Before the age of modernism, when people believed there was a God in the universe, the character and the law of this God was the law of man as well. We may not like it. We may fight against it. But that law stands, and we are not autonomous when there is a moral law in the universe. But when you push God out, you not only have a different view of man, you have a different view of man in relationship to law. The standard for law comes, therefore, not from God or even from nature but from within man, himself. Whatever I want to do becomes the standard.

I think to understand why immorality has invaded evangelicalism, we have to see that there has been an enormous change in the Western world. It was ushered in with what we sometimes call "modernism," and sometimes call "secular humanism." We have had a remarkable change in recent history. We have moved from belief in "an open system," where God, though invisible, is nevertheless acknowledged to exist, to what is called "a closed system," where all we see is all there is, where the only thing that exists is the matter in the universe of which we are a part.

Still another issue is ecumenism. Ecumenism is the desire to get all Christians together under one umbrella, whether or not they hold to the cardinal doctrines of Christianity. Schaeffer refers to a meeting of The World Council of Churches held in Vancouver, British Columbia, that by all objective accounts was a disaster. So much so that even the secular magazines, Newsweek and Time, in particular, said how ironic it is for these men to be calling upon the name of Christ while issuing the kind of proclamations they did. Yet strikingly, there were so-called evangelicals present at the meeting who wrote favorably about it and backed that up with published articles.

One of the most significant books I have read is The Great Evangelical Disaster, written by Francis Schaeffer. It speaks out against the failures of evangelicalism, particularly the unconscious, but nonetheless tragical, compromises of some of the great standards of the Word of God. The word he uses for this is "accommodation," which is the theme of the book.

At the very end of this section, Paul begins to talk about how Christians must then live. He uses strong words. We have such a temptation to water them down because we believe in the doctrine of justification by faith. It is a great, foundational doctrine and we do not want to mix in works with justification. But notice what Paul says: "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?" He did not say, "The ‘unjustified’ will not inherit the kingdom of God," but "the wicked," those who are wicked, those who act wickedly.