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.
In the present system there is no spiritual dimension. In the past there was the idea of God, because nature was made by God, and the laws of nature reflect, in some manner, the nature of God. Man, therefore, fit within that pattern. There was an established order in the universe because it went back to God who had established the universe. Then as God began to be removed, people fell back on the idea of the laws of nature. Because there was no longer an absolute, since God was denied, even the laws of nature became questionable. Instead of talking about the laws of nature or natural law, which you have even in the legal sphere, people began simply to reflect upon nature. What before had been an attempt to examine things to find out what the eternal and abiding principles were, now became merely a reflection upon things as they are.
Another enormous area of change is how man looks at himself. Before this, even in countries sparsely populated by Christians, there was at least something of a Christian ethos. Within that sphere of the Christian ethos, man was seen as the creation of God, made in God’s image, and, therefore, responsible to God and unable to exist properly and function properly without some relationship to the One who had made him. When God got pushed out of the picture, as he has been in the thinking of most people, man became self-sufficient, a law unto himself, able to establish his own righteousness, do his own deeds, and defend them without reference to anybody else.
The concept of evolution came into the moral world causing people to conclude that since man was a part of such a system, he was infinitely perfectible. So, quite contrary to the Scriptures, human beings were no longer seen as those who have fallen from what God made them to be, but rather as those who are on their way to becoming all that they were meant to be, only now it is man who gives the meaning.