Do Not Be Conformed To This World
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:2
Sometimes you go through weeks, months or even a year and wonder how did all of this happen so quickly? Riots? There were 159 in over eighty cities, many sparked by racial tension. There were killings of black individuals that brought tensions to a new level and encouraged black organizations to capitalize on these events. The year of a pivotal election only seemed to divide Americans further as the media and politicians stoked the flames of division. Oh, by the way, we had a virus from China that killed between 1 and 4 million around the world and more than 100,000 in the U.S.
If you are thinking we are describing 2020 and 2021 you are wrong. These are the events of 1968-69!
If you are old enough to remember, 1968 had a nation divided over the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated, Detroit and Los Angeles had devastating riots as did dozens of other American cities. 1968 was an election year and unrest continued as the Democratic Party convention convened in Chicago. Students for a Democratic Society, led by Bill Ayers and other Marxist radicals, were joined by the Black Panthers and the Weathermen and that triggered many violent acts. If all of this wasn’t enough, we had the Hong Kong flu (H3N2) that affected all ages and yet we didn’t lock the country down. The World Series and Olympics were held as usual. For most Americans, other than the divisive politics, war and an upcoming election, life went on as usual. Arrests were made of many radicals who tried to create a revolution with bombings, robberies and mayhem and many faced long jail terms as a result. This was also the “Age of Aquarius” in San Francisco and throughout California. Love, peace, LSD and sex defined the culture.
There are two misconceptions held by many Americans. The first is that revolution ceased to be a threat when the New Left of the Sixties collapsed and disappeared and the Soviet Union collapsed. Because the New Left lacked cohesion, it fell apart as a political movement. However, its revolutionaries reorganized themselves into a multitude of single issue groups. Thus we now have, for example, radical feminists, black extremists, anti-war ‘peace’ activists, animal rights groups, radical environmentalists, and ‘gay’ rights groups. Both communism and the New Left are alive and thriving here in America. They favor code words and phrases such as tolerance, social justice, economic justice, peace, reproductive rights, sex education and safe sex, safe schools, inclusion, diversity, and sensitivity. All together, this is Cultural Marxism disguised as multiculturalism.
A fascinating book entitled The Dust of Death, written by Christian apologist Os Guinness, has been reissued by InterVarsity on its 50th anniversary. Os was born to medical missionary parents in China in the 1930’s and they were forced to flee after the Communist takeover of China. Os spent several years at L’Abri with Francis Schaeffer, who engaged the cultural and intellectual world from a Christian perspective. Os traveled throughout the United States in the turbulent ’60’s and out of that came Os’ iconic book. He said that few people really understood what the goals of these radical Marxist groups were nor the danger that they were to our country. The history is chilling.
When the radicals were not able to bring about a physical revolution in the Sixties, they realized that they would have to control the universities, media and culture to bring about a complete revolution— a “long march” through the culture. Their targets were the strong families, communities and cultural institutions of America. They turned to a combination of the teachings of Nietzsche, Hegel, Marx, and Freud along with some later influences from Fascists and Marxists like Antonio Gramsci, while adding linguistics to create “Critical Theory,” and “deconstruction”. The goal of critical theory was not truth, but attacking and bringing down the current society and culture through unremitting, destructive criticism. Critical Theory is a play on semantics. The theory was simple: criticize every pillar of Western culture—family, democracy, common law, freedom of speech, and others. The hope was that these pillars would crumble under the pressure.
Their recommendations included: 1) The creation of racism offenses 2) Continual change to create confusion 3) The undermining of schools’ and teacher’s authority. 4) The emptying of churches 5) An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime 6) Control and dumbing down of media 7) Encouraging the breakdown of the family. The School believed there were two types of revolution: (a) political and (b) cultural. Cultural revolution demolishes from within. They saw it as a long-term project and kept their sights clearly focused on the family, education, media, sex and popular culture.
Os Guinness recently said, “Fifty years later, it’s clear that the “long march” through the institutions has succeeded. Academia, media, and Hollywood all reflect the thinking of the heirs of the French Revolution, rather than the ideals of America’s 1776. America has been bewitched. The republic is in the process of switching revolutions from the American to the French.” In an interview recently with Eric Metaxas, Os said, “This is not a swing, this is not a cycle. This is something very close to the end.” (Read the entire interview at WND.com)
Let me end this depressing history on a positive note. Beginning in 1969, there was a revival that started in California called the “Jesus movement” where we saw the hippie generation turn to Christ and spread the gospel across the country. Pastor Chuck Smith welcomed these seekers into his church in Southern California and this began the Calvary Church denomination. Young people were awakened and put their faith in Jesus Christ. Mass baptisms took place in the surf along the California coast. It was all about accepting Jesus, finding joy and peace in Him. The emptiness of drugs was replaced by the fullness found in Jesus. Evangelism ignited and many were the souls on fire, unashamedly witnessing for Christ.
May we find another revival or awakening again! We are at a point of “Revival or Bust”.
“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” -Psalm 85:6
Don Bradway contributed to this article.
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