Much of our society likes to think that we are ‘evolving’ as a culture…moving forward in progress.
To be sure, that is true in some ways. Generally speaking, most people accept individuals now with fewer prejudices, and we are usually more tolerant of differences. In fact, I have seen what I believe to be a very positive development–that people seem to have discovered that we can actually be ‘friends’ with people who aren’t exactly like us!
Back in my day in High School (just take my word for it–that was a long time ago), we all seemed to be separate–the ‘jocks’ hung out with the ‘jocks’, the ‘brainiacs’ with the brainiacs, the ‘motor-heads’ with fellow ‘motor heads’, etc.
Today, I’ve noticed that there is much more willingness to accept people from other groups.
That’s a good thing. That is progress.
But there are other ways where I think we are making a major error, and cultivating a mindset which could be disastrous.
In our culture, we have elevated subjective ‘feelings’ to a level of moral authority. In other words, if I FEEL a certain way about something, I should be allowed to pursue it.
We’ve elevated the Individual above the Society–so that ‘each one does what is right in our own eyes’–much like in the book of Judges, where we read this refrain: “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 17, 21)
We have become ‘that culture’, which rejects God, follows our own way…and labels it ‘freedom’.
What it really is, is this: We’re believing a lie–the same lie that satan told Eve back in the garden:
“The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-4)
To Paraphrase: ‘God is holding out on you! He doesn’t want you to enjoy everything the way you should! He knows that if you eat of the fruit, you’ll be just like Him–free to choose your own way, do your own thing.’
That lie–that ‘God wants to keep you under His thumb, and that’s the only reason He says you can’t do ___ (fill in the blank)’, is the same lie that our culture is buying in to today.
In fact, we’re making it a Right!
We still think that we–individually–know better than God does.
Jesus came to say “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life–to the Full!” (John 10:10), but our culture doesn’t believe it. In fact, our society has turned it around…‘I have come to steal, kill and destroy; the thief comes to give you life, to the full’.
Ironically, in buying into that lie, our culture has shown that ‘the thief’, satan…the deceiver, who Jesus called “A liar and the father of lies”. (John 8:44), is being very effective.
We are buying the lie, elevating it to the truth.
…and it’s shown in many ways: our desire for whatever makes us feel good, our desire to have any kind of behavior (except standing on God’s Word) accepted, our desire to have the authority of Govt. and the Courts to ‘legitimize’ whatever we want–and to punish those who don’t agree with us…all of these are evidence that satan is working.
And our culture thinks that’s Progress!
We are, in fact, Marching Backward!
How did it work out in the garden for Eve and Adam (who did nothing to stop it)?
“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.” (Genesis 3:6-7)
Their eyes were opened. They knew they’d sinned. They felt shame at their nakedness–their exposure before each other and God.
God, in His grace, provided coverings and a promise of future deliverance, but there would be consequences (Genesis 3:8-19).
I hope and pray that our culture will see it’s own ‘nakedness’ and exposure before God…and will repent, changing its direction and admitting that we do not, in fact, know better than God, and turning to Him, through Jesus, in full-on, life-altering faith.
Now THAT will be progress!
Here’s a song–from 1985–which speaks of the very same things!