The decay is a time of pruning

Donal’s Spirit of the age post actually coincides with this one that I’ve been thinking about writing for a few weeks now.

This article ran across my FB page a few weeks ago on the Christian Myth of America’s moral decay.

“This country is in moral decline. I just wish we would return to our Christian values and turn back to God.”

I came across this comment on a social media thread tonight, and as a Christian it made me more than a bit nauseous. I hear this sentiment from fellow believers often, and whenever I do I always wonder just what “Christian values” they’d like America to return to:

To women not being able to vote?
To people owning slaves?
To segregation?
To street pistol duels and packs of vigilantes meting out justice in the town square?
To organized crime running urban police forces?

To women being marital property?

Are these the “ol’ time religion” days these folks openly pine for; the days when America was apparently so much more reverent, so much more righteous, so much more Godly than it is today?

This idea of our country’s present moral decay has become a go-to Evangelical Christian trope for decades; an attempt at a literal self-fulfilling prophecy, where the world is falling hopelessly apart and the Church is the lone, faithful remnant standing in the face of the heathen culture’s rebellion. Much like Noah, these religious people imagine themselves sole builders of the only safe place from God’s coming wrath; the waters of dread surely and swiftly rising.

But the truth is America is not in decline any more than at any time in its history. This is just lazy religious-speak that seeks to paint the picture of everything being terrible so it can name drop the “Last Days” and leverage the ensuing fear such language invariably creates in suggestible God-fearing folk.

Only everything isn’t terrible—at least not more terrible:

People have always been bigoted, petty, and ignorant, they just all didn’t have free, 24-hour self-promotion machines where they could advertise as much on a regular basis.

There have always been corrupt governments, contemptible politicians, and hypocritical religious leaders, only now we have more people armed with the resources to unearth and expose them.

Gross injustices against the poor, the LGBTQ community, women, immigrants, and people of color have existed since America was a newborn. We just didn’t have phone cameras to broadcast it to the world and to make it commonplace.

Teenagers have always followed the rush of their raging hormones into all sorts of regrettable messes, they just didn’t have Snapchat to preserve it for posterity.

In other words, there really is nothing new under the sun.

(Bolded by him, not me)

Unfortunately, the author falls into the typical trap of modernity. It’s old liberalism lie that things are improving as we eliminate more supposed injustices. As Donal notes, it’s the Spirit of the Age.

In reality, most of the things he mentions above are framed in a worldly terms not godly terms. In Israel and Christianity, the leadership of the Church, community, and families is/was composed of only elderly men. Jesus did nothing to change that, and both Paul and Peter affirmed it in the Church. Likewise, a husband’s headship is for love. However, rebellion is present all throughout America’s history lending to the unconscious or conscious assumption that authority is evil when it is good.

This assumption carries over into thinking authority makes women property just the same as slaves and things like segregation. Make no mistake. Everyone is under authority. Everyone is a slave to something. Some of us to Christ, some to money, some to hedonism, some to their jobs. This is specifically why the law had conditions for slaves to be permanently of their master (Ex 21, Deut 15), and why both Peter and Paul were more concerned about the hearts of masters and slaves rather than condemning slavery. Earthly positions are just that — not a big deal in the grand scheme of the gospel and changed lives.

There is the interesting nitpicking of ‘lawlessness’ to prove the point which is the exception rather than the rule. Indeed, if you look at the statistics which tell the general tale of the population, we know that America is in a time of decay. 50%+ of children are born out of wedlock. Divorce rates remain high. Many children don’t have fathers. Less people than ever claim to be Christians, and more people than ever do not go to Church. The lack of strong male (father) influence on children leads to increased suicide rates, poorer educational outcomes, drugs, alcoholism, risky and earlier sex, children out of wedlock, and many other negative outcomes.

Let’s be quite frank. America is in a time of serious moral decay. It’s pretty disingenuous to assume otherwise based on nitpicking examples to fit the narrative, which can even be done with passages of Scripture to shame men into liking strong women. The attack on husbands, fathers, marriage, families, and the Church — which are the core of Christian community — is quite clear. You don’t even have to look for it because it’s so obvious.

Thankfully, one of Jesus’ ubiquitous “I am” claims speaks directly to this.

John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He [a]prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already [b]clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit [c]of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so [d]prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

Those who do not bear fruit are being pruned. The ‘falling away’ of many people from the Church and the faith is clear evidence of the pruning in action. Those that claim to be Christian and follow in a pattern of good works will be fruitful, and that fruit will stand out.

When there is decay, it is time for pruning.

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13 Responses to The decay is a time of pruning

  1. Pingback: The decay is a time of pruning –

  2. To prove moral decay look no further than 52 million abortions. But feel free to add: a fornication epidemic, women delaying marriage so that they can have multiple sex partners often simultaneously, an inflationary currency system that is based on larceny, a nation that rewards people not to work and redistributes the labor of others, acceptance of blasphemy but censors speech that offends homosexuals, and a church that is so busy being cool to the world that the Word of God is too offensive to preach, and the family courts that assist women in enslaving their husbands and removing his children.

    BTW- the author sounds like a lesbian.

  3. Looking Glass says:

    There is an argument that it’s less an era of “moral decay” than an era of “removed consequences for immorality”. When the consequences were removed, all of the sin that, previously, would come at an extreme cost suddenly does not any more. It’s much in the same way that someone winning the lottery normally destroys the person, as lack the self-control internally that was previously imposed by physical reality no longer exists, and the person can purchase their own destruction.

    So this is where the misplaced argument in the article that’s being discussed is coming from. Human Nature has not changed, so to that, specifically, there is no decay. But our societies have clearly changed and not for the better. The post-1950s generation got the benefit of the functionally necessary restraints but with few of the costs that came with removing them. Now that the cat is out of the bag, however, the costs starts to become known. And death is all that awaits.

  4. Novaseeker says:

    I think it’s correct, LookingGlass, to say that people are not necessarily more moral in their hearts than in previous eras, but because, as you say, the consequences have been removed, those thoughts immanent into actions more readily today, resulting in a marked uptick in immoral behavior. That is desires become more readily instantiated into actions.

    I also think that the “this age is more moral” crowd basically are just moving the goal posts. They mostly follow the “tangible personal consensus harm” morality, which basically holds that everything is moral (or at least not immoral) unless it results in a tangible harm to others, about which there is a public consensus as to the harm and the tangibility. Everything else is permitted morally, or at least is not considered to be a moral issue. If you move the goalposts like that, and adopt that kind of minimalist morality, you can then argue that our age is more moral, but it’s a fundamentally self-serving argument in the end.

  5. Minesweeper says:

    When you reject God the natural consequence is atheism(scientism), feminism, is-lamism (the god of this world).

    I think the populace will be unprepared to just how left of field things will get in the next few generations, if we last that long.

    When you have a culture that places women + science as gods. You reward abortion (free and a pat on the back as a victim), divorce for women (cash+kids) and you penalize marriage for men.

    You really have a culture opposed to Gods wishes.

    No wonder he will let the god of this age destroy those who are rebelling against God. And destroy them he will.

  6. Sean says:

    I think you’ll find that those that believe in a current day moral decline are more of a theonomic bent (Christian reconstructionism). Those of us that believe in the fallen natute of man know that it’s the same day as it has always been.

  7. Minesweeper says:

    @sean, is that really true do you think ? with the current level of rebellion against God the culture displays ?

  8. Chris says:

    God’s been around the block and isn’t being knocked off His throne by anything that’s going on here. But the birthpangs are geeting stronger and closer. Even as a proud far-Right Christian cis male, I thought that the people who claimed that legitimizing gay marriage would open the floodgates to other perversions like pedophilia were stretching it; now, I wouldn’t be surprised.

  9. Minesweeper says:

    @Chris, the absolute pressure being put upon states to legitimize transgender bathrooms is increadable. Can you imagine that 20 years ago ? Its staggering. What will be happening 20 years from now?

  10. SapphireYagami says:

    before this whole transgender bathroom became an issue, how do you know they weren’t already using the bathrooms that they wanted? like why is it such a big deal all of a sudden? that to me is very suspicious.

  11. Looking Glass says:


    It’s about enforcing their will on the People. They’re evil and have no virtue, so the only way they can virtue-signal is to keep increasing the Descent. Now that they’ve “won” on Gay issues, clearly there has to be something else to “Progress”.

    Read up on the “Great Leap Forward” and the agricultural collectives. They did this type of group virtue signaling stuff. It lead to upwards of 10 million Chinese starving to death.

    As I said, these people are evil.

  12. Coastal says:

    @Deep Strength

    Unrelated, but I remember you bringing up the whole ‘Christians are allergic to exercise’ trope earlier. Exhibit A:

    While I can kinda see where they’re coming from, it seems odd to target the few Christians that are actually trying to be healthy, while evangelical America suffers from an obesity epidemic. I guess ‘fit shaming’ is an easier target to hit. :/

  13. Minesweeper says:

    @Coastal, all part of the FI, they will be shaming marriage next 🙂 !!!

    so lets see now, we have abortion, gay priests etc, gay marriage, women elders\authority over men etc..etc..trannies in bathrooms….

    really how long will it be before they actually are writing against monogamous marriage as slavery for women ? even though the whole alpha fux beta bux strategy is played out at the gov\benefit\church level, I wonder how long it will be before its actual policy and preached about as a good thing ?

    they have got a way to go yet, as everyday passes I have increasing levels of faith that they will get there.

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