This Proverb ‘Nails’ Western Society

Posted on May 28, 2020

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By David Ettinger

Collection of Memories
In reading through a portion of the Book of Proverbs, I came across a verse – a singular Proverb – which brought to mind three scattered memories strewn over two decades.

The first is of recent vintage. It concerns the passing of Billy Graham a few years back. Often when I peruse news stories on the Internet, I scan the reader comments to see what folks are thinking. As I expected, though many praised Rev. Graham, there was a bevy of voices which excoriated him. The gist of their venom had to do with the fact that he was a Christian and therefore hated all the things the unbelieving world loves.

The second memory goes back to the late 1990s while watching the Academy Awards. The host was Whoopi Goldberg and during the introduction she was talking about how the Hollywood community had contributed funds to several relief efforts. She then said something to the effect of, “We’re good. We are really good people.” Rousing applause followed.

The third memory occurred in the mid-1990s when O.J. Simpson was acquitted after all evidence pointed to him as being the murderer of his ex-wife and her friend. Despite the heinousness of his crime, he walked out of the courtroom a free man.

All three of these episodes came to mind when I read a proverb which absolutely nailed the character of Western society.

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The Proverb
The proverb is 17:15, and it reads: “Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent ­– the Lord detests them both.”

Obviously the Simpson verdict is a perfect description of this proverb, but in their way, the first two events are also aptly described.

Regarding the vitriolic comments directed at Rev. Graham, he was painted by reader commentators as a homophobic, woman-hating, close-minded Cretan who left a seven-decade legacy of hostility, bigotry, and condemnation in his wake. Ironically, Rev. Graham was one of Christendom’s “purer” preachers, avoiding controversial cultural issues and for the most part sticking to the basic message of the Gospel, that the human race is lost, condemned to eternal judgment, but that Jesus Christ came to Earth to save the souls of sinners.

Yet, this faithful servant of the Lord, and “innocent” by way of harm done to society, had been savagely condemned by a faithless population which regarded him as a cancer. By contrast, this same “condemning of the innocent” culture has no problem exalting debauched celebrities (the late Hugh Hefner and still-with-us Mick Jagger come to mind, among numerous others), destructive institutions (Planned Parenthood), and deceitful communication entities (the liberal media in general). The unsaved gleefully “acquits” these three societal elements while unabashedly condemning the “innocent,” such as Rev. Graham.

oscar award

Regarding Whoopi Goldberg’s comments about how good and righteous Hollywood is, she neglects the nefarious “content” this faction unleashes on society. If the Bible condemns it – “alternative” lifestyles, sex outside of marriage, respect for our national leaders – the entertainment industry applauds it. This past several years, a number of films were nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. I saw just one of them (“1917”), but I did check out the “Parents Guide” section on the IMDB website. Most of the nominees’ content was replete with material which flies in the face of God’s righteous requirements for His creation and displayed an utter disregard for the Creator himself. This is what Miss Goldberg deems as “good.”

Nailing It – Tragically
Let’s look at Proverbs 17:15 again: “Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent ­– the Lord detests them both.”

Tragically, this Proverb absolutely “nails it” when describing Western society. And it will continue this way. This Satan-led world (John 12:31; 14:30) is forever acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent, and will go on doing so until the return of Jesus Christ.

In the meantime, believers need to press on, proclaiming to anyone who will listen that Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 6:14) and that salvation is found in Him alone. The “innocent” are out there, and they will listen.