Rather than post a piece from one of our many wonderful guest bloggers, I can’t help myself from sharing words from a faithful life that left the world this week. My friend Ann sent me the obituary of “God’s Man” from World Magazine. So much of what he said relates to us as parents and our role in changing culture. I had the great pleasure of meeting this man on more than one occasion.
A couple years ago some dear friends graciously invited Jon & I to their house for dinner where they were hosting Chuck Colson. As was normal for this humble man, he introduced himself to us as we stood in the foyer. Needless to say, I knew who he was and was thrilled to shake his hand. After asking Jon which branch of the military in which he serves (Jon goes to Super Cuts because he “likes it short”…I threw that in after Jon replied that he works at Ernst & Young), he engaged us in a nice chat about today’s society.
We didn’t have long to chat, but even in the few minutes we did, he said something that I actually wrote down after we left. “Culture doesn’t change people; people change culture.” His comment stuck with me and sticks with me still … unlike his comment to Jon who continues in the close to the head cuts.
Here’s a portion from Chuck’s last speech as reported in World Magazine article:
“But what we’re seeing now is the fruits that have come from 30 years of relativism, death of truth, in the academy particularly, and in public discourse. And the coarsening of public discourse, coarsening of politics.
“Everybody looks to the elections and thinks, well the elections are going to settle this problem or settle that problem. Elections are important. Whoever serves in office, it makes a difference what kind of person that is and what that person believes. But elections can’t solve the problem we’ve got. The problem we’ve got is that our culture has been decaying from inside for 30 or 40 years. And politics is nothing but an expression of culture.
“So how do you fix the culture? Culture is actually formed by the belief system of the people, by the ‘cult,’ which is us, the church, has been historically. So if things are bad, don’t think it’s going to be solved by an election. It’s going to be solved by us. You have a healthy cult, you have a healthy culture. You have a healthy culture, you have a healthy politics.
“So it comes right back to us. Look in the mirror, that’s where the problem is. And if we can, through the church, renew the church to really bring a healthy cultural influence, then there’s some hope that we can be changed.
“I think Eric (Metaxas) is right that this is a moment. This is a moment when the time is right for a movement of God’s people under the power of the Holy Spirit to begin to impact the culture we live in. Desperately needed. …”
I know he’s talking about philosophical/political issues, but I sure hope these words inspire us all as we try to turn the tide from unintended entitlement to empowerment in our homes. Instead of being disgusted with what we hear day in and day out about a generation centered on themselves, why not do a Bob Newhart and “Stop It!” (if you don’t know, click on the link and sit back for a good reality check and laugh). Take one step forward and don’t look back … because “culture doesn’t change people; people change culture.”
Here’s hoping that today some kids will be separating whites and colors, or maybe pulling a recipe and gathering ingredients to cook them up for the fam, or for the first time ever gripping the handle of a plunger only to find a flush on the other side.
We can put up with the whining together. Then bask (further down the road) in the beauty of a generation equipped and ready to change the world.
Thanks for walking it with me.