A USA Today writer condemned the NCAA for allowing Oral Roberts University's team to play in the NCAA Basketball tournament because of the school's biblical views on marriage. Over the weekend, the university’s president responded by sharing that the school simply believes in biblical morality and always has. He added that the school considers such morality to be best for all its students, faculty, and alumni. In other words, ORU embraces biblical morality because such morality promotes "the basic values of human decency."
America has become, to borrow words from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s 1978 speech at Harvard, a place with “little defense against the abyss of human decadence…such as the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, such as motion pictures full of pornography, crime, and horror.” Even stricter laws, Solzhenitsyn went on to say, would be powerless to defend a people against such moral corrosion.
In recent weeks, we’ve learned of abuse committed on a staggering scale, but it didn’t come from nowhere. It came from a long-term trajectory of compromises made possible by a perfect storm of failures – of accountability, of honesty, of tolerating, hiding, and abetting temptation. It is a gift of God that so few of us are in such a position to commit evil on this scale.
Yesterday, I voiced my grave concerns over moral compromise within the church, citing a church school whose gender inclusion policies clearly contradict orthodox biblical teaching. Given the moral degradation at the Grammys and across popular culture, countercultural stances such as the one taken by the Vatican are more urgent than ever.
Today, our politics, our “speaking out” is not really advancing any ideas or meaningful change, but is a kind of narcissistic hero creation. We get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and see Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms or Dietrich Bonhoeffer in every interaction. This is why we justify canceling and meanness. We see ourselves as the righteous ones and those who even marginally disagree, as the evil hordes we are called by God to battle.
What God said to the children of Israel he says to us today: “If you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish” (Deuteronomy 8:19).
Clearly, the greatest service you and I can render our nation is to be catalysts for spiritual and moral awakening before it is too late.