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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Chewing Gum & Mary Jane

Chewing Gum & Mary Jane
You’ve all read the story about how the greatest problem teachers had with high school students in the 1950’s was chewing gum during class.  There were, of course, other problems.  I began high school in 1958 and there were stories in the local newspaper about gangs at the high school I attended—the Crew Cuts and the Duck Tails.  I think the “gangs” were more imagined than real in the minds of both the newspaper reporters and the so-called “gang” members. 

I’ve also been told by one of my employees that she and her 13-year-old friends frequently took the ferry from Long Island to spend a day un-chaperoned in Manhattan shopping.  My wife, Kathi, talks about being dropped off by her mother when she was very young at the local roller rink in Alexandria for an afternoon of skating with her friends. 

This does not, of course, happen today.  My daughter and her husband would never consider letting their children out of their sight in their local neighborhood.  What has happened to our society?

Drugs are rampant.  Sex outside of marriage is common and accepted.  The number of children born outside of marriage is nearly equal to the number born in marriage.  Abortion and even infanticide are “rights.”  Foul, filthy language in public abounds.  Affairs outside of marriage are public knowledge, even when it involves the President of the United States.  Heinous violent acts against children are common.  Shame is a word that has passed from our society.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, is shameful today.

What has happened?  America has undergone a spiritual meltdown.  God’s standards of morality have been replaced with human standards of morality.  Absolute standards of virtue have been replaced by “if it feels good, do it.” 

Ted Turner has put in writing what most won’t say—his own Ten Commandments.  The means justifies the ends, whatever floats your boat, it’s none of my business, are today’s accepted public standards.

Commentators write about a divided America in terms of politics, but the real division in our nation is not politics, it’s our world view.  Is there a God?  Half say yes, half say no.  Is it OK to live with someone outside of marriage?  Half say yes, half say no.  Is it OK to use illegal drugs?  Half say yes, half say no.  Is homosexuality OK?  Half say yes, half say no.  Is vile language in public OK?  Half say yes, half say no. 

The United States is a nation divided, but it’s not just a political division, it’s a moral division.  As the ancient nation of Israel had to learn over and over, it is only submission to God and His will that will solve our problems.  The other direction leads to chaos and eventually to destruction.

The good news is that there are signs of spiritual renewal in our land.  People are turning back to God and to His standards of morality.  It’s happening on college campuses and in many quarters across our land.  It may be a trickle today, but with God’s blessings it can turn into a flood that sweeps our nation in the years ahead.  It’s my prayer that spiritual renewal will once again make our nation not just the land of the prosperous, but the land of the virtuous.

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