EDITOR’S NOTE: Written in 1971, the following was most prescient. While it describes conditions then existing, much of what brother Choate warned of has come to pass. Since he wrote this, the U. S. Supreme Court has legalized the murder of unborn children, struck down a Texas law against sodomy, and legally sanctioned so-called “same-sex marriage” between sodomites. Joseph Fletcher’s book had a tremendous impact on our society because man always seeks rationales for his evil.
There have not, since the end of the first century of the Christian era, been voices of more urgent alarm to be raised over the rapid erosion of the unity of churches of Christ through the militant invasion of liberal theology and practices than now.
The current attempt to downgrade Christian worship by the lowering of morality is Satanic. The purveying of pornographic materials for money, however degrading, is at least understandable. But church leaders encouraging, espousing, and condoning the “new morality” in the cause of the “new freedom” of man is despicable.
What the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans about the evils of the time is descriptive of our time: “And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another…” (Rom. 1:27).
The Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles is known as a “gay” church because a part of its membership is drawn from the homosexual community of Los Angeles, according to a report by Robert Cleanth under the title, “The Homosexual Church Today.” The Old Testament warning against sodomy is explained away by the “new theology” as growing out of an urgent need to increase the population of ancient Israel through discouraging the practice. What the apostle Paul said is discounted as reflecting his own personal attitudes and not those of Jesus Christ toward the Roman world.
Even now there are church sponsored magazines that once would have been banned and their editors dismissed because of the filth in their articles. Leaders in the churches of Christ need not think that either they or their children will be exempt. The Herods of drugs and alcohol and every form of vice are after your children. And they have preachers on their side who are working under the guise of “angels of light.” Joseph Fletcher’s Situation Ethics is the primer of the “new morality,” J. A. Robertson’s Honest to God is a standard supporting theology for the movement. And those who espouse these views are as numerous as the theological “schools of religion” that turn these “eminent reverends” loose upon an unsuspecting population. The in today, out tomorrow, tag dance of theology is now at full tide and there are no signs of it diminishing.
The members of the churches of Christ and the vast majority of their membership deplore and oppose the pressures being brought upon our young people to engage in promiscuity. If the leaders of the churches of Christ do not condemn the siren voices of vulgarity, pornography, and specious freedom, they will be judged guilty and New Testament Christianity will be rapidly eroded away. Yes, the 20th century has come a long way toward moral rot, and it is a great deal later than we are sometimes lulled to think.