The most recent rejection of God is the wave of gay marriage laws sweeping the nation. Twenty years ago, gay marriage was unheard of. Denmark passed a gay partnership law in 1989, but same-sex marriage did not exist legally until 2000 when the Netherlands first passed a gay marriage law. In what would become a familiar theme, gay marriage was legalized in Canada the next year after two gay couples sued. In the U.S., Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004, again after a lawsuit. In 2007, Iowa followed suit, again after the state’s marriage law was struck down by courts. Gay marriage did not pass through the legislative process until 2009 when Vermont’s legislature approved the redefinition of marriage. At this point, gay marriage is legal in twelve states, but recent Supreme Court decisions indicate that the Court will probably strike down state definition of marriage laws in the near future.
One of the few truly scientific studies that has been done on the radical changes to the structure of society’s most basic unit, the family, is the New Family Structures Study of 2012. The study reported that gay families are much less stable than comparable heterosexual families. The instability leads to many negative effects in children including being “more apt to report being unemployed, less healthy, more depressed, more likely to have cheated on a spouse or partner, smoke more pot, had trouble with the law, and report… more sexual victimization.”
In the New Testament, particularly Romans 1, homosexuality is described, not as an unpardonable sin, but as a consequence of judgment. Paul wrote that homosexuality is one of the consequences of a society that rejects God. Homosexuality is not the only result of judgment, however. Paul’s roll call of depravities reads like a list of twenty-first century special interest groups:
“…filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
The issue of abortion has also seen setbacks in recent years. President Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act, was billed by Life News as “the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.” The ACA, “Obamacare,” mandates that all insurance policies cover abortifacient drugs without copayments. The ACA also ignores the Hyde Amendment that once prohibited federal tax money from being used for abortion. Together with federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, Obamacare means that the United States government is in the business of funding and encouraging abortions.
Abortion was at the forefront in the trial of Kermit Gosnell. Although the trial of the Philadelphia abortionist was largely ignored by the media, the news of how Gosnell and his staff allowed babies to be born only to murder them in cold blood spread around the country via social networks. Gosnell was found guilty of three counts of first degree murder as well as a number of other charges. An estimated 50 million Americans have been aborted since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973.
Also in 2013, Colorado became the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The use of the drug is being normalized in spite of the fact that there are clear links between marijuana use and schizophrenia and aggression. Writing in the Wall St. Journal, Samuel Wilkinson of the Yale School of Psychiatry points out that heavy users of marijuana who start at a young age have a 200 percent increased risk for schizophrenia, which affects more than three million Americans. About one third of homeless Americans are schizophrenics.
The expansion of abortion and homosexuality corresponds to attacks on religion in spite of the First Amendment. Christian teaching on these issues is being called “offensive” by liberal activists. Members of the Obama Administration talk of “freedom of worship” rather than “freedom of religion.” What this means in practice is that religion, specifically the Christian religion, is being driven underground. Advocates of traditional marriage or pro-life causes can have their jobs threatened or be forced to attend sensitivity training. Christian businesses are sued if they refuse to supply their services to gay weddings, even in states where gay marriage is not legal. In New Jersey, a Methodist church has already been sued – and lost – for refusing to rent their facility to a lesbian couple for their same-sex union.
The fundamental problems with America today are rooted in the decline of Christianity and the corresponding rise of government. The beginning of the decline of American marriage in the 1960s is clearly visible on a Heritage Foundation graph. A separate graph shows the simultaneous rise of out-of-wedlock children at the same time. Both correspond to the “Great Society” programs of President Johnson in which the federal government began to take responsibility for caring for the poor and children away from families, churches, and charities. Unsurprisingly, the federal debt began a meteoric rise at the same time.
At the same time, American church attendance fell sharply. Gallup reports that in 1955 U.S. church attendance over the past week was at 75 percent. Now, even though 78 percent of Americans identify as Christian, only 43 percent attend church regularly. Consequently, many American Christians are ignorant about the doctrines of their professed faith, leaving them open to pseudo-Biblical arguments for liberal policies.
These social trends mean that out-of-wedlock births now account for almost half of U.S. births. The average age of a woman at her first marriage is 26.5 years while the average age at her first childbirth is 25.7 according to CBS News. This is causing a rise in single-parent families that poses dire consequences for the United States because these families are much more likely to live in poverty and require government financial assistance than traditional families. There are also negative effects on the children of single-parent families, such as being more likely to be abused and more likely to become involved in violent crime, drug abuse, and premarital sex according to the National Fatherhood Initiative. The cycle repeats as children of broken homes grow up to have their own children, often in single-parent homes as a result of premarital sex or divorce, and the dependency on government entitlement programs becomes more pronounced.
It may already be too late to reverse America’s decline. Jonathan Cahn, author of “the Harbinger,” believes that recent history, from the Sept. 11 attacks to the economic crash, are warnings from God and that America is running out of time for repentance. Cahn pointed out to Examiner that the “macro pictures of end-time prophecy” do not include America. The current series of “harbinger” warnings “fill in the gap with specific detail” as to how America will “lose its crown as the head of nations” although Cahn is careful not to commit to a specific timeline.
Last year, no less a man of God than Billy Graham published a letter to America in which he wrote, “My heart aches for America and its deceived people…. The farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control.” Graham related how his wife Ruth had exclaimed, “If God doesn’t punish America, he’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” Nevertheless, Graham also points out, “The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance.”
Later in the year, Graham ran ads that urged Americans “to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman. Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray with me that America will remain one nation under God.” For his involvement in politics, Graham’s ministries were targeted by the Internal Revenue Service.
America is at a crossroads. Either our country will continue to reject God and continue to decline or we will seek his forgiveness and begin the process of repentance. The process of turning America around begins with individuals. Even if the country faces the ultimate judgment, individuals can be saved. As Jonathan Cahn said in his interview with Examiner, “We all live in the face of judgment. And the time to repent, to be saved, and to get right with God . . . is now.”
Originally published on Examiner.com: