Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Living Here and Now

I can't believe I'm here.

Looking at history--at cultures throughout history, that is--we live in such an amazing, contradictory, insane, singular time. You and I are living in a society where women walk down the street wearing something that, just a few years ago, would have gotten them arrested. Mores have changed so much that when I survey the thinking and values of the past, I'm simply stunned. Granted, I too am the product of this nation, this culture, this generation; none of us can totally escape modernity. I'm not suggesting we should escape, though it does seem preferable, often, to what I see around me. I have a sense of disbelief, quite frequently: a feeling that the world has truly gone mad and only a few people see it.

I'm not just writing about clothing, although clothing is one of the best examples I can think of to illustrate just how much society has changed in the past 40 years, especially, or even the past 100 years. It's not just a covering (or lack thereof) for the body: clothing symbolizes and illustrates the wearer's beliefs, however unconscious that may be. There is meaning in it. If you're dressed in Daisy Dukes and a tank top, it does say something about you, however much society may protest that thought at the moment. Now, just because someone is dressed appropriately doesn't mean his heart is in the right place; truly, the Lord sees and knows the heart, and man just the outward. But it doesn't follow that the outward tells you nothing, no matter what it is!

This observation about how the world has changed applies to so many other areas, too: how people spend their time; what attitudes, words and actions are tolerated from child to parent; beliefs about God and the universe; what, where and how children are taught; the role of males and females in society, families and workplace; on and on I could go.

I feel compelled to mention some people who stimulated my thinking on some of these points: John Taylor Gatto, regarding education; Wendy Shalit and Jeff Pollard, as well as LAF, on modesty and changes in sexual mores; Mary Pride on family and work issues; Kent Hovind on the origin of life; and perhaps most of all, Joe Schimmel regarding societal change, music, and Biblical study.

I am not at a loss to understand why this has happened or where it's going. The Bible is very, very clear that in the end times, "the abounding of the lawlessness" (Matthew 24:12, YLT) will occur and increase.

2 Tim 3:1-5
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

We are certainly there. Such things as those listed above have existed as long as man has had sin nature (read: a long time!). But they're getting worse. Daily we are horrified by an increasing number of crimes--mothers killing their children in cold blood, pregnant women mutilated, strangers killed without mercy, and mothers producing a holocaust of babies, citing their inconvenience. Sure, murder has occurred since Cain murdered Abel, but it's happening more frequently, just as the Bible warned it would as this age draws to a close.

There is nothing to do but recognize our own sinfulness and our need for Jesus, and throw ourselves at His feet. There is no other answer! Only He can navigate us safely though times like these. But let's recognize what's happening. One thing must be totally obvious to the honest observer: these are perilous times.


Anonymous said...


You write very well. I can really relate to this statement especially, "I have a sense of disbelief, quite often: a feeling that the world has truly gone mad and only a few people see it."

I do think there has been an increase lately in lawlessness as well as natural disasters and such. However, I have a feeling it will get *much* worse still. We still haven't returned to the decadent lawlessness and sin that characterized the Roman Empire era post-Christ. America as screwed up as it is still has stronger moral fabric than most of the world. But that fabric seems to unraveling faster and faster.

Happy New Year!!

- Jodi http://speakshermind.redmonk.net

Kristen said...

Hi there Jodi! :)

I know what you mean about Roman culture. You're right: we are not quite at the point where people gather in stadiums to watch animals rip people apart. I agree with you that things will get worse--the Bible makes that very clear. I want to make sure I am awake...there are so many parables that warn us to keep watch. I believe that as the persecution increases, so will the enemy's attempts to deceive anyone he can.

I do think that often people in the US romanticize our nation and rationalize its actions and past. Selfishness, callousness, disrespect, murder, lust are all rampant as our nation writhes in a bed of luxury and hedonism.

I thank God for the Christian families in this nation, though, who are seeking to live holy lives and be a light in the darkness! I pray that we will not be taken in by the deceitfulness of wealth or the distracting sins that so easily entangle.