Crayons were invented in 1903. The box held eight colors and sold for a nickel. Now Crayola makes 120 colors, including “denim,” “screamin’ green,” “dandelion,” and “razzle dazzle rose.” The number of colors doubles every 28 years.
Are crayons a metaphor for the moral fragmentation of our culture?
On one hand, we have made great strides on a number of fronts. Medical technology is eradicating diseases that were once life-threatening and improving the quality of life for millions. Racial discrimination is not only illegal, but viewed as immoral by most Americans. Women have more opportunity than ever before.
On the other hand, we are losing ground on vital moral issues. Abortion rates were falling but are on the rise again with the advent of the “abortion pill.” The plague of pornography is afflicting more homes and lives than ever before. Anti-Semitism is growing; someone painted swastikas on the exterior of a Jewish fraternity house in Atlanta last Sunday. And same-sex marriage advocates are making advances that would have been considered unthinkable a few years ago.
On Monday, the Supreme Court decided to allow lower court rulings on same-sex marriage to stand. As a result, gay marriage will soon be legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Over 60 percent of the U.S. population will live in a state where same-sex marriage is legal. How has this happened?
You may not have heard of Evan Wolfson, but a strategy he crafted in the early 1990s is changing America before our eyes. Wolfson is an attorney with degrees from Yale and Harvard. A gay rights activist, more than 20 years ago he began leading an effort to legalize gay marriage. His group concentrated on the states, beginning in Massachusetts and then New York. They sought a critical mass of states and public support, believing that the Supreme Court would eventually enact the will of the majority and make “marriage equality” the law of the land. His strategy is clearly working.
How should supporters of biblical morality respond to our culture? First, let’s diagnose the real problem: our society rejects the notion of absolute truth and objective morality. Tolerance is the law of our land. We’re told (ironically) that anyone who disagrees is bigoted and homophobic. We will not win the debate by debating.
Second, let’s offer an alternative to tolerance: transformation. Jesus wants to be a real Person in our lives, not just a religious option. He is more than an idea, a dogma, or even a Savior. He is living and active in our world today. If our culture saw more of him in our lives, they would want more of him in their lives. Every time I fail morally, it’s because I have ignored or rejected the Christ living in me. Every time I choose to be holy, it’s because I have chosen to be empowered by the Holy Spirit in me.
Early Christians held no political leverage or cultural status. But they knew and loved Jesus, and they “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6, KJV). Today, professing Christians are the largest single movement on earth. If Jesus were more real to us, wouldn’t he be more real to our world?