A nation of scofflaws

The stop sign pictured in this post is about 75 yards away from our house in Tennessee. Does it look bent and beaten up? That’s because it was hit repeatedly by cars. It also seems that, no matter how red the sign is or how big and white the letters are, this sign is incapable of stopping anyone.

This sign and dozens of others like it (including speed limit signs) are ignored by almost everyone every day in our nation. Let’s be clear: these signs are not suggestions. They have the force of law. Refusing to stop at the stop sign is an offense punishable by a fine.

That means very little to almost everyone who comes to that intersection. Routinely, people refuse to make a complete stop. Most people don’t even slow down. Drivers everywhere are united in their disdain for speed limits almost normally driving 10-20 miles per hour faster than posted speed laws.

No matter how much safer automobiles have become, almost as many people were killed in automobile accidents in 2016 as in 1978. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the death rate soared above 10 percent in 2015 for the first time since the mid-1940s.

We have become a nation of scofflaws. We no longer have any respect for any law from the lowly stop sign to federal felonies. Our nation has become antinomian, meaning against law.

So, if we as a matter of normal behavior refuse to obey the laws of man, how much respect have we for the laws of God? Let’s look at an example. God and the Lord Jesus both commanded, “You shall not commit adultery,” (Exodus 20:14; Matthew 19:18; Romans 13:9). According to the American Psychological Association, infidelity in the United States accounts for 20-40 percent of divorces.

How many other laws are humans violating each day? How about, “You shall not steal?” If you think that the commandment of God in Exodus 20:15 is violated often, you’re right. Theft is among the most prevalent law violations in the U.S. In 2009 there were 15.6 million property thefts.

It seems we have the same disdain for God’s laws than we have for man’s. If it seems as though humanity is sinking into a moral abyss, it’s probably because it is. And, it’s become a slippery slope.

God has many commandments, but he has insisted on only one thing: obey him. He told Israel, “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess,” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16).

God places before us the same choice. So, how is our nation of scofflaws doing compared to the Israel that by transgression failed to obey God and was sent into captivity? Not any better?