The Dangers of Popular Culture
Culture is defined as the long term traditions and beliefs of a society. Popular culture, too often, are the fleeting trends led by pride, passion and greed.
The Judeo-Christian philosophy and the code of morality professed in the Bible do not change over time. It has been Western Civilization's constant guiding light for the last two thousand years. The long-standing Christian ethos of faith, love and service led to the human rights and personal freedoms we witness today in the Western World.
Yet morality and traditions in today's popular culture ARE NOT consistent. Our popular culture is trendy, always changing and easily manipulated by detrimental spiritual forces as well as powerful political, corporate, and media elite special-interests. These interests, in reality, are self-interests and primarily manipulated for financial gain.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other,
or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and money." Matthew 6:24
Our era of powerful Big Tech monopolies and media conglomerates, that wield great control over the information that the public receives, has created a scenario where corporate profits supersede moral guidance. Combine this with an increasing lack of complex communication due to the influence of social media applications, and we now have a society enslaved by political correctness, censorship and skewed stereotypical narratives that are having an increasing negative effect on society.
Success in today's society almost always comes down to TV ratings, and the number of web clicks and views. To be more profitable, the mass media promote warped attention getting headlines and profane content. Research reveals that by the time the average child reaches 18 years of age they have witnessed 200,000 acts of violence on TV alone.
All too often manufactured controversy will equate to greater profits for the entertainment business and media elites. As time goes by, the expanding profane themes in our media incrementally transform societal norms as they are eventually reflected in our society.
"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."
Add the distractions of our fast-paced society and a growing culture that promotes self-gratification and we have a society that steers people away from the Judeo-Christian philosophy of love and service to others. The end result is that today's popular culture is increasingly the exact opposite of what the Bible teaches.
Perception is Reality
Sadly, popular culture and societal trends can greatly influence whether the Scriptures speak to the masses. We are seeing this effect in America and Europe today as the percentage of Christians is now declining, while in Africa and Asia there are mass revivals of millions of new believers. Here is a link to an informative article on Christianity around the World.
In the end, the people who know the least about the wisdom and guidance provided by the Bible are much more likely to be misled and suffer from the dangers in society.
In other words, the more one is distracted by our secular society, the less sense the Bible will make. Without God, the gift of free will becomes very dangerous!
Today, social media's vast array of options offers individuals trendy, convenient new ways to communicate and express themselves. But this form of expression is having serious negative effects on society as it consumes our intrigued populace. Social media also has defined limitations when communicating.
It is simply not possible to articulate as complex a conversation and convey expressions while using most social media applications as compared to a verbal discussion whether in-person or over a phone. This specific issue is very dangerous since truly understanding the complex issues found in the Bible, our society, our history and in geopolitics will require more than short simple Facebook messages and social media likes and tweets.
A Culture of Convenience and Isolation
As technology progresses it typically serves to offer ways to do the regular tasks in life in a more comfortable manner. From remote controls to voice controlled Google devices that can operate appliances and various devices, we are gradually becoming lazier and complacent to our true purpose in life in being stewards for the Lord.
So often though, helping others and working for the Lord can be very inconvenient and even uncomfortable at times. Investing our time in helping our neighbors or spreading the Gospel increasingly counters current trends in technology and popular culture.
We are not only looking for the easiest way to get through our daily activities, but we are increasingly doing our tasks and communicating while we are alone. We spend more time looking at LED displays than looking at our families and friends. Research is confirming that technology and isolation are promoting an increase in poor health, anxiety and depression.
This Life is Fleeting
There are a variety of informative verses throughout the Bible that teach us about society and popular culture. Most of the time, they represent a warning to avoid conforming to the temporary self-serving philosophy of secular culture and world society in general.
Understand, the Bible reminds us that material wealth is temporary and that spiritual wealth is forever. We receive spiritual guidance by reading the Bible and increase our eternal rewards by helping others.
In Proverbs 19 verse 17 it says:
"Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will repay him for his deed."
16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
"If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."
John 15:19 reiterates that our lives (our bodies and our everlasting souls) are a gift from God. We all have a purpose beyond our own Earthly desires and temporary pleasures. Once a Christian understands this concept, they are at odds with our fleeting materialist society. Those who only see life through a material-world perspective will not understand the humility of Christian virtue and the eternal spiritual Christian perspective.
"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."
Acquiring spiritual wisdom and avoiding the pitfalls of popular culture will come down to your investment in time with the Lord. Prioritizing prayer, reading the Bible, fellowship with other Christians and spending time helping those around you will actually bring our greatest satisfaction in life.
Our perception is our reality. Gaining an accurate perspective with our lives will help us understand the good and the bad in a complex society. Simply put, the Bible provides the most accurate perspective for our lives now and for eternity.
The Bible teaches us that we are made in God's image and that all humans have a soul that will exist after our physical death. Once our earthly bodies eventually wear out, we will all be judged by our Maker. Will you have conformed to society or built a sincere relationship with God and created a foundation for eternity?
"And the dust returns to the earth as it was,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it." Ecclesiastes 12:7
As our relationship with God continues to grow and the pitfalls with life become more clear, we can then recognize the spiritual warfare that exists within our minds and society.
© 2023 Faith and Physics Inc. - All Rights Reserved