The culture of a nation has to do with the predominant beliefs, values, practices, attitudes, social behavior and morals of its people. A nation’s culture identifies its character. As goes its culture, so goes a nation. As its culture collapses, its strength naturally degrades. Our culture is imploding, collapsing inwardly upon itself. Our values, standards, ideals and morals have been turned upside down! We are self-destructing as a nation.
Solomon penned God’s wisdom and warning as follows: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Prov. 14:34). The word “reproach” means “shame, disgrace.” When sinfulness and wickedness predominantly identify the culture of a nation, that nation stands in shame and disgrace before God. When those in influence and power lay the foundation of a nation’s culture in such a way as to ignore the standards of righteousness taught in God’s word, that nation is a shame and disgrace. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa. 5:20).
For at least five decades our culture has been incrementally reshaped, distorted to reflect a new mind-set for our nation. No single group is responsible for this reshaping. Educators, the media, professionals in the mental health industry, law makers, the courts and much of the populace at large have together contributed to this digressive movement. Perhaps even more shameful, many among the clergy of our nation have also advocated much of this change in mind-set.
A French statesman, Alexis de Tocqueville, toured America in the 1830’s to analyze the success of this nation. His observations were published in his two-volume Democracy In America. A quote widely attributed to him reads, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” There is some dispute as to whether de Tocqueville actually said this. Whether or not, the statement reflects, in basic, that penned by Solomon noted earlier. The greatness of a nation naturally diminishes with the degree of wickedness that comes to prevail within its culture.
Most of the digressive changes in our culture have developed through slow, progressive movement, pushing the edge of the envelope. Then, some law is passed, or some ruling is handed down by the courts that seems sudden, explosive, unexpected, like a slap in the face. But it’s not sudden; it’s simply the final step in the process, the culmination of what had been developing, gradually unfolding before our eyes for a very long time. Morally, we no longer look like the nation we once were. Things are truly upside down!
The issues and changes have been many: legalization of abortion, ultimately becoming legal at any point during a woman’s pregnancy; broad-based acceptance of a woman and a man living together, even raising children, outside of marriage as though they were married; the gay lifestyle accepted as being normal; legalization of gay marriage; flaunting and wide-spread defense of the trans-gender lifestyle; demeaning anyone who refuses to support these changes on the basis of personal moral beliefs; the systematic demonizing (some would call it a war on) Christianity and Christian values; bowing to, and religiously serving, the idol of political correctness…
In this series of articles we’ll take some time to examine these issues, from a scriptural perspective…
Gary L. Hutchens