They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground. (Psalms 74:7)
Recently I was listening to a podcast of The Briefing, which is a daily commentary on current events by Dr. Albert Mohler the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Mohler reports these events from a Christian perspective and usually has some very enlightening comments. In this particular podcast, he was discussing the issue of homosexuality and how the moral viewpoint of this subject has turned completely around. My purpose in this article is not to discuss homosexuality, but rather to comment on how much has been given up in moral values in general with our new worldview.
I was reminded of this while reading Psalm 74. If the subject matter of the Psalm is difficult for you, please be aware the psalmist is writing about the destruction of the temple by the Babylonians. His lament is over the devastation of this sacred edifice, but more importantly over God’s refusal to protect Judah when the Babylonian army descended upon them. Especially important is verse 9 as he says there is no sign or prophet any longer, and none of them knew how long they would be without word from God.
What impressed me in my thoughts about this psalm was the reason that Israel had reached this point in their history. Years of immorality and idolatry were the culprits. I think it is interesting that when the Babylonians came the temple was nothing like it was during the glory days of Solomon. The magnificence of the costly articles of gold were gone having been given away through the years by kings that appeased their enemies by paying tribute from the treasures of God’s house.
This caused me to think about the slow selling off of our moral values in America. The sexual revolution has not been an immediate affair. There was much groundwork laid for many years that brought us to this point. In 1973, the Supreme Court blasted a hole through our moral compass when it decreed abortion rights in the Roe v. Wade decision. We can hardly believe that a seared conscience has not been the ultimate result of that decision. If human life itself is not sacred, then anything you do with that life must be fair game. There are no boundaries for how low we can go if we decide the lives of the most innocent are worthless.
One by one the cognizant moral values that separate men from animals is disappearing. Since men are rational beings, we can actually sink lower than animals because we have the ability to choose to go lower. An animal cannot be sub-natural, but humans can. Rather, we might say that humans can explore the depths of their depravity and it seems we will not stop until we find bottom. Unfortunately, for those who choose to explore, there is no bottom. So, we descend past the value of human life and as we go we pass the depth markers of pornography, pedophilia, child abuse, homosexuality—and deeper and deeper we go.
One day we will turn around and discover the Babylonians have destroyed the temple. There is no preacher here and God’s help is nowhere to be found. When this time comes, we can look back and see how we slowly gave it all away. The country will be gone with no one to blame but us.
Pastor V. Mark Smith