Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Public Religion Research Institute’s American Values Atlas estimates that about 64 percent of the total delegates in states with presidential primaries on or before March 8 will come from states with electorates that may be at least 50 percent evangelical. In Missouri it is believed to be around 60 percent evangelical in advance of the March 15 primary, with Southern Baptists representing the bulk of that vote. Yet we still have untold thousands who are either not registered to vote or have not voted in past elections. Prayerfully consider having a voter registration drive in your church and encourage your friends to vote. This is – along with presenting the gospel – how things will change in America.
I am not suggesting that we can bring about God’s kingdom here on earth through politics. But God holds us responsible for our actions – or inactions. Proverbs 24:10-12 draws important parallels for Americans who have been given more blessings than anyone else on earth. Americans have the responsibility to seek righteousness and are held to a higher standard of accountability. The 25th saying of the Thirty Sayings of the Wise in Proverbs says this: “If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death, hold back those staggering towards slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?”
Much of America’s decadence can be traced to the inaction of Christians unwilling to bring a biblical worldview to bear on society – including public policy. Dante once remarked, “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” Neutrality for America’s Christians is not an option. We must do as Peter said in Acts: obey God, not man. Former Supreme Court Associate Justice William O. Douglas offered this: “As nightfall does not come all at once; neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”
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There is new evidence regarding America’s deepening moral crisis, particularly as it pertains to our nation’s obsession with sex. Common sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhea have exploded in recent years and more than 1.4 million cases of chlamydia were reported last year – the highest number of cases of any disease ever reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This should break our hearts. Unfortunately there is more.
About 20,000 cases of syphilis were reported in 2014, the highest rate since 1994 and a 15 percent increase over 2013, the CDC said. The CDC found 458 cases of syphilis in newborn babies – a shocking 28 percent increase over 2013. The CDC estimates that half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections that occur every year are among young people aged 15-24.
A major factor is a change in behavior among gay and bisexual men. The cases of syphilis among gay men have been rising for a decade. While HIV (AIDs) drugs have made the infection a chronic disease, it has caused gays to stop using condoms, the CDC reported, noting that HIV treatment has no impact on prevention of other sexually transmitted diseases.
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We are going to be bombarded with polls over the next year. That means we need to be discerning about what a poll is attempting to convey and how the questions are posed. An example:
Remington Research, a respected polling operation out of Kansas City, recently did two statewide polls. In one it posed this question: “Do you support or oppose a new state law to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation?” Some 37 percent said they support it, 33 percent opposed it and 29 percent said they were unsure. In another poll, they asked: “In your opinion, should the federal and state government be able to require by law that a citizen provides services or provide their private property for an event that is contrary to their religious beliefs?” Some 76 percent said no, 15 percent said yes and nine percent were unsure. Notice the differences in answers depending on how the question is asked?
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Everyone at The Pathway hopes you and your family and friends have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.