Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Tea

As Christians, our challenge is to go back as close as we can to the gospel and truly to be the church. Increasingly, we’re likely to be a counter-culture. 
Os Guinness, Interview with Marvin Olasky, World Magazine 

One of the advantages to having a television set hooked up to an antennae is being able to watch the new digital channels.   Many of these channels specialize in TV shows from past decades that are enjoyable to watch again here in 2013.

Now, while I realize some of the 1950s and early 1960s shows portray a more perfect world than it was, they also are a reflection of the culture as a whole from those years.  

One need not watch for long to realize one huge difference between now and then... that being the way the general population viewed religion as there is often a mention of going to church, Sunday School, praying, etc.  Just last week on an episode of Father Knows Best, Jim read a poem to his children which reflected faith in adversity.

The Church in general (and Bible believing Christians specifically) are laughed about, scoffed at, and have become the center of jokes in the general media today.   Long gone are the days when a television dad would offer his child wisdom from Scripture.  Not to mention these days in the media, the annoying children are often portrayed as smarter than the parents.

When did the Church begin to lose the culture?  

My husband has read that 1968 is considered the year the culture changed in the United States (Europe changed long before that year).  That may be correct even if one only looks at movies, TV, music, etc.

We must remember that some of the events which brought about huge changes later did not seem all that big at the time.  I was a child when prayer was taken out of the schools and I can't recall my parents even talking about it. 

I had become a Christian when Roe vs. Wade brought about the changes in the abortion laws but I didn't think much of it.  Abortion was very rare at the time and I saw the new law as protection against a woman dying because she was afraid of being arrested if she went to the hospital with complications from an abortion.

Few Christians (if any) could imagine a time when there would be thousands of abortions performed each day, many as a method of birth control.  Pandora is often let out of the proverbial box with no thought to later consequences.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard a younger person say past decades were not as "Christian" as the older folks say they were.  Which should not surprise me given what is taught in the public schools the past twenty-plus years.   However, I grew up in a home where my parents did not go to church but society in general held fast to Biblical values.  It is true.

No wonder our media is full of couples living together, alternative relationships, women wearing revealing clothing, all forms of romantic interludes... and those who would walk in purity portrayed as naive and stupid.

So... what do we do when, as Bible believing Christians, we are now considered walking against the main stream of the culture?  Well, for one thing... as the Word says... if you are persecuted considered it joy for that means you truly are following Christ.  It is happening more often with each passing year.

We can only take that next step in being salt and light even when those around us prefer the darkness.  Remember the posters with the saying "Bloom Where You are Planted"?   God has placed you in a unique place to show the Truth of His Word to those around you.

As I wrote last week, He has given you the gifts you can use even if it is the spiritual gift of making good cookies.  Okay, so that one was missed in the Book of Corinthians... but it is a gift.

Also, as makers of the home, there is still much we can do.  I've written much about making our home a sanctuary for both ourselves and our family and never before in our culture have we needed such a safe house.

I'll talk more next week about making our homes places that are Christ centered and grace filled.  God willing and the proverbial creek don't rise...


Terra said...

Sad to say but you are right, Sunday School was sometimes mentioned in tv shows and movies and ministers and priests shown as good people, in the 1950s. Much of the problem is the people who are writers, producers, etc. today. They do not reflect good values, since theirs are not good.

Anonymous said...

This is a topic I have been pondering. Thank you for your lovely post.


Keri said...

Thank you for this. I often regret that I wasn't born much earlier than I was (I was born in 1970) because I would have loved to live in that simpler, more honest time that you're describing. But I try not to dwell on those thoughts too much, especially since I learned what Ecclesiastes 7:10 has to say on the subject. I'm glad to read your thoughts here, and the reminder that I have been placed here, in this place, in this time, for a purpose. And it's only through prayer and discernment that I will know what that purpose is and be able to set about to fulfill it.

Anonymous said...

When we look at the wild lifestyle in Hollywood, why should we be surprised at the sort of "entertainment" that comes from there these days.

Anonymous said...

Brenda, I love your ideas and encouragement to make our homes a sactuary and a haven for our families, but I think as Christians we have to balance this with missional living. As you have said before, this is not our home, and we are here to be lights in the darkness - not just create the most cozy little nest that we can for ourselves and curl up and hibernate there, shutting the ugly world out (although this is so tempting!!!) I recently saw an article on Focus on the Family that addressed this. They suggested that we "think of our homes as a missional outpost, not just a haven for our own family's use..." Here is the link It especially identified selfless living as an antidote to many parental frustrations. Don't you think much the decline of our nation has to do with increased selfishness? For example, can you ever imagine people making the sacrifices today that they did back in the time of WWII to help the war effort? -Joy

Vee said...

I was interested to read last week that Bill Cosby did his sitcom to show that parents were smarter than the children. And that was twenty years ago (?) We need some more programming like that. Yes, there were definitely more values in the culture during my childhood. There was not the coarse language or foul gestures. People actually dressed up to travel or go shopping. There was an entirely different code of behavior. Yet, without Christ, they were still lost. Still, I do long for the pleasantries of a more grounded society.

HeatherMavis said...

I just shared your thoughts on my FB page. I've been thinking along the same lines all weekend.

Lisa said...

I think it is a shame that television doesn't show the results of the behaviors that it glorifies.

Anonymous said...

Although I am not totally in love with all that the tv show Duck Dynasty shows they do talk of family and have a moral lesson at the end of each show. They also eat together and all pray together before eating. Even our cowboy Hoppalong Cassity had little moral or life lessons in it for the kids. It drives me about crazy when I hear so many people make statements that life years ago was no different than it is now. They just do not believe that yes we did live like Leave It to Beaver. No my mother did not wear pearls every day while doing her housework but she was home and she did wear a dress always. We were able to ride our bikes all over the neighborhood and out till supper time etc. We were polite to our teachers and we did not even hold hands down the hallways with boys let alone kiss in school. We sat and listened to the teachers and would not even think of sassing them etc. Mostly it still amazes me how soon things changed from what was accepted and ordinary behavior to the opposite. It is like we are living in The Twilight Zone sometimes. I can only imagine how sad it must make God. Yes we who are older DO remember and know for sure things used to be so beautifully different. Sarah

moreofhim said...

What a wonderful and thoughtful post. It's so true that the little things we let out of the "pandora's box" can become bigger than we could imagine. I can think of a lot of things that were very wrong when I was young are now very accepted - or even celebrated! It's a sad commentary on our society, but not surprising when we see what Jesus says will happen in end times. I agree with you - our homes need to be a sanctuary for our family!

Blessings - Julie