There's no denying that American culture is becoming increasingly wicked and depraved every passing day, according to one Mobile, Ala., pastor.
Steve Lawson of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church illustrated the current state of morality in the U.S. this way: "Our country is unraveling like a cheap sweater and all around us there is the cesspool of iniquity that is splashing on us. It's a culture of death. It is a culture of depravity."
He made the statement in front of some 3,200 young Christians at the 2011 Resolved Conference in Southern California on Monday. The four-day conference was designed to encourage the new generation of believers to live with the resolve that God is a holy God and Christians are called to be faithful and be the light of the world.
But in the midst of such a dark culture where impurity and filth pervade, how can one live the Christian life? Lawson posed.
"Part of the challenge that we face in living a life of personal holiness and godliness is the fact that we live in a very dark and corrupt culture," the pastor said.
The latest scandals among politicians are only evidence of a culture becoming increasingly wicked and depraved every day. Lawson listed former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and John Edwards who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 as government officials who have entangled themselves in sexual scandals.
All around, a morally corrupt society is evident. You can't turn on a TV, pull up a computer, look at a billboard or pass by a store window without there being some strong sexually explicit message, he added.
The word darkness, Lawson said, is a metaphor for spiritual darkness and for not knowing God. And many are living in darkness.
But Christians, he stressed, are to be the light.
"If we're not the children of light, then that means we’re living in sin," he said. "Are you walking as children of light?"
Jesus issued to believers a serious call to personal holiness and repentance, he underlined.
"Only as we are holy will God use us. God will not use an unholy vessel."
That isn't to say Christians were never sinners. They too were in the dark, Lawson clarified.
But after being transformed by Christ, Christians no longer go with the flow or mimic the pagans. Rather, they swim upstream.
Still, Christians are not to isolate themselves from the rest of the world, he stressed.
"We are to be out there in the darkness and wickedness but we are not to be partakers with them. But instead [we are to] expose them, shine the light on it."
The Resolved Conference opened on Friday and speakers included influential evangelicals John MacArthur and Dr. Albert Mohler.