You shall have no other gods before me.|
And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
August 11, 2003 -- I have written several times concerning the dangerous decline in morality and ethics in America and know that some believe I am worried too much about it. However, it preys heavily on my mind and heart. Some say, well, nothing too drastic is happening, so why worry so much? But, we need to remember that civilizations have never fallen overnight; rather it occurs in installments. Perhaps, it might help if I were to set forth a few examples of what is now occurring that I consider dangerous to our nation, Christianity and family values in America.
Recently the city of Oakland, California barred two employees from advertising an informal group that respects "the natural family, marriage and family values," contending the bulletin-board flyer was "homophobic."
A "pagan god" has become part of the California budget and State taxpayers are set to finance the statue. Over strong opposition, backers of an AIDS memorial designed in the form of the Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl, managed to sneak the amendment into a collection of unrelated bills and set aside the taxpayer money to pay for this pagan monument. Imagine the uproar if someone had suggested using a statue of Jesus instead of this ancient Aztec god.
As political and homosexual pressures mount we see marriage ceasing to be treated as a covenant or a solemn vow and , rather, becoming a contract. This rhetorical shift has led Americans to see marriage as a voluntary agreement between two adults. So if marriage is a contract, then the parties are free to negotiate the terms of their agreement, enforce those terms, and terminate the agreement whenever they choose.
It's easy to see how this shift damaged the family. It not only opened the door to "no- fault" divorce, but it has done the same for cohabitation and same-sex unions. Anthony Appiah, a professor at Princeton University, said that religion posed “a challenge” to the homosexual agenda, and wondered whether religious freedom ought to be limited.
If marriage is simply a contract, then it's impossible to limit the terms of that contract to one man and one woman in a life-long committed relationship. Instead, anything goes. When the courthouse in Miami, Florida's Liberty City neighborhood was closed for renovations, Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Joel Brown had an idea. The county was already using a bus to bring other government services into local neighborhoods. Why not use the bus as a rolling divorce court as well?
So now, once a month, the brightly painted bus pulls into a Liberty City parking lot, and those who want an uncontested divorce line up outside. On the bus, Judge Brown presides and grants the divorces. Time expended per divorce: two minutes. Now that's efficiency!
But, perhaps, there is nothing to worry about. After all, this is 2003 and we are a more enlightened people. Why should we not live as we please. What harm can there be?
Max R Tyner, Pastor
Good Shepherd Evangelical Church