Standards of behavior are rapidly declining. News headlines continue to shock and dismay anyone with a traditional sense of decency and morality. Perverse behaviors are now being lauded as normal that for generations were correctly understood as depraved.
Perverse means turned away from what is good and behaving improperly, unreasonably and unacceptably. The new “normals” are offensive to those who hold to Biblical standards of morality. Those holding Christian beliefs are increasingly ridiculed, lampooned and lambasted as out-of-touch, out-of-date and even as hatemongers and bigots. Some are even being sued and criminally prosecuted. Sadly, the freedom of religion no longer applies to those who want to follow the Bible and Almighty God’s commandments.
After the Day of Pentecost following Christ’s ascension into heaven, the Apostle Peter began to preach repentance and baptism. “And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation’” (Acts 2:40). Jesus Himself said, ‘O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you’” (Matthew 17:17).
If things were perverse in the first century ad, how much more are they perverse now? We see stories in television or Internet news or newspapers about children who are sexually abused by their priest, teacher, coach or even parent, about fist fights at a high school graduation and of car manufacturers hiding dangerous and deadly flaws. We read of sex-trafficking operations, of school officials being fired for manipulating student test scores, and a parent leaving her child in a hot car. We see stories of starlets or celebrities who try to outdo each other by wearing something even more revealing and provocative. We read of cheating, bribery, corruption, scandal, lies, cover-ups, riots, drug overdoses, violent murders, rapes, robberies, suicides, of people undergoing sex-change operations, of a man marrying another man and of a woman marrying another woman. What’s next? Anything goes?
As we read, both Jesus and Peter condemned that generation as perverse and warned people to save themselves from it. The Apostle Paul also condemned the perverse generation, telling the Philippians, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…” (Philippians 2:12–15).
As society continues to decline, as perversity continues to increase by leaps and bounds, those holding to the Biblical and godly standards will stand out more and more from the society around them.
The Psalmist said, “I will behave wisely in a perfect way… I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness” (Psalm 101:2–4).
In Proverbs we read: “As righteousness leads to life, so he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death. Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord, but the blameless in their ways are His delight” (Proverbs 11:19–20). Also: “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished. By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life. Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; he who guards his soul will be far from them” (Proverbs 22:3–5).