Sunday, July 16, 2006

The wicked strut about on every side...

It was closer to 25 than 20 years ago when I moved in with a Navigator staff couple. (For those who don't know, the Navigators is a Christian organization, though you'd never guess it from the name. You might from the slogan though -- "to know Christ and make him known.") I learned a lot of things living with them, and today's reading, from Psalm 12, reminds me of one of them.

I don't remember what the question was, something about bringing the Bible into a conversation maybe, but I remember the gist of Jon's answer.
I'm not a big proponent of "The Bible says," but someone was talking to me about crime rates and corruption, and I said that was interesting because The Bible says
The wicked strut about on every side
when vileness is exalted among the sons of men
Psalm 12.8
I mentioned that the popular culture (including movie stars and popular magazines) seemed to glorify an irresponsible lifestyle, so we shouldn't be too surprised when crime and corruption increase too.
OK, I didn't get exactly what he said there, but I got the verse right. The point being that many people, Christian or not, can see that popular culture is corrupt (as Jim Wallis notes in God's Politics, you don't have to be either a left- or a right-winger to agree that parenting is a counter-cultural activity), and that the Bible comments that wickedness -- violence, exploitation, corruption -- will increase when a culture celebrates vileness -- drunkenness, adultery, perjury, gossip.

Today's culture rightly abhors the former, but it winks at -- heck, it celebrates -- the latter, and the Bible adds this to the discussion:

That won't work.

We want God (or our parents) to leave us alone one moment, and in the next moment to protect us. And we hate it that those desires aren't consistent.

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