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Post-modern world

By Jim Killebrew

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[March 18, 2014]  Some time ago I received the following from my cousin as we "reminisced" about the "old" days. I'm not sure who wrote it  it is signed by an unknown author  but I wonder if that person didn't live during the more "innocent" days of America. As that person wrote, he or she lamented, "I liked the old paths, when Moms were at home, Dads were at work.

"Brothers went into the army. And sisters got married BEFORE having children!

"Crime did not pay; hard work did; and people knew the difference.

"Moms could cook; Dads would work; Children would behave.

"Husbands were loving; Wives were supportive; and children were polite.

"Women wore the jewelry; and men wore the pants.

"Women looked like ladies; men looked like gentlemen; and children looked decent.

"People loved the truth, and hated a lie; they came to church to get IN, Not to get OUT!

"Hymns sounded Godly; sermons sounded helpful; rejoicing sounded normal; and crying sounded sincere.

"Cursing was wicked; drinking was evil; and divorce was unthinkable.

"The flag was honored; America was beautiful; and God was welcome!

"We read the Bible in public; prayed in school; and preached from house to house.

"To be called an American was worth dying for; To be called a Christian was worth living for; To be called a traitor was a shame!

"Sex was a personal word; Gay meant something completely different; and abortion was an illegal word.

"Preachers preached because they had a message and not afraid to preach the truth, even if it got on a person's toes...and Christians rejoiced because they had the VICTORY!

"Preachers preached from the Bible; Singers sang from the heart; and sinners turned to the Lord to be SAVED!

"A new birth meant a new life; Salvation meant a changed life; following Christ led to eternal life.

"Being a preacher meant you proclaimed the word of God; being a deacon meant you would serve the Lord!

"Being a Christian meant you would live for Jesus; and being a sinner meant someone was praying for you!

"Laws were based on the Bible; homes read the Bible; Churches taught the Bible.

"Preachers were more interested in new converts than new clothes and new cars.

"God was worshiped; Christ was exalted; and the Holy Spirit was respected.

"The Church building was where you found Christians on the Lord's Day, rather than in the garden, on the creek bank, on the golf course, or being entertained somewhere else.

"I still like the old paths the best. I believe it still is the only path to heaven."  Author unknown

When I read what my cousin had sent to me, I reflected on what it meant even for our current age sometimes referred to as the post-modern era. I do believe in what the unknown author said ... if it was really true. Oh, don't get me wrong; those values mentioned are true enough for that time period in which they were intended. However, I'm not convinced that people even then actually believed all of those things. If they had, when did they stop believing?

Was it when Kinsey, during that time, wrote a "research" report that claimed that most Americans engaged in some sort of aberrant sexual practice? Or was it when Clark Gable, in the blockbuster movie "Gone With the Wind" uttered the famous words, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn," that ushered in a filming and television industry that now practices under a "no holds barred" philosophy? If the values stated by the unknown author above were really the prevailing beliefs, it would be truly sad that evil would have overcome good in such a short time. The truth is, even in those bygone days of seemingly innocence among the people, the so-called post-modern era bubbled with sin throughout society for millenniums.

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Actually, I believe that it all happened when we read, "She did eat; and Adam ate also."  Genesis 3:6

Disobedience to God entered the creation and the spiraling effect of mankind's new-found evil was put into motion. From that very beginning, the creation began to unwind in a direction that was separated from God. The very nature of man became evil and his heart hardened against the relationship toward God and could never have returned to that place of honor with God again. A gulf was established that banished mankind from paradise and catapulted him into a journey that would eventually bring him to a so-called post-modern world where human life has little value outside of God's grace.

Throughout history we have all proven beyond a doubt that we are ultimately capable of perpetrating upon our fellow earthly inhabitants a mayhem that defies description. Even in the scope of the recording of our own time, we saw the complete takeover by force of the known world by Alexander the Great; the debauchery of the thunderous Roman army as they placed thousands on as many crosses to use as torches to light the night; the slaughter of thousands more for entertainment in the "games"; and other infamous butchers like Genghis Khan, Crusaders, Hitler, Stalin and the modern-day African warlords and other dictators who implement genocide on entire people groups.

Neither have Americans escaped the evilness of the very nature of fallen mankind: for example, the buying and selling of humans as objects and using them as slaves to perpetrate injustice, even during the period when the cradle of democracy was being formed. Even after the establishment of the nation, America established policies to systematically drive out the native owners of the land by force, eventually destroying entire societies and cultures.

From the very beginning of creation when mankind accepted the words of evil and rejected the blessings of God, we have all sinned. The Apostle Paul sums it up in his letter to the Romans, "We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God."  Romans 3:23

Thank God that He came to the rescue.

The culmination and defeat of the evil one was pronounced when the Creator said, "It is finished!" On the cross when Jesus looked out over the world He had created, Jesus saw the sin and evil that is continually generated by the "law of sin and death." On the cross voluntarily, Jesus shed His own blood and created the bridge that reconnected the way for the repentant person to return to God through Jesus the Christ. Now we can, through personal choice, each one, or none at all, maintain and practice values that align ourselves with the evil one, or submit ourselves completely to the Creator.

Therefore, no matter how we see it  those past values of which the unknown author spoke and we love so much, or the "pointed tongue of Kiss" and the lifestyle and worldview the "worldly" generation holds  we have the opportunity to see it all through the blood of the worthy Lamb!

As individuals we make our choice for or against Jesus. As we receive forgiveness, righteousness and a spirit life in Jesus through His Holy Spirit, by His power we are saved and made new people. As we live in the life of the Spirit with Christ, it will not erase the evilness throughout the world, even in America.

God, through His Spirit, works through individuals who yield themselves over to Him completely. The individual "sin nature" that leads to death for that individual is totally replaced by a "spirit nature" in Christ through His Holy Spirit. As we continue to yield daily to His Spirit, we live through His power a life in the Spirit and our sin nature is tied down. It is only when we take our eyes off Jesus and the work He did on the cross that we push out His Holy Spirit, lose the power and begin living again in the sin nature.

Until the day when Jesus returns to put an end to all the evilness in the world order, many will continue living in that sin nature that without Christ goes completely unchecked.

Therefore, going back to the "good old days" will never satisfy one's soul. No matter what decade in which we grew up, we carry the sin nature like a ball and chain to completely drag us down. It is only when we yield ourselves over to the One Who is able to free us from our sins that we are able to be truly free.

[By JIM KILLEBREW]

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