Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. - Psalm 146:3

Where everything went wrong

By Merrill Olson

What significant areas have led to the decline of American society as opposed to what it was some years ago? Out of several, three of them will be covered. And it is how the first one is handled by certain people that has brought the degeneration of the other two.

Therefore, the first and most important one is the view of Scripture. Tragically, a recent survey by Arizona Christian University discovered that slightly more than 37 percent of American pastors believe in a biblical worldview. The others, 62 percent, hold a hybrid view like syncretism. Therefore, many believe that people can earn a place in Heaven by
being a good person. But this goes absolutely against what the Bible says “For by grace you have been saved through faith [in Christ], and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). It says, “not of works, lest anyone should boast.” So, there will never be people in heaven boasting about how they got there by trying to be good. Those who believe they can will find themselves after death in “Hades” (Luke 16:10-31). Besides, Jesus said that no one can enter the “kingdom of God unless one is [spiritually] born again” (John 3:3, 7). Because of these biblical truths, the true response to pastors who deny Scripture is “Get out of the pulpit. You are leading people into an endless eternity of torment. You will be included with them for you prove you are unsaved (Rev. 20:15)!”

As a result, the degrading of Scripture is where everything went wrong. And it basically began in the last century and has slowly progressed until the last few years where it has increased rapidly. Yet, in the years of my youth American society was based on the morals of the church and the Bible. The church had a big influence in society and what was considered right and wrong. It governed the local setting. The schools even planned their activities accordingly. But with the debasing and questioning of the Scriptures, this no longer made it the main source to govern society and its beliefs. Consequently, this, in turn, has led to gender confusion and the rainbow being stolen to identify with a “depraved” mindset and lifestyle (Rom. 1:18-32). However, as people once read and heard the Bible taught and preached, they governed society by it, and there was no confusion that God was the originator of the rainbow (Genesis 9:8-17). It is this arch of colors in the sky that is caused by the light that passes through the moisture in the air. Nevertheless, it served, after the universal flood, as a sign of God’s covenant with Noah; but it was, also, a sign of God’s mercy. Hitherto, the degrading of Scripture and the confusion of biblical values in the church has borne evil results even with the rainbow!

These revolting results are now seen, too, in the political realm by the people voted into office and the laws that are passed. When I was a boy and in my youth, it did not make any difference what political party was in office. There was a moral standard that governed what happened. Now, that has all but disappeared and good has become evil and evil
has become good to many in political office.

Yet, the present degradation is in contrast to that of James Madison, once a Bible student who studied for the ministry and considered the chief architect of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, who wrote that “belief in a God All Powerful, wise and good…is essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man.” These were his convictions and especially his influence that eventually established religious freedom in our country. There were others like him. But for us who know Christ, our destiny is heaven. Thus, it is important for us to live in obedience to God’s truth (Jude 3)!

Merrill Olson served as a senior pastor for thirty-four years. He received a B.S. from Minnesota State University-Mankato, an M. Div. from Bethel Theological Seminary, and a D. Min. from Columbia Evangelical Seminary. He is currently involved as an interim pastor along with a teaching and writing ministry. His emphasis is on apologetics and training believers to defend their faith in Christ from God’s Word. He is well versed in Bible prophecy as it pertains to end times. He is a gifted speaker with the conviction that only by the Word of God can people experience inward transformation by the Holy Spirit. He and his wife, Jan, reside in Minnesota and have two daughters and four delightful grandchildren.


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