BY DON WILDMON | AFA Founder/Chairman

I picked a book from the shelf recently and began reading it. I want to share some excerpts from the book, In This Free Land, written by Charles Crowe, pastor of Wilmette Parish Methodist Church in Wilmette, Illinois.

But the truth is that all our fine talk about personal freedoms in the U.S. can be nullified by the freedom we take with the moral laws of God. … Our consciences have become blunted and dulled with an overdose of pseudosophistication and broad-mindedness. We have become so tolerant of sin and sinfulness that we have lost our capacity to protest and rebel against plain indecency and moral rottenness. In many quarters we are so accustomed to violence, licentiousness, the glorification of sex, the shady deal, and the fast dollar — to say nothing of the gambler’s passion for something for nothing — that old-fashioned righteous indignation is regarded as a corny exercise for squares. …

The tragedy is that modern Christians too often go along with the tide. We try to convince ourselves that drunkenness is illness, that filthy writing is realism, that obscenity is social comment, that perversion, adultery, cynicism, and gambling are the folkways of our time. … The cause of our problem does not lie altogether in poverty or slums or ignorance. … The truth is, the human mind is being poisoned, not by common immorality, but by an amoral, humanistic, nihilistic, cynical outlook on human behavior, wholly divorced from any concept of right or wrong. …

In other words, central to the moral crisis of our time is the lack of recognition that any moral problem exists. This leads to a bestial attitude toward life. Why be restrained and distracted by spiritual ideals and moral judgments when these things don’t exist? Self-gratification is said to be the key to being. Life is held to be purely a process of biological functioning, without knowledge or recognition of good or evil. …

Under the fatuous disguise of presenting ‘mature’ themes, the moviemakers are reduced to a crass and wholly indefensible exploitation of fornication, adultery, incest, prostitution, pimping, nymphomania, frigidity, rape, homosexuality, cannibalism and necrophilia. …

This saturation of books and entertainment with filth distorts and destroys all sense of decency and counteracts even the best training of children and youth who are without the restraint of maturity. … Basically, what is needed is a powerful tide of Christian public opinion that flames in righteous indignation and revulsion against the mounting immoralities and flagrant indecencies of our time. … The tragedy is that the average American business and professional man is afraid to challenge our modern pagans for fear of offending someone or hurting business or being charged with intolerance.

The Christian conscience needs to be challenged by the terrible breakdown of decency that takes place in adults and children, with the free circulation of smutty literature.

This is not to be stuffy and straight-laced; it is to find the way to that plain decency which is the basis of any happy life and stable society. We find it as we put the God of righteousness and love at the center of life. From Him alone we get the moral purpose, restraint, and power that make life good and clean and strong for us, both as people and as a nation.

One other thing I forgot to tell you. The book was written in 1964, 41 years ago.