Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 12, 1967
NUMBER 35, PAGE 4-5a

Red And Lowering


When the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus, asking him to show them a sign from heaven, "he answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, 'It will be fair weather: for the heaven is red.' And in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today: for the heaven is red and lowering.' Ye know how to discern the face of the heaven; but ye cannot discern the signs of the times." (Matt. 16:2-3).

In a recent church bulletin edited by Brother Bob Franks of Lafayette, Louisiana, we ran across an article that ought to frighten every Christian parent in the nation who chanced to read it. Commenting on the terrible moral decline which is taking place in our nation, Brother Franks gives several quotations from the pen of Mr. Lloyd Shearer as published in Parade Magazine of November 20, 1966. Take a look at these quotations from that source:

"If your teen-age daughter marries, the chances are even money, 50-50 that she is already pregnant."

"If she and her prospective husband are both of high school age, her pregnancy is an 80 percent certainty."

"Approximately two out of every five marriages in the United States, a good 40 percent, involve teenagers."

"Five years after these youngsters marry, 50 percent of them are divorced."

"An estimated 20 percent of all brides in this country, regardless of age, are pregnant at the time of marriage.

"Illegitimate births are now running at about 300,000 a year."

Commenting on these terrifying statistics, Brother Franks said, "I certainly know by experience that it is very difficult to teach our children right from wrong when it seems "everybody is doing it." As Mr. Shearer pointed out: "TV, films, radio, press --stimulate romantic and sexual interests. When children see movies where the hero runs off with another man's wife; where women go to men's apartments to have a few drinks and make love to each other; where nudity is the accepted standard; where divorce is condoned and encouraged; where sexual promiscuity is glorified, it is small wonder that 50 percent of all teen-age girls that get married are already pregnant. If we allow our children to be constantly subjected to such filth, some of it is bound to rub off."

The moral skies of America are indeed "red and lowering!" Only the most morally corrupt and spiritually blinded can fail to recognize the danger. If there is not a tremendous resurgence of spiritual strength in our nation, it seems inevitable that we are headed down the toboggan slide of moral corruption toward indescribable chaos, confusion --- and ultimate oblivion!

It is no longer possible to look to "the churches of our land" for that moral and spiritual strength. All too many of today's religious leaders have themselves been swept into the boiling maelstrom of social gospel projects and "situation ethics" nonsense. Witness the amazing spectacle of Bishop Pike and his heresy trials, the numerous "reverends" in the Civil Rights riots, the "God is dead" pronouncements from church supported colleges. Even among the Lord's own body we have seen the inroads of modern social liberalism and loosening moral standards, as shown in such writings as "Voices of Concern" (wherein social drinking, modern dancing and other presently popular social customs are condoned and approved.)

All of this points up one certain fact: It is up to Christian parents to awaken to the danger---and train their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord! The task cannot be left to schools -- and certainly not to the colleges. And it must be recognized that the average denominational church does a horribly poor job insofar as Bible teaching is concerned. So also does the average Sunday School in the average Church of Christ, for that matter. The task is far more difficult and requires far more time and patience than the average Sunday School teacher can find or muster. It is a job for Christian mothers and Christian fathers. It calls for dedication and resolution. No fleeting, half-hearted, hastily contrived effort will ever be effective. Parents must understand that the proper training of their children calls for a life-long commitment to the task. And it calls for thought and prayer and a searching of one's own soul and life.

The hour is late. The rottenness of moral decay has already eaten deep into our social, political, and even religious life. The sky is truly "red and lowering." The solution is not within legislative halls, nor yet in the classrooms of the schools. Indeed, the real answer lies not within the walls of the Sunday School room; it is within the home! Here, if anywhere, the miracle must be wrought; it is during the plastic, formative years of child-hood, when all the doors and windows of the soul are open and receptive that God's holy word must be implanted. Television, radio, the movies, school activities, and an unending flood of magazines, papers, and secular allurements are in deadly competition for the time, attention and affection of the growing child. "What goes in is bound to come out." If his mind is SATURATED with secular (and all too often immoral) ideas and concepts, it is a certainty that his life will reflect such things.

The solution - the only solution - lies in a constant, planned, intelligent and persistent exposure of that young mind and heart to the teachings of God's holy word, Let every parent beware - and be warned! The responsibility is YOURS!

F. Y. T.