Think about how far we’ve come as a nation….
I’m reading a book called The Harbinger which takes the prophecies of Isaiah on Israel and overlays those over the U.S. today. It’s scary. Israel turned from God and turned to other idols and despite the warnings of the Prophets, they continued to pursue their godless ways. Once God’s blessing was removed, Israel was broken and consumed by its enemies. While I’m only 1/3 the way through the book (I read 75 pages in one sitting yesterday which is unusual for me), I see where he is going. America is on a very dangerous path. From the rise of radical Islam to the rise of China as a world power to the breakdown in Europe and the moral collapse in America, it seems we are heading for a fall. 9/11 was only the start. We’ve been warned.
And so Andy Griffith passed away about 10 days ago and TV Land has been running Andy Griffith marathons celebrating his life and the show. I’ve always loved the Andy Griffith show and enjoyed the reruns this weekend. In addition, AMC has been running The Rifleman on Saturday mornings and some Saturdays, I’ll watch it while reading the paper and drinking coffee.
I’ve really enjoyed both of these shows and coupled with the book I’m reading and other thoughts, I’m really struck by just how much our culture has changed over the past 50 years. Andy Griffith used to be primetime TV. It was good, clean humor that showed the importance of values and family. Both of these shows held up strong men who were focused on doing the right things, standing for honor and in both cases, were widowers raising sons alone. It was fatherhood. It was the importance a strong man has in a young boy’s life. There was no divorce, no teenage pregnancy, no lesbian couples adopting children trying to convince us that their lifestyle is “perfectly normal”, no drug interventions and there was no “Criminal Minds” where sick psychopaths murder teenage girls and the FBI tries to stop them. There was no Oprah, no “Strange Sex”, no “50 shades of grey” and no Kardashians. There was no Bachelorette where model-looking men try to sweep a plastic-looking woman off her feet by jetting her to remote, tropical vacations declaring their undying love for her. There was no obsession with sex-craved vampires or man-eating zombies. There was no 48-hours mysteries which usually chronicles some affair that leads to a double-cross and a murder.
Think about it. There was Andy & Barney and Lucas McCain. 50 years ago the top 20 primetime TV shows included Bonanza, Gunsmoke, My 3 sons, Andy Griffith, Rawhide, Lassie and Dennis the Menace.
Compare these shows and what our families were watching and taking in to the list above of what we are watching today. Listen to the message of those shows of the early 60’s about family, faith, hard work, ethics, integrity and commitment and compare that to the message of today. Oh my how far we have come as a nation. Look at the idols we worship today.
We cannot totally insulate ourselves from the society we live in but we are absolutely kidding ourselves if we don’t think the message of the TV isn’t having an impact on our homes right now. What are your kids watching? What’s on Disney? What’s on MTV? Does it matter? Are they even aware that you are concerned about it? Are you having conversations with them?
Our nation has clearly turned its back on God. We’ve thrown God out of the schools, out of the government and out of our message. It isn’t about God. It’s about me – what I want, who I am, what I feel, what I need – and TV glorifies that and so do the books you and your wife download onto your Kindle.
We must be vigilant. We cannot let our guards down. If sheriff Andy Griffith was your grandfather and he appeared in your living room today from 50 years ago in the past, what would his reaction be to what you are watching?
Unfortunately, we must be The Rifleman in all areas of our lives – on guard and ready to stand up for truth and honor and decency. The idols we worship must be broken. The Lord is calling us as men to lead…
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
May the Lord have mercy on these United States of America and may a mighty revival rise up to save this nation. Come Holy Spirit, come.