Lawlessness Affects the Church Too

When the Rule of Law deteriorates, it affects everything else.  You’ve heard this one.  “The fish begins to rot from the head down.” For decades now crime is glossed over and punishment is lessened at the head level – in legislatures, city halls and court rooms.

Some sanctuary cities, for example, allow residents without papers to remain even when they are lawbreakers.  They say “we want to protect the ones without papers,” and because of that “we also are protecting those with a criminal record.”

Missing in this is the obvious fact that both groups, the paperless illegals and the felonious illegals are, after all, illegally here.  They are all law breakers and have no legal right to be here.

Fifty years ago we could say all illegal behavior was – you guessed it – a violation of the law.  Now we have gradations of illegality as though that mattered.

Yes, there are reasons ilehakls want to stay in America.  They bought a house; they bought a car; they have a job.  But of course they don’t pay taxes. That means their illegality is costing law abiding citizens money in taxes to pay their way.  They are actually now welfare recipients because the legal residents are paying what they should be paying their rightful share.

But my point is this; what was clearly illegal 50 years ago is now sniffed at. We have variable standards for what it means to be illegal.This double, sometimes triple standard applies to many other groups of people and illegal behaviors. At one time sodomites were jailed – that was as recently as 1940. Today it is legal for them to get married, but of course you must redefine marriage. In 196 t was illegal to kill your baby. Now your neighbor must be required to pay for it.

Everything requires redefinition. What is wrong, what is right, what is partly right, what is only a teeny, weeny wrong – everything changes

This affects the church.  We were taught from the Bible that any kind of sin, no matter how minor, was enough to keep us out of heaven.  Today it takes a really, really bad sin to do that. And there are sinless churches out there – you’all come is their message.  “We don’t expect anything from you.  Everyone here is welcome and everyone goes to heaven- probably.”

But if your church leaders went this way, they threw out the Bible in the process. The plan of salvation is gone; the “if” clauses God has in his word are no longer preached.  In fact, who bothers preaching? Enough to have a simple homily about how God loves you and then we go to lunch.

Here is what is happening. Barna and Pew Research tell us the same thing. Californians are leaving California in droves; and 8% of members are leaving churches too.  Where there is no standard of rightness there is no reason to stay, especially if you are paying for it. Californians are moving to Nevada and Texas; church members are watching TV evangelists or meeting in homes.

California will collapse if this continues. You can expect churches to collapse as well. Standards are the glue that holds people and systems together.  Without it, the groups and systems fall apart with all the nuts and bolts rolling around and the pieces scattered.

When everything can be right, everything can also be wrong. And civil society ends.

 

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