Although it’s a scriptural admonition drawn from a Pauline letter to the church at Ephesus the call to face the seriousness of the spiritual battle also works for those involved in the halls of congress, the work of reportage and the civically minded laborers down on the street. What is that admonition?
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph 6: 12)
This admonition is clearly a call to take life and all our service to God or man as a very serious matter. In essence it is a reminder that it is a battlefield - not a playground.
We can’t stop the rest from partying, plundering or wasting their time and energy on foolishness, but for those who see beyond the confluence of all things – or the urgency of the moment, the gravity of life will always far outweigh the levity with which it is punctuated.
One of the first articles I wrote for the internet was entitled “The Internet Right – Are they Doing it Right?” Some of the right wing or conservative sites I mentioned in that article don’t exist today, but many more have taken their place. It has become abundantly clear since writing that piece that conservatives have taken brutal beating in the spiritual and political arena. Not to fret – a revival, a renewal, and resurgence - seems eminent.
One thing has changed, but not for the best, is that many of today’s largest conservative websites are sliding into high commercialism. Getting ads and making money on book sales, memorabilia, health miracle products, conferences and contributions have become huge landing page efforts. Some of the script ads (ads that change frequently at the discretion of the advertiser) are depicting women with scantily covered bodies and provocative poses. They are meant to attract attention and they are not failing to do so. But are the websites allowing them; failing to get the point?
Whether, it’s a call to a former morality, a higher morality, or just, any morality at all - are we becoming part of the problem? You will not find any scientific studies to show you just how much of this exists, but just an average day in the upkeep of my website requires visiting other sites about 35 to 50 times per day. Roughly, sleazy little ads appear about 6 out of 10 times in my search.
Surprisingly, it is not just liberal leaning sites that are the offenders, but increasingly the conservative sites and blogs and even Christian sites are now sliding into the sleaze market. This may be the generation where nothing is sacred, but that’s just the point. It is up to each site to draw the line but let’s not forget that what people see salting those sites is how they decide whether the site has lost its savour (Mt 5: 13) and it may determine whether they visit that site again.
It may seem that a little bit of sleazy material will have no significant effect on the culture. The principle or the mechanics of cultures indicates that this is not true. Example, when milk is changed into yogurt it is inoculated with only a very small amount of starter bacteria that grows and converts hundreds of gallons of milk into yogurt. American culture can also be boosted by only a very little sleaze.
Little wonder that when the Apostle Paul addressed the little things we allow to taint our best behaviors he said, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (Ga 5: 9) Jesus said it another way, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” (Lk 16: 10)
No one could label the internet the home of good conscience and certainly no one has appointed me as the pastor of the internet, but my eyes see what children may see, they see what all decent people see and all that remains is to ponder the insult, the offense the shock and the disappointment they must experience. FCC reg’s, better publishing organizations and general codes of conduct are non-existent for the internet so all policing of the web is a total in-house effort for each website out there.
Here’s my simple warning – if it doesn’t matter to the various sites what people see when the site is first opened, how can we convince anyone that our content, our articles, videos and reporting and our very purpose - matter?
Then along comes the TV cable and network news sites, purveying the latest works of pop-culture sleaze, all while giggling or babbling about how hilarious it all is.
One popular morning show recently hosted the model who wore a jeweled covered bra worth ten million dollars as she pranced across the runway for Victoria’s Secret’s underwear show. Amid gasps and goggle eyed wonderment the conservative commentators were drooling over the model and her sparkling bejeweled bra. They were suspended in fairy land, floating somewhere between mesmerized and enchanted. Is it all just so delightful; is it laughable, attractive – commendable?
If we have to ask conservatives to act conservatively and stop kissing up to the raw commercialism and irresponsible advertising so rampant in today’s TV and internet realm - can we yet call ourselves conservative?
Is it time to get our own house in order if we want the nation to see a revival of all things right?
American Prophet.org has since 2005 featured the articles and reports of journalist Rev Michael Bresciani along with news and reviews that have earned this site the title of The Website for Insight. Millions have read his timely reports and articles in online journals and print publications across the nation and the globe. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook