Shepherd's Cross Christian Helps Ministry
(1 Corinthians 12:28)

Following in the footsteps of the Acts of the Apostles, written by St. Luke, Shepherd's Cross Christian Helps Ministry exists by the grace of God to further the first century Apostolic tradition serving in the Great Commission.

(St. Matthew 28:16-20)


Copywritten by Cornerstone Gospel Ministries Available With Permission

What a word! The very sound has a ruinous tone reverberating when it is spoken. When we read it, often it is attached to some political scandal. Even the dictionary makes the point by illustrating the application as a corrupt politician. We will come back to this shortly, but in a Biblical sense, the word has a much more severe intent. It is used to describe a condition which commenced long ago. The scene is detailed for us in Genesis. That word, by the way, means beginning. So, if we relate the two words and the incident at hand, we find that corruption goes back to the beginning. In the book of Genesis we find a description of this event with Adam and his wife, Eve. They were in a perfect environment, created by God for them to enjoy under His care and observation. At one point, this was interrupted by an ominous character who had taken on reptilian form. Often, he is pictured as a serpent or a snake. Either one would not be on top of the list for man’s favorite creatures. However, this creature spoke. He spoke the language of the people and suggested change. He intimated boldly that what God had provided was just not good enough--that there was more. He offered a new kind of hope for better things to be gained by following his promise. This subtle maneuver in short order switched God’s plan to another which was self-focused in man himself--with God removed. This was in violation of what Adam’s Creator had clearly said. Perfect conditions would now be forfeited. The garden closed. Barred. Guarded. People evicted. Thanks to corruption, this event reverberates to the present hour. Promised improvement, but deadly delivery.

Now, in more plain Biblical terms, this is known as the Fall of Man. It is here that sin--another ominous word--entered our vocabulary. These days there is an ongoing state of confusion about sin. This is not just something that people do, it is something they received, as an inheritance, thanks to that old serpent and a pair of humans that did not follow the rules. In the vast land of theology, there are scholars who laugh this off, as if it were just a myth or an old wives’ tale. But the account does not end there in the garden, since we find humanity suffering immensely for generations for the very thing that is recorded there in the beginning. In other words, we have yet to escape the dilemma of corruption. We have done little about sin except call it by other names. In order to avoid this issue altogether, many professionals and experts have claimed that we are basically good and have run amuck due to cultural influences and various psychic anomalies. It would seem that this only curries favor with the most confused members of the human race who deny the obvious. Psychiatrist Karl Menninger entitled his book correctly: What Ever Became of Sin? In simple terms: sin brought forth corruption. We deny this altogether and continue the madness by treating the symptoms of it all and then rejecting any rational consideration of what occurred in the beginning. And what does this have to do with anything at all? Life goes on as usual. We are just living by different standards. Live and let live. You’re OK, I’m OK. Really? This complacent, light hearted attitude only compounds the tragedy. Once tested, the idea that man’s corrupt behavior has no root cause becomes useless chaff quickly blown away.

Noah Webster, who appeared on the scene long after the garden incident, made sure that corruption was illuminated thoroughly in his superb dictionary. When you peruse his 1828 edition, you will find that he devoted two-thirds of a large page to the word “corrupt” and its derivations. The word “sin” was covered in about one half of a page. In 1828, citizens in America were more concerned about this, and with Webster’s aid received a full explanation of where this all came from and what it meant for daily life. Yet, if you inspect today’s editions, it has all been cleansed. All of Webster’s Biblical references which placed corruption and sin in context have been removed. The contemporary editing may have removed sin and corruption from a dictionary--but not from our midst. They continue as powerfully as ever, because folks ignore the importance of this and reject that old story from Genesis. Since the Bible teaches that the wages of sin is death, wherever we find corruption, we can be sure that sin is the cause, and that some lie has preceded it.

A great many folks in Webster’s generation understood the reason for exposing the cause of corruption and the threat to every citizen. In the late eighteenth century and the following years, the Federal government was being established, tested, and tried thoroughly. The last thing the freedom loving colonists wanted was to return to the despotic, corrupt governing power of a non-citizen regent. They had suffered much under this. With newly won freedom and a Bill of Rights, the watchdog of liberty was keen to detect corruption and deal with it. Webster highlighted this concern with his mention of John Adams: “Corruption in elections is the great enemy of freedom.” They knew that once voted into office, the whole of the government--and “we the people”--would be at full risk. It is like a machine with faulty components. Soon it would be destroyed from the inside out. The key to the preservation of the American republic, then and now, is a leader who is not corrupt. In the Biblical book of Daniel, he was recognized above all the other governing officials, since there was “no corruption in him.” You will find this in Daniel chapter six. However, today we have bypassed the warning signs. Another voice has come along promising hope and change with an alluring call of beguilement to draw the people away. The lie and the intonation of corruption were overlooked. Do you not see corruption? A corrupter?

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