Moral Decay: Treat the Cause, not Just the Symptoms

Posted: April 25, 20091:00 am Eastern

By David d'Escoto © 2009

When was the last time you read the book of Deuteronomy? Few claim it as their favorite book in the Bible, perhaps, but it happens to be quoted over 80 times in the New Testament. In fact, Jesus quoted this Old Testament book most often when He battled Satan as recorded in Matthew 4 (Deuteronomy 6:13, 16 and 8:3). That alone should earn Deuteronomy a second look. One Bible scholar called Deuteronomy "one of the greatest books of the Old Testament. Its influence on the domestic and personal religion of all ages has not been surpassed by any other book in the Bible."

We as Christian Americans have forgotten the importance of this book's teachings and are suffering the consequences in our country. The Lord makes it abundantly clear (Deuteronomy 4:40; 5:16, 33; 6:3, 18; 11:21; 12:25, 28; 22:7; 28:1-14 and 30:16) that if we keep His commandments (obey Him), it will go well with us in the land and for our children. Yet things are not going so well for America today, are they?

Is it any mystery how we got ourselves into this mess? Although finger-pointing is more fashionable these days, we'd better start looking in the mirror. The fact is, we have forgotten our Lord's commands. Many Christians have virtually thrown out God's laws as being irrelevant today. We have become infected by the world to wrongly think that to obey God's laws is to be somehow guilty of legalism or an attempt to win "brownie points." Obedience to the law should not be thought of as a way to gain favor with the Lord as it is of showing love to Him. Jesus' own words would concur: "If you love me you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

Why have today's churches become largely irrelevant? Read "God's Got a Problem" and find the solution

As a nation, we are living in bold disobedience, and as George Santayana once said, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Sadly, it appears that we are about to repeat it. Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, commenting on the book "When Nations Die," describes a three-fold pattern of decay seen historically as nations collapse: social decay, cultural decay and moral decay. Tragically, America is on the verge of hitting the trifecta. Mr. Anderson elaborates:

"[In Rome] children were seen as a needless burden, and abortion and infanticide became commonplace. ... Entertainment grew bawdier and more bizarre. ... Homosexuality and bestiality were openly practiced. [In Greece] the music of the young people became wild and coarse. Popular entertainment was brutal and vulgar. Promiscuity, homosexuality and drunkenness became a daily part of life. And all moral and social restraints were lost leading to greater decadence. ..." The author concludes, "The parallels to our own nation are striking."

Historically speaking, abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity and the like, are symptoms and not the causes of a nation's downfall. Unfortunately, Christian ministries and their leaders miss this point and end up spending a lot of time, money and energy merely treating symptoms instead of the real cause – our disobedience.

Treating symptoms in America for the last several decades has not been any more effective than taking a few aspirin for a brain tumor. Pastors and leaders of large ministries are now admitting to 30-plus years of human failure, while some are attempting to compromise on moral issues and yet others are flip-flopping.What has been the result of a decades-long strategy of symptom treating, political compromise and flip-flopping? Are we better off or worse off than we were 30 or 40 years ago?

When nations slip into grievous sin, they do not slip unnoticed by God. The great 19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon warns, "For nations there is a weighing time. National sins demand national punishments." Our symptoms are growing worse. We are currently in an economic tailspin. Our own children, even those still in the womb, have already inherited trillions of dollars in national debt. Our Lord has warned us repeatedly not to incur debt as individuals or a nation (Deuteronomy 15:4-6 and 28:43-45). We are witnessing a continued moral nosedive. Stealing, lying and promiscuity have become a disturbing pattern of normalcy among an increasingly perverse generation (Deuteronomy 32:20). And, tragically, the icing on the cake is a generation of children within the church walking away from the faith and, at best, embracing a new brand of "faith" called Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.

It's time to connect the dots. Today there are over 50,000,000 children in public schools (K-12) that are being indoctrinated to think antithetically to a Christian worldview. Ironically, the unbiblical forces that pastors, conservative leaders and Christian ministries struggle against are the very unbiblical causes propagated in today's public schools via our tax dollars. By letting the secular-humanist socialist indoctrinating centers down the street socialize the next generation, we are simply aiding and abetting the enemy. It's like feeding and funding a mad terrorist to build a bomb to blow up a city and then acting surprised when they blow up yours.

The book of Deuteronomy couldn't be more relevant to us today. The name itself means "second law." Remember, Moses felt led to restate the Law to a new generation before entering the Promised Land, because the previous one had forgotten. He called them to "return to the Lord your God, you and your children. ..."

Moses called them to return, to repent from the direction that the previous generation had gone. Sure, we have a laundry list of sins, but few are more critical than those within our own families. We must first get our own houses in order (1 Peter 4:17).

We need to return to the Lord and repent from our disobedience of sending our children to today's soul killing institutions. Repentance isn't just a feeling of regret; "repent" is an action word that requires a change of direction, not merely emotional remorse. Let us stop the lip service and begin today, right now, and change the direction we are headed as a nation. Do you want to end abortion? Do you want to strengthen biblical marriage? Do you want stop the moral free fall our nation is in? Let us begin by pulling the kids out the government schools.

Joseph Farah nails this point when he writes in his book "Taking America Back," "The single most important step we can take – the single most dramatic action – is also the most important to your family, to your children. Get them out of the government indoctrination centers. Take responsibility for educating your kids; don't leave it to the state. ... This is our Lexington and Concord. This is our Declaration of Independence. Get your kids out of the clutches of these monsters. Do it now. Do it for them. Do it for your country."

Here we are, America, at the proverbial fork in the road. What path should we take? Let's obey and choose the good path that leads to life.

See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. ... Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live. (Deuteronomy 30:15, 19b)