Saturday, December 15, 2012

Our Cultural Mindset

In light of the recent shooting of 27 people, including 20 children, we are now collectively taking a class on "acts of insanity..."

I cannot tell you what was in the tortured mind of this young man as he murdered his mother, 20 children, and 7 adults in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. We’ll never know. And even if he were still around, he might not be able to tell us himself.

What I do know is that in the last 30 or so years, this is the stuff of your typical newscast. When I was younger (less that 20) most of this would have only been briefly told on the national newscast, and then, most of it, like now, would be conjecture. Now, on the popular news channels, we see new anchors, psychologists, law enforcement officials, and all variety of ‘talking heads’ analyzing the situation for days and weeks to come. We are now all involved in the class on 'acts of insanity.'

I do know that most of the media, including movies, television shows, and video games promote violence that is a quantum leap from 40 or 50 years ago. There were war movies when I was young, but even then, they weren’t as violent and as bloody as they are now. But, not only is violence perpetrated upon us on a regular basis, but illicit sex as though it was commonplace. Nudity and sexual content are a regular staple in “R” rated movies – in my opinion, these shows/films come very close to being pornography. My wife and I have tried to watch suspense thrillers on BBC, HBO and the like, during which I basically have to interrupt my train of thought and look away (I don't need to see that stuff) because the writers/directors thought it best to put some gratuitous sex in the story, with naked bodies galore. I and my wife have had to stop watching some of these shows, because of a sex scene or nudity being thrown in every 5 to 10 minutes, for titillation purposes, I would think.

I’m not claiming to be a prude or a puritan, but when we see senseless acts of violence – and some could argue that meaningless sex is an act of consensual rape – we hardly need wonder why our society (and that means the whole planet, which is being brought together by technology) is decaying. I believe Paul said, quoting Isaiah:

Go and tell this people: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed Isaiah 6:9-10

“…in the last days mockers shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts…” 2 Peter 3:3

“In fact, their minds [have] grown hard and calloused [they [have] become dull and [have] lost the power of understanding…. That same veil still lies [on their hearts], not being lifted…”
2 Corinthians 3:14

He was talking to the residents of the city-state of Corinth, the ancient city on the Island Of Corinth. Jesus, in a discourse with his disciples, said,

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains…” Matthew 24: 6-8

V10: “At that time many will turn away from the [truth] and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…”

I’m proposing that the real solution to the problem is not gun control, or gated entry to schools, or guards at the schools. These things are necessary, but they don’t bring back lost lives. As has been said frequently since the Presidential elections, “Our culture has changed.” And the change is more than just the increase in single mothers, or disenfranchised minorities: it is in the hearts and minds of the people in our society.

AS Mike Huckabee said, when he was growing up, the rifles you carried (typically on your rifle rack in your truck) were for hunting…animals. These days, when we disagree with someone, we feel we must hunt them down, like the animals of times past. I have often said that when aggressive people are confronted with a difficult problem, it is easier to a) ignore the problem, and pretend it doesn’t exist; or b) Try to kill the problem, in some cases, literally. My term for this is “non-confrontational confrontation.”

I don’t know what troubled the mind of Adam Lanza; I’m sure his motive will be pieced together eventually by all those involved. I hope God has mercy upon his soul. I pray that the Lord would have mercy on our nation and this world. Men’s hearts prefer self-gratification and fulfilled desires, rather than equity and truth. May God have mercy on us all.


Ruth said...

Profound commentary Chas.

I had been pondering lately the verse about , "the love of most will grow cold…”

I will have to get back to you on this!

Chas. Funderburg said...

You do that, Ruth...I'd be interesting in hearing more of your thoughts!