Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Family and Faith, Slipping Away But Still Our Best Hope

From ART.Com
If you are like me, you find yourself shaking your head daily, wondering what in the world is going on in our society today. I was shocked early on, but I've almost become numb to the disturbing news and shocking events that I hear about almost every day.  Perhaps more than anything, I'm most troubled by the redefinition of morals and values in our culture today. 

We seem to have lost our heart and soul as a nation. And because of that, our people must be governed more and more from the outside in, instead of living from the inside out.

For 2,000 years, our values and standards of right and wrong have been fairly consistent.  And the primary method of instilling those values has been through the church and the family. Our Christian faith teaches that we must be transformed from within to live out these principles which our society is built upon. These values of honesty, selflessness, love, self control, and freedom have been replaced with deception and cover up, saying whatever to make you look good, selfishness, hatred, irresponsibility, and control.  

As our society moves away from the Judeo-Christian ethic and Christianity in general, those in charge of regulating behavior must manage from the outside in. Think about it.  The two ways we maintain a society of law and order is to either instill a morality from within or manage with a set of rules and regulations from the outside.  So a person will either act in a civil manner because of what they have been taught or because of the fear of punishment if they are caught violating the law.  

When we rely upon the latter exclusively, imposing our standards and values from the outside, more control becomes necessary, more laws and more policing. We see it throughout our society, evidenced by our overcrowded prisons to sports leagues having to define their own codes of conduct. The more irresponsible we are as a society, the more control is needed and the less freedom we have.

As the family disintegrates and the church becomes less of an influence, (the two main engines for the development of character and values) the government must step into the void and find alternative ways to teach their values. So not only have our values changed but so also have the means by which we instill those values.

The media and our education system now have become the training ground for the new morality replacing the church and family.  So now the values are defined by those who have the most influence either in the media or government. And those values that have been such a foundation of our society for hundreds of years can now change from year to year depending on who has the power. 

The simple answer to the the problems we now face is to return to the two pillars of our country, family and faith.  I'm not sure whether we will ever be able to restore our families to where they once were. Will the church ever have the influence it once had to cultivate biblical values in our country? These are still our best hope and for Christians will remain to be our way of spiritual growth and character development, but I fear that both of these have lost most of their influence on our society in general.  It's a sad day and yet through it all, we know and trust that God is in control. 

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