Published February 2, 2006
The precocious tyke in the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip by Bill Watterson kicked off the New Year by delivering his view of making New Year’s resolutions. In a conversation with his make-believe friend, Hobbes, Calvin opines, “In order to improve oneself one must have some idea of what’s ‘good’ that implies certain values.” Calvin continues to wax eloquent as he piques the interest of Hobbes, “But as we all know, values are relative.
“Every system of belief is equally valid and we need to tolerate diversity. Virtue isn’t better than vice. It’s just different.” Hobbes then adds his view with this observation, “I don’t know if I can tolerate that much tolerance.” Calvin then closes the subject with this statement, “I refuse to be victimized by notions of virtuous behavior.”
What better reminder do we need that we are involved in a cultural war than that which is evidenced by the conversation between Calvin and Hobbes? Drawing from the one line, “Virtue isn’t better than vice. It’s just different,” one can hear the muddled thoughts of the postmodern mind.
Not being able to define or even recognize “good” when one sees it is the order of the day. Moral relativism has replaced absolute truth. When speaking to the business world or addressing economic issues, examining academics, watching the family, determining how government will function or what role the church plays in the current cultural climate, we have been told that one cannot impose an absolute moral code of conduct upon any of these areas.
Everyone is welcome to conduct their life in the way they choose at the moment. Down this slippery slope into moral ruin we have been thrusting ourselves headlong for more than a generation. We are now beginning to reap what we have sowed.
In the thirty-three (33) years since the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, 40 million human beings have been aborted. We are now being told that with modern technology a woman will have the chance to know early in her pregnancy the health or status of the child so she can make a decision earlier to abort the child.
Personal and collective respect has been relegated to the ash heap of old outdated concepts not to be mentioned unless there is a supposed breach of “political correctness.”
In a post 9-11 world, we see played out on the public stage those among us who worry more about American counter-terrorist actions than they do the known threat of anti-American terrorists. There is personal and societal disintegration occurring that demands something be done.
Steps to restoration
What must be done to bring about positive change for a return to respect, order and authority?
There are some pundits telling us this task is impossible and we must do the best we can for surely the end of time is near. There are others who suggest we need to become comfortable, or in their words, “chill out,” going with the flow because the changes we long for will not occur until matters get much worse.
Believing it is never too late, the following practical steps are offered as first steps toward restoring order to our culture.
Call to action
Knowing that nothing happening today has caught God off guard the first step is to assure our relationship with Him. God has invited us to walk in a daily intimate fellowship with Him.
Prayer then, is vital as we deal with all that is going on around us. As we gather in our churches we need to pray for each other, for our leaders and for guidance to follow the plan of God.
As we pray, we will be guided to pay attention to our culture. Becoming informed about what is going on in our world is vital to being prepared to respond to the needs of the day.
The informed believer is better able to prepare to be proactive regarding the opportunities of service in the greater community of mankind. As we pray and pay attention, we will be led to join together with others of like mind.
The forming of Salt and Light teams in our churches will move us forward in being aware of what is taking place in the world as well as allowing for plans to be made to inform the church about current issues.
In the research process of the Salt and Light team we must educate ourselves as to what is going on in our culture and how best to address the issues from an informed position.
The final step in the beginning process is to act upon what we know. Becoming proactive in dealing with all levels of government, business and academics will motivate us to continue the process of bringing about positive change with the end result of restoring respect, order and authority to our ever-changing culture.
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