"A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect." ~ copied, unattributed
I don't think anyone would argue just how coarse our society has become over the last fifty years. As the sociologists attempt to determine how we got to where we are today, I think maybe they should consider my input. That's what I'm mulling over this warm summer-like day on this Friday, October 28, 2016. That photo is part of my point. I actually remember flying back in the day when folks dressed in what was considered in those days to be appropriate attire. I'm not against the informal, but, the photo, while perhaps an overkill, does, in some ways, illustrate this sea change in what seems to be today's total lack of any modicum of consideration. This anything-goes mentality has bled over into every facet of life. We have those who have helped to tear down any and all barriers now decrying the lack of civility in our communication and in our interaction one with another. Is it any wonder? We now have the in-your-face, if-you-don't-like-it, I-don't-care approach to life. I agree. Life today is not very civil at all. Whatever happened to manners? Think about it. Road rage. Need I say more? It's like our entire society has joined the limbo dance line where we are working to see how low we can go. I'm not up on my soapbox, I'm just giving it to you like I see it. It's like the young woman I observed in the doctor's waiting room who wore a skirt so short she left little to the imagination. She sat there frantically pulling to make it longer while glaring at all the men in the room. Finally, a brave older fellow leaned over to her and told her that perhaps she should have given thought about her appearance before she left home. I see stuff every day on social media posted by those I know to be God fearing people. They have children on the same media system. Yet, they put explicit images up and quotes that use gutter language. Not, what about the children? But, what about their own children? The experts cry out: Whatever happened to decency? Whatever happened to any sense of decorum? The photo I used is intended as a metaphor. I report. You decide.
I am not saying we are living in the worst times ever in the history of our created world. It doesn't take a lot of research to know that from a historical perspective, life has been much more difficult in the past. Huge populations wiped out by plagues. The average lifespan of humanity fifty years or less. It is important to keep in mind the great accomplishments in medicine and in the quality of life considerations. Many theologians read what Jesus said about how things were when the flood came in Noah's day. He said that conditions would be similar when He would return at the end of the age. (See Matthew 24, and Luke 17) We know that sin was rampant in Noah's day. However, some point out that before the flood came, life was being lived out without recognition of, or respect for God. God had become irrelevant to the day by day pursuits of those living on the planet. In other words, they got up every day and went about their activities as if God did not exist. That may be a better understanding of how we got to where we are today than trying to link up some direct specific causes. Ambivalence. Neutral. Does it really matter? It does, my friend. The answer to the situation described in the first paragraph has to do with a return to God and His Word. A much-quoted verse from Proverbs is often misinterpreted. "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." (King James Version) Here's the meaning behind that verse as given in the Amplified Bible, "Where there is no vision [no revelation of God and His word], the people are unrestrained; But happy and blessed is he who keeps the law [of God]." Unrestrained. Got it? Food for thought on a Friday.
I promise I did not start out with a sermon in mind. Too bad I don't have some glossy 8x10 photographs signed by Jesus to send to those willing to make a donation today. Don't get all bent out of shape. That is a joke. I grew up listening to radio preachers late at night. They could really offer some strange items for those who wanted to participate in supporting their great ministry. (Which typically was going off the air if they didn't hear from folks that very week.) Sorry. I have to confess that I mostly was listening for the entertainment value because many of them were a parody in process. Sadly, gullible folks believed a lot of their rants and they likely sent for some of those items. You know. "It will not cost you one penny. Just send $1 dollar to cover the weight of the postal money order." I believe that one came from the late Southern comedian, Dave Gardner. Yes. I am aware there were good preachers on radio. I heard good preaching most of the time at the local fellowship where we attended, therefore, on the radio, I was only interested in hearing the comic and outlandish fellows. What's that? You think that might explain some things about me? Good. Then we did accomplish something today. Thanks for hanging in there with me and I do hope you have a great Saturday, and that Sunday, the Lord's Day, will find you and yours gathered at the meeting place to honor Him. Amen. .....More later.
Many years in this sojourn here on planet earth and I have the scars to prove it but I have been, am now, and will be blessed to have had the privilege of doing what little I've done to honor God and serve others.