Originally published in Creation 18, no 3 (June 1996): 4.
It may seem difficult to correct a nation, or even to turn a city to God. But Jonah succeeded when he preached to Nineveh, because God was in it.
Some people refer to TV news reports as the 'death and bruise reports'. It's easy to see why. A gunman massacres young schoolchildren in Scotland. A pregnant mother is brutally bashed and left for dead as she waits for a bus. Youths break into a house late at night and viciously rape a 12-year-old girl during a horrendous two-hour ordeal ...
Drug deaths, suicides, terrorism, AIDS ... alcohol's victims, gambling losses, street kids, domestic violence ... the list of tragedies in each day's news is enough to bring you to tears.
The saddest fact is that many of these problems could be avoided, because they are simply the result of a society that has lost its way. Our nations have strayed from decent values, high ideals, and any sort of self-control. Biblical values, if put into practice by each individual, would build a nation of law-abiding citizens and decent families who work together, help each other, and endure adversity through God's strength. Yet these have been discarded in the false belief that behaviour and codes of conduct are arbitrary.
Society is reaping what it has sown.
A high-school teacher wrote to a newspaper after there had been calls to decriminalize marijuana in her State. She said she was distressed to see large numbers of students in her classes who were regularly intoxicated by marijuana.
'Every day I am confronted with "stoned" students,' she said, 'and am expected to teach them English.' When she confronted the students they replied their parents grew and smoked the drug, so they did too.
Governments that decriminalize such drugs are saying to people, 'It's OK for your kids to be spaced out in school. It's OK if you're late for work, and productivity drops as a result of your self-inflicted hallucinations, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and psychoses lasting for hours.'
Everyone knows we've got enough problems from other vices already.
Alcohol is responsible for the majority of motor vehicle accidents among 17 to 24 year-olds. Tens of thousands of adults die annually from smoking-related diseases. Poverty from compulsive gambling has reached epidemic proportions in some areas, as governments endorse more casinos and gambling avenues to balance their budgets and boost Treasury coffers.
It is easy to see how a nation can grind into decline when biblical values are ignored.
If we elect godless or unscrupulous politicians, we suddenly find we have education chiefs who oppose any hint of Christian values being taught in schools. We get health department heads who distribute condoms to schoolchildren and promote the flawed concept of 'safe sex' instead of God's only fully workable and proven method of moral sex — between husband and wife only.
If governments give handouts for immoral acts, they are sending a message to teens that it's all right to sleep around, because if you get pregnant the government will pay for your abortion or give you single-mother benefits.
If we teach the students in our schools that they have evolved from animals, perhaps it should be no surprise if they eat like pigs, breed like rabbits, or attack their victims like a pack of wolves.
Even critics of conservative values can no longer pretend that children are turning out the way our nations want.
It's way past time for Christians to fearlessly stand up for God's values, as given in His Word the Bible. Sadly, many of our churches are white-anted by the idea that you have to compromise one part of the Bible (Genesis) because of evolutionary 'science'. They are therefore unable to boldly and authoritatively expound the moral absolutes of Christianity.
People need to know there is a better way to run society than by the humanistic, anti-God, evolution-centred way they increasingly encounter. We learn helpfulness, kindness, generosity, and trust in God not by debating morality, but by practising it. And we can learn to build a nation of decent, godly families by teaching our children that God created them, and that the best way to live their lives is to follow the Creator's rules as given in the Bible.
It may seem difficult to correct a nation, or even to turn a city to God. But Jonah succeeded when he preached to Nineveh, because God was in it, and if God is once more in it, it can be done today if we build on the right foundation. This foundation is Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe and the Redeemer of mankind, who one day will also be the Judge of all the earth.