Bible Class Curricula - First Principles - Lesson #11 - Being Moral in an Immoral World
Moral Collapse in the World
When massive rioting resulted in five deaths in England in 2011, David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, gave the following assessment:
This has been a wake-up call for our country. Social problems that have been festering for decades have exploded in our face.… We have been too unwilling for too long to talk about what is right and what is wrong.… Children without fathers. Schools without discipline. Reward without effort. Crime without punishment. Rights without responsibilities.
Cameron went on to say that Britain’s broken society "incites laziness, excuses bad behavior, erodes self-discipline and discourages hard work" (Riot-hit UK must reverse moral collapse by Stringer and Pogatchnik, 8/15/11 , A.P.).
It’s sad to say that the United States has played the lead role in corrupting societies throughout the world especially by means of the daily influence of Hollywood. Such influence has been growing for some time. For instance, in 1939 Rhett Butler’s departing words to Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind became the most shocking words ever uttered on the movie screen. Also, the Filthy Speech Movement that came out of Berkeley, CA, in 1964 has succeeded in saturating most of the modern-day Hollywood productions, resulting in becoming common vocabulary among most Americans. “Political Correctness” became the widespread standard of society by the 1990s. No longer was filthy talk or immoral conduct considered societally sinful; instead, the modern-day sins have become sexism, homophobia, etc. According to this new standard, those who believe homosexuality and gay marriage are unnatural and immoral are homophobic heretics who must keep their mouths shut.
God’s standard for man, the Bible, teaches that fornication is a unique sin that goes against the very design and nature of man and his body (1 Corinthians 6:12-20). The word fornication comes from the Greek word pornei (where we get our English word pornography). It is a very broad term involving any unlawful sexual intercourse with another whether it is male with female, male with male (homosexuality), female with female (lesbianism), or human with beast (bestiality). Homosexuals, lesbians, pedophiles, and those who practice bestiality all fall under the scriptural definition of fornication. Only the godly marriage bed is undefiled (Hebrews 13:4) and virginity (Revelation 14:4). Marriage is a fornication preventative (1 Corinthians 7:2). Christians are to flee fornication (as Joseph did, Genesis 39:12; men are the stronger vessel, 1 Peter 3:7 – not lustful animals, 1 Corinthians 6:18; Colossians 3:1-5).
The standard modern-day society has fornication as a glamorous activity. Many movies and TV shows today show a great deal of sexually explicit scenes that make the 1944 condemned film, The Outlaw, look like The Andy Griffith Show. No longer do actors and actresses have to flee the country because of their shameful sin (like Ingrid Bergman of Casablanca did in 1950 due to her adulterous relationship with director Roberto Rossellini). In fact, the more adultery and fornication the “stars” are caught in, the more fame they enjoy. Hollywood has glamorized unlawful sexual intercourse to the point that much of society has accepted pre-marital sex, homosexuality (including lesbianism), and adultery as morally right for those who so choose. It is not uncommon for young people to view unlawful sexual intercourse before marriage in a similar light. The idea of “trying someone out” or “shacking up” to determine if you are compatible before making a formal commitment to marriage is popular. Furthermore, speaking against homosexual and lesbian acts supposedly makes one a biased homophobe – and it is a seemingly forbidden thing for anyone to consider using Scripture to determine if the various divorce and remarriage cases are adulterous or not. All the while, thousands of souls, young and old, are dying on a daily basis in these sinful conditions because no one is loving enough to warn these precious people that unlawful sexual intercourse will land your soul in hell (Romans 1:32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8). God’s righteous judgments are clear on the subject: "Marriage is honorable among all and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4); "the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.… Neither fornicators, … nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-10); "whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9); "sexually immoral … shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone" (Revelation 21:8).
Although homosexuality has become more accepted in our society and with some in the church, both the Old and New Testaments condemn it (Genesis 19:4-11; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 7; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Timothy 1:9-11). Stronger attempts are being made to “sugar coat” homosexuality by repackaging it. For instance, some want to call it an “alternate lifestyle” in hopes that others will see homosexuality as good. But, the Bible says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil" (Isaiah 5:20). Some want to say that they were born homosexual. But, the Bible says we are born good, pure, innocent, and right (Ecclesiastes 7:29; Ezekiel 18:19-20). If one wants to claim that one was born a certain way to justify one’s actions, where would one draw the line? For example, a fornicator, a rapist, and a murderer could all claim they were born with such tendencies. But, their line of reasoning is inconsistent, unbiblical, and offers zero proof (1 Thessalonians 5:21; Romans 12:2). Under the Old Covenant, homosexuality was punishable by death (Leviticus 20:13). While the Bible teaches that we are under the New Covenant and not under the Old Covenant today (Hebrews 10:9; 7:12), the sin of homosexuality is still condemned under the New Law. And the wages of the sin is spiritual death (that is, hell; Revelation 20:14-15; Romans 1:24-27; Romans 6:23).
As Christians, it is not enough to just abstain from the practice of homosexuality. We must vehemently oppose it and not condone it in any way (Ephesians 5:11; Romans 1:32). Since our society has accepted homosexuality, it is no wonder that more people are accepting homosexual marriages. God’s plan for marriage is between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:22-33). 1 Corinthians 7:2 says, "Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband." Some have branded those opposing homosexuality as being unloving or unkind, but understand that true love involves discipline and correction (Hebrews 12:11; Revelation 3:19). The Bible says, "let the righteous strike me, it shall be a kindness" (Psalm 141:5). It is time for Christians to be kind and do some spiritual striking (rebuking) and start contending for the faith once again (2 Timothy 4:2; Jude 3). Those who practice and approve of homosexuality need to be spiritually disciplined and corrected so they can repent. Homosexuality is among the plurality of sins Paul condemns in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; he ends by saying, "such were some of you." They changed, and you can, too! We must exhort those in sin to repent, be immersed, and walk in newness of life, leaving the sin of homosexuality behind (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Romans 6:3-4; Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 22:16).
Calculated efforts have been made to influence our society to accept the thinking and behavior of homosexuals/lesbians. Such ideas are put forth that it is either their nature (genetics) or God-given right and that we should not judge anyone based on their sexual orientation or preference. The Creator of man clearly condemns such: "Persons of the same gender passionately desiring one another" is described in Romans 1:24-28 as uncleanness, lust of the heart, dishonoring one’s body, exchanging the truth for the lie, serving the creature rather than the Creator, vile passion, against nature, leaving the natural, committing what is shameful, error, debased, not fitting. Romans 1:32 judges that those who practice/approve of such things are deserving of death (that is, the second death, defined as the “lake of (eternal) fire” in Revelation 20:14; Jude 7). 1 Timothy 1:9-11 judges that sodomites (same-gender activity of an anal nature) are contrary to the sound doctrine of the gospel. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 judges that homosexuals and sodomites will not inherit God’s kingdom.
We must not in any way imply or show approval of the sin of homosexuality along with its thoughts and practices (Romans 1:32). We must persuade homosexuals, lesbians, and the like to repent and be immersed so that we can say, as Paul did about some of Corinth: "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 6:11).
Making Moral Decisions in an Immoral Society
As Christians, we must seek those things above, set our mind on spiritual things, and put to death immoral things (Colossians 3:1-7); rightly transforming our mind (Romans 12:2); rightly letting Christ’s word dwell within us (Colossians 3:16); rightly dividing God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15); and rightly discerning right from wrong (Hebrews 5:14). Some questions we should ask when making moral decisions: Does it bring glory to God (Matthew 5:16)? Does it conflict with the Christian’s priorities (Matthew 6:33)? Is it according to God’s will (Matthew 7:21)? Would it cause someone to sin (Romans 14:21)? Would it violate one’s conscience (Romans 14:23)? Is it most helpful (1 Corinthians 6:12)? Would it bring harm to the Christian’s temple/body/mind (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)? Could it corrupt good habits/morals (1 Corinthians 15:33)? Does it violate the Christian’s holy nature (1 Peter 1:15-16)? Does it go beyond the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9)?
As godly males, we must act upon our God-given role to reverse the immorality in our society through our homes and through the church. God designed the male to have a good work ethic and, if married, to be head/leader of his home (Ephesians 4:28; 5:22-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-11; 1 Timothy 3:4, 12-13; 2 Timothy 2:15; Titus 2:7). Christian men must set the right example (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:9; 1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Peter 2:21; 5:3). By implication, the male is the stronger vessel (1 Peter 3:7). Unlike what society and even some in the church have taught, God’s male is called to a holy way of living and thinking (pure heart and self-control; Joseph fled from impure sin, Genesis 39:2-12; Matthew 5:8; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:7-8; 2:2, 6; 1 Peter 1:13-16). In order to combat the moral collapse of societies, faithful Christian males need to rise up and lead. Otherwise, we are cowards, heading for the eternal hell and leading many in the home and the church with us (Mark 9:42-48; Revelation 21:8).
- Has society changed in the last generations? Give examples.
- What does the word fornication mean?
- Why have so many justified the sin of fornication?
- Where is the only lawful place for sexual relations to take place?
- Give some Bible verses that condemn the practice of homosexuality.
- Can homosexuals and lesbians change? What Bible verse teaches that?
- Are homosexuals and lesbians born that way? Give Bible verses.
- How can I make moral decisions in a wicked society?
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