I’m in the middle of reading (more like at the beginning…and going very slowly through) Ravi Zacharias’ Deliver Us From Evil: Restoring the Sould in a Disintegrating Culture. Every time I pick it up, I find myself thinking hard and wanting to share what I’ve read, but not knowing how to exactly without boring everyone or just retyping an entire chapter. So, I’m going to attempt to share an excerpt and the thoughts I’ve had in relating it to recent life.
“How revealing it is that in the bloodiest century of history we deny human depravity. The relativism of ancient Greece has worked it way into a modern America, though the Greek philosophers themselves, even in their day, warned that relativism would be suicidal. To her credit, early America knew that this was not merely a philosophical problem, as real as that was. This was a problem of the soul, and the heart of humanity was in need of redemption.
Today we have gone backward. We deny both the spiritual and the philosophical. And our end result will be the same as ancient Greece. The imprint of Greece is upon us and upon the new soil of American secularism. It is said of Greece that it is not that the people were abandoned by their gods because they had become so wicked but that they had abonded their gods because their gods had become too wicked. In our time, the gods of relativism who shape our ideas may well be in the same mold and worthy of abandonment if we are to avert the debacle that overtook the Greek soul.
…Centuries have passed, and as America has grown and waxed strong, the belief that was once rejected—that man is the measure of all things—is now espoused. The conviction that was once held—the fallen nature of men—is now rejected. And in every sense of the term, a major conflict for cultural control has begun to emerge…And the Christian, bewildered by this dramatic turn, sees the darkening horizon because of the encroaching deformity within the cultural soul. The call of the Supreme Artist, who created all things beautiful, is being mocked. Secularism has grabbed its philosophical knife to silence the Artist in the public square.”
Ok, so I know that probably sounds super heavy. Believe me, it takes some getting into, but Ravi Zacharias has some awesome insights. He’s really been making me think about the downward spiral of our cultural, especially in terms of the church and the youth. More and more, we seem to shun intelligent thought. It inwardly irks me how obsessed the kids (and even adults) are with video games, computers and cell phones. They take up so much time and attention at the expense of spending time with God in daily devotions. On our youth trips when we’ve limited the usage of electronics, they don’t seem to know what to do with themselves and they even become super angry if they can’t answer every text and phone call. Even during a recent small group, I was annoyed at how many times we had to tell them to put their phones away. We couldn’t even have a short conversation or even play a group game without the majority of them constantly checking their phones.
I know it may not seem like these things have much to do with the disintegrating culture, but in a way I think they do. Our culture has been so much changed by the media and technology that we’ve lost (at least in a big way) the appreciation for actual relationships, intelligent learning, reading, and being quiet before God. I know I struggle with it as well. But it really burdens me how hard it is to get our youth to realize how much they’re missing in life by being so enthralled by distractions and worthless pursuits.