In olden days a glimpse of stocking / Was looked on as something shocking / Now heaven knows / anything goes
God is the only barrier restraining the total disintegration of society. Most people simply float with the tide of the culture. If it’s conservative, so are they, and when it liberalizes, so do they. Those raised more conservatively may lag behind a generation, but they catch up with the times. To paraphrase Tolstoy’s comment about fashion: Everyone laughs at the old and follows religiously the new.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of living together. Twenty years ago shacking up may have been done in cities, but it wasn’t common among people in small towns. Now “everyone” does it. As a workmate once memorably stated, you can’t buy a car without taking it for a test run.
It’s a shock when people get engaged and do not move in together. Does anyone know of a non-Christian or nominal Christian who hasn’t done so? According to most “Christian” young people, there’s nothing wrong with it anyway. You know things are bad when Boomers have become the fuddy-duddies.
The culture’s narcissism is such that morality matters less than our personal feelings about morality. The seeming logic: “Morality is what I say it is, so stay off my island, man. God will understand. I don’t know what the Bible actually says, but that’s OK, me feeling it is good enough.” So much for the authority of Scripture.
Which leads to Gen 38:15-17:
When Judah saw [Tamar], he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. He turned to her at the roadside and said, Come, let me come in to you, for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, What will you give me, that you may come in to me? He answered, I will send you a young goat from the flock.
How quaint is Matthew Henry’s comment:
…a [young goat] from the flock, a goodly price at which her chastity and honor were valued! Nay, had the consideration been thousands of rams, and ten thousand rivers of oil, it had not been a valuable consideration. The favour of God, the purity of the soul, the peace of conscience, and the hope of heaven, are too precious to be exposed to sale at any such rates.
And yet how enduringly right and true. We’ve sold our birthright for a mess of pottage.