Friday, April 10, 2009

Our Backwards Culture

My brother has taken to saying "sick" when he thinks something is cool. This really bothers me, but until recently I couldn't really put my finger on why. "Sick" to me means unhealthy or mentally ill, but there was more to my aversion to the word in that context. And now I know why.
It seemed rather backwards to describe something cool as sick. If you heard or saw something you thought was awesome, would you say, "Wow, that's totally nauseating" or "I can't believe how mentally deranged that is"? I know I wouldn't. What it took me a while to realize is that calling something "sick" is just an indication of how backwards our entire culture is.
Think about it. I posted a while ago on how people don't care about movies or tv shows unless they're crude, edgy, violent, intense or full of sexual humor (not to mention just plain sex). Happy endings and intact marriages are thought of as cliche and predicable. It's considered cool to drink and smoke and do whatever illegal street drugs you can get your hands on. Parties, swearing, and flouting laws, rules, and authorities are in-vogue activities. Graphic and gory video games are appealing to not just older audiences, but to kids as young as 5 years old (maybe not a widespread fact, but I heard straight from my younger brother's mouth that the five year old brother of a kid on his baseball team plays Call of Duty 4). Rebellion is accepted as a normal teenage behavior because parents are overbearing and don't know anything about us, much less what's good for us, and it seems like no one rises above expectations anymore. Marriage is now a burden that just falls apart anyway, and of course there's nothing wrong with extramarital sex or sex with no marriage. Kids are raised to believe that there is no God, and that evolution is fact. This belief makes abortion (syn: murder) acceptable and depreciates life because they learn that we're all just animals anyway.
And at least one thing that all of this has in common is this: it's ALL AGAINST GOD'S NATURE. There are countless verses I could reference that support this claim, and I'll list a few. For starters, Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Very few if any of the things written above could be considered pure, lovely, or admirable, even by a vast stretch of imagination. Matthew 15:4: "For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'" Ephesians 6:1: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." Notice this verse doesn't say "Obey your parents, except when you know better than they do" or "Obey your parents until you're a teenager; then it's okay to be rebellious and unsubmissive." Granted, we're not always children, but we are always sons and daughters. There is never a point in time when our parents are not our elders, and even when they're not bringing us up under their rooves anymore, they are still our authorities. Hebrews 13:17 says "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you." Proverbs 23:20-22: "Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old." Exodus 20:13 could not possibly be clearer: "You shall not murder." Hosea 4:1-3 describes Israel in a condition similar to that of our country - or even our world - today: "'There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Because of this the land mourns, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea are dying.'"
So what can we do? Be lights. Abstain from ungodly behavior. As one Rebelutionary said, taking God's name in vain is more than just using it as an exclamation. It's doing or saying anything that goes against His nature! Of course, we all fail at times. But we should keep in mind the words of 1 Corinthians 10:31: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."