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What Hope for Society?

(Gen. 11:1-9; Prov. 28:2-5; 29:2-4)

The people united to exalt themselves rather than God. (Gen. 11:4; Ps. 49:11-13; Dan. 4:30)

The tower of Babel, Herodotus informs us, was a furlong or 660 feet, in length and breadth;
and, according to Strabo, it rose to the same altitude. It was of a pyramidical form, consisting of
eight square towers, gradually decreasing in breadth, with a winding ascent on the outside, so
very broad as to allow horses and carriages to pass each other, and even to turn. It consisted of
six stages built upon a platform. It had 6 gates and 16 shrines to various gods and a temple to
the god Bel-Merodach at the top (Idolatry).

The attempt of the Babelites to transgress human limits is reminiscent of Eve’s ambition to be
like God (Gen. 3:5-6)

Do not be wise in your own eyes (Proverbs 3:7; 12:15; 26:12,16; 28:11).

Leaders, like everyone else, should not be proud (Proverbs 3:5-6; 11:2; 13:10; 21:24; 30:29-
31).

God scatters the proud and self-glorifying (Gen. 11:8; Luke 1:51)

Babel (Bay' behl) Heb. = confusion = judgment on human endeavors that seek to exalt men
instead of God

Human plans not connected with God’s = castle in the sand (Matt. 7:26-27)

Only what God has purposed will stand/endure. (Isa. 14:24; Prov. 19:21)

Our society is under attack by forces determined to compromise moral standards and Christian
ethics.

Evil men do not understand justice (Prov. 28:5)

• “What if, under your particular understanding of the universe, other human beings were not
created in God's image, had no inherent dignity, and were yours to do with as you pleased? And
what if your particular response to the mystery of life happened to be the same as that of Eric
Harris, one of the two young killers in Littleton, Colorado, who said, "My belief is that if I say
something, it goes. I am the law"? or, as Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, "Without God, everything
is permitted"?” - The Necessity of Truth, by former Senator Rick Santorum, Heritage Lecture
#643, August 6, 1999.

• Ethical Relativism (also called “Situational Ethics”): What is right or wrong varies
according to the individual/society/culture or set of circumstances. There are no universally
valid moral principles. (Related Biblical reference "everyone did what was right in his own
eyes" (Deut. 12:8, Judges 17:6; 21:25) (see also Isa. 5:20 & 24, Jer. 2:13, Rom. 1:18-32, 1 Cor.
5:6-7, 2 Cor. 6:14-15, 1 John 1:8)
• “Man is the measure of all things” (quoting the Greek philosopher Protagoras (481-420, B.C.),
and … each man could be his own measure … [Relativism] urges suspension of judgment
about right and wrong.” (Ellis Washington, Reply to Judge Richard A. Posner on the
Inseparability of Law and Morality, Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, Vol. 3)

• “The demise of America’s legal foundations occur when society rejects laws that are based on
solid, irrevocable, moral, universal, absolute values, to a society that bases it’s laws on an
arbitrary system of relativism, situational ethics, materialism, individualism, hedonism,
paganism, or in any secularist ideology. This secularization of law has influenced all branches
of knowledge – law, philosophy, business, religion, medicine, education, science, the arts, and
mass media.” Harold Berman, The Interaction of Law and Religion 21 (1974).

Justice should be based on God's standard, not man's (Proverbs 29:26)

“… the Hebrew words for justice and righteousness are almost interchangeable, both indicating
a conformity to God’s standards of holiness and moral excellence. …So justice occurs on
earth when power and authority between people is exercised in conformity with God’s
standards of moral excellence. … When power is exercised in a way that violates those
standards we call it injustice.” - Gary Haugen, in The Good News About Injustice, InterVarsity
Press, 1999.

Those who seek the Lord fully understand justice (Proverbs 28:5) and justice gives stability
(Prov. 29:4)

Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And
you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Our hope lies in Christians who commit to live by God’s design for their lives and to take a
principled stand for what is right.

Those who keep God’s law must boldly oppose lawlessness (Prov. 28: 4; 29:27; Matt. 14:3-4;
Eph. 5:11)

Garah {gaw-raw'} Heb. = contend against, battle, engage

Elegcho {el-eng'-kho}Gk. = Expose, reprove, convict, refute, admonish, identify as


shameless, call to account, chastise, punish

God calls His own to speaking out on behalf of the innocent and helpless: (Prov. 31:8;
Ps. 139:13-16; Isa. 44:2, 24; 49:1-5; Jer. 1:5)

God calls His own to confront sin and moral corruption: (Prov. 14:34; Isa. 5:20; Jonah
1:2)

• The historian Arnold Toynbee observed: "Out of 21 notable civilizations, 19


perished not by conquest from without but by moral decay from within."
“[T]he most important of all lessons [from the Scriptures] is the denunciation of ruin
to every State that rejects the precepts of religion. . . . I believe that religion is the
only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free
governments”. - Gouverneur Morris, who spoke on floor of the Constitutional
Convention 173 times, more than any other delegate.

• "We have no government capable of contending with human passions unbridled by


morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious
people. It is wholly inadequate to the governing of any other.” - John Adams

• “the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government,
essentially depend upon piety, religion, and morality." - The Massachusetts
Constitution of 1780, Ch. V, Sec. 2.

• " … our ancestors established their system of government on morality and religious
sentiment. “[T]he cultivation of the religious sentiment represses licentiousness . . .
inspires respect for law and order, and gives strength to the whole social fabric.
Moral habits, they believed, cannot safely be trusted on any other foundation than
religious principle, nor any government be secure which is not supported by moral
habits. . . . Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens " -
Daniel Webster, December 22, 1820 at Plymouth, Mass.

“The institutions of our society are founded on the belief that there is an authority
higher than the authority of the State; that there is a moral law which the state is
powerless to alter; that the individual possesses rights, conferred by the Creator,
which government must respect … And the body of the Constitution as well as the
Bill of Rights enshrined those principles.” – Justice William O. Douglas, in
McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S, 420 (1961)

God calls His own to defend the poor and oppressed: (Ps.10:2; Isa. 10:1-2; Amos 2:6-7)

“The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” -
Edmund Burke

“Here I stand. I can do no other. Amen.” - Martin Luther - Speech at the Diet of Worms
April 18, 1521.

“Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their
Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people
tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is
because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national
legislature. . . . If the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be
because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation
do not aid in controlling the political forces.” – President James Garfield (from the book
by John M. Taylor, Garfield of Ohio: The Available Man (New York: W. W. Norton and
Company, Inc.), p. 180. Quoted from "A Century of Progress," by James A. Garfield,
published in Atlantic, July 1877.)
“To bring God's truth about the public good into the public square and to resist the
abortionists and mercy-killers, the relativists and the tyrants, Christians must stand
together. The controversies that have divided believers for nearly five hundred years are
real, to be sure, and none of them is to be minimized. However, the divisions between
us are not the battle of the hour, when hosts of secularists and relativists threaten to
sweep away the last trace of Christian truth, thought, and influence from our culture.
Indeed, the controversies that divide us are far less significant than the common threat
that confronts us.” – Charles Colson in the book by Charles Colson and Richard John
Neuhaus, eds., Evangelicals and Catholics Together (Dallas: Word, 1995), p.38.