You are currently browsing the daily archive for April 9, 2010.

All this week I have posted videos from the 1960s to illustrate our current problems concerning religion, sex, personal behaviour and politics.  What was said in these film clips is evidence of the progress of the ‘long march through the institutions’ that Antonio Gramsci and then the Frankfurt School advocated in the early to mid-20th century.

We are reaping the fruits of the seeds we have sown:

– engaging in watery, even heretical, Christianity

– believing that our technological advances call for a new sexual morality

– watching births out of wedlock, rape, sexually-transmitted disease and sexual deviance rise to unprecedented proportions

– thinking drug abuse helps us discover ourselves

– subverting the values of our nation in seeking our own personal comfort

Our churches seem determined to modernise, whatever the cost.  As is the wont of fallen man, we try to rationalise changes.  The Bible was written for another age.  Instead, let’s apply business models to the church.  Let’s throw in some Eastern religious practices because they make us feel transcendent.  Let’s put on some entertainment — deafening sub-standard pop hymns or amateurish skits.  Let’s put in a coffee bar — that’ll bring in the punters!  Well, here’s what happens when the Word of God is subverted.  If your pastor is not preaching from the Bible, refusing to talk about hearty repentance or omitting discussing the Cross or Risen Christ in terms of your salvation, chances are he is not practicing or advocating orthodox Christianity.      

Furthermore, we have no need for an ‘evolved’ anything with regard to Scripture or personal morality.  Man has always struggled with sin.  It is man’s inherent desire to justify his sin and disobedience.  We can do no other.  The Bible stories of infidelity and other sexual sins are no different to those we experience or read about today. This has been true throughout history. England went through a long period of licentiousness during the Georgian period in the 18th century, involving every sexual act possible in numerous houses and backrooms of ill repute. Indulging in these sins almost always hurts someone else.  Sure, sexual licentiousness is pleasurable to start with.  However, all too often someone gets hurt.  Generally, it’s the woman or (heaven forbid) girl involved, but men are not immune to being dumped, either.  And there are other means of suffering from indulging in sex — disease, unwanted children, feelings of inadequacy, suicidal thoughts — all brought on by going against the moral standards as set forth in the Bible.  There is no justification for disobeying Biblical precepts in this regard; personal, ‘enlightened’ pleasure is not a valid reason.        

Once we give ourselves over to temporal pleasure, it’s a short walk to other types of sin — crime — theft, murder.  Every day in the Western world, we read of horrific attacks, some of which are fatal.  So many people are now giving in to their own urges that we have muggings, stabbings and shootings on a daily basis.  Sex has broken down our familial structure.  This lack of structure leaves children without proper adult supervision.  Children turn to each other for acceptance, validation and structure — e.g. through gang membership.  This, too, revolves around self.  Robbing or holding someone up at knifepoint to ‘get what’s mine’.  Someone else’s possessions are not ours.  ‘Thou shalt not steal’.  ‘Thou shalt not murder’.  These are just two of the 10 Commandments!  But how many young people know that?

A trend that continues to escalate is the urge — perceived need — to tranquilise oneself, either through illicit drugs, prescription medication or alcohol.  At any one time, a number of us seek to deaden the mind.  Some in authority do not discourage this;  after all, a tranquilised person means someone who is easier to control.  Paradoxically, the more one is controlled as a citizen, the more depressed one becomes and the greater the need of mind-numbing.  In the 1960s, a number of young people followed Timothy Leary’s advice to ‘tune in, turn on and drop out’.  So, it’s tuning in to the zeitgeist — whatever’s happening now — then turn on with a mind-altering substance to explore another realm and drop out of society.  It was a radical idea at the time.  Now, it’s become conventional.  Prescription drugs to treat depression are all too common;  sometimes they are necessary, but I can think of any number of people who are not clinically depressed at all yet are able to get happy pills from their doctors to relieve the angst of everyday life.  Similarly, we are now so controlled by our governments — witness the explosion of thousands of new laws in the UK, the closed circuit television in our streets and speed cameras — that we long to deaden our minds through drink at the end of the day.  Ugggh!  We really should be breaking ourselves of these habits, which can lead only to a mental tropic of torpor.   

Finally, it appears as if we seek our own personal comfort above all.  Look at our advertising, which is full of slogans such as ‘It’s all about you’, ‘You’re worth it’ and ‘Indulge yourself’.  Yep, right.  So, when it comes to fighting for the ideals and values our country (name your Western nation here!) holds dear, we’re not interested.  So many of our fellow citizens are so self-centred that many of us couldn’t care less if our liberties disappeared tomorrow.  So what?  As long as we have chocolate, hair colouring, cheap takeaways and alluring perfume, we’re happy.  ‘It’s all about me!’  Fight in a war?  ‘Forget it.’  Volunteer work?  ‘Can’t be bothered.’  Voting?  ‘Sorry, I’ve got more important things to do.’     

We got into this mess through leftist thinking, popular psychology, ever easier educational curriculum and a move away from Scripture at home and in church.  It’s up to each of us to ensure that we start to reverse this trend.  Christian commentator Martin Olavsky, writing for World magazine, suggests the following in ‘Beck vs Wallis’ and ‘Just ice?’:

… isn’t one of the greatest injustices leaving kids without enough math knowledge to get a decent job and begin redistributing some money to themselves through hard work?

Challenge those who speak of “social justice” in a conventionally leftist way. If your local church is committed to what won’t help the poor but will empower would-be dictators, pray and work for gospel-centered teaching. If necessary, find another church.

A second: Try to recapture the term by giving it a 19th- (and 21st?) century small-government twist. The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute are trying to do this. I wish them success.

A third way: Accept the left’s focus on systemic problems but not its faulty analysis. Learn about the biggest institutional hindrance to economic advance for the poor: the government’s monopoly control of taxpayer funds committed to education and welfare. Work for school vouchers and tax credits that will help many poor children to grow both their talents and their knowledge of God.

Fourth and best: Tutor a child. Visit a prisoner. Help the sick. Follow Christ.

Some of you are already doing this — thanks and please keep it going!

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