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Jim Killebrew has 40 years of clinical psychological work for people with intellectual disabilities, and experience teaching, administration, consulting, writing with multiple publications. Dr. Killebrew has attended four Universities and received advanced degrees. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Educational Psychology; University of Illinois at Springfield, Counseling Education; M.A., Human Development Counseling; Northeastern Oklahoma State University, B.A., Psychology and Sociology. Dr. Killebrew attended Lincoln Christian Seminary (Now Lincoln Christian University). Writing contributions have been accepted and published in several journals: Hospital & Community Psychiatry, The Lookout, and Christian Standard (multiple articles). He may be reached at Killebrewjb@aol.com.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Morality in society

 
When you look at society-at-large in whatever culture you care to choose, and whatever time period you decide to explore, you will find that the collective society is always deciding morality on the basis of the situation in which they are experiencing.  We see that in our own society with the changing of moral behavior to fit what is fashionable in our most glamorous idols.  We heard Clark Gable utter the famous words, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."  A collective gasp rose throughout the land at the sound of the word "damn" in a movie theater.  The immorality of it was heralded from Hollywood to Bancroft.  Within a few short years, however, there really was not, and still isn't,  any definition to describe the pornography we now see on public television and movies in our current society.  We simply exclaim, "My, how times have changed!"  Even our courts hide behind the First Amendment, "We can't describe pornography, but we know it when we see it."  Consequently, anything goes.
 
Even in the early days of the nation of Israel long after they had obtained the Ten Commandments from God it is clearly seen in Scripture by reading through the Book of Judges that the people repeatedly "did what was right in their own eyes."  And each time they did it was to their own peril; they brought down the judgment of God upon their heads.  By the time Samuel had appeared on the scene, the people demanded a king so they could have a monarch form of government.  God told Samuel to listen to the people and their desire to have a monarch and to be sure the people had not rejected Samuel, rather God said, "...they have rejected me as their king."  (1 Samuel 8:7)
 
As communities, societies and cultures take on the form of self-governance, monarchy, totalitarianism, theocratic forms of rule, or even democracy the inevitable slide is toward a secular society that establishes the rules of justice and the laws to be obeyed based on a continuum of consensus to that of edict.  The mores of each individual and collectively begin to dictate the cooperative rule to maintain survival against the elements.  But it is never static; it is always dynamic with ever changing rules usually in response to some issue or event. 
 
We have witnessed that even in our own society which began on a foundation of "truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  (United States Declaration of Independence)  What started as a belief of being "created" by "their Creator" has been transformed into a secular society that constantly pushes for the separation of the Creator from the government.
 
Secularism and humanism proponents are ever-changing, constantly moving toward a consensus or synthesis that tries to reach  consonance, or equilibrium to reconcile the disconnect between their belief systems and reality; trying to reconcile their opinions with past knowledge and traditions with current changed practices or new beliefs.  To preserve personal safety people must reach a point of agreement acceptable by all in the community, state or nation.  It usually means some will give up their principles, traditions, actions and even ethical standards by which they lived in the past.  Accepting a secular form of governance allows general acceptance of a set of rules by which all will live.  This almost always creates another form of cognitive dissonance within the mind of the Christian.
 
I wonder if that is not the dilemma our nation faces today?  We have a nation where perhaps the majority of people believe in God, at least by some measure.  Yet we have all but discarded Christian principles in favor of a secular form of government that through the years of growth and maturity has become powerful and strong.  It has developed into a form of government that is believed to be "We the People" yet it has become a government with men and women holding powerful offices for limitless terms, building for themselves spheres of personal power and great wealth.  Their will prevails through the laws, regulations, taxing powers and bestowed favors.  Oftentimes they exempt themselves from the adverse effect of the laws they pass for others.  They secure for themselves special interest groups who surround them with protection and favors allowing them to write special "riders" to major legislative laws that provide special favors to the special interests that favor the individual lawmaker.  It is simply another by-product of the secular form of government.
 
In our own government, as well as others throughout history, we eventually embrace the secularism and humanism to dilute God's Absolute Truth to a form of "situational ethics."  To control the larger population the ideas of secularism must be infused throughout the citizens of the "collective."  This has been done in our culture and society through the mandated public education system, higher education and through the dissemination of employment in both the public and private sectors.  Social justice issues are brought to the fore as "humanistic" efforts that reinforce the pervasive learning through the educational systems in the communities by "standardization" of curriculum and texts.  Those who resist the influence of a growing, powerful government are ostracized by those who have "bought" into the system.  Media is rewarded for partnering with the powerful figures in government and reap plentiful rewards of associations and privilege and celebrity positions in society for supporting those powerful lawmakers.  The cycle of dependency permeates those whose livelihood is sustained by the "entitlements" endowed by those who "represent" them.  The entitlement is purposely kept at subsistence levels to ensure dependency but at the same time not build motivation and strength to leave the dependency model.                   
 
Secular society measures morality against the social mores accepted by society-at-large; Christians measure morality against the Standards established by the God of the universe.  It always comes back to our individual choices.  The Christian should never totally depend on the government to sustain their livelihood.  The government may be sustained for many more years; or it could end abruptly.  For the Christian it is their belief in the God of Creation and His plan of salvation through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross that sustains, not the dependency model of government.  We must remember it is God Who is the Righteous Judge in the long run, not a society.
 
Jim Killebrew
 


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