I was born in Radford, VA in 1970. Like all of my contemporaries, I have witnessed sweeping changes in the U.S. and around the world during my lifetime. The America of five decades ago is now unrecognizable. Today, it’s a place full of hate, arrogance, entitlement, and sexual deviancy.
Most cultural elements that I have encountered during my lifetime were placed into motion well before I was born. The sexual revolution had already planted its seed into society, and school prayer had effectively been banned by the U.S Supreme Court in 1962. Just three years after my birth, America’s highest court gave its thumbs up to abortion.
After World War II, America was seduced by its new found prominence and leadership of the free world. The rot set in quickly. As I look back on the decades of my life, I often reflect on America’s dismantling. I also remember how I participated. The rearview mirror displays the anguish of foolish decisions and pursuits. However, it is a powerful spiritual lesson. America’s disintegration is an example of what happens when people turn from God’s ways.
1980s (Proverbs 14:12—There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.)
Entering into adolescence at the beginning of the 80’s, I remember a renewed economic hope for America. Consequently, new opportunities placed the family nucleus in jeopardy. This was the decade that both parents would begin to work outside of the household. Divorce was commonplace, and latchkey kids fended for themselves without parental oversight. Many of my Generation X peers were unsupervised as new media like MTV served to mold their minds. The environment endorsed sex among teens. In a tragic trend, young high school girls would use abortion as birth control. By the end of the decade, the abortion industry had grown in power.
In efforts to turn the tide, the “Moral Majority” was created by Jerry Falwell. Christians who participated in the movement hoped to shape the nation’s political landscape. Christ followership would be minimized by aspirations to gain political power, but the Church was well on her way to being the nation’s premier patriot. By the end of the decade, I was busy engaging the “rite of passage” that was expected of all college students. This emulated Hollywood movies that glorified drinking and premarital sex in academic settings.
1990s (Proverbs 14:24—The crown of the wise is their riches, but the folly of fools is foolishness.)
The first year of the 90’s realized the highest number of recorded legal abortions in U.S. history. Trivia such as this was ignored as the decade brought excitement for everyone via the internet. I remember accessing it for the first time at the age of twenty-seven. Dial-up connections brought the portal to households and gave all a doorway to the world. As a new frontier, it tore down limits of communication and commerce. New companies were born. The U.S porn industry became a multi-billion dollar enterprise, and America re-affirmed itself as the world’s prime distributor of X-rated features.
On the political field, a U.S President would bring discussion of sexual acts to all American households as his relationship with an intern came to light. I recall the country being transfixed with the details of his indiscretion. As I waded knee deep in the culture, my new Christianity was defined by my boldness in standing up against the opposing political party.
2000s (Proverbs 16:18—Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.)
By this time, American Baby Boomers possessed immense wealth by the world’s standards. Their children (Millennials) would not have a material want or need. I was in my thirties, and my corporate ladder climb would not be halted if I had anything to do with it. Like millions of Americans, I wanted a piece of the new prosperity. Dotcom companies and new technology fueled the stock market. Many large megachurches serviced professionals like me who were chasing the American dream. These churches were a “safe place” to gain reassurance, comfort, and culturing of egos. One of the biggest selling books of the decade, Your Best Life Now, was written by a rising prosperity preacher in Houston. Self-help was the focus in Christianity, and the god created by the new church was a genie for the “law of attraction.” Many places of worship in the U.S. were incorporating this heresy at some level...communicating it in a nuanced fashion. Besides exporting porn, America became the chief purveyor of the prosperity gospel. Surrendering to Christ was not a part of the equation within this new era of sophistication. The Savior was pushed to the side. Big-time churches would count numbers of heads as a success metric. Purity was not a factor to be dealt with in the new, affluent church.
Social media platforms would be spawned and supported by the newly developed smartphone by close of the decade. “Limitless” could be described as the aspiration for many Americans. Popular culture ruled thought and lifestyle. My personal marital divorce and family unit obliteration would not stop me from obtaining my entitlements. I was far from peace and joy, but I was doing what every American was supposed to do with his allotted time. “Life was short,” the bucket list had to be in order.
2010s to Present (Proverbs 17:19—He who loves transgression loves strife; He who raises his door seeks destruction.)
From a biblical vantage point, it seems the 2010s is the decade in which God handed America over to its desires. In a fully postmodern society, all truth had been abandoned. Accomplishments and greed were on full display. Marriage had been fully redefined, and sexual deviancy was in fashion. Support for transgenderism and polyamory made bold strides. Manhood had been emasculated through an overdose of porn. In general terms, men were not men anymore...household spiritual leaders were few and far between. Furthermore, children were victims of godless decades that preceded them. Sexualization, abortion, and evolution had taken their toll. Suicide was at an all time high among youths. By 2017, the nation had murdered over sixty million babies in the womb since legalizing abortion. One-third of the Millennial Generation had been aborted. The movements that began decades ago birthed a pit that had no bottom.
Now, as we acclimate to the 2020s, the Church is complacent. She is careful not to offend anyone by sharing the gospel too loudly. In totality, she is submerged in the culture. Persecution of a faithful few is on the horizon. However, many professing believers associate faithfulness with “defending the Republic” and exalting the U.S. Constitution. Reference to Scripture and repentance are not heard through the hate and name calling generated on all sides. Cultural Christians are looking for a savior to come through politics and fail to see that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the only hope for reconciliation and elimination of sin. Hope is vastly misapplied as a remnant of the Moral Majority attempt to vote for morality.
The new decade is proving that wickedness and living apart from God are not sustainable. America’s complete destruction is guaranteed by God’s word. A people who embrace evil and do not understand humility will fail. Several years ago, I saw that my own life was not sustainable, and God demanded that I lose myself to Him. It was time to get off of the merry-go-round. The amusement ride I had been on for most of my life was nothing more than a trap. For those reading, I wish to convey that this post has been emotionally challenging to write on many levels.
God is in Control (Psalm 5:4—For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You.)
Though I thought that I had given my life to Christ before the age of ten, I was not truly saved. I was a false convert. I finally submitted myself to Him and became a true follower in 2016. I repented with tremendous grief...I finally understood humility. I know I am His today because my only desire is for Him. I must surely pray for America, but I understand what it now represents.
The call to share the gospel is to be prioritized as America continues to burn, even if it is fully rejected. It’s time for all who proclaim Christ to ditch fantasy and surrender to Him. And if we believe Scripture, we must understand that everything is working for God’s purpose. We know what happens in the end because He is in full control. Even through America’s demolition, the Lord will be glorified. Know this...God wins...and what He has in store for those who are prepared for Him is far beyond the American dream.
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
...and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death;
there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."