In my previous post (“On the Downward Slope”, posted April 18) I presented what I feel to be the fundamental truth upon which life and liberty are founded, namely this: all moral considerations and all ethical postures depend on the common ground of God as Creator and men as created in His image. This truth has brought healing and renewed vision for the United States throughout history, and if we truly and objectively apply it in all realms, it will open our eyes once again.
However, I regret to say that this foundational truth has been ignored, maligned, twisted and essentially rejected by the popular culture in the United States of America. Moving ever distant from this pivotal truth, the average person in the USA does not consider their very own children, let alone those living down the street, as persons of worth, persons whose heart and soul are precious and of unequaled worth in the sight of the living, personal Creator God.
Let me illustrate this for you…
- June 17, 2015, a young man 21 years old sits for an hour in a prayer meeting at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. and then proceeds to open fire with an automatic weapon, killing 9 people, including a South Carolina senator and the senior pastor of the church.
- Dec. 14, 2012, a mass shooting of 20 children and 6 adults in the Newtown Sandy Hook Elementary School illustrates the extreme cruelty and destructive tendencies of those youth that have come to hate others and then take out their anger on others.
- April 3, 2009, the Binghamton, NY shootings carried out by a Vietnamese immigrant that walked into the building where he was studying English, and opened fire killing 13 people.
- April 16, 2007, the Virginia Tech shootings was the deadliest attack perpetrated on a school campus in the history of the USA (33 people lost their lives). The killer was a senior at the University who suffered a mental disorder, but nonetheless was both intelligent and calloused enough to plan out such a terrible atrocity on his own, and successfully entered two separate classrooms, killing and wounding fellow students and teachers.
And on and on the list goes…the Columbine High School massacre, the Aurora Colorado theater shooting…there are more examples than I can list here.
According to the FBI records list 146 mass shootings since 2006 that matched the FBI definition of mass shooting, where four or more people were killed. (USA TODAY, article dated Dec. 2, 2013, “Mass Shooting toll exceeds 900 in past seven years.”) And this sickening total represents only…1% of the total of all homicides committed in the United States. The total amount of deaths caused by firearms in the US in 2012 reaches over 65,000 people! Lives that were suddenly eliminated by killers who judged others just like Cain in Genesis 4 viewed Abel. That is, instead of seeing him or her as a person of worth, created in God’s image, Cain saw Abel as a competitor and as a threat. He killed his brother because he hoped by doing so, he would sooth his guilty conscience. All he did was bring God’s wrath upon him. Cain, like all murders, attack the image of God in man in an attempt to destroy or deface what they hate most: God himself.
These homicides and all similar killings demonstrate the danger that comes when a person looks at another human being as anything less than worthy of just and honorable treatment. All such hate crimes, drug crimes, settling of accounts, armed robberies, assault and attacks on innocent victims, senseless shootings, and the like have one similar concept at the core: the one perpetrating the crime or attack considers the victim as less valuable than him or herself and therefore expendable.
How did we come to this point? For that matter how do all killers (from the rogue dictators to the mafia hit man) come to see their fellow man as a disposable and useless, just “taking up space”? How does a killer become so indifferent to the fact that the same life blood that courses through his or her veins is in the body of the one that he/she chose to eliminate? They do so by sliding down a slippery slope of self-deification (“I can do what I want! This is MY life!”). Then by dumping their anger and hurt on others (“You cannot do that to me and not pay for it!”). From there, the dominoes tumble steadily toward the attitude of vengeance or of unbridled hate and disdain for the chosen victim or victims. After all, they have been taught, that only the strong will survive. Only those with superior tentacity and intelligence will survive. He or she thinks it is only a cycle of the “survival of the fittest.” In other words a wanton killer or a heartless murderer sees himself a worthy of taking the innocent life (even of small children) because he is better, he is stronger, he is more powerful than the victim. He has the will to do so.
This is nothing more than a social version of evolution. This way of thinking has been deeply ingrained into our minds, since the mid 1960’s in the USA when it became the norm to teach biological evolution in public education. But evolution does not stop on the physical or the biological levels. It filters down into all areas: marital, parental, familiar, societal and even political or national. Evolution teaches us that we have to remove the barriers to advancement as a society by eliminating the weak, destroying the sick, manipulating the feeble.
This is I believe, the inevitable result of the second major step downward in our culture in the west. This is true in Europe, in Canada and in the USA. People have now come to believe that those who don’t meet their standards of the”evolving conscience” are expendable. If you don’t believe me, look at what was just approved in Europe recently: euthanasia, physician assisted suicide and up next on the playlist…infanticide!
In no uncertain terms, I am convinced that “biological evolution” (an unsubstantiated theory, NOT a scientific fact) has opened the door to a second slippery slope: the slope of believing that God is not active in the world, that humans are not responsible before God and that we have to “make our own future.” Because modern western culture has fully accepted the idea of biological evolution, he has now applied it to all of life and has come to believe that men can dispose of other men, women and children at will.
Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer (deceased), a very respected Christian philosopher wrote this over 45 years ago:
“What should we say about out country? Of course, we should be glad for the freedoms we do have. But, having said that, should we not also understand that since our culture no longer has a Christian base, there’s going to be death in the city? Do you think our country can remain as it has been, after it has thrown away the Christian base?…In Jeremiah’s day God worked into history upon the basis of His character, and He continues to do so. Those people were going off into the Babylonia captivity not just for military reasons or economic reasons. God, as a holy God, judged them as they had turned away from Him. He will do the same in our generation” (1) if we do not wake up and turn back to God! We can only plead with God and lead the way by falling on our knees in humble repentance and confession. God will patiently respond, in love and grace. But time is running out.
Cain now dresses in a white lab coat and lifts his knife against all who stand for the Biblical truth of the dignity of man as decreed by the Creator God.
What is the next step on the downward slope in the USA? Stay tuned…
David L. Rogers, M.A.Min.
Citations: 1) Schaeffer, Dr. Francis A., “Death in the City”, L’Abri Fellowship, (c) 1969, pp. 30-31. emphasis mine.
Dave, what a great piece of wisdom and intellectual Christian thought you have penned. Everette Cook and I often talk about this when we get together and our phrase for what is happening is called “Cultural Rot”. I feel so much of the decline of our Christian heritage can be traced to Hollywood and the music industry that started back in the late 60’s and 70’s with the cultural revolution. Anything goes as long as it fells good, morality is only relevant in the time, space and the current culture. From that time forward the political, higher education, judicial and sad to say theological positions were being filled with my generation of men and women – the baby boomers. They were taught and influenced to turn their back on Biblical and Godly precepts and depend on their own perspective as to what is morally right or wrong. I cannot see how God can continue to bless this nation with its moral failures of abortion, homosexually, lack support for Israel and especially the secularization of this country(ACLU).
Anyway, I will stop my rambling and continue to pray for God to raise up God fearing men and women who will not compromise their Christian convictions and of course continue to pray and support your work in Chile. Hope I can return for another mission trip in the future.
Greeting Chuck, The truth is that these thoughts are almost self evident, but no one wants to admit the obvious. Or so it seems. I doubt that I am the first to draw these conclusions, as you mentioned referring to the conversations with Everett.
The sad part is how the popular culture seems to want to ignore or to overlook the problems that stem from a baser or a evolutionary world view. I wish I had a solution for the lack of the insight and spiritual understanding among the general populace.
I think on the other hand, Chuck, that if we as Christians seek ways to engage the culture around us, we might be able to help shed light on the real heart issues. May God’s truth work in and through us!
Thank you for your encouraging comments! I hope to hear from you again in this regard.