A couple of Youtube videos that reflect the degraded, post-Christian society we live in caught my attention:
My first response is “boy, things just get worse and worse.”
However, upon second thought, I can see the grace of God being rescinded, as nothing we see here would have been surprising to Paul. In fact, in Ancient Greece, a lot of this would have been Rated G.
Nonetheless, what we can witness in the above is what Paul observed is the typical result of men hardening against God. Indeed, we are all children of wrath (Eph 2:3) and apart from the grace of God, hate God.
1. God’s existence, and His righteousness and therefore our relative wickedness, is apparent to all:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse (Rom 1:18-20).
2. Man, numbing his own mind and searing his own conscience (1 Tim 4:2), suppresses the truth with distractions, namely idols:
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures (Rom 1:21-23).
3. As punishment for their idolatry, God hands them over to the lusts in their hearts. The lust of a man’s heart is continually towards evil, as his thoughts are inclined in this way (Gen 6:5). Because we have wicked, dark hearts, our desire is for perversion and disorder. Homosexuality is apparently the most exaggerated and ultimate manifestation of the desire of man perverted to the wrong ends:
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error (Rom 1:24-27).
4. Such a society that has prevalent sexual immorality soon gives approval to all sorts of wickedness and immorality of every imaginable sort:
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them (Rom 1:28-32).
What we see in the above videos is a reflection of how we are essentially in step three of the four steps above. In our post-modernist culture, which believes in moral relativism, there is nothing wrong about the above. The only thing right is not to call anything wrong. If you call something wrong, then that’s the only way you are wrong.
We are being taught to ignore our innate sense of right and wrong; the part that tugs at us and makes as simply know what we see is wrong. “No,” they say, “That’s socialized prejudice.”
They would like us to simply ignore the reason that monogamy makes for stable families, and heterosexuality is the bedrock of civilization (because face it, without monogamous heterosexuality, there isn’t civilization but varying degrees of barbarism.) Ignore everything you know is right and hand yourself over to your own degrading passions, eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.
Make no mistake, the men in the above video are at a much higher clip holding onto any sense of shame and good sense. Not driven by their emotions as easily as women and not as easily taken in by the flattery which entices the proud, perhaps shame alone prevents them from perverting themselves. However, the “cool” factor that Satan has packaged homosexuality with as been swallowed hook, line, and sinker by modern American young women.
The tug of sin can be so strong, it is overpowering apart from the grace of God. Paul, speaking of himself said, “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good” (Rom 7:21-22).
“Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?,” asked Paul. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 7:24-45)!
Jesus Christ went to the cross to die for people who would rather receive a text message from a stranger so they can gratify their perverse sexual desires. He paid the full penalty of the crime of denying God and worshiping every possible other thing other than Him, but He also offers us His righteousness by faith in Him. Not just to you, or me, but all believers who accept Christ into their lives, for they are sealed by His Holy Spirit and in union with Him, so that they are judged according to Christ’s righteous. Because He was righteous for us, it is not hard being righteous in Christ, it is easy. He is our only deliverance from our bodies of death.
God, have mercy on us and give us perseverance in the faith. A lenient, permissive society can be just as imposing as one that practices oppression with an iron fist. Be with your people everywhere in their fight against Satan’s temptations, the first and foremost being the desire to be idolaters. Lord, keep us from idols. Amen.