It was one of those Saturday "everybody has their job" mornings. The music was booming as we were vacuuming, making beds, finding matching socks and all the stuff we do on cleaning days.
When the quitting-time whistle sounded, it was time for lunch and the rest of a lazy afternoon. While furrowed in our favorite spots, perusing the channels, a bit of nostalgia appeared on the screen, and Linda said, "Let's look at just one of these."
In moments, the sassy big band (you don't hear big bands these days) played the familiar theme as, in glorious black and white, the handsome and limber star casually sidestepped the living room foot stool, thus avoiding the pratfall. We were smiling already.
When the episode finished, we both said, "Let's do another." Followed by another and another.
Although we had seen these programs more than a few times, we laughed like it was the first time. The crisp writing, the double-takes, the repartee between Rob, Laura and the rest of the gang, and knowing each of their problems would be solved in 23 minutes made for a fun afternoon.
As with many of these vintage shows, we loved the "time capsule" look back. We had fun commenting about the styles, the hair, the house and the two beds ... with a table in between.
Nope, you don't see that anymore. The innocence, the manners and the optimism of those days are long gone. We live in a different time.
On today's TV, there's only one bed, and everybody's in it. Authority figures are portrayed as mean, or simply buffoonish. Christians are now the biggest targets, with all the laughs being played for the benefit of the unconventional.
I realize, every era believes theirs was special. But right now, so many things that were once considered deviant or just whispered about are promoted to mainstream. Makes you wonder how much further the cultural envelope can be pushed. The "shameful bin" is already full.
We have officially entered the crazy zone.
Naysayers call it "progress" or "enlightenment." Even some believers, seeking to sound inclusionary or loving, remain oblivious to a deeper thing at work.
Consequently, many have become discouraged. Many have been intimidated into silence. White flags are flying high, even over some of America's churches. For many, frustration is high.
But should we stop speaking the Word? Should we just give up?
Don't think God's not watching. He's seen this before. History repeats itself. Just ask Him and His pal, Jeremiah:
"Therefore, Jeremiah, go and warn all Judah and Jerusalem. Say to them, 'This is what the Lord says: I am planning disaster for you instead of good. So, turn from your evil ways, each of you, and do what is right'" (Jer. 18:11, NLT).
Their response was typical 2019.
"But the people replied, 'Don't waste your breath. We will continue to live as we want to, stubbornly following our own evil desires'" (Jer. 18:12).
God had done so much for them, but they were now thinking the unthinkable.
Sounds like today.
Actors, musicians and even members of royalty have nobly proclaimed they will raise their kids in "gender neutral" environments, thus allowing the little darlings to decide their gender. Perhaps they should let them pick their own food groups, too? There goes the broccoli.
In one American town, an 11-year-old boy wants to be a drag queen. So his mother drives him to his flamboyant gigs, where he dances for money in gay clubs. The local Child Protective Services visited and pronounced his family as safe and loving.
A Texas public library had to apologize for sponsoring a special event for the kiddies: storytime with a drag queen.
In much of our sick culture, we're thinking the unthinkable.
God said, "Warn them."
But they said, "We don't care."
Lawlessness does not matter. The rage is real.
Lance Wallnau has observed, "We're in a spirit of rebellion and anarchy that is like a fever." He's on target.
Here's what happened, "When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. (They cast off all restraint. They perish.] But whoever obeys the law is joyful" (Prov. 29:18).
We've been here before.
"The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So, the Lord was sorry He had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke His heart ... But Noah found favor with the Lord. (Genesis 6:5-8).
That's not just a story. It's God's template for the culture. Jesus reminded us, "When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah's day ... People didn't realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes ... You also must be ready all the time" (Matt. 24:37-44a).
The problem has not changed. And the answer has not changed.
We'll never go back to the 23-minute sitcom world. And while many are convinced this culture will land us in the proverbial handbasket, I'm fully persuaded God's hand will be seen by those who will be faithful as the storms swirl about.
He will keep speaking, and so must we.
Michael Green is pastor with his wife, Linda, at The LifeGate (thelifegate.com) in Metairie and Mandeville, Louisiana. He is also a speaker, singer, producer and writer. Find him on Twitter (@MichaelGreen77).
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