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The Shifting Sands of Culture

 

I played in and managed a band in High School. Each year, our school would hold a variety show and we would play. Not only would we do our own stuff, but we’d also play back-up for others who wanted to sing, etc.

 

One year, our History teacher, "Hoss Bone," asked us to play backup for him. He was a singer and guitar player with quite a bit of talent. He choose to do “Peaceful, Easy Feelin” by the Eagles. All was fine…until I got called into the Principal’s office.

 

I walked in and found the principal, the guidance counselor (whose daughter was the lead singer in my band), and another faculty member “lying in wait” for me. “I have a question for you,” the principal snorted, “did you plan to perform the following music in front of our students and parents? Let me just read you some of the lyrics here. ‘I want to sleep with you in the desert tonight!?!”

 

“Well, yes,” I replied, “but you might want to call your Sophomore History teacher in to ask about that.” “WHAT?” he said. “Yeah,” I said casually, “We’re just playing backup for him…he chose that song.” “Oh,” the principal replied. They all looked so disappointed in not having evidence to “nail me.” “You’re dismissed,” he said…

 

...I grinned widely as I exited the office.

 

When I tell this story or just think back on it, I'm reminded of how much our culture has changed. I feel old writing this, but compared to the lyrics of most popular songs today, it truly is amazing at how upset people became over a reference to sleeping together. When I think ahead to the world my grandchildren will lead, I shudder to think about what will be "acceptable" then. You see, the subtle "pushing the envelope" we did then has led to the blatant cursing, sexual explicitness, and unashamed disrespect in much of today's music. It was a slow and steady process resulting in corruption.

 

But rather than "cursing the darkness" here however, I'd like to encourage us to plant seeds to produce a positive change. I like to propose a recapturing of reverence and respect for God and fellow man. I'd love to see Christians and non-Christians alike pushing for a commitment to "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers (Eph. 4:29)." Perhaps some small adjustments in the RIGHT direction can result in major changes 20 years from now.

 

We can always pray and hope,

 

Pastor Joel 

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