Archive for November 16th, 2019

Behold! Look!

Full disclosure: I am 65 years old. I hear myself asking as we look at our nation and world: how did we come to these days of idolatry and immorality? And I have been asked by others that same question many times.

Several years ago, my wife and I stopped at a flea market and I came across this copy of Look magazine. Please note the date 1966 but even more notice the theme of this edition: youth, that is us baby boomers, born between ’46-’64. After World War II ended in 1945, the returning GIs came back to a country that would shortly experience an economic boom. With the GI bill for education, the conditions were ripe for an upsurge in family life because of the nation’s post-war wealth and better jobs for the many who could be college educated. Then with cars, suburbs starting springing up like weeds outside our major cities. Couple that with great leap forward in communication of ideas and values: television. Baby boomers are the first generation to never have been without TV. Through TV, many values were catechized into society and culture, as in, the desire for more and more which increased the economic boom. Then with the televised image, the image of youth, which is attractive, predominated as did the sheer numbers of boomers. We idolized youth to the point there was a saying back then: Don’t trust anyone over 30. Youth became people supposedly to be listened to and heeded, obeyed. Whereas, in all the previous generations of mankind, in many cultures around the world, it was the elders who were consulted. As Lutheran Pastor, Rev. Kurt Marquardt wrote in ’78 about revising the divine liturgy, made this salient point about the consultation of youth:

Who, after all, could respect an institution (church) which is, after two thousand years’ experience, so confused about its functions as to say, in effect: “Dear children, help us! We are no longer sure about what we ought to be doing. Perhaps you might have some good ideas?” Who could possibly take seriously the play-worship prefixed with that horrid word, “experimental”? The fact is that no healthy, viable society lets its children arbitrate its values. It is for the elders of the tribe to guard its
cultural heritage and to transmit it solemnly to the younger generation-never vice versa. Also in our society the problem is not with the youth but with their elders. 

I think my parents, remembering especially my Father’s comments, were being overwhelmed by the changes, transformations and malformations of the times. Bob Dylan got it right: “The times they are a’changing”. Still are and not in the right directions according to the Word of God.

How did we get here? Look at the articles in that ’66 Look magazine edition: 1. The new morality, especially sexual morality was simply and tragically the old immorality made to be accepted and so now we have transgenderism. The sexual revolution has won. 2. Parents are to be seen and not heard, and our children are to be consulted for their ‘wisdom’ 50 years later: So Greta Thunberg, a girl, lectures the United Nations. There was a ’60s movie in which young radicals put LSD in the Congress’ water and they dropped the voter age to 14 and now there is talk about the same today in the presidential election, except the insobriety of such thinking does not have the excuse of hallucinogens. 3. And “cool communists” as the horrors of communism gripped the world as in the some 20 million Stalin killed in the gulags and communist China did even worse in the ’60s. There was nothing “cool” about communism, and socialism, then and now.

The Lord in His Word, told us this would happen as the Day of the Lord approaches:

1 Timothy 3: But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 

What are Christians to do? Avoid it, turn off the TV, don’t blog, and live out our vocations and in those vocations, to live as the Lord told us:

St. Matthew 5: 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

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