Mass Shootings Reveal Moral Decay

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   2/20/2014

Throughout history, we have read of times of great immorality—even worse than today. During Lot’s day, men were bold enough to demand sex with angels.

During the early church, animals eating humans were viewed as a sport, as well as Christians being scorched by flames. (I can’t imagine the advertisements: “The coliseum today is rated RRR for vicious attacks, blood and death. Come on in- and bring the kids!”)

We can’t blame the media for a nation's moral decay. After all, television and internet didn't even exist during those bloody eras. We also can't blame mental illness. Several people live with mental illnesses; only a small percentage of them pick up a weapon to kill.  So what can we blame? What sets a society on such a rotten course?

One trend that is evident in these examples of moral decay is this: a loss of knowledge and respect for our Creator.

During Lot's day, people had little respect for God. During the early church, other "enlightened" ideas were preferred by those in authority and God's total truth was rejected. Today we see the same trends, and we've coined this way of thinking as "moral relativism." On an individual level, moral relativism means "I am accountable to no one." This sounds fun and quite attractive in its initial stages, but as a way of life it's quite depressing.

Moral relativism means no substantial truth. It's a "make your own rules as you go" sort of game. On the dark side, it means no moral guidelines, no specific call or purpose to life, and no hope after death. Moral relativism pretends there are no rules, but it also pretends you are not loved. You were not created, or else you'd have a creator to answer to. Someone who's fallen to moral relativism may smoothly ride its waves with the help of family and friends, but if this falls apart, there's nothing. I'd call that lonely, depressing and hopeless.

It's also silently destructive. This self-made rule is what led to Lucifer's fall. It's also what led to Judas' betrayal. Anytime we cut out God's truth and attempt to insert our own, destruction begins. Judas lived with Jesus, yet allowed the sinful pride of his heart to reign over the real truths demonstrated to him.

It's difficult to fathom that one who walked with Jesus could make such an awful fall. I wonder, when Jesus called Judas to be a disciple, was betrayal on his mind? Did Judas take on the job plotting thievery and murder from the beginning? I’m not sure, but the optimistic side of me would think not. Maybe he was a bit greedy, but I don’t suspect he was planning to go as far as he did.

Yet most of us who know Judas’ part in Jesus’ crucifixion (read it here) are shocked. How could he? we ask. In the same way, news of a mass shooting or a horrific rape is shocking. How could they? we ask. Well, I’m guessing the offenders would have asked the same question of another at an earlier point in their lives.

We see how quickly moral relativism can alter a person: Judas knew Jesus, but his heart became darkened. Although he thought he was wise, he became a fool. He exchanged the glory of God for an image of money, serving created things rather than the Creator. (See Romans 1:21-23)

May we be watchful that we don’t do the same. We may not be able to control society, but we can prayerfully monitor the direction of our own hearts and thereby offer an example to those coming after us. God uses us to pass down the reality of Him to our children.

This becomes even more important when schools and other venues champion anything but God. The education and government of our nation used to acknowledge the importance of Biblical truths, but that has waned, and many other ways of living compete for prominence. Drugs, unhealthy relationships, and mystical religions seem to be the most sparkly grabs for children today.

I am reminded everyday of the importance of building a strong relationship with my children so that they consider carefully our guidance. But even more important than this is to pray-- pray as if our kids' lives depend upon it, because they do. Both my grandparents and my parents have modeled "I depend upon You, Lord" kind of prayers, and now that I have my own children, I see strongly their importance.

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