Written by Stanley D. Gale |
Monday, January 30, 2023
What we see unleashed in our society today is not the product of an enlightened mind, but rather a willing descent into the darkness of sin, fueled by an aspiration to be as God. The lid has been lifted, giving license to depravity. As the biblical diagnostic puts it: “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more” (Eph. 4:19–20).
Before Pandora was a personalized radio service, she was a figure of Greek mythology. She was given a box with the instruction not to open it. Curiosity as her key, she lifted the lid and so streamed miseries, maladies, and all sorts of malice into the world to plague mankind.
The expression “opening Pandora’s box” relates to that story to warn of consequences and ramifications of certain actions. It provides counsel for avoiding unwanted trouble. It also suggests a metaphor for the unraveling moral fabric that endangers American society.
God’s diagnosis of the human heart is not an optimistic one. He speaks of the heart in bondage to sin, filled with wickedness, and inclined to evil.
Theologically speaking, human hearts are totally depraved. Not that people are as evil as they could be, but there is nothing in the operating system of people’s inner being that is unaffected and uncorrupted by the fallen condition of sin. Sin warps. It distorts. It incapacitates for honoring God and pursuing righteousness.
Parents are told that this waywardness, this misalignment, is bound up in the heart of a child. Therefore, they are to guard and guide their children. To protect a child from the foolishness bound up in the heart is to exercise love, as is direction in the way of righteousness.
Just as God has given parental authority to safeguard children, so He has given governmental authority to safeguard citizens. Societal structures represent common grace to restrain evil, to keep people from self-destructive behavior, and to promote community well-being.
When these restraints are lifted, depravity is unleashed.
Wickedness advances by being tolerated, then accepted, then promoted, then imposed. Psalm 1 traces this sort of progression.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night….