Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Are Men Growing More Wicked?

Are Men Growing More Wicked?

Yes, men are growing more wicked.

Proof shouts at us from every niche and corner: on the television, the movie screen, the radio, the Internet, at the table next to us in a restaurant, in the newspaper, in politics, economics, from the suburb to the inner city, from the most rural setting to the ivory mansion, evil is rampant, adamant, blatant, decadent, flagrant, violent, insolent, and constant.

After five decades of observing human nature and culture, my observations are existential to my subjective experience, but only a blind and deaf man would argue against objective proof of my assertion that men are growing more wicked.

As my “righteous soul is vexed from day to day,” I think often about moral and cultural deterioration. My latest contemplation of that awful subject derives from a recent conversation with an educational colleague who taught a number of years in a southeastern, metropolitan public school district. Beyond the typical incorrigibility and lethargy of the average student, numbers of her students wore electronic ankle bracelets to supervise their probation. Threats against teachers and social matriculation were the norms. We both reminisced about “the good old days” when public school schools were excellent (of course a handful still are), and the teacher was equally respected with the doctor, lawyer, and preacher. The teacher was always right, a revered authority-figure whose professional station inherently demanded respect from both students and parents. Misbehave, and the prodigal could expect an enforceable penalty; continue to misbehave, and he could expect the board of education applied (with stinging force) to the seat of education.

My! How things have changed! Punish a punk and you'll get fired and sued.

If you’ve followed this blog for any time, you’ve heard my harangue about prolific profanity in public places. Add to that the sexual promiscuity and drug abuse rampant in our culture, and one already has several unassailable proofs of moral and cultural deterioration—disrespect, irreverence, ignorance, laziness, rebellion, materialism, relativism. I know Caligula had his day, and Hitler, and Dillinger, too, but nowadays outlaws, hooligans, hoodlums, and hedonists are the rule, not the exception.

Why?

Pragmatically and historically, the 50's and especially the 60's are the origin of this decline: the advent of rock and roll and, with that, the drug and sex culture; the burgeoning entertainment industry and media controlled by reprobates and profligates; perpetual and large-scale breakage of the Ten Commandments; the intellectual and philosophical deterioration of the average university and the raping of the public mind; celebrity worship in athletics, theater, and music; relative and socialized democracy instead of absolute and socio-economic hierarchy bred from meritocracy, the psychological wasteland of divorce; pornography; sexual license; social and biological Darwinism; laziness; gluttony; Arminianism; mysticism; and, yes, the debilitating effects of multi-culturalism in the name of tolerance and equality: all these factors are symptomatic proofs of men grown more wicked.

It is certainly becoming much more difficult to love a neighbor as oneself. Those who possess moral integrity find themselves increasingly polarized from the broader culture; this is why Christian schools exist, and why so many Christians channel (and largely waste) their energies through politics, trying to “take back America for Christ.” But, of course, a political solution is only a Band-aid. A national catastrophe might spark a degree of moral and cultural reformation, not a molehill like 9/11 but a mountain like WWII, perhaps simultaneous and broad-scaled nuclear or biological detonations in American cities (I think it is almost sure to happen); but every Israelite knows how shallow is the repentance of Pharaoh and Egypt in the midst of plagues.

I am so thankful that I am a citizen of Heaven, that the Church is my Home, that the Bible is my Constitution, that a better Wind blows upon my Homeland than that shifty and violent wind of human culture; I am so thankful for God’s grace in my life, for the forgiveness of my sin through the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and for eyes that, though they must at times look with horror and sorrow upon “the things seen,” can also look above and beyond to wonderful and unassailable “things unseen.”

“Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,” Paul has told us, and also that “in the last days, men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”

May the Sovereign and Merciful God of Heaven help Israel that she may also grow, better and better, “in grace, and in the knowledge of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

By His own decree, and in His own way and time, that Dread Sovereign, Messiah ben David, shall "wash His feet in the blood of the wicked."

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