Our nation experienced a cultural revolution in the 1960’s. It was the decade of the anti-establishment counterculture. It was the decade of deception. The Woodstock crowd believed that by dropping all the social mores regarding sexuality they would experience freedom. They swallowed that lie hook, line, and sinker only to realize that sexual freedom is a short-term pleasure that leads to long-term bondage. Breaking away from the social constraints of previous generations brought a certain liberty but not without a price. Those who wanted to participate in this freedom had to embrace a ‘new’ way of thinking.
The focus was always narcissistic. It was the ‘me’ generation. How might I find more satisfaction in life? Self-sacrifice had become a nerdy concept that belonged to the people who wore thin ties and white shirts. The rise of the hippie generation was marked by the questioning of all authority, especially the ultimate expression of authority, God himself. The existence of God was questioned in the April 8, 1966 issue of Time Magazine which featured the headline, ‘Is God Dead?’ If God was dead then the absolute truth that he had authored must also be dead. Relativism paved the way to confusion and hedonism. With no moral absolutes to guide them and no God to answer to, youth attempted to fill the void in their godless hearts with sex, drugs (LSD) and psychedelic music.
The barbarians were at the gates. They had no god and they had no restraints. They had come to liberate society. They failed to realize that by eliminating the restraints they would introduce chaos. A life with no parameters will eventually find itself wrecked in a ditch to nowhere. Bad thinking will always lead to the development of warped values. When we embrace warped values it leads to poor behavior. Thus, poor thinking leads to bad behavior. The consequences are as obvious as the nose on our faces. If God is dead than life has no value.
Evolution was not so much about explaining where we came from, it was about eliminating the very idea that God exists. When a generation bought into the idea that we were not created in the image of God, then life lost its sanctity. History does repeat itself. Stalin’s belief that there was no God led to the murder of tens of millions of people. When Hitler believed there was no God it resulted in the murder of six million Jews and ten million Christians. When Americans began to question the existence of God they slipped down the slippery death culture slope. Fifty million unborn babies have been slaughtered in the last forty years. No society has ever survived without a set of absolute moral values.
Forty years ago the barbarians were at the gates of American culture. Today, they run the country. Bad thinking has led us to financial ruin. It has polarized us as never before. We have replaced the Ten Commandments with government mandates. Society cannot function without a set of absolute morals. Our inner most consciousness, that which continues to shout at us that there is, indeed, a God, calls constantly for the elimination of murder and lies and abuse in our society. Without a God and a scriptural standard to enforce those values and to transform the minds and hearts of evil men, the barbarians at the helm have devised their own way to seek to control the horde of cultural peasants. Political correctness is an attempt to control our speech, our thoughts, indeed, the very way in which we live our lives. The great irony is that the Cultural Revolution was supposed to bring liberty and freedom but instead it has made us slaves to a cultural change induced by criticism and ridicule and severe consequences for those who refuse to conform. While many Americans tremble in fear of Islamic terrorism, they fall victim to the social terrorism promulgated by the ruling barbarians. The God of Creation has been replaced by the gods of tolerance and philosophical relativism. Failure to bow to these gods will earn you the title of social bigot and expose you to the wrath of the social elite.
The punishments for failure to conform to the group-think of relativism and the refusal to jump aboard the politically correct bandwagon are varied. At the least, you will be castigated from society. Your speech is free and protected by the first amendment only so long as it resonates with the message of the barbarian bullies. Should you stray from their ‘truth’ you could find yourself in the unemployment line, grieving over how you will save your home and family.
So what keeps the peasant masses from picking up pitch forks and rushing the castle? The barbarians exercise the same ploy used by the rulers of ancient Rome. It is the ‘bread and circus’ approach of controlling the potential malcontents. Make sure everyone has been fed and open the coliseum to provide entertainment, especially feeding a few Christians to some hungry lions. The American masses are fed well through a socialist welfare system and instead of a car in every garage there is a big screen television on every living room wall. Lyndon Johnson wasn’t thinking well when he told the millions who lived in the inner city that they were not responsible for their behavior (absolute truth), instead, their behavior was caused by the poverty they lived in (relativism). This way of thinking creates an illusion that God and his moral standard are unnecessary to affect man’s behavior. Men, especially white men, the oppressor turned savior, would ride into the ghetto on his white horse and offer salvation to the suffering. The pumping of massive amounts of money into the slums would eliminate poverty which, in turn, would eliminate crime. Sadly, an entire generation bought into the utopian lie and the Puritan work ethic demonstrated by our founding fathers evaporated into thin air. This was poor thinking.
The hope of America is to start thinking well again. That can be accomplished by a return to biblical principles. The Bible supports the ownership of private property. The Bible teaches absolute truths and rewards concepts such as self-control and self-sacrifice. Jesus emphasized the importance of good stewardship, taking care of the property we own. Jesus said to treat others as you would want them to treat you. He promoted the idea of a strong work ethic and then enjoying and sharing the fruit of our labor. The free enterprise system set up by our founding fathers works well but only if there are moral restraints to govern the actions of men who struggle with depraved human natures.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” (Proverbs 9:10) The seed from which wisdom springs is a reverential fear of God. When we fail to pay him homage, when we set up our humanistic, materialistic idols, we lose the influence of the only omniscient One and we think poorly, we lose our sense of what is valuable and important in life and then we behave poorly. If only we would call upon our Creator and our Savior. He has promised, “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24)
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.