October 20, 2017

Spiritual Decay

By Leslie Diestelkamp

There is an ever-increasingly passive attitude on the part of many people toward the actual teaching of the
Bible. In some places there may be a religious revival, but that does not mean that there is greater respect for
God's word. The so-called new religious emphasis is, in many instances, only a social and cultural trend. It may
be that it is more fashionable today to be religious than it was a decade ago, but it is not necessarily true that
the average people obey God more completely.

Morals

The passive attitude of most people toward Bible teaching is so clearly evident in moral degeneration. In a
survey of students in one Minneapolis, Minnesota High School, it was found that more than one-third came
from broken homes. Just think of it: One student out of three with a warped outlook on life because of divorce.

Moral restraints are almost unknown to many youngsters. The only reason more of them do not get into trouble
is the fear of being put into jail. Parents have failed to instill real inhibitions in the minds of their children. Sin
and crime overcome some because there is little or no mental reservation to enable the person to suppress evil.
So, adultery, fornication, robbery, etc. are committed without so much as a guilty conscience.

Carnality

Materialism makes constant demands upon modern people, causing many to abandon spiritual lives. The great
urge to "keep up with the Joneses"; the desire to spend and spend for life's luxuries, keeps men's minds so
occupied with money that they have little time or energy for study, prayer, worship or work for, the Lord.

Ignorance

The editor of the DAILY OKLAHOMAN, of Oklahoma City, in lamenting the lack of Bible knowledge, told
of a survey of a group of advanced college students, and said that they did not know anything about the Bible.
He said, "Most of the students tested have heard of Pontius Pilate, but there their knowledge ends. They are
not certain who built the ark or who fashioned the golden calf or who prepared the tables of stone."

The survey showed that the students had not been taught the Bible. The material they had studied in Sunday
School had contained "profound discussions" of political and sociological problems but it (lid not teach real
Bible truth. The article said, "As a result of this Biblical blackout, the college senior who had fifteen years of
Sunday School training is unable to tell whether it was Lazarus who wrestled with an angel or Moses who was
swallowed by a whale."

Such over-emphasis on social, political and psychological aspects of life, lead to greater spiritual decay. It is
still God's word that is necessary in every life, and it is still only by the directing influence of the Holy Spirit
through the gospel, that souls will be saved.

Culture

Many parents promote the cultural, social and financial welfare of their children in such a way that they
smother out any spiritual desires in the child. Today, while the child is young, many parents are completely
happy if the child makes good grades, is socially popular and has a knack for business. Later they will wonder
why the child (then a man or woman) is not a Christian. Indeed, as the twig is bent so will it grow! If parents
will put spiritual things first (Matt. 6:33), their children will not be so religiously retarded nor so voic of
spiritual concepts and ideals.

Truth Magazine I:1, pp. 7, 17
October 1956

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