At the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak that speak with equal power in the human soul: one… tells a man the nature of the danger and the means of escaping it; the other… says that it is too depressing and painful to think of the danger… and it is better to disregard what is painful till it comes, and to think about what is pleasant. Leo Tolstoy
I must confess that I am neither a historian nor an expert in cultural changes. The opinions expressed in this post are decidedly … my own. Yet, I think that few Christians would disagree that the last 50 years have seen incredible and degrading changes to the American (World?) culture.
I just sure hope that my fellow Christians are awake to the fact that we are again… knee deep in the second wave of a contemporary cultural disintegration in U.S. (World?) history and that this disintegration is not only reshaping our nation, but the rest of the entire world as well. I can see the reverberating effects here in Nakuru, Kenya.
The first wave began somewhere around 1964 and was called the … ‘Hippy Movement’, of which I was, most regrettably, an active participant. Some might ask …. Just what was that ‘Hippy Movement’? Here is the Wikipedia explanation and can be found by clicking… Here .
The term for the participants of this movement was called hippies.
hip·pie also hip·py (hĭp′ē)
n. pl. hip·pies
A person who opposes and rejects many of the conventional standards and customs of society, especially one who advocates extreme liberalism in sociopolitical attitudes and lifestyles.
This movement, perpetuated by the greatest information spewing technology of the time (that would be television with its advanced psychological marketing techniques that were used to brainwash young minds worldwide) undermined and weakened thousands of years of collected human wisdom. And the changes it advocated have been devastating to the proven and sustainable concepts of human decency, integrity, morality, family and so forth.
The moral revolution with its ‘Free love’ proved to be very costly. The ‘Do Your Thing’ mindset of the sixties and seventies produced a narcissistic society. The setting aside of time tested societal standards and customs with nothing reliable to replace them, has created a moral black hole that American youth are constantly falling into. The result has been the downward spiral of culture that most American people are experiencing. Does that really need any further an explanation? Isn’t it obvious?
Now a good argument from skeptics could be made by saying that many of those standards and customs needed to be replaced… and that is also regrettably true. Yet, shouldn’t those standards and customs have been replaced with something more socially sustainable and morally better… and not decidedly worse? And just who is to blame for the decline of moral values and integrity… the government? … Hollywood? Come now… America is supposed to be at least eighty percent ‘Christian’. The ones responsible are the ones who are supposed to have the light.
Over the last fifty years all these elements came together to form … a perfect cultural storm that has been steadily blowing away biblical Christianity in America.
The Perfect Cultural Storm
Recently, a dear brother from America wrote us and said… “I sense there is a major storm brewing and we will need to lean even more heavily on one another to get through it.”
If he was referring to what’s happening in his country …then what he said should win an award for being the biggest understatement of this New Year.
We wrote back and said… “Living away from the United States and its cultural norms has given us a much clearer perspective of America and her spiritual condition. You mentioned a great storm brewing. From our perspective the storm is not just brewing... it has already hit. The damage has already been devastating and this is just the storms outer edge. It will get much, much stronger and the effects on America’s Christian youth will be spiritually catastrophic.”
Here’s a page from a book called…
‘Why Christianity has Failed in America’, by Philip Neal
Duin, who has spent much of her career researching Christianity in America, writes: “It’s no secret that the percentage of Americans in church on any given Sunday is dropping fast.” …”According to Duin, research suggests that, at current dropout rates, only about four percent of American teens will end up as Bible-believing adult churchgoers (compare this to 35 percent of baby boomers and 65 percent of their World War II-era grandparents).
As a lead researcher for Christianity Today, Drew Dyck writes that the May 2009 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reports that “young Americans are dropping out of religion at an alarming rate of five to six times the historic rate.” Dyck also notes that, according to Rainer Research, approximately70 percent of America’s young people drop out of church between the ages of 18 and similarly, the Barna Group estimates that 80 percent of those reared in the church will be “disengaged” by the time they are 29.
This storm will not only require each of us to lean on each other, we had better run to the storm shelter of leaning on Christ Himself as He is revealed the scriptures.
When Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the United States everyone could feel it coming. There were constant warnings posted to the public by every conceivable means. People boarded up their windows and battened down the hatches.
When it finally did hit, with all its fury and rage, people were saying they could hear outside its terrible power and see its destructive force.
Even so, most people had little or no idea of how much damage was really taking place…that is… until the winds stopped. Then the terrible extent of the damage became known.
Sandy caused 250 deaths, billions of dollars of damage, displaced thousands of people and America is still trying to recover from its rage. It turned the peaceful Atlantic Ocean from a wonderful place to vacation …into a devastating and deadly monster.
Kind of like what the current spiritual storm is now doing to America’s culture.
We believe the spiritual storm our friend alluded to is more deadly in terms of human development and society than any other moral storm recorded. The spiritual storm that has been going on for the last fifty years has already destroyed America's moral leadership among the nations and caused irreparable damage to the moral infrastructure of its own culture. And unless America’s Christians wake up…its effects will devastate America’s future, because this storm… is just getting started.
They Eye of the Storm
Let me correlate some similarities between Hurricane Sandy and the current moral storm raging in the United States. Having lived on the coast of Florida I experienced several direct hits by Hurricanes and their destructive power.
Let me explain a little known fact about how the winds of a hurricane utterly devastate things near the ‘eye’ or center of the storm and then apply it to what’s happing in the United States. We believe that America has currently been in the eye (center) of this storm for the past ten to twenty years.
When the leading winds of a hurricane hit land everything is blown in a certain direction and becomes very weakened or destroyed by the forceful winds. But when the center or ‘eye of the storm’ passes over a particular location, there is a strange occurrence. The hurricane’s winds will stop blowing and sometimes the sun will even come out. To those in the ‘eye’ it seems as if the storm is over. I have watched during this occurrence inexperienced surfers head down to the beach to surf the big waves produced by the storm.
Tempting, yes… but a major mistake. Twenty or thirty minutes later the sky darkens again and suddenly the winds begin blowing from the other direction. Everything already weakened by the initial winds constantly blowing in one direction are now blown from the opposite direction and in their weakened condition snap back and are completely destroyed.
After the initial effects of the Hippie Movement died down, the worst seemed to be over. But in reality, the last five to ten years the winds have been coming back with a vengeance.
Just a few of those destructive winds are… the rise of homosexual activists backed by Hollywood and the government, the legalization of marijuana, the proliferation of atheistic terrorism and the governmental antagonism toward Christianity through eradicating all things Christian… are now reshaping society.
These winds of hell are ripping off the already weakened roofs of most American family’s spiritual dwelling places. Leaving the inhabitants nowhere to seek shelter from the pouring rain of immorality or the destructive winds of cultural pollution that howl through Christian houses from the open ‘windows’ of the internet and television.
Within Christianity’s own ranks there are highly sought after false teachers armed with anti-Christ self-gratifying teachings that blow through thousands of family friendly churches and tear down the pillars that supported the reality of the Christian faith. Godliness, holiness, sacrificial love (taking care of one another) and standing up for biblical truth… irrespective of the repercussions… are fast becoming things of the past.
Yet, all the while this storm is happening… many (not all of course) Christians are still outside flying religious kites and enjoying the wind. Life goes on as usual. What will it take before the majority of Christians wake up and see what’s going on?
A History Lesson from the Second World War
Now I have some good Christian friends that wish I would shut up and only speak about the positive things and not be such a ‘prophet of doom’. Maybe they’re right and maybe I should. They argue that there are still some good things happening in Western contemporary Christianity and I couldn’t agree with them more.
But, in retrospect, there were some wonderful things happening with Christians and Christian churches in Germany during the Hitler regime. There were even a few people and churches that knew exactly what was happening and responded by laying down their lives to warn others and save whomever they could. Dietrich Bonheoffer is one of my favorite Christian teachers and in my estimation is right up there with Jim Elliot and Amy Carmichael. But those few churches and people did not reflect the norm.
Most of the German churches and Christians were outside flying quaint religious kites and had no idea what was really happening… that is… until the winds stopped… (or the war was over) and the damage was done. Then they were made to face the horrible destruction of six million Jews along with the other equally devastating effects of war and try to reconcile in their hearts the validity of a church that did little or nothing to oppose it.
The same thing happened in Kenya with the Post Election Violence of 2007/2008. The storm hit and ‘Christians’ began slaughtering ‘Christians’ of different tribal affiliations. Those affiliations trumped Christian unity. The country was almost lost.
The storm we face … is worse yet. During these stormy years that we are talking about… approximately 49 million babies have been killed by abortion. Click ... Here for the facts. Yet, we have been desensitized to that horrible reality. Let’s focus on the good things they say. Do Christians really think that sitting in their living rooms doing bible studies is going to make a difference in an all out spiritual war?
So… are things really hopeless? No they are not. Yet, without God’s intervention through enlightenment of what’s real in our lives, we too, without even knowing it… will be blown away while enjoying the wind and flying our kites. Spending our lives pursuing the same things that the world’s inhabitants pursue and expecting significant change … is ludicrous. Nominal Christianity will not survive this storm. And to keep thinking …
“… That it is too depressing and painful to think of the danger… and it is better to disregard what is painful till it comes, and to think about what is pleasant.” Leo Tolstoy … is worse.
I have lived with people who allowed the Kingdom of God to invade their personal lives and remove them and their families from the darkness of their culture. The promise is to every born again person.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: (Col 1:13)
The power given them from Heaven to live detached and undistracted lives while seeking the Kingdom of God and His Culture… was off the scale.
During that time there were plenty of problems and many mistakes made; but with an undivided heart they sought and found refuge from the defiling darkness of their culture. And in Christ, they tasted the powers of the age to come. And they are not the only ones…we believe that there are other Christians in the West currently experiencing that same power and for the same reasons.
We would like to make it clear that we are not advocating selling everything and creating a Christian community as we did. The answer to this and every storm is in knowing what He wants to do with you and join Him.
But… we are very much advocating that there come a radical seeking of His Kingdom and His values. We are very much advocating through thorough Examination of our everyday lives finding out which culture we are trying to emulate and seek shelter from this storm in Him.
May all of us reel in our kites… rise up and oppose the dark storm winds while saving whoever we can.
Here's a link to another post asking all the right questions. Doesn't seem to be any kite flying here. Click Here .
The StoneHouse Family