Tue, Jan 25th - 9:28PM
The Generation Gap & Youth Culture of Rebellion
What happened to young adults, and what led to the Generation Gap and the youth culture of rebellion and decadence that continues today? Let's look at some of the societal and cultural trends that led to this:
There was a time in America (and Europe) when a teenager was normally considered ready for normal adult work and responsibility, teenage marriage did not involve a high divorce rate, and juvenile crime was not considered usual behavior. Up till a few decades ago a young lad could join the armed forces at fourteen (with parental consent of course), but this is no longer considered practical. In Bible times a person was considered a young adult at the age of thirteen, but today we have a person called an adolescent, someone who is not physically a child but is not considered a young adult. What happened? After WWII there arose a trend of giving teenagers a separate identity and segregating teenagers into a different class of people, thus making it common for youths to be peer-dependent instead of elder-dependent and replacing respect for elders with respect for youth and immaturity. (Consider Proverbs 13:20; Isaiah 3:4,5; Malachi 4:6)
For most of America's history families and society in general were patriarchal, and adults had moral, religious, social, and moral responsibilities to provide for, discipline, and train their children (and care for elderly parents), and parents normally raised up their children to succeed them, and not to merely succeed. Over time government expansion and the Industrial Revolution were allowed to interfere with family relationships and responsibilities. With the Industrial Revolution came child labor laws, some of which made sense while others were absurd. The idea that children should not be taught to work and be responsible, and teenagers cannot or should not be expected to handle work and responsibility, became popular and accepted. We even have children's courts, or juvenile courts, to impress upon young minds that they are not fully accountable or completely responsible for their behavior.
In the 1940s secular humanism had already been invading public schools, colleges, the media, politics, churches, and religious institutions for decades, and the evidence and symptoms were becoming very pronounced, and this continues today. With the prosperity following WWII came the popular notion that parents must make sure their children never do without anything and children must have everything their parents did not have. In the 1940s a number of "experts" began teaching that it is wrong to use corporal punishment to discipline children, and that children should not be taught religious or moral values until they reach adulthood. These teachings became very popular even though these theories were directly contrary to Scripture and credible studies. (For example, studies reveal that eighty percent of the personality is developed before a child is six years old, and all or most of the personality is developed before the teen years). (Consider Proverbs 22:6,15; 29:15,17; Isaiah 28:9)
All this led to a very large percentage of youths having firm beliefs and attitudes directly opposite of the values of the generation that survived the Great Depression and World War II.
Sat, Jan 22nd - 12:49PM
Statutory Rape Laws Need Revision
Is defining and punishing consensual teen sex as rape the solution to illegitimacy and STDs among teens? There is need and Scriptural precedent for establishing laws and standards to discourage and prevent the exploitation and abuse of young women, and statutory rape laws may have been enacted with the right motives, but statutory rape laws need revision. Such laws do not mean that a young woman will not attract or like men, they simply tend to limit her choices. This also indirectly encourages teenagers to take advantage of opportunities to exploit and fornicate without repercussion and with a reduced risk of disclosure.
But, some argue, "Teenagers don't have the needed knowledge about such things." Whose fault is that and why is this criterion for determining an "age of consent?" At what age are people magically endowed with all the knowledge they need, and why must we assume that everyone in a particular age group is ignorant or informed merely because they are in a certain age group? Was there ever a time when all or even most teenagers had a tremendous amount of knowledge about such things, and shouldn't we consider that the alarming increase in certain social maladies, such as promiscuity, illegitimacy, and STDs among teenagers, could be directly related to the removal, rejection, or neglect of moral safeguards that were once considered standard, customary, or traditional? It is important that parents and churches teach young people (and those not so young) about sexual responsibility. Children should be taught about sexual responsibility and morality before puberty instead of hoping that they will happen to guess right or just happen to come across good counsel, and parents ought to be involved in the lives of their children, especially dating, courtship, and choice of a date or a mate, and should be setting standards to protect their moral and physical welfare. While all this may sound old-fashioned, the truth does not change and therefore the truth is inevitably considered old-fashioned. Besides, why is it necessary to fix things that work? Think: When was there a time when there were no sexual predators and no deceitful men (or women), and when was there a time when people (young or old) never faced immoral temptations, propositions, and opportunities?
Some argue that "it is perverted for an older adult to be attracted to a teenager or for a teenager to be attracted to an older adult." Why? This means that numerous people mentioned in Scripture, otherwise considered faithful and good examples must now be considered sexual perverts. Enacting laws to reflect this attitude creates a situation in which this appears to be wicked or perverted because those with honorable motives and intentions are restricted by law and superstition. "Teenagers are vulnerable to temptation." At what age does anyone become immune to temptation? "A teenager could suffer negative consequences." At what age does fornication not produce negative consequences? "Teenage pregnancy is a major problem." When did it become wrong for a teenager to conceive and give birth? Throughout history most mothers conceived and gave birth to their first child while in their teens; the issue or problem is the marital status of a mother, not her age. Is this pedophilia? Pedophilia is a combination of words: "Paidos" means "child," and the combining form "-philia" means “abnormal attraction to;" prepubescent children are not the issue here.
This is not promoting or condoning fornication or abuse, but merely recognizing that consensual teenage sex is not rape. If a fruit looks, feels, smells, and tastes like an orange it does not become an apple because someone calls it an apple. Statutory rape is the only felony crime in which a minor can willingly participate, and even initiate the crime, without legal repercussion.
Sat, Jan 15th - 3:12PM
Christians are being persuaded to reject and oppose Bible teachings, often while insisting and believing that they are Bible-lovers. (Isaiah 29:13-14; Jeremiah 6:16,19; 8:8-9; Hosea 4:6; Colossians 2:8) How? Most modern Christians put culture and trends above Scripture, and submit to the indoctrination of the society in which they live and adapt to its cultural expectations and values. The reasons that most Christians give for their beliefs and convictions demonstrate an adaptation to culture above Scripture. The teachings taught in most churches about their worldview and regarding what is true or false, moral or immoral, or proper or improper demonstrate an adaptation to culture above Scripture. Many churches insist that the Bible must be interpreted according to culture, thus giving the world an authority which they deny to God. Many Christians are easily persuaded to reject a Scriptural teaching, standard, or concept as wrong by merely labeling it as old-fashioned or out-of-date, and are easily persuaded to accept an unscriptural or anti-biblical teaching or concept as truth by merely identifying it as new or modern. It is amazing that so many are quick to assume that an expert opinion, documentary, or media presentation is an honest, unbiased, and objective viewpoint and above scrutiny. It has become common for Christians to assume that something they read in a book or magazine, hear on the radio, or see on television or in a movie is the last word and makes them an instant expert on a topic or subject and that this expertise or enlightenment eliminates the need to personally study to examine whether their assumptions or theories line up with Scripture, especially religious broadcasting, pop psychology, and the latest junk on TV talk shows.
All too often attention is drawn away from God's Word and focused on personalities and theories of men, so that a religious leader, gifted teacher, or a pet theory becomes the authority. When someone puts the theories of men above the word of God they naturally interpret passages of Scripture in relation to publications and human theories instead of interpreting Scripture passages in relation to context and the whole Bible. If Christ deliberately bypassed the religious elite and highly educated to reveal truths to ordinary people, and the Apostles commended and encouraged personal study and discernment, then why should we assume that God intended for people of our generation to receive (without question or doubt) the Word of God as explained and interpreted by some religious elite claiming to have some special key to understanding Scripture that ordinary people don't have? If the Bible is the Word of God and the final authority, then why should we assume that God expects people of our generation to interpret Bible passages in relation to Christian literature or a theologian instead of interpreting Bible passages in relation to context and the whole Bible?
Widespread disrespect and neglect of God’s Word makes widespread acceptance of satanic teachings inevitable. Note that the word "doctrine" is used in I Timothy 4:1 even though similar words were available. Why? I Timothy 4 is dealing with teachings that sound righteous or spiritual but actually come from Satan's kingdom ("devils," "seducing spirits") and are taught, accepted, and respected as God's truths in Christian circles. Satan did not deceive Eve by completely denying God's Word, but by twisting and perverting God's Word, and Adam (who was there with her) and Eve were not lured by the temptation to be ungodly, they were lured by the prospect of becoming more godly. Satan still uses the same tactics. (Genesis 2:16,17; 3:1-6; I Corinthians 11:2-4) How is it possible to know or discern the difference between God’s truths and theories based on human impulses or demonic influences without prayerful study and knowledge of God's Word? (Psalm 119:104-105)
Are you Biblical-minded or are you worldly-minded or of modern mentality? Have you adopted a worldly philosophy or mindset in some ways? (Romans 12:2; Colossians 2:8) Is your viewpoint governed by the Word of God, or is your Biblical/theological knowledge merely an accumulation of human theories, traditions, assumptions, and second-hand information? Look at your beliefs or philosophy regarding doctrines, worldview, morality, and specific issues, and examine whether your viewpoint is governed by the Bible or human theories. (Psalm 119:9-11; Proverbs 2:3-11; 3:5-7; Jeremiah 8:8-9; Hosea 4:6; Matthew 4:4; I Peter 2:2) Try applying questions like these to specific beliefs and issues:
-What does the Bible say about this? (Psalm 33:4,10; 119:105,130; Proverbs 2:6; 3:5-7; I Thessalonians 5:21; II Timothy 3:16)
-What Bible truths or principles are involved? (Psalm 1:1-2; Matthew 15:3,8-9; 22:29; Romans 14:1; I Timothy 1:5-7; II Timothy 2:14-15)
-What is the origin of this belief or teaching? (Psalm 146:3-6; Romans 12:2; Colossians 2:8)
-Was this true in the distant past and will this be true in the distant future? (Psalm 33:11; 119:89; Proverbs 19:21; Ecclesiastes 1:9-10; James 1:17)
-Do you find it necessary to use the arguments of the world to defend or justify your beliefs, standards, or choices? (Romans 12:2; I Corinthians 1:20; 2:5; Colossians 1:9; 2:8)
Thu, Jan 13th - 1:03PM
“Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.” (Romans 14:1) In the first century many Christians were assuming that their race, gender, religious or cultural background, or social status gave them some supposed superior spirituality. (Romans 10:12; also I Corinthians 12:12, 13; Galatians 3:28; Philippians 3:29; James 2:5) Because Christianity started as a Jewish religion, a sect of Judaism, and because of misapplication of Old Testament prophecy, the question of whether a Gentile could be a Christian without first becoming a Jew was one of the great issues of that time. The real issue was whether anyone can really be considered a Jew without first becoming a Christian, as the Church is a continuing body in the Old Testament and the New Testament and the New Testament Church is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy concerning Israel. (Acts 2:16-21; 15:15-17; Romans 2:28,29; 9:6-8; II Corinthians 6:16-7:1; Galatians 3:7,16-19,24-29; 4:21-31; Hebrews 10:15-17; 12:22-24) Many Gentile Christians submitted to circumcision, not for the hygienic benefits, but to measure up to Jewish tradition and be accepted by their Jewish associates. (Galatians 6:12, 13) Many Jews submitted to an operation that restored a semblance of a foreskin in order to deny their Jewish background. (I Corinthians 7:18) Christians were unfairly judging one another on the basis of the observance or neglect of circumcision, the seventh-day Sabbath, Jewish holidays, dietary restrictions, and other aspects of the Old Covenant that separated or distinguished natural Jews from Gentiles. Those laws were based on principles and truths that did not change, but their application changed under the New Covenant. (Consider Matthew 5:17; Romans 3:31) Like so many modern Christians, many clung tenaciously to their traditions, assumptions, and pet theories instead of studying and respecting the Bible as the final authority. (Consider Proverbs 3:5-7) Priorities were confused. As still happens today, instead of viewing sanctification as a means to an end, that is, preparation for service, holiness standards became an end in themselves.
Because of background (upbringing, experience, etc.) an individual Christian naturally has various opinions and traditions concerning various areas of life, and this in itself is not wrong. But as a Christian grows in faith and wisdom he should see that, while some or even most of his ideas or theories may be right, at least some of his ideas or theories are unnecessary or even conflict with Scripture. As a Christian grows in faith and wisdom he must also expect to find that at least some of his ways and beliefs are wrong and should be discarded or forsaken. Both the anti-everything mindset and the anything-goes philosophy are wrong. (Ecclesiastes 7:16)
This does not mean that it is wrong or sinful for a Christian to hold to various personal convictions or traditions. But he should be careful not to let personal opinions negatively affect relationships. (Romans 14:1,13,19; Ephesians 4:1-3; note that Romans 14 is not a denial of the need for standards and church discipline as some suppose, but is dealing with the importance or insignificance of debatable opinions and not Bible truths.) We are instructed to have a sacrificial attitude and an accepting attitude toward fellow believers. (Romans 14:16-19; 15:1-7) But all too often, conscientious differences of opinion and man-made measurements of spirituality are allowed to hinder Christian fellowship. (Romans 14:1-13) This is often due to a failure to distinguish between purity and maturity or between Bible truth and pet theories or personal preferences. (II Timothy 2:14-15; I Peter 2:2; II Peter 3:18)
Examine yourself. Consider your responses to questions and issues like these: Are you unable to enjoy Christian fellowship with a Christian brother if his interpretation of a difficult and obscure passage of Bible prophecy happens to differ from your interpretation? What if he believes in the literal second coming of Christ but has a different belief about the time of Christ's return? What is your attitude toward believers who are divorced and remarried? What factors determine the propriety or sinfulness of two unmarried Christians of the opposite sex and like faith dating or marrying? (Consider I Timothy 4:1-3) What factors determine the sinfulness or propriety of a secular amusement? (I Corinthians 7:31) Is it a sin to have a radio or television in your home? Is it a sin to celebrate religious holidays? (Romans 14:5, 6) Is it a sin to go fishing on Sunday if this does not hinder church attendance and other obligations? Is it a sin to dine at a restaurant that happens to serve alcoholic beverages? The list of questions could continue, but these should suffice for now. Note that this is not about what you and your family would or would not do, nor does this mean that you should ignore any Scriptural principles or ignore practical considerations. It is possible to be tolerant without violating personal convictions. The Bible does not say we must always agree on every minor point or love everyone's ways, and we certainly are not called to change everyone to conform to personal preferences or pet theories, but we are obligated to get along with each other. (John 13:34-35; Colossians 3:12-15; I Peter 4:8-9) Fellow believers are called to live according to God's Word and not your pet theories and personal preferences. (Psalm 119:47; Matthew 4:4; Romans 14:1, 4, 9-13)
Look at this from the standpoint of evangelism: If an unbeliever asks you why you believe a certain way or why something is right or wrong, how would you explain this to him? If you cannot offer genuine Scriptural support for your assertion then you should consider the possibility that what you have could merely be an opinion.
Try applying questions like these to specific beliefs and issues: What does the Bible say about this, and what Bible truths or principles are involved? (Romans 14:1; I Timothy 1:5-7; II Timothy 2:14-15; 3:16) What is the origin of this belief or teaching? (Romans 12:2; Colossians 2:8) How important or essential is this is relation to other matters? (Matthew 23:24) Was this true in the distant past and will this be true in the distant future? (Psalm 33:11; 119:89; Proverbs 19:21; Ecclesiastes 1:9-10; James 1:17)
Preoccupation with disputable matters tends to detract from genuine causes for concern and plain teachings of Scripture. For example, few sins are as hurtful or as strongly condemned as malicious gossip, but rarely is anyone ever called on the carpet for malicious gossip. This also tends to make one hypersensitive to violations of ones pet theories. All too often Christians make a fellow believer the object of hostility, resentment, insults, malicious gossip, or ostracism merely because of a violation of a pet theory or man-made measurement of spirituality. We are not obligated to always agree on every minor point or to love everyone's ways, but we are obligated to try to get along with each other.
Mon, Jan 10th - 3:21PM
Liberty & Property
Many have been deluded by socialist or leftist claims that property rights are separate from human rights and overlook the connection with the individual’s life and liberty. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary sheds much light on what property meant to those who specified property as a protected right in the US Constitution: “The exclusive right of possessing, enjoying and disposing of a thing; ownership. In the beginning of the world, the Creator gave to man dominion over the earth, over the fish of the sea and the fowls of the air, and over every living thing. This is the foundation of man's property in the earth and in all its productions. Prior occupancy of land and of wild animals gives to the possessor the property of them. The labor of inventing, making or producing any thing constitutes one of the highest and most indefeasible titles to property. Property is also acquired by inheritance, by gift or by purchase. Property is sometimes held in common, yet each man's right to his share in common land or stock is exclusively his own. One man may have the property of the soil, and another the right of use, by prescription or by purchase.”
The view of property and liberty held by a nation or an individual is determined by who is recognized as the ruler of the earth by that nation or individual. The Humanist worldview, which now dominates most public school curriculums, most modern scholarship, and Federal and State governments, sees man (corporate man, the state) as sovereign, does not recognize absolute principles or truths, sees Christian culture and Bible truths as old-fashioned, restrictive, and irrelevant, and means that the strongest men (or the government) dominate home, school, culture, and church. The view that Satan rules the earth, a view held by many modern Christians, sees Christians as isolated and Christian culture as a counter-culture, makes Christian culture and Christian influence irrelevant and insists that everything must go from bad to worse, limits Christian influence and responsibility to soul winning and church activities, and supports and adopts the Humanist worldview. The Christian worldview sees God as the present ruler of the earth and the Holy Bible as the final authority in all areas of human existence, sees Satan as a defeated foe, sees Christian culture as leavening all areas of life and blessing mankind, sees self-governing Christians as influencing and dominating home, school, culture, and church, sees Christians as commissioned to subdue the earth and build godly nations through evangelizing and discipleship, and expects reformation and blessings for a nation that is obedient to the Word of God.
Mon, Jan 10th - 3:11PM
The Christian worldview sees God as the present ruler of the earth and human government as ordained of God to protect the rights of the people and punish criminals, while the pagan concept of man and government makes man (corporate man, the state) the ruler of the earth and sees the individual as a mere servant of the state whose value is determined by his usefulness to the state. When the Christian worldview is predominant individual freedom increases and is protected. For example, it was the Biblical concepts of God as sovereign and man as created by God in the image of God that led to the abolition of slavery and not the idea of man as ruler of the earth.
Various rights are specified in America's founding documents because they are taught in the Bible: Right to life (Exodus 20:13; Acts 17:25), liberty (II Corinthians 3:17), property/pursuit of happiness (Exodus 20:15; Ecclesiastes 5:18; Acts 5:3,4), freedom of religion (Joshua 24:15; I Kings 18:21; Acts 5:29), freedom of speech (Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15; Acts 4:20), freedom of the press (Habakkuk 2:2), freedom of assembly (Hebrews 10:25), right to keep and bear arms (Luke 22:36), etc.. These rights are not spelled out, they are self-evident; the Bible makes it obvious that God wants people to have these rights.
Fri, Jan 7th - 2:06PM
Christian Worldview Versus Socialism
The Christian worldview sees God as the present ruler of the earth and human government as ordained of God to protect the rights of the people and punish criminals, while the pagan concept of man and government sees the individual as a mere servant of the state whose value is determined by his usefulness to the state and makes man (corporate man, the state) the standard of truth and absolute authority. The pagan concept of man and government makes tyranny, excessive taxation, excessive legislation, legal abortion, gun control, a police state, and religious intolerance become inevitable consequences. Socialism is a modern version of ancient paganism.
Many believe that fascists (e.g., Nazis) are right-wingers and fascism is a right-wing movement because they merely compare fascism to communism. This is similar to comparing a scalene triangle and an isosceles triangle without comparing any other shapes; it would be possible to only notice the differences. However, if you compare both triangles to a square or a circle, the similarities between the two triangles stand out. If we merely compare fascism and communism with each other, the superficial appearance of capitalism can make fascism appear to be right-wing. But if we widen the context of knowledge and compare fascism and communism to capitalism (the social system of free enterprise and limited constitutional government) it becomes clear that fascism and communism are different forms of socialism and both are based on the pagan concept of man and government.
During the American War of Independence the battle cry was "No king but Jesus!" For a long time many modern American Christians have been saying, in essence “We have no king but Caesar." (John 19:15; consider Acts 17:6-7)
Thu, Jan 6th - 11:19PM
Fascism & Communism Are Different Forms Of Socialism
Many believe that fascists (e.g., Nazis) are right-wingers and fascism is a right-wing movement because they merely compare fascism to communism. This is similar to comparing a scalene triangle and an isosceles triangle without comparing any other shapes; it would be possible to only notice the differences. However, if you compare both triangles to a square or a circle, the similarities between the two triangles stand out. If we merely compare fascism and communism, the superficial appearance of capitalism can make fascism appear to be right-wing. But if we widen the context of knowledge and compare fascism and communism to capitalism (the social system of free enterprise and limited constitutional government) it becomes quite obvious that fascism and communism are both different forms of socialism.
Tue, Jan 4th - 2:41PM
Homosexuality in the armed forces
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