A Nation Out of Order
February 1, 2018 | View PDF
The news alert came across my phone that Tuesday morning as I was preparing to leave home for my new discipleship class, an extremely timely one titled God of Order. Another school shooting, this time in Kentucky. Two more innocent teenagers killed, 16 others shot, and 7 more injured as they fled for their lives.
I remember thinking, “Not again, Father God…please, not again.”
Yes, and yet again, while the families and loved ones grieve the loss of these children, another senseless tragedy becomes politicized as soon as the first microphone is thrust in an elected official’s face. My prayer should have included a plea for us as a nation to acknowledge the root of the problem, not fight about more legislation of the weapon used to kill these teenagers. Whether the tool of violence is a gun, a knife, or a bomb, more laws won’t eliminate the source of our chaos.
We are a nation out of order.
As his state mourned and struggled to find answers, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin offered the best statement regarding what is happening to our nation:
"We can't celebrate death in video games, celebrate death in TV shows, celebrate death in movies, celebrate death in musical lyrics and remove any sense of morality and sense of higher authority and then expect that things like this are not going to happen."
Gov. Bevin is absolutely correct, and he is calling on Americans to “wake up” to the fact that we have a cultural problem and our culture is crumbling from within, enabled by an unscrupulous entertainment industry that has profited mightily from the glamorization of violence with our financial addiction to their product. The sobering truth is that we are a society that has become anesthetized to the loss of life. The news reports become numbing, names quickly become only statistics, and I’m not sure that many of us give more than a fleeting thought to the devastation of the families left behind.
But why are we so shocked when these acts of violence continue to occur? Since 1973, we’ve accepted the moral relativism (no absolute set of moral principles) that abortion is a choice instead of the death of an unborn child, a child created in the image of our Creator. And when even those who consider themselves religious or affiliated with a mainline denomination still believe it should remain legal, why would mass shootings in any venue be so shocking?
We’ve conveniently turned our heads when violent crime daily takes the lives of those in our inner cities, ignoring it until it creeps into our own outlying communities, and too often explaining and accepting it as “thugs taking out thugs” without remembering that each of those individuals, regardless of the label we assign, also has enormous value in the eyes of our God.
The end result of being out of order is our society’s diminished value of life itself, but it begins in our homes. Until we understand that we’re in a battle for the heart and soul of our families and our nation, little will change to correct our direction. We first allowed our culture to redefine marriage; now, we’re redefining gender, with the full support of an education system that for years has been stealthily undermining the role and authority of parents. Modern-day feminism has weakened the role of the father, and the advertising industry has often aided and abetted that cause by portraying fathers as little more than cartoon characters. Far too many families continue to exist in generational poverty as we replace fathers with government checks instead of recognizing God’s perfect order of our family and teaching how it is designed to thrive. Christian beliefs and worldviews are openly mocked on university campuses, and a recent study by Barna Group indicates that among teenagers, Generation Z, born from 1995-2015, atheism is increasing, and is doubling that of the general population.
Changing our culture won’t be easy. As I said, we’re in a battle, and the starting point of that battle is a spiritual one in which we give God His proper authority in our homes, our state, and our nation.
What we value in our families, the way we now educate our children, the priorities of our lives, and what we accept as entertainment reflects the order of our nation – and until we return to God’s order, we sadly need not be shocked by what we reap.
1 “Americans’ views on abortion, by religious group.” Pew Research, 19 Jan. 2018, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/22/american-religious-groups-vary-widely-in-their-views-of-abortion/ft_18-01-19_abortionreligiousgroups/
2 “Atheism Doubles Among Generation Z.” Barna Group, 24 Jan. 2018, https://www.barna.com/research/atheism-doubles-among-generation-z/?utm_source=Barna+Update+List&utm_campaign=fb6ed9e928-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_12_28&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8560a0e52e-fb6ed9e928-172101617&mc_cid=fb6ed9e928&mc_eid=feaf2776f4
Marcia Chambliss has been involved in grassroots conservative politics since 2009 and has contributed opinion articles pertaining to politics and cultural issues to The
Alabama Gazette since 2010.