Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
I. Our world is in trouble today because these ancient landmarks have been removed. We have been told the way our Christian ancestors lived is wrong and doesn't apply in the "modern" 90's.
The following four quotes show that not just religious people believe our society has removed the ancient landmarks, but secular people, who don't necessarily believe in God or His ways believe something is fundamentally wrong with the society of the United States.
Quote from St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sunday August 27, 1995 (Everyday section)
A. "There is a crisis in character not only among young people but in society as a whole.... We simply have failed to transmit the core values upon which our civilization rests." Thomas Lickona, developmental psychologist. He gives the following progression away from God in public schools.1
1. Colonial American schools, points out Lickona, first used the Bible as their source book.
2. Later, McGuffey Readers - brimming with moral tales and biblical stories - came into vogue.
3. Though support for character education began to dwindle in the 20th century, Lickona says it wasn't until the 1960's that it was abandoned. Why? Lickona puts the blame on two factors: an emphasis on individual rights instead of responsibility; and growing multiculturalism, which led to greater secularization in schools. (Less God - WWR)
4. In the 1970's, a new method of teaching ethics, called values clarification, was widely instituted in public schools. Basically, it presented children with ethical dilemmas and, through games and group activities, tried to help them discover their own values without imput - seen as potentially indoctrinating - from the teacher.
5. By the mid-1980's, educators abandoned values clarification, blaming it for creating a moral vacuum in the classroom. That's when the current character education movement began to gather momentum. One of its earliest promoters was St. Louis' Sanford N. McDonnell, chairman emeritus of McDonnell Douglas Corp.
B. In his book, "Why Johnny Can't Tell Right From Wrong," William Kilpatrick, a professor of education at Boston College, cites a radio network survey about discipline concerns in the schools. The poll was first taken among teachers in 1940 and then replicated in 1980. The contrasts are startling. In 1940, the top seven problems were:
1. Talking out of turn, chewing gum, making noise, running in the halls, getting out of line, wearing improper clothing, not putting paper in the wastebasket.
2. In 1980, they were: drug abuse, alcohol abuse, pregnancy, suicide, rape, robbery, assault. After that? Arson and gang warfare.
C. ABC News, Friday morning September 1, 95: the interviewee stated that for the past two decades, there has been a moral decay in our nation that must be reversed if our country is going to be successful in the future. Crime and the lack of punishment has greatly increased, people just don't trust each other, there is an increasing uneasiness in the citizens of the United States. This uneasiness involves education, the economy, the safety of our children, pornography. The common citizen has come to be almost immune to the shock of the many murders, rapes, and other untold violence that occurs almost daily, in almost every community across this great nation. Each news cast is filled with murder rape, arson, international terrorism, and every sort of terrible thing that could be imagined.
D. NBC News Wednesday morning, September 20, 1995. The news report stated a 3-year old girl had accidentally been killed in crossfire between two rival gangs. The expert who was interviewed stated that thousands of U. S. cities now have problems with gangs. He stated the many times, innocent bystanders were killed, and he didn't understand why such a big fuss was being made over this young girl. He stated that many things had been tried to stop the violence, but nothing had worked. He stated that nobody knows what to do. Everything tried had failed. (They haven't tried Jesus. WWR)
II. About 20 years ago, (Roe vs Wade in 1973) our society began to slowly legislate immorality by removing God from, not only our schools, but from every facet of our lives. It is against the law to read the Bible in public schools, and it is often very difficult to have a prayer during school graduations, Baccalaureate has long been abandoned by the majority of schools.
A. Abortion on demand is common.
B. Cursing and swearing, nakedness, and all kinds of vile, corrupt story lines are readily available on T. V.
C. Hosea 4:6 - My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shall be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Because our society has forgotten God, He will also forget our children. Because we have forsaken the knowledge of God, God will forsake our children.
III. Why haven't people accepted the right way, and why have things gotten into this mess?
A. People don't know they have gotten away from God. A lot of preachers don't preach about sin, except in a general or generic sense. There is a lot of physiology preached today, but not much gospel
1. Story of man who has terminal disease. The doctor spends one minute telling him about his disease and 30 minutes about the cure. The man says he will think about having the cure, but when he realizes how sick he really is, it is too late.
2. The same story as above, but the doctor spends 30 minutes telling the man how sick he is and one minute telling him about the cure. The man readily accepts the cure because he has been made to understand how sick he is.
3. The problem with our society today is sin. S - I - N with capital letters.
B. Rev. 3:14-22 - The church at Laodicea didn't know they had put Jesus Christ on the outside. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
1. They didn't know how sick they were, but Jesus knew.
2. When Jesus knocked on the door of the church, He was on the outside. The people, however, didn't realize it was Him, because they thought He was inside the church.
a. Many people and churches have placed Christ outside through putting their own programs, plans and proposals before God.
b. How long has it been since you spend 10 minutes praying to God?
c. How long has it been since you spend 10 minutes reading your Bible?
d. How long has it been since you turned the TV or radio off and read your Bible?
How long has it been since you prayed with your family?
You may not be able to do much about the world, but you can do something about your own personal life.
Read your Bible.
Trust God, and nothing else.
C. II Cor. 10:12 - For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. Don't be measuring yourself by others, but measure yourself according to God's standards.
1This is direct quote from St. Louis Post-Dispatch.