Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Mainstream Media, Tolerance in American culture, and Christ-like Humility

“In the 1950s kids lost their innocence.
They were liberated from their parents by well-paying jobs, cars, and lyrics in music that gave rise to a new term ---the generation gap.

In the 1960s, kids lost their authority.
It was a decade of protest---church, state, and parents were all called into question and found wanting. Their authority was rejected, yet nothing ever replaced it.

In the 1970s, kids lost their love. It was the decade of me-ism dominated by hyphenated words beginning with self.
Self-image, Self-esteem, Self-assertion....It made for a lonely world. Kids learned everything there was to know about sex and forgot everything there was to know about love, and no one had the nerve to tell them there was a difference.

In the 1980s, kids lost their hope.
Stripped of innocence, authority and love and plagued by the horror of a nuclear nightmare, large and growing numbers of this generation stopped believing in the future.

In the 1990s kids lost their power to reason. Less and less were they taught the very basics of language, truth, and logic and they grew up with the irrationality of a postmodern world.

In the new millennium, kids woke up and found out that somewhere in the midst of all this change, they had lost their imagination. Violence and perversion entertained them till none could talk of killing innocents since none was innocent anymore.”
― Ravi Zacharias, Recapture the Wonder

You start to wonder, looking at the current state of our nation, the United States, just what happened to bring us here?  It feels like a stacked deck sometimes, like an internal enemy rotted the nation so incredibly effectively to leave it now in utter shambles spiritually.  

Systematically faith in God, Christianity has been ejected from the country.  In every arena it fell under attack.  I woke up, having been saved by the love of Jesus Christ, to a shocking scene.  All about the cities and suburbs it's at hand and it's utterly astonishing.  Yet oh so terrifying, as well.  

They ejected it from the government buildings and from the schools.  They called it separation of church and state, but they were always separate in the USA.  Freedom of religion became freedom from religion.  

The schools cannot teach morals, even basic ones, because they don't want to offend anyone.  And would any school teach morals, some family would quickly get sue happy, no doubt.  The result is children with no direction, cruel to one another and full of all kinds of sin and evil desires.

The media explores depravity of all kinds with stunning regularity and extreme pushing of the limits.  This in my view is the most powerful weapon that slashes at hundreds of millions day and night, pouring in depravity through magazines, radio, music, the internet, and most powerfully, the television.  This is the key it seems, with the media so incredibly depraved, feeding children, teens, adults and so on a constant diet of temptation, temptation, want, want, want, buy, buy, buy, sex, drugs, alcohol, food, etc there is just such a small chance of even a well formed, united, and powerfully lead church to make any kind of meaningful impact.  With all the negative input, how does 1 hour a week come to challenge that kind of onslaught?  It's like a propaganda campaign.

When I first became a Christian, I had to alter my inputs heavily.  The Holy Spirit helped a lot in that work.  The first thing that went off was the television.  As far as the internet, I filled my news feeds and email, and so on with everything Jesus and Bible.  I found Bible movies, Bible apps, and Bible everything to begin to break the false messaging system blasting my head with lies and temptation.  

We as Christians really need to understand the culture we live in and realize it is not Christian.  It's not even near Christian.  It has been systematically assaulted step by step, by Satan, by those who serve him, whoever, and it has become an atheist hedonist paradise.  

Yet people still long for truth and for causes to believe in.  They long to be righteous heroes.  Maybe that's why so many young men are playing video games where they get to fight epic battles and defeat the evil forces of darkness.  We still want to have adventures it seems, and fight for righteous causes, but we do vicariously through the television or video game console.  

In the area of love, well, there is a lot of pre-marital sex and lots of pornography addiction and lots of record divorce rates and in general lonely unhappiness.  I guess sexual compatibility isn't everything when it comes to a lasting relationship.  Funny how sometimes we think, well, maybe God is wrong about this one issue.  Maybe we should try it out, since it makes sense, you've gotta be sexually compatible right?  But oh my, in the results, God was absolutely right again!  So I want to obey him, and stop trying to find a better way.

There is a lot of confusion, and it's hard to tell what people can agree on anymore about such issues.  But there is one thing this culture does still agree on, and it's tolerance.  Well, sort of.  

I don't know if you've been watching the news lately, but the owner of the Clippers NBA basketball team was caught on audio making racist remarks.

The outcry was astonishing.  Racism is one of those few no-nos in the United States today.  Sex, depravity, all manner of evil is just fine, but get caught making a racist comment, oh you're in trouble.  Or if you won't step forward and publicly endorse gay marriage, you are in serious hot water.  That isn't really tolerance though.  Not at all.  That's one group of people forcing their beliefs on another group of people, and publicly attacking them and punishing them if they don't step into line.  Of course racism is an awful thing.  Of course I personally disagree with racism.  So does the Bible.  But banned for life, forced to sell his team, and fined 2.5 million dollars?  That's pretty intense.  

I'm not sure what to make of it really.  The internet has granted "the mob" an interesting power to force change.  Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be useful change.  It's just getting people fired who won't agree with certain principles.  Like when the CEO of Mozilla was forced to resign for supporting traditional marriage.  It's strange.  The mob, the people, whatever you want to call it.. they won't step forward to stop wars in the middle east.  They won't step forward and say certain principles are important and we need to teach our children morals.  They won't do any of that.  But what they will do is go after anyone who is racist, sexist, or against gay marriage.  

It seems to be the natural pull.  People want to play the victim of certain things, and we want to applaud them for doing so. It's a constant liberation from this, liberation from, liberation from rules, liberation from God.  Guess who spearheads these efforts?  Once again, the primary media outlets.  The mainstream media has this country by a strangle hold.  With the mainstream media carefully controlling what ideas get out there, what events and news receive primary coverage.. Jesus Christ will be carefully ignored and generalizations and stereotypes will be used to drive people away from the message of eternal life.  Think I'm wrong?  When is the last time you saw a news piece that portrayed Christianity in a positive light?

Inevitably though, very little has changed.  Christianity has always been marginalized and persecuted.  Since the very beginning of the church in the book of Acts, they faced constant persecution.  We've always been on the knife edge of destruction and we will be again before Jesus Christ returns.  We know that from scripture.  So very little has changed and we are called to be what the Bible calls us to be: Humble, loving, and caring servants of Jesus Christ in the world.

I'll leave you with Philippians 2:1-11 some of my favorite words regarding mimicking Christ in the world today.  Fear not my brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter what the culture does, no matter how depraved it becomes, we are powerful because we have the Holy Spirit working through us.  And we can pray on these issues, pray day and night to see things change for the better in our home country.  Be watchful, be wise in your decisions, and pray for the truth to shine through the blanket of lies our children and friends drown in today.  

Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)

Imitating Christ’s Humility

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

(bold added for emphasis)