Saturday, February 2, 2008

Unthinkable, and Yet, Here We Are

I had a 400 mile long post here earlier, but I deleted it. It was a monumental, royal rant about how my kids are exposed to filthy language. As a mother, it simply enrages me to see their expressions/reactions when they hear a vulgar word they've never heard before, or a word they (thankfully!) don't hear as a part of common, everyday speech. In a way, it violates them and violently rips away part of their childhood innocence. As a mother, it makes me so incredibly angry when this happens. Children are shoved too quickly out of childhood in our day, and I want my kids to enjoy being children as long as they are, without being exposed to things they shouldn't be exposed to yet. Yes I know we can't shelter our kids forever, but I'm truly giving it my best shot to protect them from filth and trash they're not old enough to handle yet. Then along comes some rotten, ugly, vile influence that undermines my role as their provider and nurturer. There are no words in the human language that accurately describe just how much I loathe this.

I deleted what I had here earlier because I did what I'm prone to do, and went all over the field on various rabbit trails. While there are literally no limits to where this language can be found these days, where my kids heard it recently was in a G RATED MOVIE. There was enough of it, that after about 30 minutes of the movie we had to turn it off. We have a tendency to forget that quite often a G RATED movie in Canada is a PG RATED movie in the states, as this one is (we didn't notice this when we rented it, obviously, or we wouldn't have rented it for a 4, 7, 9 and 10 year old viewing audience).. You can read the review of this movie here. What this means essentially, is that Canadian children are exposed to more "mature"(?) content at a younger age, than American children are. Isn't that nice?

It's ironic really, that this happened last night. Quite often this subject of language comes up, since it is something that is so unavoidable in our world, and it's a subject that I've been dealing with in various contexts for the last several days. After this happened and we had to turn this movie off, we later discussed how prevelant and how destructive this trash talk really is.

I remember once I had a little transistor radio that I had forgotten about for years. It was packed away in a box somewhere in the back of my closet, and one day I pulled the box out to sift through treasures of my childhood. There it was, my very first transistor radio. Oh how cool it was, and how cool I thought it might be to put fresh batteries in it and see if it still worked. When I removed the battery cover, I discovered that I had left the old batteries in it so many years ago, and they had leaked battery acid into the compartment. The plastic casing that held the batteries was all warped and buckled and the little silver tabs at the opposite ends where the batteries sit, were completely corroded. The toxicity of the battery acid had ruined the little radio, and I was so disappointed.

I found it striking then, when I first read this from pastor John MacArthur

"Let’s face it: Many of the world’s favorite fads are toxic, and they are becoming increasingly so as our society descends further in its spiritual death-spiral. It’s like a radioactive toxicity, so while those who immerse themselves in it might not notice its effects instantly, they nevertheless cannot escape the inevitable, soul-destroying contamination. And woe to those who become comfortable with the sinful fads of secular society. The final verse of Romans 1 expressly condemns those “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”" - "Grunge Christianity"

I had to go looking for it because it was some time ago that I facetiously said this, but here is what I wrote over two years ago as it pertains to Christians who are so brainwashed by this idea of being culturally relevent:

If you REALLY want to become culturally relevent, and make more of an impact, bring in the powerhouse culture magnets. Install a bar next to the pulpit, and hire a bartender - drinks on the house. Bring in a magazine rack and fill it full with pornography, the most deviant you can find. Call the electricians and tell them you want 15 of their best audio/video systems for sports, games, reality tv shows and soap operas. And dont forget to hook up with the local lotto officials, your church needs a lotto desk... you know you can't win, if you dont play!

Oh, and one more thing, you have to include in your speech (and written material, and web pages) cuss words. Yes, I said cuss words. You cannot be culturally relevant and relate to the unchurched, unless you speak their language. Toss in the "sh" word now and again, the female dog word, the mule word (and no, I dont mean burrow) and you'll be fine. Never EVER use Biblical language, such as reprobate, eternal condemnation, glorify God, or repentance. These things bring up negative connotations and make the unchurched squirm. Squirming is not good, when cultivating friendships and generating relative, post-church, post-hymn, post-boring sermon, post-dry Bible study dialogue.

Why play around with the little league of culture, when you can go all out, and really entice the most base, degenerate fleshly lusts of the culture? Those things that drive our culture - sex, addictions, money, entertainment, career, self... I mean, if they REALLY want to become all things to all men, as they translate that passage, then they ought to be consistant and go all out... right?

Sure, it's an exagerration, but the point stands. Our culture hates us, because they hate Him. Yes, I said hate, and so did He. (John 15:18) - "Maynard Theology"

At the time I wrote that, I never once dreamed that it would actually come to pass, but in some cases, it actually has. Where I said "our culture hates us" what I meant to say is that the lost IN our culture, but as I tend to do, my fingers were working faster than my brain and I left that part out. I was being extreme to make a point, but in 2008 is quite common to hear Christians use obscene and vulgar language, and feel justified in it because it's "culturally relevent" and "the only way to reach those people in those cultures". Exactly like my little transistor radio, once the toxic battery acid began to leak out, the damage was being done slowly, but surely and permanently. Just as John MacArthur points out in his piece, we are a people that are slowly but surely immersing ourselves in the sinful conduct of the world and becoming so desensitized to it, we don't even notice the damage it's doing.

So much so, that the very words any Christian parent just one generation ago would object to having their children hear in a G RATED movie, are now just considered "mild" profanity. (Mild profanity? Is that anything like "kinda pregnant" or "sinning safely" by unmarried people using birth control methods?) So much so that Christian men and women will leap to the defense every time this subject comes up, and let loose a verbal assult on you by calling you all kinds of insulting things about how backwards, old-fashioned, prudish and holier-than-thou you think you are.

This is an uphill battle as culture and the evangelical church seems to rapidly latch on to the ungodly things of the world, and I'm already so weary of it that sometimes I just want to cry. I'm thankful for other backwards, prudish Christians though. At least I know I'm not the only one that takes this as seriously as I do, and as I should.