims?” Thank you for this post.

    Oh, There are seven awards for you to pick up from my blog. Here’s the link: http://lessonsbyheart.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/lovely-awards/

    Blessings to you and yours.

  7. Jon, I’m a moderator of some of the Christian boards on a forum called Beliefnet, specifically Christian to Christian Debate. Would it be okay to link to/site your post in a thread about the things you mention? I think they make for very good discussion. I can tell them not to bug you if you’d like!

    And about the basset hound…it’s, as my mother would say, so ugly it’s cute!

    I’ll come back and give more of my thoughts later, but I think that one very important way to ‘combat’ immorality in our society is to teach our kids in the way we want them to go, and to go that way ourselves. That can be a much better ‘witness’ to others over time than the screaming preacher on the corner telling everyone they’re going to Hell.

    • I would appreciate the link.
      God Bless!

  8. […] “MY PORTION OF IMMORALITY” – May 24. […]

  9. Brought me to tears this morning. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through you. May we all be as obedient.

  10. Thank you for posting about this subject. my pastor has preached this very topic many times. How can you reach the world when you are just like them? It definetly needs to start in the home. Then it needs to continue in the church!!! Too many families fight their pastors on standards and godly living.

    “For bodily exercise profiteth little:but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” 1 Tim 4:8,12

  11. oh boy … I feel like you just talked to me … I need to pray to be a better listener to the Holy Spirit … so appreciate your post!

  12. One only has to look at the number of child sex abuse charges that are being laid against church leaders in ALL churches to see that holiness is far from us. I went to a church (Independent Baptist) some years ago where the pastor condemned certain TV shows and said he’d better not find any of his followers watching them, yet, refused to do anything about the elder who bashed his wife – including knocking her to the ground and kicking her till she was black and blue. We, as God’s children, are behaving more like the unsaved every day to the point where the unsaved might rightly say, “I don’t like his UNholier than thou attitude.”

  13. “Walking in the Spirit comes when we are settling our minds on the things of the Spirit rather the the things of the flesh.” this part I found really cool and so true! I really like this post! and fid it so true, thank you!

  14. I like these thoughts. It’s clear that you don’t subscribe to the “us/them” mentality of many in the church. I appreciate and commend that kind of heart, as it is reflective of the heart of Jesus, who said after He drew a line in the sand, daring them to cross, “if anyone is without sin, let him be the first to throw rocks.”

    I would also submit to our thinking that it is not the lack of desire to be holy that dampens most spirits, but the presence of stifling legalism. The bible says in Corinthians, “the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.”
    It’s living by performance-based relationship with God that invites, provokes, and entertains immorality. As a matter of fact, the bible states in Romans and Galatians that it is the Law that God Himself implemented into His relationship with us IN ORDER TO PROVOKE MORE SIN AGAINST HIM.
    Why? To make grace more graceful and constantly push us to our identity in Christ. There is one thing and one thing only that changes hearts. Grace.
    That’s the covenant we are now in with God and it glorifies Him as the great Giver. So the result is, the chief goal of the Christian life is to be a professional receiver (from God) in order to be a brilliant giver (to mankind).

  15. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today! I agree that society itself is responsible for the sad decline of morals – we have brought it on ourselves. It’s impossible to isolate our kids…nor are we called to do so…we can’t be salt and light in the world if we’re not in the world. BUT…there certainly are days that I’d LIKE to be able to isolate them!

  16. […] “MY PORTION OF IMMORALITY” – May 24. […]

  17. This is such an awesome post. We the church have as much responsibility for the decline in America as the secular side does. We allow ourselves to be polluted with the things of this world. Where is Holiness today? Sad to say it is far from us! We need to return to the LORD and His ways for our lives. If we truly loved the LORD as we say we do, we would be living as He has called us to live. Thank you!!

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