“Does a lion roar in the thicket when it has no prey? Does it growl in its den when it has caught nothing? … The lion has roared - who will not fear?” Amos 3:3-4, 8
Some mornings it's easy to wake up and pretend that all is well in the world. Take your dog for walk and pretend you don't see the trash left in the woods by transient people; the shopping cart twisted and in ruin laying in the stream; the occasional beer can or discarded garbage by the side of the road - we inwardly long for all to be well in the world.
It's unsettling to realize the extent of the power that rests in the hands of so few individuals. The world has not become a safer place and if we are not careful we will view it through a pessimistic lens. The reality is, God has not relinquished control. He has spoken of these days and he has warned us against abandoning the values and morals and principles that allows society to function in sustainable, healthy ways.
In our pursuit of freedom for the rights of every individual to express themselves without restraint, we have sold one value for another. We have measured progress by our capacity to tolerate the intolerable. We view this as an advancement of society, and in the process we have muzzled honest debate. We are well on our way to removing the possibility of respectful disagreement. Society is rapidly moving to a place where disagreement equals phobia.
The wise need to recognize that this has been predicted and recorded in the Bible. (Romans 1:21-22) “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claim to be wise, they became fools.”
We need to understand the difference between tolerance and acceptance. Society has pressured us to embrace everything they portray as intrinsic to a free society. Yet it is naïve to think that you can embrace one value without having to exchange it for another. Permissiveness is a heavier yolk than purity. Casting off moral restraint has widened the door for sexual exploitation. The pursuit of wealth and the demanding of individual rights has diminished our capacity to be generous, which in turn has increased our propensity towards selfishness and greed. In practice society has worked hard to entrench those values while continuing to refuse to accept any responsibility for a rise in violence and prejudice. “Although society claims to be wise, we are becoming fools.”
People mock the concept of God. They mocked the concept that God is good when there is so much evil in the world. There is a blasphemous spirit that accuses God while disavowing any responsibility for the consequences of society’s own behaviour and beliefs.
God has warned that a disregard of his sovereignty and his values will result in an unsustainable trajectory for human society. The judgments of God are seen in the consequences that result from humanity’s insistence to ignore his advice. Before blame his cast, it is good to consider the implications of cause and effect.
So we must decide whether or not we will become more counterculture. We must decide the extent of our efforts to discover the wisdom of God. We must decide if it is worth taking a stand for values that are being labeled as obsolete and puritanical by much of the developed world. We must decide whether loving our neighbour is just as important as loving ourselves. Self-infatuation often misunderstands the Voice of Love. It may be wise to heed the words from Amos. “The lion has roared - will no one fear?”