by Mike Pyatt
How could two people, two millennia ago, given communications’ pace of the day, be characterized by citizens, at the end of Acts 17, “These, that have turned the world upside down have come here also.” That’s astonishing that any man, or men, like Paul and Silas, could’ve influenced their culture so dramatically. The rumor mill of that day had traversed from Philippi, to Thessalonica, more than one-hundred miles away-about nine travel days back then. Looking backward, down the corridor of time, one must understand that it was their preaching of the Gospel that had upset the status quo in the dominant social order-throwing it into cultural chaos. God had upset Satan’s stronghold, and the religious tradition of latitudinarianism. The Old and New Testament chronicled those who shook the establishment to its’ core. Amos, Elijah, Jeremiah and Ruth were forerunners of “making waves.” They too “turned their world upside down.”
Since that time, we’ve had Girolamo Savonarola, who was executed, Jan Huss, burned at the stake as a “heretic,” John Wesley, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Johnathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, Dwight Moody and Billy Graham, who’ve shaken the spiritual foundations of a slumbering world, informing it that God has spoken in space and time, regarding His Son, Jesus Christ. They were unconcerned for themselves, or what men wanted to hear. But rather what mankind needed to hear, ever nudging them toward eternity. Driven by boldness and conviction, extolling God and His inspired word. They were undaunted by threats and beatings, fearless of death itself. We reside in a world today “turned upside down” not by the Gospel, but an increasingly secular culture that’s in utter denial of absolute Truth and eternal verities. Relativism rules and reigns. The Scripture, and clarion voices, warned of a time when “evil is called good,” and “dark is light.” We who yet embrace century old underpinnings of Judeo-Christian principles, are guardedly skeptical that this world can be “turned right side up” again.
With historic fanfare, and a cacophony of adoring voices, last week, it heralded Miss Spain, as the first transgender Miss Universe contestant, held in Bangkok. Sadly, the former ban on transgender contestants was lifted in 2012. Apparently, they don’t inquire about “plumbing” anymore. Anyone with an ounce of common sense, exposed to Biology 101, understand Miss Spain is no “she.” It’s a lie suitable to their ignoble taste and beguiling agenda of this “upside down world.” It’s clear why Angela Ponce was center stage-the world-wide lobbying push and sway from the LGBTQ acolytes. The world celebrated a truly execrable event.
This bedeviling spirit didn’t hatch in an incubator in Bangkok. In 1972, at the American Psychological Association (APA) convention in San Francisco, a panel asked the Board of Trustees, that homosexuality be removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). In December, 1973, the Board of Trustees, folded like a cheap tent, to the homosexual lobbyist, and passed a resolution, opposing public and private discrimination against homosexuals, removing homosexuality from the DSM, as “deviant behavior,” formerly considered a “mental disorder.” The “Gay Rights” movement officially began in 1969, following the violent Stonewall Inn riots in New York, that broke out after an “infamous police raid” on a “gay bar.” Our world’s tilting.
A major scholarly paper was written in 2011, by a Western Washington University faculty member, titled in rhyme, “When Gay was not Okay with the APA.” Professor Baughly-Gill, wrote, “Early attitudes towards homosexuality were rooted in Christian ideals.” She traced its history from the nineteenth and twentieth century. It was noted that most text books labeled homosexuality as “abnormal behavior” until the late 1970’s. Freud believed that all humans are bi-sexual in nature. Most psychoanalyst, following Freud’s death, disagreed with him. Baughly-Gill’s paper recommended more research to include sexual and gender orientation. Rather than conducting rigorous scientific research, in the not-so-hallowed halls of higher education, they offer unfounded “scholarly assertions” that matched their narrative. Former president of the APA, Dr.Nicholas Cummings, no homophobe, remarked in 2012, that the homosexual lobbyist seized control of the APA, and he “was distressed at the loss of scientific objectivity in the organization.” That has, in part, “turned the world upside down.”
Major tenets of John Dewey’s progressive education-that society and education needed reconstruction-were nearly incalculable back then. However, its pernicious philosophy had begun to take hold of American life, as it infiltrated institutions of higher learning, specifically training educators and social researchers. From across the Pond, C.S. Lewis lampooned progressive education in his fictional school called “Experiment House” in England, which had become a Mecca for progressivism since the early 1930’s. Books like Rudolph Flesch’s “Why Johnny Can’t Read,” in 1955; and Arthur Bestor’s 1953, “Educational Wastelands,” pilloried both its claims and feckless outcomes. What do we have for the trillions of dollars outlay over the past fifty years, after propping up its pernicious philosophy, couched in Locke and Rousseau? A handful of emptiness!
The role of reasoning has declined precipitously without consideration these past three generations. Inductive and deductive reasoning, for centuries, permitted one to think logically and critically. Our culture is now dominated by seductive reasoning and allurement to cliches with scant meaning. It’s a short leap to the loss of abstract reasoning. Conclusions are based solely on images in a culture based wholly upon visual stimulation and social media. Strong desire trumps reason. Cupidity reigns. What about the loss of cultural memory. One can’t recall what one doesn’t know. Time tested values and principles of yesteryear aren’t in the equation with recent generations. It has virtually been erased from the American consciousness.
This upheaval isn’t happenstance as some have assigned to this unraveling. Most notably, the ubiquitous “green movement” is humanism cloaked in flora and fauna, unfettered, penetrating nearly every fiber of our society, from kindergarten to professional schools.This slip to “pseudo science” is characterized by assertion over fact, driven by scare tactics of melting polar ice caps, rising world tides, and premeditated hype from global warming advocates, warning of an unsustainable future. Secular humanism masquerades itself in this ungodly veil of esoteric elitism. G.K. Chesterton remarked, “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then believe in anything.”
Tragically, we’ve shifted from worshipping the Creator to worshipping creation, that ultimately has seduced generations into the lowest form of worship-self-worship. Should anyone be shocked our “world has been turned upside down?” Given the current moral landscape, absent an old fashioned 18th Century “Great Awakening” or 1904, “Welsh Revival,” it may be too late to salvage the vestiges of Western culture. Evangelicals understand we have Christ’s peace during periods of disaffection, sorrow, travail, and uncertainty. However, we’re not excused from active duty-simultaneously opposing evil, and passing the torch of truth to a generation we’ll never see. It’s apparent, soaring rhetoric, wishing otherwise, or retreating to a hermetically sealed world, won’t turn the world right-side up. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s firstname.lastname@example.org