By Dr. Donald Whitchard
It wasn’t that long ago, at least in my mind and nostalgic outlook, that I was a young boy growing up in the turbulent 1960’s, when there were riots in the streets, political unrest over a place called Vietnam, and sexual promiscuity that was described in the media as a “revolution” with the invention of the birth control pill and the “Playboy philosophy” that encouraged free thought and expression divorced from the “old” morality that kept society oppressed and frustrated in the area of sexual activity and subjects that were seen as a taboo in established ideas and conversations. The activist Saul Alinsky had just released his book to the public entitled “Rules for Radicals”, emphasizing the necessity of overthrowing the status quo and the need for a new form of government and lifestyle based upon what was essentially Marxism in disguise and peddled to impressionable teens and young adults who saw their parent’s generation and standards as something to reject and destroy. Nothing’s really changed, has it?
What about the effect of Christian thought on the subject? The new idea coming from the minds of liberal clergy and professors was that God was dead and nothing could bring Him back. This was nothing more than espousing the atheistic rants of the German philosopher Frederick Nietzsche, who declared that we were God’s murderers because the thought of serving Him was repugnant and that we should strive for a “superman” who would guide us into a new age of thought and relevance. Never mind the fact that Nietzsche died a raving lunatic. His ideas were the seedbed of Nazism along with 19th century Biblical scholarship that denied the inspiration of Scripture and brought the concept of biblical inerrancy down to a level that was laughed at by intellectuals. When you combine the facts of destruction of the divine origin of the Bible along with ungodly thought, you tear apart the foundations of a moral society who comes to believe in nothing absolute or standard. We tend to forget that Adolf Hitler was elected and accepted by the German people, eager for new leadership and hope after years of hardship, and were prepared to accept anyone who promised then greatness and purpose. The fact that Hitler was a fanatical occultist and anti-Semite really didn’t seem to bother them. We know how that turned out. 60 million people are dead because of a godless philosophy and belief.
Doubt in the accepted truth of moral and ethical behavior based upon Scripture and the writings of the Founding Fathers festered in this decade, along with a disdain for anything godly that would convict the new young revolutionaries of my childhood of their blissful swallowing of radical dogma without doing any original thinking of the consequences of their ideas on a nation’s well-being. I suppose that these characters were the first to ingest what I refer to as “stupid” pills, not really putting any original, logical thought about the side effects of the lack of thought and actions. The fact that many of the youth were turning onto the teachings of Harvard linguistics professor Timothy Leary and his endorsement of taking LSD with the idea of getting stoned and “tuning in, turning on, and “dropping out” led to many of his followers overdosing on the hallucinogenic, either dying or contracting permanent mental disease that often led to time in the sanitarium, sometimes for life.
The fear of established radicals who want to overthrow a system is that the listeners and followers will start examining the base idea of why an action should be undertaken that could produce chaos and anarchy, with devastating consequences that cannot be reversed easily. What people like cult leaders, charismatic politicians, and some unscrupulous businessmen today hope for is that you’ll buy their package without counting the cost or seeing how the end result benefits you. These leeches hope that you won’t take the time and think about what they say and promote, hoping you’ll gladly ingest their prescription of “stupid” pills and enjoy the mind-numbing side effect of absolute surrender and obedience to their teachings or ideas. It seems to me, after observing representative behaviors as a minister and former teacher in my years of service, that people are just getting plain dumber, ready to accept without question the idea and philosophy of those who are in the media, politics, and yes, religion, without any thought or inquiry as to why we even should give some of these people the time of day or express any interest in their escapades and schemes.
I believe that today’s teens and young people are the most susceptible to following the lead of bad characters without stopping to think of just how ridiculous some of these brain – deprived windbags sound and act, believing their own press. I lay the blame for this lack of thinking at the door of the modern school, which has presented biased and quite frankly, a godless curriculum into the classroom and doing the job of indoctrinating these young minds with the ideas of socialism, globalism, lack of respect for differing views, and a surrender to the idea that there is really no need to believe in God, but to envision a “new age” of enlightenment and peace where everybody is equal. When I taught history in high school many years ago, I was allowed to discuss the merits of world religions, but gave extra attention to the influence of Christianity upon western civilization without sounding like I was an evangelist. I know I couldn’t do that today. I’d be fired faster than you could say “common core”. The modern educational system, including elementary, secondary, and collegiate categories are having a field day gleefully allowing unsuspecting minds to swallow large doses of “stupid pills” and then we wonder why they espouse dangerous ideas like socialism. Where are the pictures of life in the Soviet Union under communism to show them? How about pictures of Venezuela? Sorry, according to the powers that be, “there’s nothing to see here’, trivializing the necessity of studying history in order to learn from the past on how to not fall into traps of statist ideology. The material is “dumbed down” for easy ingestion without debate and honest inquiry.
Young people, especially children, are exposed to people that not too long ago would have been thrown in prison for immoral behavior and the endangerment of the well-being of a minor. Libraries are allowing drag queens to come in and read stories to children all made up in their garish outfits and essentially having innocent minds swallow “stupid” pills and taught that this kind of behavior is perfectly fine and that these people should be allowed to express their sexual preference in public without shame or ridicule. What the gay community wants to keep quiet is that the plague of AIDS is still around along with sexually transmitted diseases that kill many homosexual men at an early age.
If you take a hard look, there aren’t a lot of old gay people in society. We’ve swallowed the “stupid” pill narrative that this is somehow okay and nothing for which to express concern or criticism, lest you be labelled something profane and unacceptable that makes you a pariah in modern times. Now someone can get fired, sued, or have their reputation destroyed by just questioning the idea that it is okay for two men or two women to engage in actions that at one time were considered abnormal by psychiatrists as well as biblically based clergy. We’ve swallowed the pills and allowed a Pandora’s Box of perversion to sweep this nation and the world into something that I barely recognize anymore.
When I was a teenager, trying to avoid the onslaught of disco music, leisure suits and the rants of Archie Bunker on TV, I was an avid fan of movies and shows from the creative minds at the Walt Disney studios. I appreciated the effort of artists to present stories that were dramatic, informative, and enjoyable. What I saw come out of the mind of the people at Disney were original ideas and amazing imagination that captivated my mind and made me appreciate the efforts to make a thought reality that would be a source of entertainment for all ages. It seemed that the output of quality items was an expected event and the work of the artists and engineers produced great wonders for the mind and heart. This philosophy went into the end of the century and 2000. Then, the Disney family retired and corporate heads decided what would be churned out. The bottom line was not quality and originality, but what could be filmed for a profit. The new bosses decided to purchase their quota of “stupid” pills and churn out products for the gullible that relied less on imagination and more on what would fit the bottom line, along with the introduction of shows on their channel that tended to deliberately glamorize alternative lifestyles. Now the studio is content to do live action remakes of classic animated movies, expecting the public to swallow their product and ingest blandness and the lack of originality. Now, I don’t care if the whole organization catches on fire and burn to ashes. The public has consumed their share of “stupid” pills and are content with mediocrity. This is a fact with all movies today. Either they’re remakes or sequels. I don’t see anything original or unique. The gift of art that the LORD bestowed upon His creation is either ignored, trashed, or made to mock and ridicule those ideas that were once part of a productive moral society.
The point that I am making is that people today do not know how to think and analyze in a rational, logical manner. Unfortunately, I see a lot of that in American Christianity today. In the name of what some refer to as “godly”, we tend to accept teachings from preachers and leaders in respective denominations and ministries as the final word on a subject or passage of Scripture without taking the time to examine what was said or taught and view it in the totality of Scripture. There are also the works of reliable men of God who wrestled with spiritual problems and questions and surrendered their intellect to the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit who presented the idea they needed in accordance with the will of God. In the world of biblical scholarship and study, we need to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves.
The LORD who created us expects us to obtain knowledge of Him that is in line with what the Scriptures say about Him and His plans for our well-being and growth. The trouble is that while the Bible is still the best-selling book of all time, few people today bother to read and study it. There is an epidemic of biblical illiteracy in this nation and because of it, atheists are having a field day with our children because parents who claim to be Christian did not pay attention as to why they should believe the claims of Christ and give an adequate defense of their faith before an ever increasing wave of skepticism. Whether we want to admit it or not, we who call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ have purchased our share of “stupid” pills and consumed them in blissful ignorance of our LORD’s command to study the Word and be saturated in its truths. The preacher can’t do your studying for you, nor can you learn it through osmosis. The idea of Christian maturity is based upon the realization that we are to take the words of Jesus to heart as a weapon against the wiles of the devil and his minions. Who do you think is the inventor of “stupid” pills? It certainly is not a product of the local pharmacy, but of the work of the devil, the champion of biblical ignorance and the ambassador of excuses not to study.
Deliberate ignorance of the Word of God is essentially a form of rebellion against the will of God and a refusal to submit to His Lordship. Your brain and mind are part of His creative power, along with reasoning and logic. There is also the asset of discernment. We must be able to determine what is true and false teaching. There are too many wolves out there hoping that illiterate sheep will come their way, blissfully ignorant of the need to study and memorize the Word. If we learn anything in our walk with the LORD, it is that He does not expect us to mentally stagnate and live in false contentment that all we have to do to be strong in the faith is support prophet so-and-so, or the preacher who spews motivational words but ignores the reality of God’s word and the consequences of ignoring it or worse, the LORD Himself. Too many alleged followers of Jesus believe that their experience, spiritual gibberish, and reliance upon the alleged miraculous will substitute for authentic growth and maturity in the LORD. There are a lot of folks, who, in the name of unity, signs, and wonders blissfully swallow the devil’s prescription of “Stupid pills”, naively believing that is the key to being a sound child of God. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. There’s no excuse for not studying the Word, examining its concepts and truths, and abiding by what it proclaims. Quit taking the world’s idea of medication for the dumbing down of your soul and rely on the goodness and mercy of the LORD to help you be the child that He expects and loves. The world can overdose on “stupid pills” to their eternal regret. We’re better than that. Real wisdom comes from the LORD and the joy of knowing Him through study and prayer knows no limits. Use your intellect for His glory and watch what He can do with it. Ignorance is not listed in Scripture as a “fruit of the Spirit”, so get to work and honor God with all of your heart, body, soul, and yes, mind. He expects no less.
Don was born and raised in the true Cajun Country of Louisiana. He holds a Bachelors Degree in History from Louisiana College, a Masters Degree in Christian Education from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Theology from Andersonville Baptist Seminary in Georgia. Don has served as a pastor, interim pastor, high school teacher, and hospital chaplain over the past thirty years. He currently serves as a volunteer chaplain (2008-present) with St. Francis Hospital and also served as the pastor/teacher from 2013-2016 at the Gospel Rescue Mission, both of which are here in Muskogee. He was called to Meadowbrook in February 0f 2017 and began his ministry in March of that year. He has also served as President of the Muskogee Baptist Association’s Pastors Conference, which is a weekly meeting that presents speakers and ministry ideas and concepts to church leaders in the greater Muskogee area.
Don’s top priority is to see that the good news of Jesus Christ is shared with our lost and hurting world and that the people of God are taught sound doctrine and preparation for our Lord’s soon return.