This month I’m going to start off my letter to you with a history lesson. As I was composing it, I found it to be an interesting exercise. So I’ll use Bible references and secular sources to help you understand cultures, past and present, and where they stood spiritually and morally.
The Problem: Past
The Israelites were warned about idolatry over and over again. For instance, we read,
“Who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’ and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ For they have turned their back to me” (Jeremiah 2:27).
Many examples are cited in the Old Testament about this evil (2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 17:17; 2 Kings 21:6; Ezekiel 20:31; Jeremiah 32:35). Of course, it is well known that thousands of years ago, the Canaanites conducted human sacrifice, using children. There’s much evidence the Aztec, Mayan, and Inca societies were conducting child sacrifice just a few hundred years ago.1
It appears that ritual euthanasia was practiced by numerous ancient cultures. The Phoenicians were known to poison their older individuals2. Both the Spartans and the Romans would leave children that they deemed disabled out to die in the elements.3 Also, ancient Indian cultures were known to throw elderly adults in the Ganges River to drown.4
Scripture teaches against such behavior (Leviticus 20:13) and records examples as warnings for us (Genesis 19:1–14; Judges 19:15–30; Romans 1:26–27). Homosexual behavior was a running theme in the literature of the ancient Greeks and Romans. And you’ve heard of the judgment God meted out on Sodom and Gomorrah!
This behavior was known in ancient cultures, and the Bible warned the Israelites against this evil (Leviticus 18:23 and 20:15). Bestiality seems to have been a form of punishment in ancient Rome, used in the arena to humiliate a prisoner before death.5 Ancient Egyptians also appear to have engaged in it based on their hieroglyphics.6 In addition, bestiality appears in the mythology of numerous cultures.
God warns against this sin in many places in Scripture, including Proverbs 5:3–14, Proverbs 9:13–18, and Exodus 20:14. Prostitution was amazingly common in the ancient world. Athens was a hotbed, and its well-known statesman Pericles was notorious for keeping one as a mistress.7 Herodotus wrote of temple prostitution in Babylon.8 Ancient Chinese emperors are said to have employed prostitutes to service their armies.9 In Hinduism, temple prostitution is associated with their goddess of fertility and is still practiced today (even though it was outlawed in India decades ago).10
This sin was also a common practice in the ancient world. Greek and Roman men were notorious for taking boys as their “lovers” (though in the Roman world it was limited to slaves, not freeborn citizens).11
The Bible makes it clear that the nature of sin has not changed.
There appears to be references to transgenderism in the ancient world. Apparently, ancient Assyria had transgender prostitutes.12 Ancient Greece and later Rome had a cult religion that was transgendered (at least in the priesthood). Transgenderism is found in Roman poetry as well. The Roman Emperor Elagabalus is known to have identified as a woman and requested primitive gender reassignment surgery.13
So what’s my point in listing all of these terrible things?
Well, Ecclesiastes 1:9 states, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”
People have often described our Western world as having civilized cultures, whereas many of the past societies have been described as barbaric or degenerate.
The Bible makes it clear that the nature of sin has not changed. Jeremiah reminds us that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9).
God also warns us in Romans 1 that as people rebel against God, he turns them over to their depraved natures—and a sexual revolution, homosexual revolution, and gender revolution will follow.
My point is this: because of sin, if we don’t work and pray hard to raise up generations on the foundation of God’s Word and its life-changing gospel message, their naturally depraved sin natures will again exhibit the same behaviors as those listed above. That’s why God warned the Israelites over and over again, and why he instructed them to raise up godly offspring.
The Problem: Present
We now see that all the perverse behaviors above are permeating our “civilized” Western culture. Just like the Israelites of the Old Testament, parents have failed to raise up godly generations, so now we increasingly see young and old behave as described in Judges 21:25: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
The teaching of evolution/millions of years (which many church leaders have condoned for the next generation to believe) is no different from Jeremiah 2:27.
Actually, Romans 1 is happening before our very eyes.
The teaching of evolution/millions of years (which many church leaders have condoned for the next generation to believe) is no different from Jeremiah 2:27. People are really saying, “Matter—you are my father; you gave birth to me.” Coming generations are no different from past generations who “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25), thus “God gave them up” (Romans 1:26).
So we are observing all the following behaviors again:
It’s called by different names in our culture, such as abortion, “health care,” and women’s reproductive rights. But they are just hiding the fact that abortion is nothing less than sacrificing children to the “god of self.”
Around 42 million children were murdered by abortion in the world last year, and about 65 million have been murdered in the USA since 1973. Now I ask you this: which is the more barbaric culture? Those of the past or the present?
This practice is also becoming another prominent issue in our Western world, with more and more countries making this freely offered to adults—and even children!
In the last few years, this has become a dominant issue in our culture. The pressure to welcome and accept such behavior has become all-pervasive in the media, schools, and government.
We’ve even seen some recent news articles of this happening in our culture. I won’t bring it to light in this letter, but an atheist’s refusal to label bestiality as an immoral act illustrates what happens when there are no objective moral standards.
Although we know this exists in various ways in our cultures already, there have been recent examples like this one, involving politicians: “Sens. Julia Salazar, D- Brooklyn, and Jessica Ramos, D-Queens, came out in support of opening the door to the legal sex trade in an essay published by the New York Daily News. In response, a third supporter, Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan, tweeted: ‘Decriminalization is critical to protecting the rights and safety of people who trade sex, no matter where they are on the spectrum of choice, circumstance, and coercion.’”
Recent calls have gone out to legalize pedophilia. Some people even try to justify such behavior in academic articles. Again, what would we expect when a culture lets go of any objective moral standards?
This has also become a dominant issue in our society. Drag Queens are now giving children talks in public libraries. Some parents are stating that they are bringing up their children to be “gender fluid.” A few government agencies (and other groups) are adding alternatives to male and female on various forms and documents. In some places (as has happened in one instance with a committee in California recently), people are being told not to use he, she, her, or him in referring to people.
Our culture is no different from those of the past that we call barbaric!
And we also see polyamory (males, females, children in all sorts of combinations of relationships) growing in popularity. And there are calls to legalize polygamy.
The Eternal Solution
Have I depressed you? But I must make this point so clear: our culture is no different from those of the past that we call barbaric! And that’s because the sin nature of unregenerate man hasn’t changed. And that’s the problem.
Now, the solution has never changed, and that solution is the truth of God’s Word and the saving gospel. I often remind people that what we see happening around us today is the consequence of a battle that began six thousand years ago in a Garden. It’s a battle between God’s Word and man’s word. It began when the devil came to Eve and asked, “Did God actually say?” (Genesis 3:1).
As I’ve shown, the basic attack in this battle is on the authority of the Word of God. The nature of the attack has never changed, but the means by which the devil carries it out has changed. We need to understand how this battle manifests itself today.
And that’s where I truly believe AiG, the Creation Museum, and Ark Encounter come in. We see clearly that the teaching of evolution/millions of years that permeates the education systems (secular and Christian) and much of the church is the Genesis 3:1 attack of today.
I sincerely believe that AiG is at the cutting edge of the battle over the authority of God’s Word in today’s world.
Through all the various resources we produce and our world-class themed attractions, we are countering this attack. But in doing so, we never fail to proclaim the truth of God’s Word and the saving gospel. Yes, the problem and solution have never changed! But praise the Lord, he raises up different people and groups at different times in history to deal with the various ways the devil launches attacks at God’s Word.
Thank you for supporting this ministry—one that has been raised up for this time to counter the Genesis 3:1 attack of our day. You are in this battle with us! Your prayers enable us to stay on the front lines in defending God’s Word and advancing the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ that can free us from the enslavement of our sin nature.