Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Crooked, Depraved, Polluted World

I hate listening to hype on the radio and watching it on TV.  I hate the way public personalities use their power to prey on the fears in people's heads, to spread doom and gloom, to raise anxiety, and to catalyze extreme, desperate behavior.

For sure, there are huge problems in our world at this very moment--problems that cost people their lives and their livelihoods.

But it's not new. 

It's not new, but it's been news for as long as I can remember.  And it's been news longer than that.  

In undergrad, I minored in History and did a study of Religion in Antebellum America for one of my American History classes.  While researching, I read a sermon from that time period and was struck by the doom and gloom, "the world's going to hell in a hand basket" rhetoric--because it sounded EXACTLY like what I'd heard from many people from many public platforms in my own lifetime.

It's goes back much further than Antebellum America.

Whom do you think of when you hear "a crooked and depraved generation"?

Do you think of the Millenial generation?  (BTW, enjoyed this video about Millenials last week.)  Maybe Generation X?  Surely not the Baby Boomers...

What world do you think of when you hear "polluted by the world"?  The "world" of American young people today?  

These phrases come from the New Testament in the Bible.  We've been talking about crooked and depraved generations and a world that pollutes for a long time.  (You could go way back into the Old Testament to make this argument, too.)

So what does the Bible say about our crooked and depraved generations and our world that pollutes?  What kind of extreme, reactive behavior should result?  

Well, it says that we should stop complaining and arguing so that we can be pure children of God living among the crooked and depraved generation.  It says that we should watch what we say and look after orphans and widows if we want a religion that's worth anything, if we want to keep from being polluted by the world.

Maybe every generation alive right now is crooked and depraved.
Maybe the world we live in pollutes us.
Maybe the hype is right, even if it isn't new.

The answers also aren't new.  They aren't hype.  They would never make the news:


Watch your mouth.  Take care of people.  

That'll un-pollute the world.  That'll create a generation that's neither crooked nor depraved.  

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