As I introspected further yesterday while raking leaves and listening to my iTunes, I considered the lyrics penned by fantastic Kansas guitarist, composer and then-recent Christian convert Kerry Livgren some 35 years ago. His song New Age Blues https://youtu.be/qaimb3IOk3o was at once indicative of the modern thinking and perhaps predictive of how much would change in the coming decades. In 2020, I have to ask: just how accurate was he?
“…you’re caught in the wheel; you’re buying a lie…
Look out, look in; you look for the ultimate answer within.
No loss, no win; anything goes in a world without sin
And the black and white is gray in the world you choose…
“No reason or rhyme, it’s a sign of the times, so whatever tickles your fancy is fine.
You turn to yourself, there’s nobody else: the new evolution into the divine…”
By the time Kerry wrote these words, he had spent his life in the 70s searching for spiritual answers as his band became more famous and the pressure mounted for better and better music. He observed (but did not participate in) the aspects of that culture, and by the time he accepted Jesus, he had a lifetime of experience to draw from for his future composing. In the early 80s when he began writing for his new band AD, he saw how humanity was being sold the line of “self-first”, although it has taken another generation or so for that concept to really become prominent.
As we enter 2020, have we fully erased black-and-white in favor of many shades of gray? Are we truly at the place where anything goes? Between the news and social media, we are bombarded with the concept that the ‘more conservative’ (label only because it’s how things are currently defined) of us have to accept that which is completely contrary to our beliefs. Not just tolerate: accept, or if you will, acknowledge. To fail to do so brings down the ire of those who no longer believe those truths handed to us by our Creator. So if you’re like me and you dislike conflict, do we shrug and say, “Okay. Be it as you will; the consequences are on you and you alone?” Is that another form of “turning to ourselves” and is that any less wrong?
As this likely tumultuous year unfolds, let us prayerfully consider our actions, prayerfully choose our words, and let both be our witness to a world lost and stumbling in darkness.
Study to show yourself approved, do good to all according to your resources, support the arts, and keep the faith.