This morning a word came into my mind–yet another random thought–a condition with which I am afflicted. I wonder, is some 12 Step program to help me with this? It has served me well at times, so I guess I will allow this condition to continue. Oh? The word? OK, it’s erosion. One definition says:
the gradual destruction or diminution of something
In case you were wondering (I know I was) about that word diminution , here’s that definition:
a reduction in the size, extent, or importance of something.
The word “erosion” hit me this morning during the news. Tropical Storm Gordon, flooding alerts, another teen shot in Birmingham, a mother arrested in Florida for the death of her 2-year-old child are just some of the stories that caused this word to invade my gray matter. Most people think of erosion as something that happens to dirt and rocks. But there is another type of erosion–spiritual erosion–that is far more dangerous and even more deadly.
I can’t remember exactly when I heard the term “Post-Christian Culture” but I am keenly aware that it exists. My definition of “Post-Christian Culture” is as follows:
The loss or dismissing the values of the Kingdom of God
Can you handle the truth? Here it is: The values and ethics of God’s Kingdom are no longer the dominant influence on our culture. Over the years, as people who claimed allegiance to Jesus became passive, silent, or even worse–the consumers of what the church produces–it created an ethics and values vacuum. Aristotle once hypothesized “horror vacui” which means Nature Abhors a Vacuum. In other words, nature can’t stand for any space to be empty. When lightning forms it creates a vacuum, so air rushes in to fill that vacuum, thus creating thunder.
It’s not just nature–but human beings also abhors a vacuum. Way back in March 2009, Dr. Leon Seltzer wrote an article for Psychology Today titled “Human Nature Abhors A Vacuum”. He wrote, “We humans crave stimulation, and on many different levels. To experience ourselves as fully alive, we all have various “arousal requirements”–“whether physical, mental, emotional, social, or spiritual.” A little further into his article he makes this astute observation:
“…I’ve become acutely aware of how experiencing an inner vacuum can lead people to make poor life choices, especially in relationships.”
We are in a Post-Christian culture because the values of God’s Kingdom and Rule are noticeably absent in the American culture. A vacuum of solid and proven values and ethics have left, creating the vacuum. To fill that values/ethics vacuum, people are turning anywhere, everywhere to fill that void. Entitlement, selfishness, disregard for consequences, blame, hate, distrust….and the list goes on to what has filled that values/ethics void created when people stopped being followers of Jesus and opted more for a fan or casual relationship. “Jesus, I need just enough of you to avoid hell. That’s all.”
So, how do we change the current values and ethics environment we find our culture in? May I suggest we do what Jesus did and continues to do. Infuse the values and ethics of the Kingdom of God, once again. Here’s a list of ways we can do this, and if you have others ways, please share them in the comments section:
I could go on, but what specific things can you do to change the Values and Ethics of our culture? Please post in the comments….