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- The Role of Religion in History & Society
Treading on the Sacred
Staying True to God in an Evil Culture
Is Nothing Sacred?
Have you ever asked the question: "Is there nothing sacred anymore?" For those unfamiliar with the word, it usually has a religious connotation. In its strictest sense it means "That which is connected with God or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration." Here are some other possible meanings:
- Dedicated to or set apart for the worship of a deity.
- Worthy of religious veneration: the sacred teachings of Christ.
- Made or declared holy: sacred bread and wine.
- Dedicated or devoted exclusively to a single use, purpose, or person: sacred to the memory of her sister; a private office sacred to the President.
- Worthy of respect; venerable.
- Of or relating to religious objects, rites, or practices.
I. Profaning Language
Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." And yet more and more people consider it all right to curse and swear. And they still bleep out some words on the air waves but it is perfectly fine for someone to use God's name in vain.
Also, many of us remember when comedians were funny without using what is known as blue humor. That is humor with lots of sexual references and four letter words. But you will search far and wide for a modern comedian who doesn't need his mouth washed out with soap. And the sad thing is that many make a good living off of this nasty, vile, poor excuse for comedy. Our culture accepts this because it is no different than how the average person on the street speaks. It is a sad testament to our society.
II. Profaning Sex
We are also living in a profane society where the act of sex, is paraded for all to witness on the internet, in the movies, in magazines and in any other public way that one can think of projecting it. And if you object, you're seen as a prude or old fashioned. Rather than as a private sacred act between a husband and wife, given to us by a Holy God, it is done on the streets for all the world to see in many crude ways that are degrading to those involved, rather than edifying.
It is interesting that we will rate our movies and the vilest of content we call "adult entertainment." Apparently it is all right to wallow around in an open sewer as long as you are an adult. And the television sensors are allowing on our screens in prime time that which used to be considered inappropriate for our children to see just a generation ago. And they continue to push the envelope with more and more graphic sex and nudity.
III. Profaning Human Life
Human life itself has been profaned or treated with disrespect. Abortion, on the one end of the life spectrum and the way we treat our elderly and disregard their wisdom on the other end shows us that we don't value human beings as having been created in the image of Almighty God.
Babies now have to be out of the birth canal to be considered a child. There is nothing sacred about the womb. It is the most dangerous place for human life on this earth. And since Rowe Vs. Wade the number of abortions has reached 54,972,980. To compare, the Holocaust claimed the lives of 11 million people, including 6 million Jews.
Also, people are afraid to get old in this culture. Some cultures venerate their elders. Not here. We are living in a youth oriented society. It is one in which people of a certain age, in order to feel good about themselves, have to do all sorts of cosmetic procedures. They feel that they have to cover up the inevitable changes that all of us go through if we are blessed enough to reach middle and old age. In a single year, Americans spent 11 billion dollars on plastic surgery alone.
In contrast, old age is seen as a blessing from God in Scripture. It is a reward to those who serve Him (Proverbs 16:31). And we are called to honor our fathers and mothers, not only in youth, but their entire lives (Ephesians 6:2).
Maybe our concern for aging is somewhat validated by what we do with our elderly who can no longer take care of themselves. While it may be necessary, in some instances, for an elderly person to need care that a family cannot give them, there are too many times in our culture where wonderful men and women are abandoned by their families and placed out of the way in nursing homes. Too many families neglect their responsibility to their elderly parents today and leave them in the care of strangers. Some older people don't get so much as a visit from someone in their family. What some have called the "golden years" are, for far too many, years where people feel lonely and no longer needed.
IV. Profaning in the Last Days
Of course these things are not an exhaustive list of that which is going on in our society. There are many more. And they are not unexpected in Scripture. As a matter of fact Paul predicted that these kinds of activities would be happening in the last days in which we now live. The last days are the times between the resurrection of Jesus and his return to this earth. Here is what the Apostle said in II Timothy 3:1-5.
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."
Paul is solemnly warning Timothy that the society will be full of the profane. However, God's people must not participate. The sad thing is when Christians themselves are not salt and light in the world, but begin to mimic the society that we are put here for, in order to lead them to redemption. We have to "turn away" from all that would destroy the sacred and put the boundaries back that the world tries to cross.
Just like the Apostle Paul, we are ambassadors of Christ in a foreign land. Our home is not this present evil world system in which we live. As ambassadors, we are the highest representatives of the supreme power of the universe. Let us not add to destruction of the sacred that is taking place today. Instead, may we all vow to lead our culture back to the one true God and to worship Him by living holy lives, set apart for His glory.