That we live in a “throwaway culture” is a cliché. Clichés usually become clichés because they are true. In the 1950s a big topic of discussion in America was the business concept of Planned Obsolescence – the manufacture of things just shoddy enough so that consumers would get a Buzz from the Bling of the New, until those things fell apart. Next, advertisers helped convince people that replacing those obsolete things was better than fixing them.
The motto on the battle flag
The slippery slope was greased. The American culture has moved to Disposable Everything. From appliances needing repair to clothes that need mending, fixing is not just out of fashion, but nearly disreputable. Near the bottom of the cultural slide, inevitably, are disposable marriages and disposable kids. Then, abortions, “mercy killings,” and, yes, government-sponsored “death-panel” counseling. Another manifestation is revolving theology – “moral relativism,” a pick-and-choose set of standards that represents Open-Mindedness; that is, minds so open that peoples’ brains fall out.
But some things are right anyway, true anyway, worth it… anyway.
A major denomination whose membership rolls have been shrinking in recent decades (coincident with its Disposable Theology, more and more and more liberal on doctrine) is running a TV commercial campaign, imploring people, “Visit us; you’ll like us.” I suppose they hold nice pot-luck dinners, but for a church to twist its message to be something people “like” to hear, is to bring Planned Obsolescence to religion. Jesus did not go the cross for telling people what they wanted to hear.
He was condemned to the cross because He said things people NEEDED to hear.
Dedicated Christians are swimming upstream these days – to state the situation mildly. We tell the old, old story… and are met by firestorms of opposition from the culture, from the entertainment world, from the music industry, from radio and TV, from Hollywood, from the mainstream media, from the courts, from politicians and bureaucrats… and, too often, from apostate churches.
How do we respond? If we hate compromise at every turn, the first thing we avoid is… compromise.
This week, amateur divers found the wreckage of the ship USS Revenge. The ship, commanded by Oliver Hazard Perry, was lost in a storm 200 years ago off the coast of Providence. Two years later, in a naval victory on Lake Erie, he uttered the famous words, “We have met the enemy and they are ours!” The motto on his battle flag was, “Don’t Give Up the Ship,” still the U S Navy’s motto.
America needs citizens who say, “Don’t give up the ship,” and Christian Patriots must be in the front of the lines. It can be discouraging to lose battles and see our culture slip away – our heritage rudely transformed – but we must fight anyway.
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” — James 1:12
We might lose some battles, but we fight anyway. We might lose some goals, but we dream anyway. We might lose some allies, but we pray for them anyway. We might lose some denominations, but not the Word of God.
These things might be tough to put into practice, but they are essential to remember. That’s why stirring words and music, a good anthem, is needed today… and here is a nomination. Martina McBride’s classic song is a grassroots battle-hymn, perfect for this moment of crisis in our culture wars.