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The common term being used today is “Middle Ages.”
Go back fifty years and the time period from approximately 476 AD to 1500 AD was referred to as the “Dark Ages.” Why the “Dark Ages?”
- Europe was awash in illiteracy and rulers were domineering, controlling and manipulative.
- Christian faith was low. Spiritism, shamanism, and witchcraft was common practice.
- Islam and the Muslim religion were birthed and swiftly moved across the Middle East and North Africa all the way to the Atlantic Coast in a mere one hundred years. It sought to remove every vestige of Christianity in its wake.
- There was a great convergence of the Visigoths and Vandals (heathen cultures) from the north; the Muslim armies of Islam from the south; and the Roman Catholic Church in the middle.
The Christian church had moved out of the culture into monasticism, taking with it the Holy Scriptures and education.
Combined with this withdrawal from culture was the practice that all Scriptures and church services were conducted in Latin.
The general population was illiterate both Scripturally and academically.
They had no means of combating the syncretizing of the culture, as it plunged into deeper and deeper spiritual darkness.
There was a similar pattern in the time of Hosea.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. The more they increased, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame. They eat up the sin of My people; they set their heart on their iniquity. And it shall be: like people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, and reward them for their deeds. For they shall eat, but not have enough; they shall commit harlotry, but not increase; because they have ceased obeying the Lord” (Hosea 4:6-10 NKJV).
The prophet Ezekiel wrote about a similar cultural issue taking place in Judah and Jerusalem two hundred years after Hosea.
It is recorded in Ezekiel 22.
The cultural issues plaguing Judah and Jerusalem are listed in the first twelve verses of the chapter.
- They were embracing deities and idols other than the true Living God.
- They were sacrificing their children on the altars of these gods and idols.
- They were becoming a mockery to nations around them, as their leadership and national strength weakened from bribery, intrigue, and their moral depravity.
- The nuclear family was mocked and ridiculed.
- There was racial conflict.
- Homeless children and the elderly were mistreated.
- The worship of God, His temple, and sacred things are despised, mocked and hated.
- Common decency and propriety were abandoned for open display of lewdness.
- Men were having sexual relationships with the wife of their father, their sister, their daughter-in-law, and their neighbors.
- Bribery, murder, and extortion were common place.
How is it possible that a once godly nation became so corrupt?
This Is What Happens When a Culture Rejects God’s Word
The prophet Ezekiel answers that question in verses 23 to 31 of this same chapter.
- There was a common practice among the prophets (preachers) to prophesy for money so they could gain wealth and ease of living. They only prophesied what the people want to hear and what was positive. They gave false prophesies saying, “Thus saith the Lord,” when God had not even spoken to them.
- The priests (pastors) were teaching a compromised Word of God. They were not teaching holiness and purity. They were not holding as sacred the things of worship in the temple. They were not living holy lives and they were not teaching the people to live holy lives.
- The business leaders, city government, national leaders did not have integrity. They used their positions for personal gain and not for the well-being of the populace.
- God looked for a godly man who would spiritually stand up; take the lead; and be an intercessor for the nation and the city. God could not find one.
It is a horrible thing when a culture unplugs from the Word of God.
Where will the culture find her standards of morality; integrity in leadership and business; honesty in reporting and record keeping?
Where will the value of human life be discovered and established?
Sociology, psychology, jurisprudence, medical science, political science, nor any other discipline has the capacity or the capability of providing standards of morality and integrity.
When a culture is unplugged from the Holy Scriptures it is left to the capricious winds of the human heart and to the will of the masses.
It is almost impossible to overstate the dangers of such.
Yet, that is the very condition the United States of America is facing at this very hour.
One Christian ministry that is located in the western part of the United States and influences thousands of ministries around the world, has openly advocated the church must not camp around old truth but seek newly revealed truths.
They encourage exploration into territories people fear are full of counterfeits, because it is the church’s responsibility to explore these counterfeits and discover what maybe real behind it.
Christians are encouraged to dig through the dung hills of New Age belief, Hawaiian kahunas, Hindu and North American Indian shamans, spirit guides, TM, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and more.
All in the effort to search for the hidden truths of God.
This ministry believes these false gods and spiritual activities of darkness, which God calls an abomination, belong to the church.
These are part of the “new truth” the church must explore because we have not yet received the fullness of Pentecost.
Another Christian ministry, located on the east coast, that influences tens of thousands of pastors, is openly teaching there is a “flaw” shared by all Christians past and present.
What is this flaw?
It is the belief that Scripture is the final authority for Christians.
Boldly, this Christian leader declares the Bible is not the foundation of our faith and never has been. He strongly affirms the Bible is not the answer for defending our faith.
Thousands of pastors and congregations are being encouraged to unhinge from the Old Testament and the Ten Commandments.
Pastors are encouraged to move away from quoting Scripture as the answer to life’s problems and the foundation upon which to build a strong faith and a healthy life.
There is a systematic laying aside of the Holy Scriptures.
The Christian church in America is rapidly moving toward a time when the Word of God will be lost in the house of the Lord.
Just as it was in the time of Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:14-18).
Tragically, we are seeing the same consequences from this unplugging from the Holy Scripture as was seen in Judah and Jerusalem. Read again those cultural consequences listed in Ezekiel 22:1-12.
If the Ten Commandments are removed, what will be the basis for our nation’s laws?
Will murder become acceptable? It has become acceptable for the pre-born, for the very infirmed, and for the elderly.
What about robbery, lying, or adultery? Sadly, they have become the expected norm for our government leaders.
How will we know who is the true God?
How will we know the acceptable way to worship Him and to serve Him?
How will our sons and our daughters know a healthy way to choose between right and wrong, good and evil?
The answer for all these questions are revealed in the Holy Scriptures. God has revealed Himself, His nature and His character, in the Holy Scripture.
The acceptable form of worship and service to Almighty God is revealed in Holy Scripture. Wisdom, understanding, and knowledge is found in the Holy Scripture, so the children and youth can avoid foolishness.
The sad but true consequences of the current trend in the USA Christian church is found in the Book of Judges.
“When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel… In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 2:10; 21:25 NKJV).
Read more of this series on my daughter’s blog: A Little R & R
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