The Danger of Erosion: Where Are We Headed?
Erosion is a dangerous and very subtle process. “Erosion” is from a Lain word which meant “to eat away or gnaw off.” (A rat is called a “rodent” because it gnaws). Erosion describes a process where something is gradually diminished in size or quality. In many instances, erosion is not detected until it has already done its harm.
Where is our nation headed? Changes have come gradually. They are changes that in my opinion are leading slowly in the wrong direction. Mis-statements are made by men in power, cover-ups are tolerated, and religious freedom is being gradually taken away, I fear. Government is not what it once was in this country.
Where is the family headed? The family unit is not any longer a unit at all, but a group of individuals doing whatever they want. Fathers have gradually surrendered the spiritual headship of the home. No rules are made, no regulations imposed–just be happy, whatever it takes. (Read I Corinthians 11:1-3) Wives have abdicated their role as ”keepers at home.” (Read I Peter 3:1-7).
Kids regulate nearly everything in many homes today. They determine how time is used, they instigate and dictate what is to be watched, what is listened to–in fact, in many instances, even how we dress. Modesty has taken a holiday. The teenagers’ room is a private teen-cave, a place where parents are not even allowed admission. Far too many young people–parents as well, for that matter–are addicted to social media. Family conversation has taken an extended vacation. And, sadly, sexual experimentation is far too common among young people today. (Read Ephesians 6:1-4; Romans 8:5-9; Romans 6:16; II Timothy 2:22).
Where is religion headed? Again, erosion has taken its toll. Religion has taken on a new meaning in our generation. Even the denominations that were once rather stern and somewhat biblically committed are now succumbing to what the public wants. It has happened gradually, almost without notice. I read recently about what is called “The Bar Church.” It meets in a bar–and while it restricts participants from drinking during the services, it does not restrict it afterward. So-called “Cowboy Churches” now dot the landscape. Their participants ride where they want to go and claim to give new meaning to “casual.”
The religious world in general has submitted to the public insistence for more and more entertainment. Their messengers, called “televangelists” are little more than skilled actors–religious show people–who have become experts at promoting a feel-good religion, one which requires little, and makes little or no mention of sin and its consequences. After all, that’s unsettling to people.
Churches which once were considered and considered themselves to be biblical proponents are now accepting gay people into fellowship and their “pastors” are allowed to perform same-sex marriages.
Even Catholicism, with all its rules and regulations, has recently severely bent those rules and turned its head from viewing things among its clergy which would not have been tolerated only a little while ago. (Read Galatians 6:10)
Where is the church headed? The Lord’s people in many places seems to be playing a “ follow the leader” tactic so as to gain public acceptance. The church of Christ in may places is not very different from the Community Church down the block. Their worship is meant to appeal to the members. Some–far too many, actually–now feature a “non-traditional service” (Read Ephesians 5:19-21). Some even allow women to participate in public worship.
The Lord’s people have gradually stopped demanding book, chapter and verse for all they do. In the 1950’s when the institutional fight was raging, there were only slight differences between the “liberals” and the “conservatives.” Gradually the call for apostolic approval slipped away and now many liberal churches of Christ have all but done away with the call for the ancient order and scriptural precedent. Erosion, gradually moving away from Scripture, just a little at a time over the past 60 or so years, has taken some churches away–far away. (Read Ephesians 4:11-16; II Peter 4:11; II John 9-11; Hebrews 2:1-3)
Where are we headed? It can happen to us. Erosion is not easy to detect. We can begin to give in to a few things and in too short a time be far away from truth and scriptural order. Let us never cease to call for Bible authority for all we do. Let us keep our determination to enforce individual growth among our people. Let us make sure that our young people are not gradually moving toward their peers, or being unduly influenced by the wrong people. Let us continue to not only recommend, but demand regular attendance at the services. Erosion can happen–to us.