San Francisco: A Case Study in Decadence

San Francisco: A Case Study in Decadence

It’s more how we finish than how we begin.

I didn’t expect San Francisco to have so many churches. The Internet tells me it has at least 528. Driving through the city, I was increasingly surprised to see church building after church building, sometimes every five blocks or so. It turns out that San Francisco has more than twice the number of churches as Oklahoma City despite having only 15 percent more residents.

For most of my life, I’ve heard bad things about San Francisco. There are many good and beautiful things I hadn’t heard about. Sadly, they didn’t count for much because just about all of the bad things turned out to be true.

The first thing that struck me were the signs all over the city: “Prevent theft. Remove valuables. Lock your car.” Instead of deterring criminals through stern punishments and serious policing, the onus is on regular citizens to “prevent theft.”

This is why the infamous “Tenderloin” district continues to thrive. Efforts to remove the tent cities, clean up the broken glass and dirty drug needles, and eradicate crime have been underway for decades. They have all failed. The local government supplies junkies with “safe” drug paraphernalia. Strip clubs and prostitution are popular pastimes. The broken judiciary hands license to criminals, leaving the city with a neutered police force. Nobody wants to live there anymore, except for the Honduran drug dealers who make so much money they call it the “Million-Dollar Mile.”

I spoke to an Uber driver who couldn’t understand how the situation got this bad. “I think there’s corruption or something in the government,” she told me. “Because there is no way anybody thinks it’s a good idea to have druggies running around doing whatever they want. I don’t even go downtown anymore. It makes a lot of us angry.”

Even the locals hate what’s happening to San Francisco. But it’s been a long time coming. San Francisco has been a haven for perversion, homosexuality and even transgenderism since the 1930s. Today, the culture of depravity rests on most of the city. Even some of the churches we drove by had rainbow flags waving outside or rainbow steps leading inside.

Sadly, it’s easy to overlook the tragedy in the worst parts of San Francisco because of how beautiful the nicer parts of the city are. The Golden Gate Bridge stands tall and imposing. The neoclassical architecture of the cultural centers is stunning. The Victorian-era “painted lady” buildings beautifully perch on the city’s undulating hills. Snow-white seagulls soar over the Fisherman’s Wharf, as salt water and fresh water mix in the bay below, creating an ecological paradise.

Yet as we approached a stop sign in one such beautiful area, I saw a homeless man plunge a needle into his arm and shoot up right as we drove off.

Nobody wants to think about the evil things happening in San Francisco. But the rainbow-painted steps, senseless street signs and drug-addicted homeless population make it impossible to ignore. The corruption started in a small pocket of the city in the 1930s. But it’s only a matter of time before it swallows the entire city.

San Francisco and the entire state of California had a tremendous start. There was the heady 1850s Gold Rush, the spectacular 1915 World Fair and the Golden Gate Bridge construction in the 1930s. But even then, the decline had begun.

It started as the counterculture of the day. America still remembered its Judeo-Christian origins and values. The sodomites and abusers were still pariahs. But their subtlety and guile were met with weakness, and now, San Francisco is the mecca of depravity. The few uncontaminated areas that remain are on the verge of being overrun.

The citizens see that something is seriously wrong. The leaders either refuse to acknowledge the problems or are willfully encouraging them. The latter is more likely.

All of this could have been avoided. America descended from the biblical nation of Israel. (Request The United States and Britain in Prophecy for proof.) Through the patriarch Abraham, America received the choicest blessings of any nation on Earth. The unparalleled wealth in America is a testament to the fulfillment of God’s promise. God even promised to continue blessing America for obedience to His law. But He also said it would suffer curses for disobedience.

San Francisco’s beauty and wealth represent the greatest blessings God promised to Abraham’s descendants. But the drug addiction, homelessness, crime, violence and prostitution are evidence of the curses brought on by endemic perversion and lawlessness.

Even though San Francisco was the direct beneficiary of blessings from God, it proves that this is not God’s world. The Bible calls Satan the devil the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Through his invisible but powerful influence, he deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9). His history mirrors that of San Francisco.

As Lucifer, he was “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). He had every advantage; he was perfectly set up for success. He was the recipient of great blessings and was on track for even more “till iniquity was found in [him]” (verse 15).

Sin took Lucifer off the trajectory to success. He exalted himself above God and became lawless. He forgot God’s law and scorned God’s authority over him. As a result, he became something completely different: Satan the devil. God spells out how this will end for him: “All who knew you are appalled at your fate. You have come to a terrible end, and you will exist no more” (verse 19; New Living Translation).

San Francisco is a lesson in the perils of unarrested decadence. Physical, moral and spiritual degeneration all result in a terrible end. That is Satan’s fate, but it doesn’t have to be San Francisco’s or yours. We can arrest that decline through change. Obedience to God’s law does bring blessings.

Request your free copy of The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like to learn how in the near future, God will turn around cities like San Francisco and erase the problems besieging it. But you don’t have to wait until then. Start obeying God’s law and you can be a recipient of those wonderful blessings today.