In the 1500s, reformer Martin Luther gave us this warning: "I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth."
Let's face it, those days are long gone. Morals are not only airbrushed out of schools but also society as a whole. Today, it's not just the absence of the positive but it's the presence of the negative.
Young people carefully monitored in homeschooling and Christian schools aren't exempt. All our youth face ungodly peer pressure and cultural inducements unprecedented in history. Even those in more "protective" Christian environments still face the onslaught of Hollywood hedonism flooding pop culture via television, movies, music, and the Internet.
Survey the Scene
In theaters, "streamed" into homes and even on mainstream or cable TV is entertainment having a terribly corrosive effect on our sons and daughters. Targeting the lucrative youth market, we see offerings like "Sausage Party," "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates," "War Dogs," "Bad Moms" and "Dating Naked" to name just a few.
Basically this is raunchy, vulgar, profane, gross-out filth that pushes the limits and shamelessly promotes drugs, drunkenness, rebellion, nudity, promiscuity and blasphemy. The more risqué the sexual content, the better it sells. We're experiencing what Senator Moynihan (D., NY) called "defining deviancy down" back in 1993.
Ultra-violent "Suicide Squad" is the megahit of the summer for young people featuring a handful of psychopathic villains combating other criminal super villains running amok. The Associated Press (8/5/16) review described it this way: "Watching 'Suicide Squad' (which will nevertheless make hundreds of millions) is to see the superhero movie reaching rock bottom, sunk by moral rot and hollow bombast. Down, down and away!"
Checking with Christian movie guides, many are rightly shocked at the avalanche of profanity also spewing from the pit of hell into the hearts and minds of impressionable youth. The movie reviews tell us of these films: One hundred and thirty F-words (in one film!); God's Name abused twenty-five times; twenty-five crude references to male and female anatomy; plus other crude terms formerly anathema in our society.
Pirates of the Caribbean star Orlando Bloom frolics nude with singer Katy Perry; Brittney Spears invites her hook-up to have some casual sex in "Do You Want to Come Over?" and, irreverent comic Amy Schumer releases her tell-all book describing her loss of virginity, celebrating marijuana and boasting of her escapades with almost thirty sexual partners.
Recently USA TODAY featured an article, "TRANS THEMES ENTER TEEN FICTION" (8/8/16). Mentioning the barrage of books now dealing with transgender teenagers, it is obvious the LGBTQ advocates want to seduce and influence our children to their latest frontier.
Try to escape to a public park and in New York they've got totally nude females in a Shakespeare play! This is outrageous!
And in youth-oriented Rolling Stone magazine this month they feature former Congressman Barney Frank advocating legalizing all drugs - marijuana, heroin and meth! Ignore the fellow arrested this week in our state of Tennessee who got high on "meth" and tried to kidnap a 4-year-old child with a knife.
10 Guidelines to Guide Our Sons and Daughters
God gives us clear directives in His Word regarding our solemn mandate to be "watchmen" and "gatekeepers" for our offspring. With dads leading the way, Scripture tells us to "bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Eph.6:4).
We must be wise overseers, not worried over-protectors! We must work hard helping our children learn to discern what is righteous and pleasing to the Lord. Sin doesn't deliver as advertised and they must be taught to recognize the "big lie" of today's pop culture.
1. Convictions – cultivate biblical convictions upon which the family values are based.
2. Commandants – teach scriptures to our children so that they may come to know God and His ways.
3. Communication – provide opportunities to bond together and share freely.
4. Consequences – help young people understand the "sowing and reaping" dynamic.
5. Consistency – purpose not to send mixed messages or change midstream.
6. Correction – lovingly address infractions of God's standards with appropriate punishment.
7. Courage – Stand firm on biblical standards and don't acquiesce.
8. Consideration – assess age levels of children and readiness concerning activities.
9. Capitalize – seize "teachable moments" to point out deception and reinforce values.
10. Commitment – embrace the commission to train children to choose right over wrong in situations and not just to do right out of form and expectation.
Time for a Radical Response
Barring a spiritual awakening in this nation, Hollywood's filth flood will only worsen. The urgency of the hour and the gravity of the situation demand a radical response!
We are stronger together. Stay close with like-minded Christian parents in today's challenging times and pray like never before.
Remember our mandate, "Yet I want you to be wise to that which is good, and innocent to that which is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you" (Rom. 16:19-20).