“How do you stop a rhinoceros from charging? You take away his credit cards.” It’s a joke, but it only makes sense if you have knowledge of the words being used. If you had no reference to rhino’s or credit cards, the joke would fall flat. Consider repeating the same joke to teenagers of today. Their response? “You unplug it.” For those of us back in the day, that would have fallen flat because our reference to plugs was to power something, not to charge it.
What happens then when you have a generation without prior knowledge of words and their associations? What use to mean one thing now means something entirely different. That’s esy to see. More difficult to spot is how shifting terminology and their associations shape and create our beliefs and values. Take the recent political scandals. Here are some quotes I recently heard expressed: “Shocked, I mean, come on, we now live in the official age where you can survive a scandal…It’s not about the scandal, it’s about confidence…This is like the ‘Right Stuff’ for scandals, he’s constantly pushing the envelope…We need to make a distinction between the personal and political sides of people…cheating, adultery, arrogance is accepted, this is different.”
I could offer a translation of those quotes, what they are really saying, and my generation probably wouldn’t flinch; another generation would most certainly. Why? Because this is all they know. It’s commonplace to accept this king of thinking because, to them, it’s normal. Ant they have a point; it’s their only reference. Unless…unless there is an intentional effort in referencing the knowledge of God. This kind of stuff has been happening a long time; when people did as they saw fit (book of Judges) but God’s standard has always eclipsed what man thought. Don’t chance your values based on current trends; go to God’s Word and critically challenge “accepted” thought with something much higher.