My husband and I recently purchased new bedroom furniture. The set we replaced was a dark pine waterbed collection that we bought in the early 80’s. We long ago abandoned the waterbed, substituting a more traditional foundation for the free-float mattress. Years ago, I took a saw to the thick wooden canopy and cut it off. That caused the ends of our bed to just be rough-hewn posts, which I masked with a few artistic decorative tricks. However, in spite of all the attempts at up-dates, our bedroom looked like a throwback to a style long ago abandoned. We decided it was time for our bedroom to tell a new story. Out went the heavy, dark pine and in came the soft, cherry wood.
Times change and the culture reflects those changes. What was once hip, mod, and groovy becomes outmoded (like those adjectives just used!). Styles, practices, technology, and vocabulary are constantly being reinvented and remade. The look and sound of the old times mark the past era. New ways and new trends arrive on the scene, and everyone acquiesces to the times. I guess we could say that culture is constantly remodeling itself.
We tend to call each remodel the ‘new and improved.’ Stores across the nation are filled with books telling us that our culture is being remodeled from the Modern Era to the Postmodern Era. Attempts to upgrade Modernism have failed, so it is being replaced by the new philosophy called Postmodernism. Modernism promised to deliver peace and prosperity through science and knowledge. However, threats of nuclear horrors, continued poverty and hunger, lack of personal fulfillment, and many other human ills have produced a generation that no longer believes that a social utopia will be attained through adherence to rigorous external principles.
The ‘new and improved’ philosophy promises happiness through personal experimentation. Postmodernism is remodeling our culture from ‘dos and don’ts’ to ‘whatever.’ Each individual is free to experience the revolving door of trial-and-error in a search for truth, integrity, meaning, love, and inner peace. All religions are equal – practice yours. All love is equal – choose yours. All opinions are equal – speak yours. Welcome to our ‘new and improved’ culture!
In the midst of this cultural remodeling, we have more than one new ‘bedroom set’ from which we can choose. Instead of moving forward into Postmodernism as the answer to the disappointments of Modernism, perhaps society should return to a first-century Christian lifestyle based upon faith, brotherly kindness, generosity, and sacrificial love. Values recommended within the pages of scripture are a viable antidote to the untenable moral standards, dysfunctional relationships, material excesses, and abusive power that are found today in American culture.
A question lies before us. Do we embark upon our own path of personal experimentation that may result in a disheartening and unfulfilling search for the ‘new and improved’ social utopia? Or, do we hear the words of Christ that promise us life and life abundantly, that promise us guidance through the ebb and flow of cultural trends, and that promise a heavenly utopia to those who love God and His commandments? These are the days of remodeling – what new furniture will we choose: Postmodernism or Christianity?