Beloit College has just published its annual list of factoids about students entering their first year of college. They
•Have never licked a postage stamp
•Have always used cell phones with Wi-Fi access
•Had their first steps recorded by proud parents using camcorders (the students probably don't know what one is)
•Improved their reading skills with the Harry Potter series
•Have always watched television in high definition.
In 1997, the year of their birth, Princess Diana died in a speeding motorcade crash. Titanic won 11 Oscars. Seinfeld was the most popular TV show. Beanie Babies were the most popular Christmas toy.
Now consider how our culture has changed morally over their lifetime.
In 1997, Ellen DeGeneres was one of the first well-known celebrities to "come out" as homosexual; now same-sex marriage is the law of the land. That year, debate over legalizing physician-assisted suicide began accelerating; it is now legal in five states and being considered by five others.
In 1997, there were 13.9 million illegal drug users in the U.S.; today 24.6 million Americans use illegal drugs, representing a 50 percent increase relative to the population. Since 1997, the percentage of unmarried couples living together has doubled. The percentage of Americans with no religious affiliation has nearly doubled to 22.8 percent, representing 56 million adults in America and outnumbering Catholics and mainline Protestants.
If current trends continue, what will our society look like 18 years from today?
Consider two biblical texts. First, David's prayer: "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I" (Psalm 61:2). Do you need such leadership today? Here's what to do: "So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day" (v. 8). The more you praise God and pray to him, the more you can hear his voice and follow his leading.
Second, John's assurance: "If we walk in the light, as Jesus is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). When you stay in the light of God's word, you find strength in Christian unity and cleansing for your soul.
Oswald Chambers: "Never allow the dividing up of your life in Christ to remain without facing it. Beware of leakage, of the dividing up of your life by the influence of friends or of circumstances; beware of anything that is going to split up your oneness with him and make you see yourself separately. Nothing is so important as to keep right spiritually. The great solution is the simple one—'Come unto me.'"
I was hiking in the woods one morning and began running into spider webs built across the path. I made an interesting discovery: the sun's rays illuminated the cobwebs. As a result, whenever I hiked toward the east, I could knock the cobwebs down with my walking stick. When I hiked toward the west, I knocked them down with my face.
Which direction are you going today?
Publication date: August 20, 2015
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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