I’m sitting here deciding what to wear to work today. My bell bottom jeans and groovy love beads, or my polyester leisure suit. Now that’s outdated!
My husband and I enjoy watching older TV shows. A couple of examples are Wagon Train and Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. We enjoy them because the characters depicted have, well, character. They have the courage to stand up against the bad guys. They have the courage to pray to God and ask for help. You’ll hear actual Bible verses being spoken out loud in an episode. There is no nudity or gratuitous violence. Just stories that show how real people behave.
So before the shows begin, there is the page that tell you the ratings for the program. Like PG, parental guidance suggested. I’ve noticed that over the last year a new category has shown up. OC, outdated cultural depiction. I wondered what that was, and looked up its definition.
It means the show may contain outdated cultural depictions. It’s an example of a recent trend, where enlightened (or woke) people feel the need to criticize, censure, and distance themselves from views held in the past. This is one of the warnings added over the last few years to vintage films and TV shows to declare that movies made ages ago often come with attitudes no longer acceptable.
Well just watch the news and you’ll see this is true. Attitudes that are no longer accepted are a nuclear family unit. You know, where you have a mom, dad, and the kiddos, all together, as a unit. It’s also no longer acceptable to have morals, to stand up for what you believe in and the right to defend it. It’s not acceptable to pray to God for guidance and to read and believe the Bible. Going to church was not acceptable during the pandemic, but going out in large gatherings to burn, loot, and pillage your neighbor’s businesses and homes was. These are just a few examples. I’m sure you can immediately think of more.
But do you want to know what is still not outdated? The Word of God, ie: The Bible.
Although it is impossible to obtain exact figures, there is little doubt that the Bible is the world’s best-selling and most widely distributed book. A survey by the Bible Society concluded that around 2.5 billion copies were printed between 1815 and 1975, but more recent estimates put the number at more than 5 billion. And now with the Bible available on an app on your phone, it can be even more accessible.
The whole Bible had been translated into 349 languages; 2,123 languages have at least one book of the Bible in that language. (Guinness Book of World Records)
“The Bible sells because It is Living, Powerful, and Universally desired.” (EnnisP June 24, 2012)
I find this true in my own life. I love reading the Bible. It is one of God’s way of communicating with me. I find the stories just as relevant now, as they were then. For example, when I was having issues with my neighbors this summer, verses from 2 Chronicles spoke to me in the here and now, and this book was written in the 5th century B.C. (over 2,500 years ago!) The first five books of the Bible were written by Moses in approx 1420 B.C. (Over 3,900 years ago!) 40 authors wrote the Bible over a period of 1,500 years. These Bible writers wrote as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 says that the Bible is “God breathed.”
“The whole Bible was given to us by the inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us to do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone.” (2 Tim 3:16-17 [TLB])
I am always finding something new in it. Chapters and verses I might have read thousands of times, all of a sudden jump off the page at me. I wonder how I did not see that before. Reading the One Year Bible this year has also added a rich layer to what I am getting out of the Word. I love to read books in general, but the Bible is vibrant and full of content, that changes on any given day. Not the what is written actually changes, but how Holy Spirit enlightens me to what I am reading changes. I find it incredibly exciting, and can’t wait to see what God is going to show me next.
Peter Croft wrote, “It is my deepest desire for the person who picks up their Bible, whatever version they use, to not only understand but experience the scriptures as living documents, just as relevant, dangerous, and exciting now as they were those thousands of years ago.” His grandfather was J.B. Phillips who wrote a paraphrase of the Bible in English during World War II in order to make it come alive to students at his church.
“For whatever God says to us is full of living power: it is sharper that the sharpest dagger, cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires with all their parts, exposing us for what we really are.” (Heb. 4:12 [TLB])
Jesus said, “The very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63 [NLT])
The vital power of God’s message exists in its ability to pierce and penetrate the innermost depths of the human soul. It can cut through any obstacle to access and inspect our unspoken thoughts and hidden secrets. (Matt 10:26; Luke 8:17; 12:2; Mark 4:22)
I tell the clients for whom I prepare income taxes that, “Denying it doesn’t make it go away.” Same principle holds true here. Denying God, morals, right from wrong, and living with integrity does not make them go away, or make them outdated. Just because you can criticize, censure, and distance yourself from views held in the past, doesn’t make them go away.
“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.” (2 Peter 2:1-2 [NIV])
So I am content to be counted as a person who is among the “culturally outdated.” I am happy to live my life with integrity, morals, kindness, and courage. I’m pretty sure that makes me more alive and woke in the fullest and truest sense of the word.
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