Published December 30, 2014

Paul's Epistle...
"Changing – Or Unchanging"

The end of one year and the beginning of another customarily brings an opportunity to reflect on the past year, to evaluate what's happened – and, perhaps, to look ahead to the coming year.

First, the bad news. Those of us who have been around for a while would be hard-pressed to come up with another year when the overall societal environment for Christians and morality in general have been so assaulted. In fact, a Gallup poll earlier this year found that 74 percent of Americans – all Americans, not just Christians – said they thought the state of moral values in the U.S. is getting worse.

The study found that these issues are at or near the highest level of approval in the annual Gallup poll's history: divorce (69%), sex between an unmarried man and woman (66%), having a baby outside of marriage (58%), gay or lesbian relations (58%) and abortion (42%).

What's more, the poll found a deepening divide in the country between those who hold to traditional conservative principles of morality and those liberals who seem more than willing to discard those principles for, well, whatever feels good.

This unfortunate divide can be illustrated clearly along political party lines. For example, Gallup found that roughly twice as many Democrats as Republicans approved of gay or lesbian relations (71% to 31%), abortion (59% to 28%) and pornography (37% to 21%). Democrats approved of sex between an unmarried man and woman, 77% to 54%. And, astoundingly, Democrats were 13 times as approving of married men and women having an affair (13% to 1%).

And these types of changes – this downhill spiral of morality – are happening more and faster than ever before in modern history.

None of this should be surprising. As I write this, someone here in the office just today mentioned that the spirit of antichrist has never seemed more palpable than it does today. You can feel it.

It is, of course, obviously all over the media. Today's "news" and "entertainment" outlets are champions of immorality, more than ever before. What you see are people "filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; [people] who ... not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them."

Wait, why does that sound familiar? Oh, yes — it's right from Romans 1:29-32. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, pretty well described the day in which we live.

But, as Paul Harvey used to say on his broadcasts after delivering some bad news, "Now wash your ears out with this..."

In a time of rapid change, isn't it great to know that one thing doesn't change – the Word of God? His promises are still in effect, and always will be. Isaiah 40:8 puts it this way: "The grass withers and the flower fades away but the word of our Lord endures forever." Forever! Jesus Himself said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matt. 24:35). God's words are truth – and truth doesn't change!


As we move into another new year, let's reaffirm our even greater resolve to resist society's moral decline while standing ever more resolutely — and more boldly — for God's truths as clearly expressed in His word. It's certainly not as easy as it used to be. But, as Gabriel told Mary at the annunciation, "with God nothing will be impossible" (Luke 1:37).

Society's views? Or God's? Seems like a pretty straightforward choice to me. How about you?

- Paul

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