As I mentioned in the last Langstaff Letter, the world has changed since I was a boy many years ago. I shared some of those changes, and today, I want to continue to look at some of the other ways life has changed in society. Let us look at the new ways people relate to culture today and how a Christian should respond.
NEW WORLD ORDER – GLOBALISM
There has been a growing development of the ‘World Economic Forum (WEF),’ an intentional non-government lobbying organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, founded in 1971 by German engineer Klaus Schaub. Each January, they hold an annual meeting at a resort in the Eastern Alps of Switzerland. This meeting brings together some 3,000 paying members and selected participants, including investors, business leaders, political leaders, celebrities, and journalists, to discuss global issues.
The WEF believes that a globalized world is best managed by a self-selected coalition of multinational corporations, governments, and civil society organizations, leading up to the ‘Great Reset.’ Taking advantage of the worldwide COVID epidemic, the WEF projected the belief that to deal with this kind of global crisis (such as climate change, epidemics, etc.), society needed a ‘reset.’ This belief, of course, runs contrary to ‘nationalism,’ and, consequently, is another issue causing division in the United States.
NEW VALUE SYSTEM
America was founded by people who, though not perfect, generally held to a biblical worldview. Today, the new way of looking at the world is based on one’s personal subjective feelings, so there is no widely accepted truth. Instead, truth is what it is to you personally. Take, for example, sex and marriage. Fifty years ago, the concept that sex was meant for marriage was widely accepted, but today, that is no longer applicable. Couples now cohabit, with some never getting married. This new value system is in contrast with the biblical worldview that goes back to the creation story in Genesis. Add to this the question of abortion and when life begins. Society’s viewpoint of this issue has also changed, dividing America.
This new world value system affects many other issues in society. Let us look at some of them:
NEW GENDER DEFINITIONS
For as long as people can remember, it has been accepted that there have been two genders: male and female. This is not so today, with the onset of transgenderism. For some people, a man can become a woman and a woman a man. But is this actually the truth? Can a biological man have a monthly period? Can he conceive a baby in his womb? Can he breastfeed a baby? Biologically and scientifically speaking, the answer is ‘no.’ But the world is now called to think differently.
“If you think there are only two genders, you are not very smart, according to gender theorists. One of the most basic tenets of gender theory is that human genders are like the hues of a rainbow, a vast array of diversity, far beyond just male and female. The concept here is that gender is merely the dictates of our culture that determines how you should look and act according to our definition of male and female. However, “If your body tells you and the world you are a man, but you believe yourself to be a woman, then actually, truly and absolutely beyond questions a woman” (Citizen Magazine).
Can gender be a simple matter of choice based on our feelings and not based on any scientific criteria? Even President Biden has accepted these new definitions. He is on record as saying that efforts to restrict gender surgeries for children as “close to sinful” (cnn.com).
NEW IDEAS ON EQUALITY
A new word has come into culture today: ‘Equity,’ defined as “the state, quality or idea of being just, impartial, and fair.” On the surface, this sounds good, but the idea goes beyond this definition. To achieve equity, it is believed that there has to be laws, regulations, and government actions that will force everyone to be on the same level, a form of social justice.
By contrast, ‘Equality’ is simply a situation in which men and women, people of different races and religions, etc., are treated fairly and have the same opportunities. The key word is equal opportunity, not equal results and outcomes.
‘Equity’ undergirds a socialist approach to society and how we are governed. For example, it would tax the rich to give to those who are not rich. It is also part of the issues related to race relations, such as whether there should be reparations to African Americans for the treatment they have received going back to slavery. This is a complicated matter with no easy consensus; nevertheless, the bible teaches ‘equality’ not ‘equity.’
NEW ATTITUDE OF LAWLESSNESS
Lawlessness has been let loose in many of America’s biggest cities, such as Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. Tragically it often involves teenagers. Murders have increased. Likewise, car thefts. Ever since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, it seems that lawlessness has exploded. Protests have often become an excuse to destroy personal property, such as setting businesses on fire. Or with the young people rioting in Chicago this last week.
Coupled with this is the issue of gun violence. This, too, is a complicated issue, but it seems unlikely in a country like America that you will be able to easily reduce the ownership of guns. Someone pointed out that there are around 100 million guns in America today. Just recently, we had three children and three adults killed in Nashville, TN. Then, there are also the many police officers killed while on duty.
There is no doubt that society is becoming more lawless.
NEW ATTITUDE TO PATRIOTISM
In recent times the attitude of people regarding America has changed. A recent poll by the Wall Street Journal reported that American patriotism is in decline (wsj.com). In 1998, seventy percent of Americans considered patriotism important to them. Today it has declined to thirty-eight percent.
Douglas Carswell, president of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, gives one explanation of what has changed, “America was founded on the principle that every American is created equal and that each individual is in possession of inalienable rights. Of course, there were times when America failed to live up to those lofty ideals, but for the first two centuries of the Republic’s existence, these principles were the essential ingredient of American cohesion.
Thanks to these Founding principles, folk from different ancestral backgrounds in England, Poland or Italy, eastern Europe, west Africa, or South Asia could all come together and see one another as fellow citizens of the same Republic.
About thirty years ago, things started to change. Rather than being taught to see themselves as individual citizens, young Americans were increasingly encouraged by left-wing educators to define themselves in terms of their racial background, or gender, or various other immutable characteristics. Many young Americans are invited to see their primary loyalty not to fellow citizens of the Republic, but to whichever oppressed group it is that they supposedly belong to, in a hierarchy of victimhood. . . .
. . . For much of the twentieth century, Americans were taught to believe that through hard work and perseverance, they could achieve anything. Today, many young Americans are invited to believe that nothing they do matters much, since it is the ‘the system’ that either privileges them or stacks the odds hopelessly against them. Is it any wonder that the same poll showed a sharp decline in the percentage of young Americans who believe in the importance of hard work?
Unequal outcomes between Americans are increasingly attributed to ‘systemic’ discrimination rather than being seen as reflective of differences in individual behavior. As a result, in the name of ‘equity’, we have started to see a return of government-sponsored discrimination, further undermining America’s Founding ideals.
If you spend three decades trying to make Americans believe that their country is, as CNN might put it, a Republic founded by slave-owners on stolen land, it is hardly surprising that patriotism if then declines.
If you tell a generation of young Americans that human civilization has messed up the planet and that looming eco-catastrophe means we are all doomed, you should not be surprised that they are less keen on having kids than their grandparents” (gwcommonwealth.com).
Young people today have been fed an anti-American diet. Consequently, Critical Race Theory (CRT) has been projected today to young people especially. The result of all this is that people see their identity in a new way as CRT frames human life through the Marxist lens of oppressed versus oppressor. Thus, all members of society are in one of these two groups, and our identity is now based on matters such as race, religion, gender, and socioeconomic status. Rather than individual responsibility, CRT believes that society’s main oppressors are generally ‘white.’ Hence the concept of ‘white supremacy.’
There was a time when America was seen as a great ‘Melting Pot,’ but not so today.
NEW VOCABULARY – ‘WOKE’
‘Woke’ is a new word that has come into being. ‘Woke’ means many things to many people, but it often means a culture of active participation in fighting oppression and promoting social justice. ‘Woke’ also means being aware of social and political issues and is generally considered a ‘left-wing’ term. It has permeated the business world. Also, here is the concept of ‘cancel-culture.’
“The darkness in corporate America makes Christ’s mandate in Matthew 5:14 to be the light of the world especially timely for Christians.
Michael Brown, a Christian apologist and host of the syndicated broadcast “The Line of Fire,” says Christians in corporate America must always remember that “if we try to save our lives we will lose them.”
“Never has this been more important than today in the business world, where a radical leftist minority is imposing its will on tens of millions of employees,” Brown says. “Many of them see that the emperor has no clothes, but they are afraid to speak up because of the fear of consequences.
“The key is for everyone to speak up together, respectfully and with dignity, but without fear, determined to do what is right because it is right. Millions of God-honoring people cannot be ignored or silenced” (decisionmagazine.com).
HOW ARE WE TO RESPOND TO ALL THIS?
Keep the Faith – Do not succumb to the pull of the world but stick to a Biblical worldview and all that it involves. Jude v3 tells us “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
We are to do this with love
Pray – Realize that behind it all, we are involved in spiritual warfare. A lot of what is happening today is demonic in origin. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10). Let us pray for God to bring about the right kind of change.
Do whatever God has called you to do – There are countless possibilities, such as:
- Vote; elections are the key to democracy
- Run for office, whether it be local such as a school board, or at the state or federal level
- Support organizations devoted to a Biblical Christian worldview
- Contact your local representatives about specific issues
- Stay informed about all that is happening so that you can speak truth to others as the opportunities arise.