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Moral Decline

By Rev Dr Colin Peckham

I have waited for the great ones of the earth to sound forth their moral trumpets but I wait in vain, so it falls to my poor lot to put pen to paper over issues which appal me, and I am sure, many like me.

These youth sex polls! The revelations! The media exposure! We hold our conversations and analyse these things as if we were discussing trees or sheep; as if these appalling moral conditions are simple the expected and respectable norms of present-day society. Terms which ought to be used sparingly with discretion are bandied about as if we were talking about soap or soup. have standards eroded completely? Has the nation ceased too blush?

I would remind readers that a long time ago, about 1440 BC to be exact, God gave a man called Moses ten commandments as the constitutional basis for the emerging nation. These commandments have been the backbone of legislation ever since. One of these commandments states clearly and unambiguously: 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' I did not say that; God did, and His laws have been in existence for 3,500 years!

Go to any Anglican church in the country and you will find these words on the walls of the church. It is part of the heritage of the Christian world. Must we simply ignore these great statements and be swept along in the flood of immorality to which we are conditioned and which we are expected to condone and accept?

The New Testament states explicitly, 'be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor adulterers shall inherit the kingdom of God' (1 Corith. 6:9,10).

Men may change, but God does not change! It may be said that we are not now in the legalistic Victorian era, but the same law that was good for the time before and during the Victorian era, still stands today. The Christian religion demands chastity before marriage and fidelity within marriage. Pre-marital and extra-marital sexual relationships, that is fornication and adultery, are out, as far as the Christian is concerned. When the historian Gibbon wrote his great classic, 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire', he showed clearly that one of the main causes of the collapse of Rome and it glory was immorality. Immorality eventually lays in ruins nations, communities, families, individuals. How many broken hearts and saddened lives there are toddy because of the flagrant disregard of this clear command of God.

And by the way, the Bible is still the world's best seller! It is being printed in the tens of millions for those long deprived of its wonderful teaching in Eastern Europe and the USSR. It is up to date!

Forces which have attempted to rid the world of the Bible have all failed dismally. Rome and its military might tried to burn it, but it survived; medieval darkness tried to conceal it, but it emerged; German higher criticism tried to emasculate it, but it grew stronger; French agnosticism tried to bury it, but it lives; present day British apathy, indifference and unbelief tries to ignore it, but it is still there! It speaks with the authority of eternity.

It is well-known that Queen Victoria said, 'this Book has made England great.' At the tercentenary of the Authorised version, King George V said, 'It is my confident hope that my subjects may never cease to cherish their noble inheritance in the English Bible.' King George IV said, 'I recommend the reading of this Book. For centuries the Bible has been a wholesome and strengthening influence in our nation's life.

How tragic that this Book that changes lives and transforms nations has ceased to be a major factor in the life of the British nation. We are robbed of the foundation of our nation's life, and lose not only our soul but our conscience into the bargain. What the Bible calls 'sin' is a word that is rarely used today. Sin is no longer sin, and crime inevitably increases. The whole quality of communal life and safety sinks to abysmal depths, in large measure because we find it convenient to sweep God and the Bible out of existence. We are then responsible to no-one and may live as we please.

We ignore God's clear moral requirements at the peril of our health and sanctity, our integrity, our eternal welfare.

In this atmosphere of blind disregard for moral purity, in this sex-mad permissive society, what we hear is corrective advice about how to sin safely. God is not in the picture. 'Take care', 'use safe sex', we are told. The Bible says, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' What about that? This is an absolute, unchangeable and eternal decree.

Back to the Bible. Back to God and to His standards and requirements, producing healthier bodies, safer communities and righteous living as well. It affects all of life.

I am sure that I am not a lone voice crying in the wilderness, but that many throughout the country, who may be silent in the face of the overwhelming flood of immoral behaviour, would side with the moral rectitude of scriptural teaching and living.