16 February, 2006

What Is Life?

I stumbled upon an old book this morning written by Paul Walker and Paul Conn back in the early 70's that was used in my Sunday School class when I was about 15 years old. In the book they mention a survey that was given to teenagers asking the question: "What is life?" The responses, although given over 30 years ago sounded as if they could have been given in 2006 by some of the teens that I have encountered. One teen wrote, "Life is a bad joke that isn't even funny." Another said, "Life is a jail sentence for the crime of being born." Yet another said, "Life is a bad dream from which you never awaken." Such a sense of hopelessness is just as common, probably even more common today than it was 30 years ago.

These answers reflect a feeling that life is of little or even no value. As I sat and thought about it today, I thought, "Is it any wonder that people have such feelings?" I mean, look how we have de-valued human life over the past 30 or 40 years. Without going into a huge dialogue or debate, I believe abortion has been a catalyst for this mind set. Another thing is that when I was a youth growing up, it was such a painful and even shameful thing when someone committed suicide, it was hidden away. But today we live in a culture where suicide is celebrated and glamorized in rock music, and we find entire groups of teens making suicide pacts.
When I was growing up the dealings of a mad man named Hitler were still very fresh in the minds of the adults and to some extent, the German people were still treated poorly because of this lunatic. Later another madman named Idi Amin was quickly squashed for what he was doing in the 70's, but here we are a just another generation removed from this, and people are screaming that we had no right to go into Iraq to stop yet another madman from slaughtering hundreds of thousands of innocent people based on their race.
What's the difference?
The value of human life has been diminished. Here in our own land, it is now becoming law in some states to help someone end their life.

I remember when I was a kid there was a movie that came out called Soylent Green. In this movie, the world population had grown so over-crowded that there was a food shortage, and the government started issuing a product called Soylent Green to people to eat. It turns out that they were making senior citizens report to camps where they were killed and processed into food. That notion is still far fetched (not to mention sickening to think of) but the idea behind devaluing life because one has gotten older was just beginning to take shape in the 70's. Today, it is commonplace. In my opinion, there are hundreds of things that have led to the de-valuing of human life, and they cannot all be discussed here, but I believe another "tool" has been video games. Walk into an arcade or a store where these games are sold, and you will find that the fast majority of them involve killing other people. The winner is established by racking up the most "kills." How can we expect this next generation to value life when the games they play make them a winner by killing the most people.

To me, the bottom line of it all begins with the "de-Christian-izing" of America. (I think I just made that word up.) We have stripped morality from our culture, from our schools, from our work place and just about every aspect of our lives. It is actually pretty easy to see this progression as we remove faith in God from our culture. If the design is to strip away all respect for God, then it only follows to lose respect for his highest creation. Right?

Oh well, enough rambling...
What are your thoughts on this?


michigan preacher said...

You are right on. Life has to be devalued in the minds of these wackos. That's why there are groups like PETA. It's a sad day indeed when it's a crime to kill a bald eagle (not like I'd do that) and it's legal and celebrated as a right to kill unborn children. I believe it's in Isaiah 5 where the prophet cries out "Woe to them that call good evil, and evil good". That's where we are at today.

All the more reason to take the Gospel to the streets.

Thanks for this post, brother!

Henry Haney said...

I think it is very much a sign of the times. Christ said the last days would be "as the days of Noah." We read in Genesis that in Noah's day the earth was filled with violence. I recently heard that Charlotte (I live in a suburb of Charlotte, NC) is one of the top ten cities in the US for highest murder rate.

I rarely watch the local news anymore, but it starts out with murder, kidnapping, and violence in various forms. You're absolutely right that we have become desensitized to it all- it's like the boiling frog theory. We've been in the pot warming up so long, we don't realize how hot it really is!!

People need Jesus and we need to be living for Him, Preaching His Gospel, and letting His light shine through us -now more than ever!