This was 25 years ago and what he was describing has only gotten worse and I am sure at the time he was describing it, it was already seeming a lot worse then. I sometimes wonder what the church of 100 years ago would think of the church today. Would they even believe we were saved?
The idea behind the analogy, is that as the world gets worse from a moral perspective, the church rather than holding her ground, seems to drift right behind-just enough to be different, but still gravitating toward worldly ideas and acceptance of things that were once deemed as sinful.
In trying to draw our own line, it can be more difficult than one might think, since a lot of what we have deemed morally correct, may sometimes be more a part of culture than just based on biblical truth. I can probably think of many things, but one would be dress code as it concerns church. Culturally, one used to get in their "Sunday best". The argument being we should give God our best and present ourselves accordingly, but one cannot find this in scripture and in fact, one could probably argue against such a stance based on scripture. However, a caveat to this, would be the tendency for dress to be too casual in the sense of "showing too much", as it concerns modesty. I'll stop there, but one liberty which may be justified can also lead to too much liberty and thus, one may see the original reason why a "tradition" was instituted. Nevertheless, a tradition is still a tradition.
In other areas though, we clearly have moved toward the world on strict biblical grounds. This happens slowly and over time, but it gets to the point that if one were to bring back strict biblical adherence and place those rules in the culture and even the justice system, even conservative Christians would find themselves much more liberal and against Godly order than even they might suppose.
One such example is on the destruction of marriage. Many are against gender bending and homosexuality, but bring back the idea of a "fault divorce" and harsh punishments for adultery, reconciliation rather than divorce (with a few exceptions for extreme circumstance), and I can guarantee and outcry of the highest magnitude would be heard. Now, the abundance of divorce counseling ministries and the high divorce rate even among evangelicals, shows a clear pull toward the world and not the other way around.
Yes, the church still preaches on these issues, but not like they did 100 years ago. In fact, I doubt the church even had to teach much on it as it would have been understood. Up until the 1950's, even the world as it was so influenced by Christianity, looked at marriage, divorce, and cohabitation much differently than it does now.
Many more issues and beliefs we could bring up and while the conservative church does still have strong men of faith and strong overall churches trying to hold the line, it has already been so blurred that to stand up for gospel truth in the way it needs to be proclaimed, is causing friction even amongst ourselves. I point to the whole "social justice/gospel" issue at being the most recent shoe to drop. Where it will land and how much damage will be done is yet to be seen, but clearly eyes have been opened to just how misguided we can become when we latch unto a worldly wisdom rather than sticking to biblical truth.
Maybe someday we can hold our hands out and instead of bringing the hand that represents the church pulling it toward the hand that represents the world, we can show at least no knew movement and at best, maybe even a movement away from the world and a return to biblical practices such as a return to a much stronger stance on marriage. Like my first Pastor said when giving this illustration, "We may not get back to where we were then, but we can strengthen the things that remain". It was a nice thought, but sadly, we haven't even done that.