ASK News Letter 2nd Quarter 1997



John H. Stoll, Ph.D.
Executive Director, ASK, Inc.

Major catastrophes, insurmountable political problems, unusual natural disturbances, coupled with personal problems in families, the market place, shootings, etc. have produced an unheard of consternation in people's lives such as never before. Why, in the past few years have all of these things come upon society, when for many years we have lived fairly peaceable lives, in a moral and ethical society, in general?

A recent talk show hostess lamented the problems we face in society and posed a very pointed question, "Will somebody please tell me what is going on?" Since mankind is his own worst enemy, it is impossible to find the answer even among the wisest of people, and the best place to understand the problems, along with the solution, is from God who created us, and His revelation to us in the Bible. It is the only objective and absolute resource for answers.

The undermining of society has had a long history in our country. The foundation upon which our country was established rested on three elements, the Church, the School, and the Family. Originally, they all cooperated with each other, mutually reinforcing the spiritual/moral/ethical teachings from the Bible. The apparent crack in the foundation came about a hundred years ago, with secular humanism creeping into the church and the schools, and eventually into the family.

In the past fifty years the trend has accelerated at an alarming rate. The influence of Christianity through the church and in individuals has declined, with the government squeezing churches out of the marketplace of impacting society. The schools have not only abandoned the ten commandments, they have become a hotbed of secular humanism, especially the colleges/universities. The fallout of all this has fractured the family, in that commitment in love, and integrity in personal life, has generally disappeared, so that a proper father/mother role model to children, in their learned behaviors, is almost non-existent.

Is our society doomed to failure and thus to become extinct? Will a dictatorship either from within or outside our country take over, and if so, what will be the result? Can we save ourselves from self-destructing? Is the Bible able to provide the answers?

In order to answer these insightful questions, one must recognize the fact that the Bible says the heart of mankind, "Is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: can fathom it?" In other words, there is nothing to stop mankind from the lowest level of selfishness, that we know will cause his own destruction (See: Psalm 58:3). In 2nd Timothy 3:1, we are told that, "In the last days perilous times shall come, for men shall be lovers of their own selves". And, the Bible states this will bring mankind to his own destruction (Matthew 24:22). In Galatians 6:7,8 we read that, "God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. He that sows to the self, shall of the self reap corruption".

Then in Romans 1:18-32 there is witness to the end result of mankinds selfishness, not only in the horribleness of his own wickedness, but that God has given up on mankind as a whole, allowing society to drop to the lowest level of wicked behaviors. Furthermore, it states that people not only know their own sinfulness, but take pleasure in doing it. As one views what is going on in society today, it is obviously seen as to what depths society has sunk, in the morass of selfish wickedness, and laughs in God's face while indulging in their sinful behaviors.

If God is sovereign, how much longer will He tolerate the wickedness of mankind, and what will He do about it? Again, the Bible provides the answer. There are many verses in Scripture to explain that God's judgment is certain upon the wickedness of the world (See: Jude 6,7; Romans 2:1-5;

II Peter 3:7). When it will come, depends upon the grace of God, and how long He will tolerate the exceeding sinfulness that is evident in the world today.

For the Christian living in the morass of a sinful society, what can and should one do? Again, the Bible gives us commendation. In II Timothy 3:12-17, the word to Christians is to continue in the faith, to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, so that we may be strong in faith unto living a Christlike life, in the midst of a wicked society.

When it seems to the Christian as if, "Right is on the scaffold, and wrong is on the throne", remember God's Word in I Corinthians 15:58, "Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, unmovable, always overflowing in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." There is little that we are able to do, to correct the onrush of wickedness today, but to individually live for the Lord, trust in His sovereignty, and let our light shine for Him, in a sin darkened world. Someday, He will emancipate us to dwell with Him, in a perfect eternity. Our hope is in the Lord.