“Evolving Standards of Decency”

“And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua…And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel” (Judges 2:7, 10).

So goes the story of man. A group of people in a certain place and time turn to the Lord, and then the next generation turns against Him. They don’t appreciate the hardships and sacrifices of their predecessors and grow to resent their standards. This cycle is repeated throughout the 450-year period covered in the book of Judges and has essentially characterized human history as a whole. Man’s faithfulness to God lasts a short while. Like a tender flower in the noonday sun, it soon withers. Man turns away from His Creator and Provider in order to embrace the world and its pleasures.

In 1857 the American Medical Association appointed a Committee on Criminal Abortion. This panel labeled abortion the “unwarrantable destruction of human life” and called “the attention of the clergy of all denominations to the perverted views of morality entertained by a large class of females—aye, and men also, on this important question.” What a different time! Medical professionals called abortion a moral issue and urged preachers, not the government, to address this problem! A little over a century later, the sentiment had changed dramatically. A reference committee appointed by the AMA in 1970 observed that there had been a “remarkable shift in testimony” on the subject and noted that “this trend will continue.” And continue it did, reaching a climax in the 1973 U. S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion nationwide and has resulted in the slaughter of millions of children.

In 2008 the Supreme Court declared that the death penalty in the case of child rape is unconstitutional. A Louisiana man was on death row for brutally raping an eight-year-old girl. The Court ruled that the death penalty in this situation violates the eighth amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. How did they justify this verdict? Numerous times the majority opinion appealed to “evolving standards of decency”!

In 2015 the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. The Court asserted, “The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change. That institution–even as confined to opposite- sex, relations has evolved over time.” So what is next? Legalized pedophilia and incest? Is anything absolute to these people?

There is no way for our civilization to survive unless people start acknowledging that there is a law higher than the Constitution, that there is an authority greater than any human government and that the powers that be are ordained of God to praise the good and punish evil (Rom. 13:1-4).

God doesn’t change (Mal. 3:6). That is why there are moral laws that are the same for all people in all places at all times. Judges and law-makers can accept these absolutes or deny them. They can acknowledge God and ignore Him. But in the end God and His law will stand; nations will reap what they have sown.

Kerry

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