We live in a world of frivolity. But do we go along and emulate it or condemn it? One author says we should condemn it – like Noah did. One of the cultural realities we have to face everyday in preaching the gospel, is that we have so dumbed down our society through an entertainment saturated lifestyle that people have little to draw from in order to evaluate what is important. This is not a new problem. In 1910, A.S. Peake, in his book, “Heroes and Martyrs of the Faith, noted that the people in his day were like those of Noah’s Day – frivolous. They were a people with “no reserve to which one can appeal.” Here is how he explains it:
"But what are we to do with the flippant and the frivolous, in whose nature there is no depth, no reserve to which one can appeal? What can be done with the shallow, irresponsible people to whom the gravest moral and spiritual issues are less than an idle tale…?
Read the whole context below:
“I always feel that we have least hope of success with those whom we cannot get to take life seriously.
With those who are set in their antagonism to goodness, who throw themselves into active opposition are less to be despaired of. For with them, there is a certain earnestness and seriousness, a concentration of purpose, thougth directed to wrong ends. In short, they have character though it be bad character. And, there are numerous examples to show what valiant and loyal soldiers of righteousness, they may prove if they can once be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
But what are we to do with the flippant and the frivolous, in whose nature there is no depth, no reserve to which one can appeal? What can be done with the shallow, irresponsible people to whom the gravest moral and spiritual issues are less than an idle tale? …
Even blinder were the men of Noah’s time, for they imagined that all would go on in its accustomed routine, in that there would be no catastrophe at all…
It is the mission of the church to condemn the worlds insensibility. But our churches have too many in them who exhibit the same lack of moral seriousness. Few things are more ominous than the widespread disbelief in the great principle of retribution…. We need to recapture the sense of the majesty of law, the unflinching sternness of the moral order, the unswerving movement of justice in its course, the loftiness of the demand upon us, the futility of our cowardly evasion.
Thus with rigorous self-discipline we rise to self-mastery, life becomes charged for us with an eternal significance. Thus by our noble seriousness we may condemn the worlds frivolity. By our steadfast conviction of the unseen we may reprove its crass incredulity, and become heirs, “of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
Peake, A.S, Heroes and Martyrs of the Faith, Hodder and Stoughton, 1910
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