Tag Archive: SOCIETY


Two kinds of people are interested in the type of culture we live in today-those who are concerned about it, and hope and pray to reverse the negative trends, and those who are promoting the negative trends…

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Of course, the promoters, the drivers of our social and political world, don’t see their view as being negative. They’re heading, they think, towards a utopia in which all shackles of morality and propriety are totally removed; in which the old order of things is done away; in which the Judaeo-Christian world-view is abolished and forgotten.

I was listening to an interview with a member of Ravi Zacharias’ team, who was talking about our “post-truth” culture. We’ve moved, he said, from “post-modernism” into “post-truth”. Post-truth culture is one in which, as in post-modernism, truth is perceived to be subjective only (my truth is my truth, your truth is yours), but also one in which the facts don’t matter any more. What matters now is feelings and preferences.

This definition and observation didn’t tell me anything new. I’ve realized for many years that a large number of people-perhaps a majority- aren’t interested in genuine debate or inquiry in order to arrive at facts or truths. Instead, they’ve made up their minds already, based upon what they want to be true, even if it’s blatantly obvious that it isn’t. They only seek to bolster their views with any line of reasoning, faulty or not, which serves to intimidate and bash the “ignorant” and “bigoted” rabble.

In defense of my own ignorance and bigotry, I can say that I once held to many politically-correct tenets which I now see as being faulty or destructive. No-one can accuse me correctly of being uninformed and closed-minded, because I’ve seen both sides of the moral, political, philosophical and social divide.

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I use the word “divide” in its singular sense intentionally here, because if you haven’t noticed, our culture, ostensibly rich and self-proclaimed to be “diverse”, is actually shaping up to be two-sided and polarized. On the one side we have those holding to the traditional view of society and culture which is largely Christian in its morality; one-man one-woman marriages; a uniform view of right and wrong; an un-wavering patriotism; age-old work ethics, and a conservative understanding of immigration and societal growth in which those coming in do so legally, and with the intention of blending into what is already here.

On the other side of the cultural divide we have those pushing, particularly since the start of President Obama’s reign, with all their might to demolish all the above standards, and to replace them with anything else which suits their no-holds barred morality. The Judaeo-Christian view of things is the one obstacle in their road to Utopia.

The election of Donald Trump represented the worst thing which could have happened to the progressive agenda. Trump is no choir boy by any standards, but he did and does hold to the principles of a predominantly Christian culture, as outlined above, and he does take serious note that there are many millions who still see society in its traditional sense. Consequently, the effort to remove him has been driven by angry desperation, and a desperation which claims to be tolerant but which in fact refuses to listen, and which unashamedly negates any reference to objective, verifiable facts. Even the laws and constitution of the land are seen to be enemies in our post-truth age. And so my post returns to its starting point.

The throwing-off of Truth is nothing new. It’s been done over and over again, since the very beginning of man. Someone gets tired of living by the rules-particularly God’s rules-and here comes the abandonment of rational thought, and the embracing of anything which opposes it. It’s a prideful attitude which is destined for failure. The underlying belief is that either there is no God, no Person with any expectations of us, or that even if there is, he/she/it is irrelevant and not worth considering anyway. It’s rather like your left hand intently disliking the rest of your body and so deciding its going to go off and live independently of the rest of you.

We can no more live in a universe without God than we can live in a world without air. And unfortunately for those rebelling against the way of things, against the nature of the real universe governed by its creator, there is nowhere else to go. The One who ultimately controls all things, who gives and sustains life, does indeed have certain expectations. He also has no intention of giving away His universe.

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I’ll confess I’m not an authority on churchy affairs, but perhaps that’s a good thing. Perhaps it’s time political correctness within the church faced a little more opposition from those who aren’t under its power…

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I’ve no doubt that many or most church ministers are working hard and doing their best for their congregations and for their God. But my experience and my observation of today’s church world, overall, is that the flock is not being prepared for what it already faces, or for what may be coming…

We don’t have to go any further than our television or our web-based news feeds to see the direction our world is heading in. Here in the US we’re becoming more and more polarized as the haters crawl out of the closet and make their intentions clear. Our culture is being torn because those who are most intent on changing it have the power of most of the media on their side.

POLITICS AND RELIGION

Of those who take a Biblical view of culture and politics in the Church how many are talking about it? Alright, we don’t have to side openly with either major political party, but we absolutely should be discussing the issues, because they affect all of us and all our children. We don’t live in a theocracy or a church state, and I wouldn’t want to. But we all, in a so-called “democracy” or “republic” or “democratic republic” have a right and a duty to shape it, rather than just handing it over to those who want to tear down all the principles our Creator created us to live by, and even the obvious principles of nature itself.

 

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SEX

Another but not unrelated subject is sex and romance. Without these none of us would be here, right? But how many churches and their ministers discuss the hows and the whys of love: the principles God expects us to live by? How many discuss that stuff which the Bible calls “sin”? “Sin” is such a little word, but it’s so profoundly important. How many young people are being told what sin is and what its consequences are? How many are being told that the things now being forced onto the Western world regarding morality and sexuality are enough to bring eternal consequences?

…those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21 NIV).

ORIGINS

Some in the Church regard the subject of our origins as being insignificant. Where we came from isn’t important, they say. What did Jesus say about origins? He said:

If you believed Moses, you would believe me…but if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words? (John 5:46).

The writing of Moses, and the prophets, and the apostles, all speak of our creation: not our evolution. We’re made by God in the image of God, not by chance, random mutations and billions of years of time in the image of a lemur or an ape-like creature. Calling into question our creation is calling into question our salvation from sin, and our eternal destiny. If all the writers are wrong about creation, so are they wrong about salvation.

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Our kids are being taught that they evolved from soup. The church which is not working to correct this view is not, I repeat not, caring for its flock.

WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD

I believe in the rapture of the Church. However, what many ministers in churches and on the radio and internet are teaching is that before all that’s foretold in Revelation and elsewhere occurs we’re all going to be taken to heaven…

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Why did our God go to so much trouble to foretell last days events if we aren’t going to see them or experience them? Why do so many prophecy “experts” make a living at what they do if all the time we’re going to disappear before it all happens? Why are so many in the Church sticking their heads in the sands of rapture, when half way across the world many of their believing brothers and sisters are already being martyred for their faith? We are not all going to escape what is to come. We are not all going to get out of here, without some very serious opposition first. So why are the churches passing out buckets full of sand when they should be equipping the saints for what may come and for what has already come in many parts of the world?

FELLOWSHIP AND WORSHIP

One powerful way to prepare the Church for what it has to deal with and for what it may have to face is through fellowship and worship. Sadly, I see very little. I see cliques and little groups who like each other and turn their noses up at the rest. I see very few Bible studies where the  Bible is studied and where it’s not just another opportunity for someone to give a sermon rather than openly discuss Scripture in relation to today’s world. And I see a kind of worship where if you don’t like or accept a very specific genre of music, i.e. Christian “contemporary” music-an innocuous and generic form of pop-you’re out of luck and probably out of any possibility of fellowship.

APOLOGIES

We all get bombarded with lies from every direction. And who did Jesus say was the father of all lies? The devil.

Our history is being revised and scrubbed out by our education establishments and our media. Our “news” feeds are not giving us news at all any more but propaganda, gossip, slander and fakery. Our schools and universities are teaching that we all evolved out of nothing, that there’s no truth to Christian “myths”, and that the Christian Church is the cause of all that’s wrong in the world. Our entertainment world is stuffing gross immorality and extreme violence down our throats, sometimes dressed in special effects, and always with attractive people, to get our attention. Our politicians are (generally) out of touch with reality, with their own voters, and with any sense of Godly wisdom, and our judges are making laws and ignoring others to suit their own agendas.

So how is the Church countering all the lies and deceit we all face every day? I’ll rephrase that last question. Is the Church countering all the lies and deceit?

 

 

 

Truth was once a universally-accepted standard which was “out of style”*. Then truth became whatever you wanted it to be. Now political correctness is attempting to muscle out of existence all opposing views of truth, in order to impose its own…

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Many people have written and commented on post-modernism, and on the “post-truth” age, as have I in my own small, humble, bumbling way. I asked, rhetorically, if anything is objectively true, or is truth only that which we personally or as a society imagine or decide for ourselves is true? Does the answer matter anyway?

In post-modernism, apart from an Almighty God as our Western world now is, nothing is objectively true. There’s no Truth with a capital “T”.  Nothing is incontrovertibly factual, and nothing is set in stone to measure all standards and opinions and decisions by: such truth is out of style. Law, belief, standards and truth itself, are now all, to use a popular euphemism, “fluid”. This is also why the US Constitution is increasingly under attack, or at least being bent out of shape for convenience.

Without that ultimate measuring stick of the Word of God-the removal of which was and is one of the aims of the anti-Church, anti-Christ movement, you’ve got your truth and I’ve got mine, and even if both views are in total opposition it doesn’t really matter, because we can still both be “right” and happy.

I here repeat an assertion of a colleague of mine who calls himself an atheist and a “rationalist”. To demonstrate just how rational he is, he told me that given enough time “anything” can happen, and gave an example by saying that in any universe, due to “the laws of probability” a man would somewhere eventually do backward somersaults through a hoop while being both swallowed and spat out by a whale.

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Of course, there’s no way of disproving my friend’s theory, but my point is that people-many people now-are prepared to believe patent nonsense, simply because it tickles them, appeals to their view of what truth ought to be like, and might I say, provides a colorful deviation from that measuring stick known as Almighty God.

There are, of course, downsides to this approach to truth. For example, under this kind of logic a politician or celebrity and his compliant media representatives can adjust, hide, twist and manipulate the facts and give a totally different story to the real one, but still be telling the truth- as he sees it. We all know out-workings of that little fallacy.

But it seems to me that those pushing for “fundamental change” in our society have already had some success in taking us all one step further, to a time in which the rest of us are being coerced into accepting one view of things; their rough road to Utopia. What they say is true is to their minds now objective truth-they being the gods of the new age, and any criticism of it is struck down with a hail of insults and accusations. It’s no longer enough for them just to have a wildly differing take on truth: any opposition to their opinion must now be destroyed.

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Political correctness, so-called “hate-speech”, and the accompanying self-righteous inquisition work to push the now old multiverse of truths out of existence: there can be only one acceptable view of things. Any dissension will land you, they intend, out of a job, out of business, and in prison.

What the rest of us are convinced is unquestionably true, such as the fact that men are born men and women women (barring physical mutation) they insist is an old lie-an oppressive construct of dark ages past. Old lies must be buried, burned, knocked down, abolished and forgotten. Truth as seen by all of humanity for all of the several thousand years of civilization is under attack. What most of us have known logically, instinctively, physically and empirically are the things which, opponents are determined, must be abolished and forgotten. We are in the age of Anti-truth.

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However, here’s some good news: the good news. Jesus Christ said,

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me  (John 14:6).

Yes, dear reader, no matter what may or may not be thrust upon our culture and our time by the enemies of Truth, there is an end in sight to all this madness and foolishness, and it begins with our acceptance of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ.

*  https://nickyfisher.com/2014/05/17/truth-is-out-of-style/

 

 

 

 

FAUX: THE NEW REAL

In my higgorance and naivety I’ve fallen for the fancy synonym for “fake” too many times, and in this case, once is too many times…

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All kinds of things are advertised as being “faux” these days, the word being paraded as though “faux” were something chic, valuable and amazingly desirable. And of course many things are fake without giving any such warning as the four-letter “f” word in my title.

We have fake leather, fake wood, fake flowers, fake glass and fake metal. Fake organs, fake fruit, chocolate, leather, tans, news, scientists, hair, teeth, nails, boobs, men, women, trees, pottery, religion, healing, prophets, apostles, Republicans, beggars, music, promises, names, I.D., money…and the list goes on for as long as you can list anything pertaining to human beings.

The first five readers who’ve read this far will receive a Ferrari…

…but not a real one.

An old song by a British band I once liked was titled “I’m bored”. I’ve identified with the sentiments of the song numerous times in my life, and this little admission forms the basis of a theory of mine which I believe explains many maladies in our world…

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I was listening to a discussion about Don Quixote, the fictional, self-styled knight-errant, created four hundred years ago by Cervantes. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it-most particularly the Tobias Smollett translation. Quixote made himself what he could never really be-a brave knight-and went out into the world in search of adventure, causing all kinds of trouble, mostly for himself.

The learned panel discussing Quixote debated whether he was mad or just eccentric. I go with the “eccentric” diagnosis. However, I say that it was an eccentricity born of boredom, as eccentricity probably often is. Quixote had had it with his dead-end, uneventful existence, and having read all those exciting stories of knights traveling the world and fighting dragons and saving beautiful maidens, he could only find a way of avoiding madness by re-making himself as one of the knights he’d read about.

Isn’t that the kind of thing children do? Their little minds (before television, overbearing parents and public education get a hold of them) are vitally, vibrantly, constantly active, and unencumbered by the stiff, monochrome, limiting confines of reality, they create their own worlds to find fun and thrills in.

We humans look for meaning and entertainment in all kinds of ways. In the West large numbers of people are fixated on Television. I’m not saying TV us intrinsically wrong. It isn’t, but for millions who live out drab, uneventful time-lines, or who don’t have the time, energy, money or imagination to do the real thing, it’s a convenient and easy way to experience any number of situations and activities without moving out of the comfort and safely of the e-z chair. The rest of us are virtually (pun intended) addicted to various forms of digital entertainment via the internet and computer-based devices. We’re all trying to brighten our lives somehow.

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Conquerors and marauders do their thing partly because it’s so thrilling. It’s much more fun setting fire to things and picking fights with people than spending eight or ten hours of mundane drudgery a day at the office, followed by a few hours of sitting on a log or in an armchair, dreading the thought of doing it all over again for the bazillionth time the next day. People take hallucinogenic drugs not necessarily because they’re evil but because normal life is so stale, empty, gray and uneventful in comparison. I’m not condoning illicit drug use-just stating a fact. Even cats are similarly challenged with boredom, which is why they sleep so much. Some people sleep their lives away because dream worlds are much more interesting than the real one.

I’m not pointing any fingers, because I’m as guilty as anyone. And anyway, I’m convinced that God created us for so much more than what we as a society have made available to ourselves.

Neither am I saying that sin doesn’t play a part in such things as despotism, alcohol and drug abuse, and sexual promiscuity: it does. In fact, it’s the central cause, the root cause. But sin is frequently manifest in the lives of us humans because we’re seeking-consciously or unconsciously-meaning and fulfillment. Just look at Eve, who was persuaded that she would gain some exciting kind of enlightenment by doing what God had told her not to do.

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We’re bored. We’re more bored than we realize. We’re seeking vital, real, experiential, fun-filled, scintillating lives. And because we’re so incredibly and intricately designed, so fantastically crafted, yet using only five percent of our brains and sometimes even less of our physical potential, we look for a way-any way-to do something to alleviate the mind-numbing, crushing frustration and boredom which we often don’t recognize or identify. We’re unable to analyze our problem, let alone look for an answer in any constructive way. And having not lived long enough or having been unwilling or unable to find the wisdom or the power to control ourselves, we-that is, some of us-launch out in ways which may be destructive and which are sometimes sinful. Profligacy, hedonism, harmful proclivities, addictions all come from an inability or unwillingness to assess or conjure up a proper response to our pent-up potential.

Modern society is part of the problem. It also seeks to profit from the problem it creates, taking natural freedoms and real paths to fulfillment from us, and then providing endless forms of entertainment at our expense to fill in the gap. However, in many ways it fails to give what we really need to overcome our condition.

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So what’s the solution: what do we do? I’m not sure that there is a completely satisfactory fix in this life. I do, however, agree with Augustine, who, having once lived a life of unbridled hedonism, came to the following conclusion:

Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.

(From “Confessions”).

Solomon, sometimes seen as the wisest man who ever lived, sought after meaning and fulfillment through entertainment, sex and wealth. Being a king, and a very successful one, he was in a position to fulfill all his sensuous desires in as many ways as he could imagine, including possessing a huge harem. However, having tried it all he eventually came to the same conclusion as Augustine. Deciding that it was all “vanity” or emptiness, he declared:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV).

I hear some of you groaning and complaining about “church”, and about how boring and unfriendly it can be. Actually, I didn’t say anything about “church”. And do you know what? I agree with you: “church” is frequently not what it should be, and no amount of what’s called “contemporary worship” is going to cut it for me personally-although I understand that it seems to do the trick for some people. Yes, church can be rather dull and can fail to provide the things in life we crave for, but really, it isn’t intended to, on its own. Church attendance is part of a much bigger picture of living life in step with our Creator.

How do us active-minded, imaginative souls live a life of faith and obedience without screaming inside with frustration? Is the entertainment the world offers off-bounds to believers wanting to live a godly life? The answers to these questions could be the subjects of an entire series of blog posts, and I could probably not do them justice even so. However, in part 2, I’ll attempt to offer a few thoughts…

Copyright © January 2017 by Nick Fisher

 

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