If you haven’t already noticed, we are rapidly de-civilizing as a nation here in America. Don’t mistake all the modern technological advances as the preeminent indicator of a more sophisticated civilization. By all indications, much of what modern technology has done for us as a nation has resulted in more technological ways to sin and de-civilize.
Different forms of abuse, rape, lying, cheating, stealing, murder, fraud, idolatry, dissipation, covetousness, adultery, and a myriad of other animalistic and sinful behaviors have all been proliferated through technology. As parents, we must be prepared to equip ourselves and our kids to stand against the things that will make us just more microcosms of our sinful world. Our Christian teens shouldn’t be the troubled teens of America.
Although technology is one indicator of a civilized nation, it is not the preeminent one. Merriam Webster says that a civilized society is characterized by taste, refinement, education, and self restraint! Which one of these four has technology helped to develop in our country today more than it has detracted from it? Which one of these four has technology helped to develop in our children; in our families; and in our parenting more than it has detracted? Does America have more troubled teens since the proliferation of technology or less? Shouldn’t and couldn’t we be using technology to help our troubled teens?
I thank God for technology—just like I thank God for fire and water. Both make my life better; and, both can make my life worse—it depends on what I do with each. Fire can cook my food and heat my home. It can also burn it down. Water can quench my thirst or drown me. Technology is the same way. So don’t think that just because our nation is technologically advanced, that it is civilized. And don’t think that knowledge alone makes a society civil. This is a generation that is as smart as any generation and one that is a whole lot more knowledgeable than any in the past. Most of the troubled teens we deal with are extremely intelligent.
What this generation lacks is the wisdom to constructively, creatively, and critically use the knowledge and intelligence they possess in a positive way. Knowledge and intelligence devoid of wisdom and a solid moral compass can create an Adolph Hitler or a Ted Bundy. Knowledge and intelligence devoid of wisdom can produce the perfect murder or bank heist. A nation that is de-civilizing in the areas of morality, education, common sense, refinement, taste, self restraint, entertainment, aesthetics, etc., is a society that our kids need to be guarded from—–just like we were guarded from the seedy side of town when we were young.
Today, the seedy side of town is everywhere—unfortunately, this too often includes our homes, and yes—unfortunately, in some cases, even in some of our churches! And the statistics back me up. The culture has been influencing the church far more than the church has been influencing the culture. But this seduction has been a slow seduction that has taken decades to complete, which is how it snookered us in the first place. It was such a slow seduction that most of us in the church don’t even realize there is a problem today! We are like the proverbial frog in the pot being slowly boiled alive!
We must alert our teens to what the culture is doing to them and encourage them to war against it. Parents should take time to point out the many teachable moments which today’s entertainment provides them. There are many immoral scenarios that our kids are exposed to that go unchallenged; therefore, they see it as normal—normal to a de-civilizing culture perhaps; but, not in God’s economy.
Can you think of other ways our nation is de-civilizing?