Cause and Effect | Part One

by Dr. William F. Harrell

*This post was taken from Dr. Harrell’s website and is used by permission

Most everyone who is forty years old or above has a tendency to lapse into nostalgic recollecting and find themselves saying something like: “I wish we could go back to the day when everything was simple.” In our troubled and fractured world one would wonder if there was ever such a day. The answer is that, yes, there was a day when life was simpler. It was basically uncomplicated and untroubled by the myriad of things and events which impact us. It seems that everything has changed. In fact, it seems that our society has reached the point at which they think that if things are not changing they are reverting. It’s the “cool” thing to look for something different even if it is not one microbe better than the thing which preceded it. You just “aren’t with it” unless you are on a daily quest to find something new and different. And because the sense of stability has been compromised and almost destroyed, we find ourselves in a frantic mode most of the time.

The general populace of  these days is sadly deficient when it comes to the things which distinguished society in the “simpler days.” Everyone is rushing about frantically seeking something which seems to elude them. And, if they found that “something”, the thrill of it all would only last a short time. The sense of “home” has been lost generally. People don’t know where home is. They can’t seem to be able to find their “center of gravity” so to speak. Reference all the shootings, killings, drugs, rebellion, lack of respect for anything or anyone in authority. Notice the increase in narcissism, selfishness and crassness. Look at the lack of integrity and the lack of personal responsibility. It is becoming more and more difficult to find individuals who exude quality, class, integrity and proper raising. More and more people are stating that society is falling apart and that it is happening in rapid fire in today’s world. If one made that statement in just about any environment today, they would get a resounding affirmation from those listening. Anyone with any intellectual acumen and even one ounce of honesty would have to say that society is becoming degraded at a rapid pace. What is causing this. There are a couple of major ingredients.

First, human nature has never changed. From the very beginning man, because of his nature of rebellion against God, has found that his natural bent is to degrade. It seems that this degradation is speeding up. Society has fallen off the edge of the cliff in the past twenty to twenty-five years. We have witnessed a constant downward turn in our government, in our home life, our finances, our insatiable appetites for material goods and our respect for life and morality. This is most noticeable in the way that the last couple of generations have pushed God out to the edge and banished Him and His Word from just about everything we do. Remember this: one generation can teach the next generation only so much as it learned. And, the second generation will not absorb all that the first generation tried to teach it. So, the result is that each succeeding generation will know less and practice less than the generation before it. This is catching up with us at a rapid rate today. One good indicator is the way in which people today can’t seem to get enough of anything they like or anything that is a fad. We live in a day of excess. And, anything that gratifies the flesh is pushed way beyond what any sensible person would think is enough. Take for instance, tattoos. In earlier days, about the only people one saw with a tattoo was a returning sailor coming home from the south Pacific. He might have a tattoo which was his wife’s name. Some would have an anchor on their forearm. Others might have the name of their ship tattooed on their arm. Even then, people often thought: “one of these days he is going to regret having put that tattoo on himself.” But, look at what is happening today! People not only put one or two tattoos on their body. They cover themselves up with them. Their bodies are literally a complete work of art. I recently saw a person who had tattooed his face. Another had tattooed his whole body to the extent that he gave himself a tattoo hairline on his bald head. There is often so many tattoos that there is no where to put another one. These people would have been in a fair sideshow forty or fifty years ago. At our county fair fifty years ago there was a sideshow named…The Tattooed Man. The fact is that this has become an epidemic only in the last twenty years. This is a good example of how the age of excess has infected us. It’s the same way with drugs, and all forms of immorality. Instant gratification of the most inappropriate behavior is a must for many people today.

We can also see the decline in worship as a leading indicator of the collapse of society. Being spiritual is not necessarily the same as being Godly. As one observes how the world has infected the church and how the church has openly welcomed these influences there is little wonder that the spiritual level of people is at a low. God is hardly considered in every day affairs. In fact, He is viewed as being in the way since society has been educated for fifty years with the idea that God really doesn’t belong in the public arena. As it is with almost everything else, if worship in today’s world is fun, feelings oriented and self centered then one will attend church when it is convenient. They are confident that God is just happy they are there whenever they need a dose of Him.

Part Two Coming Soon!