Many people are looking at all that is happening in our culture, and their responses often sound something like, “What is going on?,” or “What has happened to our country?”
Personally, I don’t think we can lay all the blame on political parties, or even particular politicians. It’s not as simple as an issue of ultra right or leftist politics.
The bigger answer lies deep within the human heart.
It is an issue of sin in the hearts of man, and it points to the fact that we need a savior.
Still, the question is often asked, “Why is this going on now in our country, when it didn’t seem like this before?”
Again, I believe that the answer to this question is complex, and downright paradoxical. There are two phrases that are seemingly contradictory…I believe that they are both true – and that they hold the answer to these questions. Those two phrases are:
Statement #1 is – “Things have changed.”
Statement #2 is – “Things have not changed.”
Let’s look at these seemingly contradictory statements…
Statement #1 – Things have changed.
A recent poll in our country, 66% percent of Americans believe that there “is no such thing as absolute truth.”
Among young adults, the percentage is even higher – 72% between ages 18 and 25 reject absolute truth.
To disbelieve that truth exists is self-contradictory! Quoting author Gene Edward Veith, Jr. - “To believe means to think something is true; to say, ‘It’s true that nothing is true’ intrinsically meaningless nonsense. The very statement – ‘there is no absolute truth’ – is an absolute truth!”
This change – from a general condition where people held strongly to a system of beliefs in absolute truth to where we are today – a widespread rejection of truth – is due to the impact of what is known as POSTMODERNISM.
Postmodern thought is the successor to what we knew as MODERNISM. Under “modernity”, our culture allowed for advances in science, industry, technology. But, we still held on to a sense of “old fashioned values.”
Under Postmodern thought, that has changed.
Those who embrace the Postmodern worldview have some easily identifiable characteristics:
1. Long-held issues of morality are not only discarded, they are actually despised.
2. A mentality of “If it (whatever it is) works for you, that’s fine…just don’t try to hang your values on me!”
3. Self is exalted to the extreme. “It’s MY life, MY body, MY whatever…Don’t tell me how to live it…”
4. Not only are tried and true morals and beliefs not held as valuable and dear, in many cases, they are not even known at all – their postmodern parents or teachers in school never taught them at all.
5. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of postmodernism – that which greatly affects our ability to witness to those under the influence of this mindset with the Gospel – is this: we (those who believe in Christ, who embrace the AUTHORITY of Scripture) are not just seen as those who think differently than them…instead, we are seen as a threat to them, to their lifestyle, to their belief system. We are not just to be ignored –we are to resisted with fervor!
I hope this look into a prevailing mindset is helpful in understanding some of the difficult situations that we face. May God give us grace as reach out to a culture invaded with this worldview. Take heart - the good news is still true - God is greater than postmodernism!!!
Until next time.
~ Mike Gilland
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