“People never crumble in a day – it’s a slow fade.” This is the chorus of Casting Crown’s “Slow Fade” song. The lyrics are just as applicable to a nation as to an individual and unfortunately for America, we have been in a slow fade for some time now. When “I dream of Jeannie” made its debut on television in September of 1965 it was the most embattled show to come across the airwaves. Television rating organizations had all kinds of problems allowing “Jeannie” to show her belly button. Today, that is laughable. One evening I was forced to turn “King of Queens” because it had 4 curse-words in 2 minutes. That’s just not appropriate for my children. Sorry. Then I found my wife turning an episode of “Bones” because of inappropriate sexual content. In fact I found myself encouraging my wife to watch sports with me because it’s the only thing on that doesn’t have cursing, sex, or violence - at least not at an audible level. It has been a slow fade.
I was told by someone I know this week that I view the world in black and white. She told me that there is a lot of gray out there and that it is irresponsible of me to view rules as being hard-fast. As a lawyer turned financial consultant I know a few things about gray. In law school they taught us that you could take the case if it passed a “straight face test.” This meant that if you could argue your client’s side with a straight face then you could bring the suit. There are a lot of shades of gray in law. In the financial realm everything is speculative. Talk about gray. You do your best to predict tomorrow's outcomes, but truly you are trying to predict the future which is as gray as it gets.
But God's word has no gray in it, not even a hint. It is black and white. I have sinned enough for 10 lifetimes and I still feel my own self-inflicted scars about the things I have done, but it was not God’s word that wavered, it was me. God didn’t suggest the 10 Commandments he commanded them. They are not the 10 suggestions. God is the same today as he was when he made the world and when the world ends, God will still be the same. God doesn’t slow fade even if his people do.
You see God hasn’t changed his stances on divorce, homosexuality, cursing, gambling, etc, etc, etc. We as a culture have changed our stances. We have replaced spanking with grounding, the doctrine of “love the sinner, hate the sin” with “have tolerance on different ideas and cultures.” Do you realize how many times tolerance is in the Bible? Zero. God is merciful, God is good, but God is not tolerant. God doesn’t say – “well it’s ok this time.” God says – “IT IS WRONG!" If it was wrong yesterday in God's eyes, it is wrong today in God's eyes. And it will always be wrong in God's eyes. While not tolerant, God is forgiving. He says "repent, come to me, and I will forgive you.”
Oh America, why have we been in a slow fade? Oh Christians, why us too? We have allowed this thing to happen without the slightest of a whimper of protest. In Casting Crown's song it says "Be careful little eyes what you see." We have slowly allowed questionable things into the culture, and now that slippery slope is causing a large avalanche.
The positive thing to remember however is that God is merciful – let us repent of our sins no matter how great and take this country back for God Almighty! What has been a slow fade can be an instantaneous snap back to reality, back to worship, back to repentance. Let us pray for our country, but let us turn off our televisions when questionable shows are on. Let us write letters to networks. Let us, turn off our radios when things counter to the will of God begin to play. Let us live like we are from another world, not of this one. Lest we continue to slow fade to a point of no return.