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American Decadence and Biblical Law

​Because, as Calvin pointed out, man is innately depraved, every society, every civilization will have to deal with decadence and corruption to some degree or another. There is no escaping that fact, particularly in the democratic West where individual freedom is sanctioned by constitutional law. Even though there is nothing in the United States Constitution that encourages decadent or corrupt behavior, depraved human beings will find a way to legalize the worst of abominations.

  • Samuel L. Blumenfeld,
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Because, as Calvin pointed out, man is innately depraved, every society, every civilization will have to deal with decadence and corruption to some degree or another. There is no escaping that fact, particularly in the democratic West where individual freedom is sanctioned by constitutional law. Even though there is nothing in the United States Constitution that encourages decadent or corrupt behavior, depraved human beings will find a way to legalize the worst of abominations.

Most Americans, of course, even many devout Christians, believe that what two people do in bed in the privacy of their home ought not to be the subject of police invasion. We had a brutal example of such police invasion when Clinton’s attorney general sent a goon squad with automatic rifles into a private home to kidnap the Cuban child, Elian Gonzales. The Supreme Court recently enshrined this view in the way it struck down the Texas sodomy law. After all, shouldn’t people be protected from police invading the privacy of the home? Americans are wary of such police action and would prefer to err on the side of individual freedom. 

Freedom or Decadency?

But wasn’t the Supreme Court acting as God when it ruled, in contravention to Biblical law, that state laws that forbid sodomy are unconstitutional? As R. J. Rushdoony pointed out many times, a nation’s laws reveal its religion. And what a religion our laws reveal! Our free society has become the most decadent and depraved nation on earth. Nor is our decadence limited to our shores. Our films, television shows, music, and pornography cover the globe, reflecting in the main, the decadence of our culture. Now and then some good films, videos, or music will emerge from the general wasteland, but they cannot outweigh the spiritual harm done by a generally decadent culture.

Many people who look to America as a source of good must be awfully confused by what they see and hear. In the past, our great television evangelists reached people everywhere hungry for the message of salvation, the message of Jesus Christ. But some of them fell victim to the temptations of our culture and have ruined their own ministries and disappointed countless Christian followers. Their ruined lives have become a sharp reminder of man’s depravity and often futile struggle to save himself from it.

Recently, at a library sale, I picked up a beautiful book with a handsome picture of Jim and Tammy Bakker on the cover published in 1986. It was Jim & Tammy Bakker Present The Ministries Of Heritage Village Church, a lavishly illustrated story of how the Bakkers created their marvelous Christian television ministry which boomed into a Disneylike theme park dedicated to clean Christian living. Everything they built was based on the Bible. But since their religion could be called Fundamentalism Lite, they did not have that Calvinistic sense of how vulnerable they were to their own innate depravity, and simply did not know how to protect themselves. And so their entire glittering television ministry, theme park, and condominiums were destroyed, while the local liberal-humanist newspaper gloated over the fall of the Bakkers and their Christian theme park.

How could such wonderful Christian dreams turn to ruin so easily? Liberals are always waiting in the wings to see if they can help Christians destroy themselves. And, of course, we all know of the tragic fall of Jimmy Swaggart, whose highly charged preaching reached millions everywhere. He sinned, was exposed, and everything he built fell into ruin. He didn’t take his own sinful nature into account, and so even his intimate knowledge of the Bible couldn’t save him. 

We Have Met the Enemy…

Which leads me to conclude that the most important function of the Bible is not only to teach us about God and His will, but to teach us about ourselves, our vulnerability to sin, and how imperative it is to use the Bible as protection against ourselves. The early American colonists had no illusions about man’s innate goodness when they taught their children, “In Adam’s fall we sinned all.” Today, we feed our kids Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and other friendly creatures who teach us nothing about human nature.

We live in a culture so awash in depravity that I cannot go through my emails without being subjected to the most obscene messages being sent freely through the Internet. One spends more time deleting obscenity from one’s email than reading those real messages sent by friends and associates. The Christian has no choice but to tolerate this river of filth because, unless our Attorney General cracks down on pornography, it will go on indefinitely. The only present remedy is a spam stopper.

When the Chief Justice of Alabama is ordered by a federal appeals court to remove a large display of the Ten Commandments from the rotunda of that state’s judiciary building, that ruling can only be seen as an act of war by the federal government against Christianity. R. J. Rushdoony often reminded us that we were involved in a war, unto the death, against the secular humanists. Their program is clearly stated in the Humanist Manifestos, and therefore it is no secret what the humanists want: the total reduction of Christianity to a private closet in one’s home. They can’t kill us for believing in Jesus Christ, but they will try to punish us if we act as Christians.

I had thought for a while that the Christian revival, particularly among homeschoolers, had brought the humanist cultural juggernaut to a halt. But the Supreme Court indicates otherwise. In fact, what the Supreme Court did in legalizing sodomy is plunge us into moral chaos, which Dr. Rushdoony recognized as the actual goal of the humanists. He wrote in The Messianic Character of American Education, “A realistic appraisal of our time requires recognition of this grim fact: chaos is the goal of contemporary human endeavor. Chaos is thus not a threat but an objective” (p. 339).

Can the Christian remnant survive chaos? Yes, just as the Christians in Rome survived the collapse of the pagan empire. But at what price? One does not consider price when the sovereignty of Jesus Christ is the issue. Christians will pay the price regardless of how high it is.

And how shall this war be fought? Decadence produces its own nightmares. It will destroy all who take part in it. Therefore the sacred duty of Christians is to educate their children in the love and admonition of the Lord, to have their children put on the full armor of God so that they can ride into battle against the spiritual forces of darkness.

That is why Christians must take their children out of the public schools that are now controlled by the sodomites who have a long-term agenda to corrupt all of the children in their charge. Since sodomy is now legal throughout the United States, sodomites in the schools will make sure that children understand this new “affirmation of sexual freedom.”

The Only Antidote

 Biblical law is the great antidote to chaos. And that is why it is as powerful today as it was when God put commandments into words that men could easily understand. The Ten Commandments are as relevant today as they were when Moses brought them down from Mount Sinai. They remain the basic tenets of morality for all who believe in the Bible. Therefore, it is time for Christians to start publishing a variety of books and pamphlets promoting the Ten Commandments, to be given out to everyone in the United States. Let them know that there is an alternative to our present chaos: It is Biblical law, and its essence is summed up in the Ten Commandments.

There is no reason to be pessimistic in the light of what the Supreme Court has done to undermine Biblical law. Millions of Americans now realize that what we have now is moral chaos. Our government was supposed to secure and protect our inalienable rights: the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Millions of unborn children are still being murdered in abortuaries, sanctioned by the Supreme Court; liberty has been stretched to include the freedom to engage in perversity and witchcraft, sanctioned by the Supreme Court; and the pursuit of happiness has become the pursuit of the unreal, the unwholesome, the ungodly, sanctioned by the Supreme Court.

It is only within the context of Biblical law that true happiness can be achieved. Drug addiction, sexual promiscuity, cultural decadence, and rejection of God do not lead to happiness. They lead to ruined lives. Biblical law is the home, the family, the love of children, the love of country, the love of God. Our country’s founding was based on Biblical law, and its salvation will rest on that same everlasting Testament of Truth. 

  • Samuel L. Blumenfeld

Samuel L. Blumenfeld (1927–2015), a former Chalcedon staffer, authored a number of books on education, including NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education,  How to Tutor, Alpha-Phonics: A Primer for Beginning Readers, and Homeschooling: A Parent’s Guide to Teaching Children

He spent much of his career investigating the decline in American literacy, the reasons for the high rate of learning disabilities in American children, the reasons behind the American educational establishment’s support for sex and drug education, and the school system's refusal to use either intensive phonics in reading instruction and memorization in mathematics instruction.  He lectured extensively in the U.S. and abroad and was internationally recognized as an expert in intensive, systematic phonics.  His writings appeared in such diverse publications as Home School DigestReasonEducation Digest, Boston Magazine, Vital Speeches of the DayPractical Homeschooling, Esquire, and many others.

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