I was recently sent a listing of new books for the year 2000 by a major publishing house in the United States. What ideas are they presenting to the American public? What thoughts are they introducing to this generation? Where do these ideas originate? Let’s have a sneak preview into a few selected titles.
Goodbye, Amanda the Good is a story targeted for young readers. “Amanda Bates, older sister of Joshua T. Bates as always been a ‘good girl,’ gotten good grades, and played by the rules. But now that she’s in junior high, Amanda is discovering that those rules have changed. Her friends have all gone to other schools, her body’s changing, her moods are up and down ... she doesn’t even recognize herself! Amanda decides that her only chance to fit in is to join ‘the Club’; so she dyes her hair purple, changes her name to Cheetah, cuts school, and starts dating an older boy with a shady past. It’s as if she’s two different people: the one doing all these things she knows are wrong and the one watching them happen — and before long, she’s going to have to choose between them.” We will have to wait until the spring of 2000 to learn if she makes her choice on the basis of truth and absolutes or whether she falls into the abyss of moral relativism.
Integral Psychology: Consciousness, Spirit, Psychology, Therapy is called a landmark study in human development. “The goal of an ‘integral psychology’ is to honor and embrace every legitimate aspect of human consciousness under one roof. This book presents one of the first truly integrative models of consciousness, psychology, and therapy. Drawing on hundreds of sources — Eastern and Western, ancient and modern — Wilber creates a psychological model that includes waves of development, streams of development, states of consciousness, and the self, and follows the course of each from subconscious to self-conscious to superconscious.” Christianity, and the Bible, were not listed as a ‘legitimate’ source for understanding the nature and character of man in this study!
Jewels of Remembrance: A Daybook of Spiritual Guidance Containing 365 Selections from the Wisdom of Rumi. This book includes “passages for daily inspiration, support, and guidance.” Another attempt to push our culture toward the Eastern world view. Quite a contrast to classic Christian devotionals such as My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers or Streams in the Desert by
Let’s look at one more: Traditional Mehndi Designs: A Treasury of Henna Body Art. “The ancient art of henna body painting, still practiced in India, Africa, and the Middle East, is now popular in the West.” Another invasion of Eastern philosophy into the Western world view.
These are just a few samples. The battle for the minds of this generation - our children - are raging. Ideas which 50 years ago would have been unthinkable are now in bright lights. Ideas which would have only been whispered are now shouted from the highest mountains. The onslaught of Eastern thought into our generation is rampant. The newest of the Star Wars series continues to bring us as a culture along in this same direction. We learn in the Phantom Menace that young Anacan Skywalker has a virgin birth from the Force. Is he a type of Christ? Hardly! He becomes the evil Darth Vadar. The Force, unlike the true and living God, has a dual nature - a ‘good’ side and a ‘bad’
side. Don’t be deceived. This is not the typical traditional Judeo-Christian conflict between good and evil. The true God is only Good. The Force is not a Christian symbol. Rather, the Force is Zen- Buddhism.
The situation looks overwhelming. Though it may be too late to see a change within our culture, that concern is not ours. Remember, the battle is the Lords. We are engaged in a spiritual battle and that spiritual battle is being waged in both the seen and unseen world. The outcome in our generation is the Lords.
What are we to do? We must be teaching our children that they are to be “the light and salt of the world.” As lights they will penetrate the darkness of these false ideas. They will reveal the path so that those on that wide road to destruction will see its end. They will as salt provide a preservation - a restrainer of evil in the culture. Their lives will be a spice providing flavor to the culture. Our children will probably be the only contact that this generation has with Christianity. Most will never enter a church door. Most will never crack open a Bible. “O taste, and see that the Lord is good.” As non-Christians rub shoulders with our children in the contact of daily living, these non-Christians will be given a small ‘taste of the Lord’ (Read Phil. 23:12 - 3:2).
We must also be teaching our children that they are ‘ambassadors of Christ.’ According to the 1828 American Dictionary of The English Language by Noah Webster, an ambassador is “a minister of the highest rank employed by one prince or state, at the court of another, to manage the public concerns of his own prince or state, and representing the power and dignity of his sovereign. Ambassadors are ...extraordinary when they are sent on a special occasion.” If a person were asked to be an ambassador representing the United States to another country, that would be a great honor. We must be teaching our children that the Sovereign King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of peace, the Ruler and Sustainer of the universe is sending them as ambassadors to their generation. This is the highest rank...They are representing the power and dignity of His sovereignty. An ambassador can never compromise the position of his sovereign by his life or words.
The thought of encouraging our children to let their light shine before men, the thought of teaching our children that they are to be salt to their generation, the thought of preparing our children as ambassadors to hostile places could certainly be fearful. Will we, in this generation, be like Joshua and Caleb or will we be like the other ten spies? Will we walk into the promise land knowing that there will be conflict and difficulties, but always remembering that the battle is the Lords, or will we pull back in fear and remain in the wilderness? Though the battle is intensifying “let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me’ (John 14:1). Are we full of fear or are we full of faith? Peter explains that ‘His divine power has granted to us EVERYTHING pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature’ (II Peter 1:3,4, emphasis added). Think of it! We have EVERYTHING we need. Our God is not just with us He is in us (John 14:17). Therefore, we are partakers of His life ... His divine nature. That is why we can agree with the apostle Paul when he said that ‘we overwhelmingly conquer through Him [Christ] who loved us (Romans 8:37).