“Times change. People change. We have moved so far away from large swaths of the Bible.
With these words, English journalist and TV personality Piers Morgan urged evangelist Franklin Graham to adapt to these changing times and reconsider his views on social and biblical issues. Morgan, who many know for his stint as a judge on ‘America’s Got Talent’ and various other media appearances, interviewed Graham last month on the News UK programme, ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored’ as Billy Graham’s son was in London for his God Loves You UK Tour.
My wife and I could have predicted Graham’s response:
“God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
This affirmation comes from the Old and New Testaments, where Malachi 3:6 says, “For I, the Lord, change not,” and where Paul expands it in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the even yesterday, today and forever. ”
Today, however, some say the Bible is not authoritative and that all words of the past are subject to change, reinterpretation or even disregard. We all know how dozens of words and terms that previously didn’t make a splash are now politically incorrect, and many who hold certain political views won’t listen to any arguments or reasoning coming from “old white men.” Only new and fresh is on their radar.
CS Lewis (yes, a white guy who eventually got “old”), had something to say about that. Arthur Lindsley wrote that one of the famous author’s seven key ideas was “chronological snobbery”, “the assumption that everything that has become obsolete is thereby discredited”.
Lindsley asked these questions: “Why did an idea become obsolete and never be refuted? If so, where, by whom and with what certainty? Lewis suggested that a person should read at least one old book for every three new ones. His view was that humans should not automatically discard wisdom and knowledge gained over thousands of years in favor of new, untested ideas.
Dr. Mary Dodson, a local English teacher, last week showed a 2014 video to a Bible class of college students who were asked basic history questions such as “Who won the Civil War? ” and “Who is the Vice President?” Most didn’t know. But most had no trouble responding to the Snooki show stardom and who actor Brad Pitt was married to at the time.
With brains so unburdened of even the most basic facts, how could they intelligently compare “old” ideas to “new” ideas? And how could they judge the truth or error of the words of the Bible?
Consider a quote from George Orwell’s 1948 novel, “1984”: “Power consists in tearing human minds to pieces and piecing them together in new forms of your own choosing.” This culture reshaping is easy to do when much of society knows more about Angelina Jolie than who fought whom in the Civil War.
And according to Dodson, the progressive destruction of traditional values and beliefs stems mainly from the stealthy rise of Marxism, which values groups over individuals, and postmodernism, which denies the validity of “meta-narratives” such as the big story that stands out. scrolls down from the Bible and says there is no objective truth.
Without universal truth, people have “my truth” and “your truth”, no one is to be judged, and everything is relative. So old paper documents such as the United States Constitution and the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures really don’t make sense and are subject to revision or rejection.
Piers Morgan’s view that a preacher should steer clear of “outdated” parts of the Bible is not surprising in our increasingly secular society. Some politicians have argued that the United States is not a Christian nation, and since the Marxist-postmodern movement began to gain traction in the 1960s, their assertion becomes more accurate every day.
For some of us, this is alarming – and sad.
Mike Haynes taught journalism at Amarillo College from 1991 to 2016 and has written for the Faith section since 1997. He can be reached at [email protected] Go to www.haynescolumn.blogspot.com for more recent columns.