But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
Christian Culture versus Today's Culture
"Culture is religion externalized" (Henry Van Til). It is a reflection of the predominant faith of the people of that culture.
A Christian culture would reflect the Christian faith of a majority of the people in that culture. Such was the case, at least for a time, in Calvin's Geneva, Knox's Scotland, Reformed Holland in the early 1600s and Puritan England under Oliver Cromwell.
It was also the case in colonial America. The Pilgrims, the Puritans, the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, the French Huguenots, and the Dutch Reformed were all men of the same Calvinistic faith.
They saw God as Sovereign Lord over all areas of life—not just in matters of salvation and church, but also in education, civil government and public policy. Therefore, they covenanted to make their charters and laws reflect the Moral Law of God.
MORAL LAW REFLECTED IN CULTURE
The Ten Commandments were reflected in their social interactions and civil government. Blasphemy, adultery, homosexuality, witchcraft were all considered crimes to be punished by the civil magistrate. Sabbath laws were enforced.
Even animals benefited by this Christian culture. They were to rest on the Sabbath and cruelty to animals was illegal. Among the Puritans of New England, there was not one recorded case of divorce. Drunkenness, gambling and prostitution were almost extinct.
Oaths were taken seriously. In the fear of God, men swore, with one hand on the Bible, asking God to judge them severely if they did tell the truth, and fulfill their vows.
To not do so was clearly understood as a violation of the Third Commandment, "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain." Thus, public officials could usually be trusted to uphold the Christian culture of the people who elected them.
Witnesses in a court of law could usually be trusted to tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God." Marriage partners kept their vows "for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, to death do us part."
Grammar schools were established to teach children to read and write, with the express goal of enabling the children to read the Bible. America's three most prominent universities, Harvard, Yale and Princeton were all established by Calvinistic Christians.
The blessing of God promised to Israel for keeping His Commandments (Deuteronomy 28:1-14) was richly bestowed by God on early America. Food was abundant, health was the norm, wars were won, and people enjoyed unprecedented freedom, peace and safety.
This Christian culture differs vastly from the American culture of the early twenty-first century. Today's American culture is both hedonistic and humanistic to the core. Hedonistic because it is guided by such maxims as:
· "If it feels good, do it."
· "If it harm none, let it be done"
· "Me first"
Humanistic because, having forsaken faith in the God of the Bible, man has set himself up as God. Man, not God, is seen as the law-giver, based on his unaided human reason rather than Divine Revelation.
Absolute standards of right and wrong (based on the Ten Commandments) have been abandoned by modern man. In its place, he has set up evolving standards of good and evil—reflecting his belief in evolution and rejection of the Creator.
Today's humanistic culture is based on situation ethics. What might be right for one person in a certain situation, might be wrong for another person in another situation. What was right for the Puritans in the past might be wrong for Americans today.
Therefore, blasphemy, adultery, homosexuality, witchcraft, vow-breaking, theft, murder, and abortion might all be right for some people, in certain situations. Such an ungodly culture has led to God's curse on American society.
Today, we are plagued with sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, endless wars with no clear cut victory, enormous debt and economic woes, sexual immorality, a sky-rocketing divorce rate, abused children, drunkenness, drug-abuse, gambling, and legalized abortion of over 30 million innocent infants.
There is also an increasing intolerance for Biblical Christianity in our schools, our courts and government. Obama summed it well, when he declared publicly, as President of the USA, "America is not a Christian nation."
George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows the Lamb of God. He and his wife, Christy, have been married 42 years (in 2019). They have 8 grown children. You can contact George at email@example.com
Copyright © 2002 through 2019 by George Theiss