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God empowers those who resist ‘culture of death,’ Mohler says

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (BP)–The “culture of death” unleashed in the 20th century has brought with it a “death of culture,” R. Albert Mohler Jr. told the 28th annual national meeting of Eagle Forum Sept. 26 at the airport Marriott hotel in St. Louis.
Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., warned attendees that the cultural downgrade at the end of the 20th century represents a brutal form of cultural barbarism which can be seen in almost every segment of contemporary society. He counseled attendees to avoid the “persistent temptation” to surrender or retreat from cultural engagement.
“The barbarians are not at the gate,” he said. “They are running the media empires. They are safely ensconced in beautiful high-ceiling offices in Congress, and they inhabit the Oval Office. …
“Even though the barbarians and the cultural vulgarians of our time seem to have more influence than the righteous, this is no time to abdicate to the barbarians,” he asserted.
Reflecting on the bloody history of the 20th century, Mohler expressed agreement with Pope John Paul II’s assessment that the unwavering assault on innocent human life represents a “culture of death.”
“The culture of death is not something we can speak about merely in the gulag or in the concentration camps or on the battlefields of war,” he argued. “It must be recognized that the culture of death has reached even into the womb. …
“We have seen in the end of this century a warfare unleashed in the womb which is unparalleled in its destruction and in its lack of conscience,” he said. “Worldwide hundreds of millions of unborn and born infants are slaughtered with hardly a wink of moral conscience.”
Mohler noted that Americans were “naive and misinformed” when the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion was handed down by the Supreme Court. Since then, he argued, the “holocaust in the womb” has expanded to include the “human pesticide” RU 486, partial-birth abortions and medical technology which values unborn life only for its medical research possibilities.
“Do Americans really sleep well at night knowing that there are over 100,000 frozen human beings in storage routinely being discarded?” he asked.
Mohler contended that the culture of death has reared its head at Princeton University with the hiring of “radical death advocate” Peter Singer, who advocates infanticide in certain instances and suggests that human beings have no more of a right to life than animals.
“The culture of death is the ultimate degeneration of a culture totally opposed to God and totally opposed to God’s authority over life and death,” Mohler said. “And we cannot say that we were not warned.”
This culture of death has lead naturally to a “death of culture” which celebrates a revolt against authority and a breakdown of societal order, Mohler continued, pointing to schools which have abandoned the pursuit of knowledge for the “indoctrination of the state,” artists who can no longer distinguish between the beautiful and the grotesque and churches which cower in the face of it all.
“A culture that embraces death at its core, that brings it into its heart, is a culture that is dying,” he said.
This death of culture is most easily seen, Mohler said, in a generation-long war on the family which has been “unprecedented in terms of its pervasive character and its stunning success.” This has manifested itself in escalating divorce rates, a trivialized view of marriage and the attempt to revise the very definition of the family.
“Not only does daddy have two roommates and Heather have two mommies,” he said, referring to two homosexual children’s books carried in many public libraries. “But now when you look in the newspapers, virtually anything that wants to call itself a family is a family.”
Mohler argued that a culture which celebrates and even markets such decay is simply advertising that which it aspires to be: those who embrace death. The horrific shootings at Columbine High School and Wedgwood Baptist Church, he concluded, should come as no surprise.
Nevertheless, Mohler contended, those who resist the culture of death and the death of culture should not grow despondent. He cited the prophet Isaiah’s message to Hebrews facing exile to Babylon that their God would strengthen and empower them for the dark days before them.
“When it seems that the forces of darkness are all encompassed around the people of light, we grow weary,” he said. “And yet we know that must not be the end of the story, for the promise is that those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength.”
Also appearing before the group were presidential candidates Gary Bauer, Steve Forbes and Bob Smith as well as anti-evolution advocate Phil Johnson and Focus on the Family’s Shirley Dobson.
Eagle Forum, established in 1972 by Phyllis Schlafly, is considered by many observers to have been a deciding factor in the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1980s. The women’s group has also worked for the enactment of conservative legislation on issues such as abortion, women in combat, pornography and education policy.

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  • Russell D. Moore