We’ve all heard the “slippery slope” type arguments, where someone argues that if we begin to allow a certain thing (same-sex marriage, for instance) then it will lead to something else (group marriage, etc. – in this example). In fact, I used that very argument in my last post!
Our culture (especially the modern media) has come to “pooh-pooh” the very idea of a slippery slope argument being valid, saying it’s just sensationalism, paranoia, or hysteria. But think about it for a minute. What is a slippery-slope argument attempting to do? It’s an effort at THINKING about what is being done or being seen now in order to see where it might lead in the future. That’s not paranoia – it’s wisdom in action. The scriptures say, “A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” – Proverbs 22:3. That’s much of the point of the book of Proverbs – to consider things now to avoid a bad outcome or result. A wise person MUST look down the road a bit to see what the result of a current action will be. That’s the very nature of wisdom.
How does all this apply to the title of this post (The moral slide of the church)? By now I hope it’s obvious, at least to some readers. If in fact the church is on a downward moral slide (Do I need to cite examples? – Ted Haggard, financial corruption, embezzlement by leaders, divorce rates rising among Christians, ordination of openly homosexual clergy, denial of belief in absolute truth, etc., etc.) then what does that indicate about those WITHIN the church?
Those who call themselves “Christian” have by-and-large abdicated their responsibility to 1) Think seriously and deeply about the issues of the day, and 2) look toward the future in light of those thoughts in order to discern what is best here and now. The Christian church is quickly losing it’s ability to live in wisdom – in fact, it may already be lost for many.
I believe that much of this phenomena is a direct result of Christians being swayed by our culture’s “none of my business” attitude. Even as we relate to other believers we often act as if what is going on in their lives is not our concern. But that can’t be! The New Testament is FULL of exhortations toward accountability, admonition, exhortation, and mutual encouragement -for the sake of safeguarding the holy and upright testimony the church is expected (by God) to have! That’s a very LARGE part of what the community within the Christian church is to be about! When Christians choose NOT to speak to another believer’s moral dilemma, bitter attitude, or sinful lifestyle we are, in effect, pushing the church over the edge of the slippery slope! It’s spiritual suicide! No wonder the church of today, overall, doesn’t even resemble the morally powerful church of the past!
As a result of this “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that has eased into the mindset of individual believers, we have a Christian church that is becoming increasingly irrelevant to our culture and the people in it. Our lives as a church demonstrate nothing unique or appealing that would make non-believers give our message a second glance. It’s a sad condition – one that should never be true of God’s people. And the remedy is a hard pill to swallow…especially in the current culture…
What’s the remedy? The church needs to go back to the basics of New Testament teaching regarding holy lives, Spirit-empowered living, and keeping each other accountable in love. Wisdom MUST be reborn within our ranks. The fear of man needs to be exchanged for the fear of the Lord. Eternity must be in view rather than fitting in to next week’s “bunko” group or golf foursome. Those within the church need to hear consistent, unrelenting teaching on these issues and stop being “offended” by any passionate appeal toward taking their lives upward a notch or two.
The infusion of our world’s foolish thinking into the church is so subtle that many will never see it – but my prayer is that many will. Holy Spirit, come and reveal our foolishness, our pride, our chameleon-like attitudes – and change us as only YOU can.