Today I discovered The English Professor at Large, a literary blog that is a pleasure to read, as I can find little reason to mentally edit the content. Her messages and scholarly vocabulary pleasantly challenge me. As I “followed” the blog, I happily anticipate future posts.
Curious as to the definition of literary, I Word-Webbed it, and was rewarded with a reminder of one of my pet peeves. “Appropriate to literature rather than everyday speech or writing,” is one of its definitions. Fifty years ago, educated people’s “everyday speech or writing” bordered on the literary, but popular culture has degraded both oral and written expression to the point that spelling, punctuation, and even usage, matter little to casual communicators. Even many journalists take unwarranted liberties with the language, leading me to wonder where this degradation will end.
Such verbal carelessness also suggests a generally casual attitude toward life. Moral standards, once jealously upheld as part of personal character, are now the subject of derision in the entertainment media and academia. Not satisfied with simply ignoring morality in primary schools, the federalized educational establishment requires that government-supported secondary schools repudiate the Biblical basis for standards such as civility, honesty, sanctity of life, truthfulness, and sexual purity.
Countering this corrosive movement toward cultural chaos, fundamentalist religious sects gather ever more converts who, reacting to societal anomie, crave an oppressive moral foundation. And such extreme legalism isn’t limited to Islam; many “Christian” sects embrace selected Old Covenant laws, often enforcing them with corporeal punishment, or at least excommunication.
Solutions, anyone? The only one I can see is widespread revival among God’s faithful remnant, a revival of love, of purpose, of action. Even the Bible-believing minority of God’s church seek entertainments that foster relaxation of moral standards(imagine me pointing one finger out, with three pointed back at myself). True revival must come from God, through his Holy Spirit. Any other moralistic religious movement will only cause the kind of backlash that began this downward spiral.
If you love God and his Word, pray for revival, first for yourself, and then for God’s church. When the church recovers its Spirit-filled vision, Satan’s house of cards will tumble.