The “Brave New World” of the 21st Century requires a “Brave New Discipleship” strategy.

Surviving the Perfect “Culture” Storm – Part I

Posted on: May 02, 2017

THREE MAJOR CULTURAL CHANGES HAVE MERGED INTO A SINGLE MASSIVE CULTURAL SHIFT

My wife and I recently enjoyed meeting Christian author and apologist Josh McDowell when he spoke at a Christian school in Indianapolis, where I serve on the board.

Josh has written 140 books and has spoken to millions of students at thousands of college campuses around the world. He has his finger on the pulse of cultural change like few others.

In opening his time with us at the banquet, Josh reminded us of a “perfect storm” that hit the northeastern coast of the United States on Halloween day, 1991. In that storm, three major weather systems combined into one gigantic system to form the “perfect storm,” lashing the eastern coast of the United States with up to 30-foot waves, causing many tens of millions of dollars in damage and taking a number of lives.

Keying off the idea of the “perfect storm,” Josh described three elements of a perfect “culture” storm which has hit the Western world hard, and is encroaching on the rest of world. I found his assessment enlightening and extremely helpful and wanted to share it with you. Here is a brief summary of his main points:

  1. Storm #1: A Shift in Truth

Tracing the impact on truth from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment to the Industrial Revolution to the rise of Darwinism (the theory of evolution), we can see a complete shift in our perspective of truth:

  1. We used to believe that truth was objective, now we believe it is relative.
  2. We used to believe that truth was determined by God, now it is established by the self.
  3. We used to believe that truth was true for everyone. Now we believe that something can be true for you but not for me.
  4. We used to believe that truth was rooted in facts, now we believe it is rooted in emotions.

With the disappearance of truth, of course, comes the disappearance of right and wrong, with the result that modern culture is prepared to devolve into heretofore-unthinkable attitudes, values and behavior.

  1. Storm #2: The Creation of the Internet

The rise of the internet is changing how we receive and perceive truth. Google is now the primary source of information, knowledge and truth. This inevitably erodes the influence of parents, the church, the Bible and other traditional sources of information, knowledge and truth.

It also erodes felt need to learn information. The mindset is often, “Why should I study when I can Google it?” As we become more and more dependent on an easy and ready source of information, it weakens our ability to think and to process truth. It also puts a world of atheists and agnostics a click away, ready to confuse and corrupt historic Christian perspectives.

In Josh’s experience teaching many thousands of students around the world every year, questions that he used to hear only from college students he is now hearing from Jr. High School students.

The internet is capturing the minds of the innocent at a younger and younger age, making it imperative that we teach our children the truth at a younger and younger age.

Statistics used to tell us that if a person does not accept Christ by the time he/she is 18, they have less than a 5% probability of ever becoming a Christian. Now, statistics tell us that if a person does not become a Christian by the age of 12, there less than a 5% probability that they will ever become a Christian.

In addition, statistically, there are very few children who go exclusively through public education, kindergarten through college, who become influential Christian leaders. The assault on their worldview from public education is so powerful that very few rise above it to take leadership positions in the faith.

Therefore,the #1 goal of educating Christians is the cultivation of a robust Christian worldview. (http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/christian-worldview/whats-a-christian-worldview/whats-a-worldview-anyway )

  1. Storm #3: Internet Pornography

Typical older Christians tend to be naïve about the danger of internet pornography, which is only a click away for people of all ages, including children. Chuck Swindoll has called this the great cancer of our day in the church. There is no church where pornography is not a major problem, even though we may be oblivious to it.

People, including homeschooling parents, are naïve if they think their children are not at risk. The issue is not whether your child will find pornography. The issue is that pornography will find your child.

Research has demonstrated that the strongest defense against pornography is “deep religious convictions.”

Conclusion

As we contemplate a reasoned response to the threat of the perfect culture storm that Josh described, I believe there is a “storm shelter” that we can go to for safety. We will look at that next week. Please join me then, for Part II of Surviving the Perfect “Culture” Storm.

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