Thursday, 21 February 2013

Repost from February 2013: Societal Schizophrenia

This post was originally published February 21, 2013.  It is as relevant as it was long before I posted it:

A few years ago I attended a pastor’s conference where D.A. Carson was speaking.  The theme of the conference was something to do with preaching the truth in the midst of a culture that doesn’t want to hear it and a church that all too often compromises with said surrounding culture.  During Carson’s talk, he spent a bit of time discussing the absurdity of our present day culture’s concept of tolerance, which is, in reality, intolerance. 

Our current cultural climate in the West has resulted in a new orthodoxy of values and beliefs, labelled as tolerance, but which is really intolerant of anything that doesn’t agree with this new orthodoxy or the people who hold to it.  No doubt it was the further development of this thought that has resulted in his recent book, The Intolerance of Tolerance.  This is one manifestation of the decline of thought, morality, judgment, and culture in general in the West but it is not the only one, or more accurately, it is tied together with many others. 

Trevin Wax has posted a list of 10 sure signs we’ve lost our minds.

To his list, I would add a few others:

    1. We eschew the example of the noble and virtuous characters from history, turning from them to heroes and idols least worthy of our attention and imitation:  entertainers and celebrities.  These are people who, by definition, are putting on an act.  Along with politicians, they are the most self-centered, over-paid, spoiled and dysfunctional collective group of people in the world.  Generally, their personal lives and relationships are an incessant careening from one train wreck to another, and yet we idolize them and listen to their opinions on every possible subject, even though they are not remotely qualified to pronounce upon any one of them.
    2. We rally to the frantic call of global warming prophets like Al Gore, James Cameron, and David Suzuki, who all chide us for our unrestrained consumerism and  irresponsible living and call us to a simpler life of making do with less.  Immediately after telling us to cram our carbon feet into shoes several sizes smaller than what we currently wear, they climb aboard their private jets, yachts or helicopters and travel back to one of their numerous mansions or exotic holiday properties to live a life style with a budget and energy consumption level that would easily sustain a mid-sized town.   
    3. We have let big government borrow and spend our respective nations into unimaginable and very likely irrecoverable debt and yet we look to those same governments and their programs and paradigms to get us out of our fiscal juggernaut by borrowing and spending untold billions and trillions more, the very policy that got us into this economic quagmire in the first place.

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