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The Moral Majority Is Dead

I'll be the first to confess, our nation is definitely "post-Christian," but it's OK by this Pastor and here's why.

Christians, take note. The Moral Majority is dead.

Whatever your thoughts are on the re-election of President Obama and others can be debated as to what is proper for our country in the midst of an economic tailspin. I'll remind you the economy was growing at a faster rate in 1992 when we ousted incumbent George H. W. Bush in favor of a new direction in Bill Clinton. It is clear we are satisfied with far less economic growth 20 years later and more at ease to continue with the current path.

However, my point in this post is not to debate who should be in the White House. The ballot issues provide far clearer clues as to where we are headed:

  • Every chance for gay marriage to be law won for the first time in our history.
  • Physician-assisted suicide barely lost in Massachusetts. I'm sure that fight is not over.
  • Casinos were roundly accepted in Rhode Island and Maryland.
  • Marijuana has been made recreationally legal in four states.
  • Florida voters made sure to vote against state funds supporting religious organizations for public welfare.
  • Abortion was a celebrated part of the Democratic Party platform in August and strongly supported nation-wide with one small exception in Montana.

America's Christian roots have dried up.

I'll be the first to confess, our nation is definitely "post-Christian." But the "Christian" country we had was simply labeled as such because most people identify themselves as Christian by default instead of conscious commitment. Let me be clear: That's not Christian. Christianity is not an ethnicity or national heritage bestowed upon you from your parents or church attendance. It is a willful decision to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, giving up your life for His sake. Doing what He did. Following His lead.

I'm thankful that our watered-down version of Christianity has been drying up for the past few decades in America. It's time to separate the wheat from the chaff and the pretenders from the passionate.

Even in this election cycle, there is good news! Evangelical Christians made up 27 percent of the electorate this year. That's an all-time high and a new record percentage-wise. While America is becoming "post-Christian" in the nominal sense, a swell of strong Christian conviction is brewing beneath the culture once again.

Never Despair.

The Lord always has a people. The movement God started in Abraham has lived on through millenia of international upheaval and centuries of crisis and turmoil. God always has a Nehemiah or Daniel speaking into the ear of the kings of Earth so that His ultimate plan may be accomplished. Even when Jerusalem was sacked and its people dragged into exile in Babylon, though down to only 4,600 people (Jeremiah 52:30), it survived. Christ was born of the Jewish Virgin Mary and in case you didn't know ... Israel and Christianity are still alive and well today. God's promises never fail (Genesis 12:1-3).

Never underestimate the Church that Jesus is building. Christian faith has always grown the fastest and purest when it was marginalized and ostracized and in some cases made illegal. The "Bamboo Curtain" went up with 2 million Christians underground during the reign of Mao in China. When it eventually came down, there were 70 million Christians. Persecution can be a good thing for the true Church.

Whatever side of the political spectrum you come down on, if your hopes were crushed or elated because of a political result, I would check where your hopes are placed.

Jeremiah 17:5–6 (NLT) This is what the LORD says: "Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD. 6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land.

May Christian's HOPE be built on NOTHING LESS than Jesus' blood and righteousness.

Tim Hatch blogs about Christian faith and values at www.timhatchagain.com every week.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Carol Bragg November 10, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Tim: To me, Christian is not what I am, but what I hope I am becoming -- Christ-like. Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, putting up the sword, loving my neighbor and my enemy, forgiving regardless, throwing stones at others only if I am without sin (which I am not), being a Good Samaritan, reconciling the estranged. I need to raise up and live the vision and not judge or condemn others. First Corinthians 13 plus the first half of the first verse of First Corinthians 14: "Make love your aim." Most of the rest doesn't matter.
Gretchen Robinson November 10, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Americans chose to see women as agents acting on their own behalf and people in their own right fully capable of making moral decisions about the egg, zygote, or fetus inside her. In this state, despite an overwhelming Catholic presence (see Sun Chronicle today) Catholics by and large dislike abortion but want to see women have a choice. The alternative is to force women to continue a pregnancy that they cannot 'bear.' Catholics and liberal Christians do not want to have ministers, lawyers, priests, or politicians making those decisions. This decision is best left tp the woman and her doctor and not politicized. The Paramount Right to Life ruling says that a one celled fertilized egg has more of a right to life than a grown woman, who may be married or have been raped. It's just wrong to take away a woman's right to choose because of one religion's theological beliefs. This is a diverse country with many religions and many views, and conservative religions do not control politics any longer. Women must retain the right to choose.
Gretchen Robinson November 10, 2012 at 07:22 PM
amen, Carol. Christ and those I know who who are most "Christ-like" help one another and live in the spirit of Christ's teachings. This means we are to "love one another, do good to those who hate you" and even, impossibly but also an absolute necessity, "love your enemies." When do we start loving our enemies and stop sending drones into foreign countries to kill the innocent in hopes of killing those who we have designated as our "enemies." Yes they are guilty of harming others but when-- oh, when, does the violence and hatred stop??
Tim Hatch November 10, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Laura, I whole-heartedly agree: "men who impregnate women and hit the road and never look back... a baby left to die in a trash barrel, or some back alley abortion chosen out of desparation" are just as barbaric. Does that then justify abortion? As for "Celebrated"... did you watch the Democratic National Convention? And if you believe we should sell all we have and give to the poor, have you done this? If not, why should the Vatican? Its not that I disagree with you on that point. I just find it humorous how "generous" we demand OTHER people be with their money. As for your standing before God, I don't judge that. I don't know you. As for doing what you "feel" is right, how can that be a viable standard? Surely Mao, Pol Pot, Hilter and Stalin all did what they "felt" was right. At some point there has to be an absolute. And at some point it should apply to the born AND unborn child. In a day of 3D ultrasounds, I cannot believe we still don't get this.
Gretchen Robinson November 10, 2012 at 07:25 PM
and I can't believe that you chose to focus on so obsessively. What is it about women controlling what happens to them, to their own bodies, within their own bodies, that you don't get? Why do you have to privilege your theology above mine or anyone else's. This is a democracy not a theocracy--Thank Heaven!!!
Tim Hatch November 10, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Carol. Well said. But... Can we love without labeling some actions against love? Can we not judge people while judging certain acts they commit as wrong? If all we do is "love" in the Beatles sense of the word, where do the boundary lines fall?
Tim Hatch November 10, 2012 at 07:33 PM
How about this as a starting point? You maintain the right to end an unborn child's life, and I have the right to not have my taxes pay for it? That would be a beginning I imagine many Christians would champion. Of course I could be wrong about that last point.
Gretchen Robinson November 10, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Tim: ----Only if I can opt out of paying taxes for the legitimated killing of wars, including the innocent Afghanis who are killed by Obama sanctioned drones. It's time to stop focussing on the Abortion Wars and really defend life here on earth. 68 million was (mis)spent on the Massachusetts' Senate race. That surely could have saved a lot of lives, those who are already hear and are, suffering and dying grievously. Check out the book, that I just got from the library. The Genetics of Original Sin: the Impact of Natural Selection on the Future of Humanity by Nobel Laureate Christian de Duve. Or another book you might name and we'll talk. And invite others. What is the good of saving 'unborn' life if we are destroying life on earth with our sins against God's Creation????
Carol Bragg November 10, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Tim: One of the biggest failings of the Christian church has to be that it has preached love and forgiveness and not taught us how to do this. It would be a cruel God that commands us to love and forgive and does not give us the intellectual and spiritual capacity to do so. If Christians were to focus on this well into the future -- teaching the mental framework needed to love unconditionally and to forgive regardless -- many of the other issues would resolve themselves. We don't need to judge others; instead, we need to identify our own failings -- our sins of commission and omission -- and discern what we have contributed to the problem. We need to change the social conditions that create the problem. Much of the sexual misconduct, I would guess, comes from a craving for love and physical contact. A whole lot of people need warmth, physical affection and hugs more than they need intercourse. But we tend not to be an embracing society.
Stephanie Seiden November 10, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Thank goodness we have the right to vote in this country and not follow someone's interpretation of the bible!
deb of see-attleboro November 10, 2012 at 09:32 PM
I agree. But why single out the Bible?
Carol Bragg November 10, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Gretchen, Tim: To me, the issue is not abortion right or wrong, but that abortion is tragic. Without making it into an "I'm right, you're wrong" issue, we could work together to minimize the perceived need for abortion -- changing social conditions so there are far fewer unwanted children conceived. It never works simply to label something as wrong and thereby eliminate it. Doesn't work for abortion, for killing, or for anything else. Why do we keep battling over right vs. wrong rather than do something to reduce unwanted pregnancies? Makes no sense to me.
deb of see-attleboro November 10, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Carol: In an earlier comment, you extol the virtue of being Christ-like. I can't think of too many sacrifices that are greater and more Christ-like than for a woman to carry an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy to term. The tougher the circumstances, the greater the sacrifice.
Emcee of Seekonk November 10, 2012 at 10:39 PM
"...rather than do something to reduce unwanted pregnancies?" -- Carol With are so many forms of contraceptives available, some free or very low cost, I am surprised that there is any need for abortion at all. I understand rape. Women know what to do to avoid pregnancies... or do they?
Gretchen Robinson November 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Deb, Women have been told and indoctrinated to be endlessly self-sacrificing. Some of us think that such sacrifice is too draconian and borders on masochism. Even for a healthy woman carrying a pregnancy to term and having a delivery has its risks. If the woman has Rh incompatibility, a pregnancy might cause a stroke or death. Diabetes adds major complications. Do you want to be the one making the decision? And if so, who made you God?
Gretchen Robinson November 10, 2012 at 10:43 PM
why single out the bible? Because conservative interpretations of the bible have been used to shackle women to endless childbearing and rearing, and at one time was used to justify slavery.
deb of see-attleboro November 10, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Gretchen, I think you are missing the point. We have crossed a line when a political party celebrates as progress the rights of a woman above the rights of the unborn. The ideal is to preserve both lives. You see it differently. But I do not think this is one of those "agree to disagree" political footballs.
Emcee of Seekonk November 10, 2012 at 10:54 PM
"We have crossed a line when a political party celebrates as progress the rights of a woman above the rights of the unborn." You bet.
Gretchen Robinson November 10, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Emcee: contraceptives are highly fallible. There are few options for men. Vatican roulette doesn't work. What gets me about your post, is that you (again) find a way to put women down. And since when have you ever advocated for women's access to contraception? Not in my memory of past conversations. You understand rape? What do you understand about rape. Send me your email and I'll send you a picture of a battered 12-year-old girl who was impregnated by a rapist. I can't imagine anything more traumatic and soul-killing. Funny how many men don't seem to care how to avoid pregnancies and resist using a condom instead of just doing it so his partner can enjoy herself, too. Condom's are only about 88% effective. 12% of women will get pregnant within a year if using a condom even consistently. You may not know but the most effective contraceptives are also the most effective. And the one's that conservatives claim are abortifacients. Though there is precious little science behind their claims. 50% of pregnancies are unplanned. And finally what are you trying to imply with your last question?
Stephanie Seiden November 10, 2012 at 10:57 PM
I agree. But why single out the Bible? Because that appeared to be the central topic in this particular article... The author's interpretation of what is morally acceptable based on his religion, which happens to follow the teachings of the bible.
Gretchen Robinson November 10, 2012 at 10:58 PM
ms. deb I have heard this kind of propaganda often. No party "celebrates" a pro-choice win. Abortion is a tragedy as I have written before. It's sobering and women make serious moral choices to abort a pregnancy or not. To say that Democrats celebrate an 'abortion win' especially after the horrendous things said by Republican senators (most lost their senate seat), is not a valid point to make, IMO.
Carol Bragg November 10, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Emcee: Apparently not. They're having sex at a younger age -- often, I believe, to fill emotional needs that are not being met otherwise. And some are having babies that they're really not prepared to care for because they want somebody to love. Social relations have declined as the pace of life and emphasis on consumerism have increased. Texting is not a good alternative to the human interaction that takes place with oral communication, especially when it is face to face. Emotional needs are not getting met, so young people have sex to try to meet those needs. There are (or used to be) other forms of healthy social interaction, feeling loved, and having a sense of belonging. Just my opinion.
Carol Bragg November 11, 2012 at 05:40 PM
"There ought to be a law!" I don't believe Jesus ever said that. We can outlaw abortion, we can outlaw war. They will both still happen. The supreme commandment is the law of love. Unfortunately, our labeling draws lines in the sand and creates division and hatred where none is necessary. We can hold to strong beliefs and yet act in a manner that expresses love and works to solve the problem we're concerned about. We are so attached to ideology that we make it impossible to come together across ideological lines to solve problems.
Amy November 11, 2012 at 05:45 PM
With birth control at everyones fingertips people should take more responsibility for themselves. Pay for your own birth control and abortions. I've seen the film taken in the planned parent abortion factory where women were aborting becasue it was a girl. Wow! It makes me sick. Democrats boo'd God at their convention. Our kids are going to indoctrination camps instead of schools. The Democratic party has moved too far to the left. But they had a much better ground game. Clearly the high road dosn't work when running against Democrats.
Emcee of Seekonk November 11, 2012 at 07:31 PM
@Carol... I agree that many of our young look for love in all the wrong places. They are also bombarded daily with media and advertising that promotes sex as entertainment. It is something you do with as many people as you can. They'll even call is 'love'-making when love is the last consideration. Now, a responsible parent will try to divert the kids away from much of that by family, church and school activities, and then there are the other kind of parents, the role models for irresponsible behaviors. As a society, I'm not sure what we can do. Let it run its course? <shrug> Hope the girls figure it out? They are the ones who pay the price emotionally and physically, and very often scholasticly.
Emcee of Seekonk November 11, 2012 at 07:37 PM
"Democrats boo'd God at their convention." They did, indeed. No God Bless America in that crowd. I'm surprised they didn't trot out Rev. Jeremiah Wright to lay it on thick just how evil white America is.
Carol Bragg November 11, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Emcee: I hope the boys figure it out, too. I don't think they come out of this unscathed. They have emotional needs that are not being met. We do a number on them starting at a very young age. They are not supposed to express the softer emotions or talk about their emotional needs. I figure it starts in the sandbox: Boys are told they can't cry when they feel hurt. They start hitting instead and it goes on from there. The hug is replaced with a cold handshake. Teachers can no longer put a hand on a child who may receive no affection or encouragement at home. Emotionally-starved young people will engage in sex as the only way they know of experiencing closeness. I heard once that to be emotionally healthy we need 14 hugs a day. At one place I worked, the older women started hugging each other and saying "I really needed that." We all need affection. If deprived, we engage in destructive behavior.
Gretchen Robinson November 11, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Amy birth control is not at everyone's fingertips, prove that it is yes, people should be more responsible but people should be more self-disciplined and responsible about a lot of things. the anti-abortion video you saw was propaganda, designed to incite and create rage, sow confusion, and cause you to only see one side of abortion prove that schools are "indoctrination camps" I disagree with your assessment about democrats. I have never seen so much moaning and gnashing of teeth as with this election. Time to get over it. Anything further is self-flagellation IMO.
Gretchen Robinson November 11, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Emcee, guess I was a responsible parent because my son never got a girl pregnant and one reason was his activities in family, church, and school activities. But what about single parents working two jobs or when both parents are working. "Hope the girls figure it out" --there you go with putting the burden on girls /young women. How about "the young people figure it out" with the help of mature adults in their lives (parents, teachers, teen religious groups). The biggest thing is to get them engaged in something they are so excited about (music, making videos, art, writing, science, etc.) that they CHOOSE to hold off having sex? Their peer group influences young people, too. How about fostering their maturity and insight, all the while knowing their brains really do not mature until their young twenties. That's the other consideration. I agree with you about the media, movies, sexting, but I think we need to realize they have had a radically different childhood than we do. Still, I think Carol is right, they want warmth, intimacy, touch.
Gretchen Robinson November 11, 2012 at 11:24 PM
that hitting back and boys that provoke a fight to establish themselves in the teen hierarchy turns, in adulthood, to conflicts, great and small. After working with elders for years, I know how much they are 'touch deprived' It's sad. Human beings are inherently social beings. We are created in relationships with others. People need to laugh, too. Have you noticed how humorless people came before, during, and now after this election. I find it striking. Carol is right about children acting out as a way to get a parent, sibling, or teacher to give them some attention, to really Look at them/See them. Bad attention from a parent or teacher is better than no attention or being abandoned.

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