Posted by: Thomas Richard | November 15, 2014

Righteousness in a Culture of the Lawless

This culture has been called a culture of death, where might makes right, where power – political power, financial power, military or police power – where power makes civil law and power interprets civil law, and where civil law defines what is moral good and what is moral evil, what is truly just and what is truly unjust. In America, we used to have something of a defense against institutional injustice because we had something of a protection against tyranny. We had a democratic republic, with separation of power into three branches of government: a balance of power, with a standard of law set by a constitution.

But as great as was the prudence of the founding fathers, they were unmatched by the cleverness of corrupt men seeking political power for themselves. We are seeing righteousness turn on its head, virtues redefined to be vices, and evil redefined as goodness. We see moral evils made legal and public rights, due a share in public funding through taxes.

We see, in Biblical terminology, the rising among us of “the man of lawlessness.” Darkness is growing, lawlessness is increasing; it will become more so! It could be seen in the days of the early Church – in the days when the conquest of evil was just beginning, when the Name and the Gospel and the power of Christ was being spread among all men. Even then – and before then – the radical division of humanity into two was at work: those of the City of God, and those of the City of Man who would love self “even to the contempt of God,” as Augustine saw. St. Paul wrote prophetically to the church of the Thessalonians, of the “man of lawlessness”, “the son of perdition”, a self-proclaimed “god” for those men who would reject truth to take their pleasure in unrighteousness.

Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition,
who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you this?
And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.
And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming.
The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders,
and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false,
so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thess 2:3-12)

This wisdom from Paul, by the Spirit sent to help him, is a great comfort for me in these lawless times. I hope it can be for you also, if you are grieving as I am to see so many men and women turning to the transient, the trivial and the trite rather than the holy truth of God. The Day of the Lord will not come, unless evil days of a great rebellion come first! The evil one, the lawless one, will supplant God Himself in his own darkened mind and in the minds and hearts of men who refuse to love the truth and so be saved! This will be a profound trial, a time of great tribulation for the people of God who love Him, who live on HIs holy Word, whose hope and faith are in Him alone. In that time the works of the righteous will be made pure – more pure than pure gold could ever be, and glorious with the glory of God’s creation alive in HIs Spirit.

This is the time, as we see the man of lawlessness growing in power and boldness, for the people of God to seek the Holy One of Righteousness with an undivided heart. He is so close to us! He waits in His holy Word, Scripture. He waits in the grace and presence of HIs sacraments. He waits in the quietness and solitude of the prayerful heart, where we can rest with Him and renew our souls. Outside, there may be the noise of carousing and drunkenness, the chasing after all manner of sin and corruption. But within a heart where He dwells and waits, is the sanctuary of peace. Whatever the man of lawlessness will bring upon the world, in his brief moment of apparent victory and power, it will vanish like a vapor. Whatever suffering he will inflict on the righteous, will only refine and make pure that which is holy, that which is of Him. Let us seek Him, as if the days were numbered, and the clock is ticking down, because He is near.


  1. Thank you for writing this article, and God Bless you! Simply put, people need to realize exactly what is going on in this world. The bad deeds are fluffed off and good deeds and intentions are made fun of. May there be God’s help and grace for all the little ones who need to see goodness in this world.

    • Hello Debbie, thank you for your comment to this blog. These are indeed, really dark times in many ways. We see very bad – evil – acts everywhere, it seems. Evil done to the innocent, the vulnerable, the very young, the elderly, to strangers, to anyone in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ugly acts, acts of violence and cruelty.

      But then also, we read or hear of acts of great heroism and selflessness! We hear of persons of kindness and generosity, demonstrating true and beautiful humanity, righteous men and women simply doing what is right because it is right. It is dark, but still light shines! God has not abandoned us, because some have not and will not abandon Him.

      Come Holy Spirit! Fill the hearts of your faithful! Kindle in us the fire of your love.

  2. Thanks, Thomas.

    Yes, the time is near for all of us, and God will call each one at His proper time. If we have been seeking Him, then we shall find Him as He is, and we will see ourselves in Him. Then we will know, as St John tells us, as we are known.

    If we have not been seeking Him and His Will for us in each day, each moment He gives, then today let us make a firm resolution to ask for His Grace to seek Him with our whole hearts, and minds and souls and all our strength. Let us knock on the door of His Heart which is full of Mercy for those who call on Him in truth.

    By His Grace, as our Mother Mary did on this earth, may we ponder His Word in our hearts that we may do His Truth lovingly. With lamps burning brightly, may we be ready as Mary was to greet Him when He comes.

  3. Yes and amen we living last time in alot different life style and so much voice of wicked life in everywhere to give hopeless and sickness in soul and darkness cover many home and life without God and warm love and the truth who will make us free indeed and let the Lord give revival around the world to gather last harvest into God for Jesus blood sake,thanks and bless,keijo sweden

    • Hello keijo,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, darkness is present all over the world – and it seems to be growing darker. But the light of Christ is NOT extinguished, and can never be. Let us pray for one another – Christians all over the world – for the grace of God to give us all the strength we need.

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