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On Sunday mornings occasionally, mom and dad would send me to church alone. After Sunday dinner my parents would rest. I would go into my room to play. The day would be peaceful until a knock at the door. It was aunt Viola with her pocketbook on one arm and a big black bible crutched under the other arm. Mom and dad might have missed Pastor Goodson's Sunday morning sermon, but they did not escape aunt Viola's soul-stirring "get right" message.

Aunt Viola visited seemingly every other Sunday, and her visit lasted for hours. I honestly hated to see her coming. Aunt Viola's initial visits however, were really quite intriguing and entertaining. But I dared laugh or said a word because kids respected grown folks back then. Most times I would just sit there and stare with my ornery look as dad called it.

Aunt Viola would walk back and forth from the living room to the dining room preaching "you better get your soul right with God." She would read a few scriptures, and name behaviors that she called sin. All the time mom and dad would sit silently. Now that I think about it that was out of character for mom who was a strong will, outspoken woman to keep quiet while aunt Viola blasted her about her sins.

I recall aunt Viola saying smoking was wrong, and it was wrong to listen to the devil's music (the blues), which my parents often played on the stereo. She even condemned the rotgut liquor dad would sometime sneak and drank. After her sermon was over she would pray for our family and leave.

When aunt Viola left we all would breath a sigh of relief. However, I don't recall my parents discussing her or the sermon afterwards. We would go back to normal. Not too long after aunt Viola's regular visits mom died. Afterwards, aunt Viola's visits became few and far between. Dad died a year after mom, and the conscience voice ceased. I often think about whether those sermons were warnings to my parents.

Today, we have a moral social conscience voice that speaks out in this society, which people wish would go away. Some view the voice as hypocritical, others as saving the moral fabric of our society. Most people however, aren't tolerant of others imposing moral views upon them. They say, leave us alone, and keep your moralistic, self-righteous, and religious views to yourself. I believe these people will eventually get their desire.

There is a generation that is arising and being born that will undoubtedly be less imposing on others, and more open to various lifestyles. The conscience voice, as we know it will eventually cease. All those people who hate it will breath a sigh of relief. But what price will this society pay for that silence?

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Hello Ocatching, thanks for your response, which is precisely my point.

Like you I believe one-day people will seek out that conscience voice, (church folk like aunt Viola), Big Grin and it may be too late.

No one has to be a true believer in any religion to know right from wrong, or to have morals. However, we humans have chosen to live in a society, and without everyone doing what society expects or involves there would be no civilization. Most of us abide by its rules in order to benefit. The reason however, it does not work for everyone is because we are all different. Everyone has his or her needs and desires. With limited resources people cause division and strife to get what they want.

Christianity has for generations been the dominant religion in this society. People now are saying, "Enough already we don't need your God!" The outcry and silence began in my generation with Madalyn Murray O'Hair's successful petition to ban organized prayer in public schools. It seems as though morals have been on the decline since with each generation becoming more loose and rebellious.

Furthermore, there seems to be a changing of the guard-taking place in secular Christianity, and society. That is why I say the next generations will be more tolerant in allowing others to have freedom of lifestyle, as the restraints of old are becoming obsolete. I can imagine Thomas Paine a stanch opponent of organized religion particularly Christianity is now laughing in his grave so-to-speak.

The conscience voice as we know it I believe one day will cease, and be replaced with another voice. There still will be a dominant religion because society and religion go hand and hand. Religion like government is a tool of society to form control. I wonder however, what affect will this new social change have on those around us? There are more ways to look at this than from a spiritual standpoint.


Thank you. Your post showed both the need and the scandal (in the Biblical sense) of the gospel, however it is presented.

Len, sometimes I do wonder however if things are all that much worse than they used to be. I can't imagine much that could be worse morally than the Roman Empire, with its cutpurses and corruption, legal prostitution (it was sometmes called "worship" since it would often take place in some of the temples) and lack of standards for the sharp businessman. "Caveat Emptor" is a real ancient Latin phrase. Fathers had the right to imprison their own children--the upper-class homes tradtionally had a room used as an "ergastulum," a jail cell, for members of the family. Gods were ignored until needed and sacrificed to just in case.

It was not a good place to live, either. Yet there the Church took root and grew and spread to many places of the earth.

there is still room for much hope--God is still in control. I know that you know that, I'm not teaching you. I need to be reminded of it from time to time, though. Maybe we all do? I don't mean it to be an "I'm cold, put on your coat" thought, but soemtimes, if I need it, somebody else might, too.

Where you are exactly right is in the need for that message that so many of us--us--do not like and will not hear. Wouldn't this mean that we are better being Aunt Viola than not saying anything about it at all? When I read your poignant and very meaningful post, I realize how important we really are: God uses us to do his important work.
Hello Melesi, thanks for your response.

Some of us would argue these things are happening, maybe not to the extent of Roman times. However, the climate is ripe for our social problems to get to that level. There is corruption in high places i.e. government corruption, and white-collar crime is on the increase. Prostitution is legal in some counties in Nevada. You've heard the saying, "a little leaven leavened the whole lump." It's only a matter of time before legalized prostitution progresses to other states.

Notwithstanding child porn is a lucrative business. Child pornography websites bring in millions of dollars, according to the U.S. Attorney office. There is also a breakdown in the family unit; parents are against children and children against parents. We are hearing more cases of children killing their parents, and vice versa. Our kids aren't safe in schools because other children are going mad. Social unrest is on the increase. The media thankfully, does not report all horrid crimes. We would probably be surprised to know the dangers that lurks around us while we are snuggled in our comfy homes.

Like you I am an optimist. I not only discuss social ills but also work actively in my community to make a difference. Nonetheless, I am also a realist in that I call things the way I see them. If this society and the world were getting better that's exactly how I would call it.

That said, did not Jesus say in Mat 24:21-22 and I'm paraphrasing "a time of great tribulation is coming not like anything the world has ever seen, or will ever see again. Except those days are shortened the entire human race will be destroyed." This is the time I believe when the conscience voice will be sought, and may not be available.

Like Noah's story he cried it's going to rain day after day. Nobody believed him. In fact, they probably called him a crazy religious zealot or fanatic among other names. But when the flood came they sought out Noah but it was too late. In our modern times many believe this story to be a myth. While others of us despite having physical evidence believe the story to be true.

Moreover, the spirit of compromise and conformity is taking place in the church world as in times past. When Christianity entered the courts and palaces of kings, she laid aside the humble simplicity of Christ for the pomp and pride of priests and rulers. In place of requirements of God, she substituted human theories and traditions. Thus, corruption rapidly progressed. That's exactly what is happening in the church world today, even among those who once professed Holiness.

Lastly, in my study of the early church it seems aunt Viola's practice of Holiness was more in tune with the early church. In fact, the lifestyle of Blacks in the south who were Holiness and Pentecostal lifestyles differed from the mainstream Christian.
Whenever I discuss Christianity or religion my perspective is from that of the Black Southern Holiness Church.

Nonetheless, Melesi as you said God is in Control. Smile

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