By Luke P. Flynn
As a decade has been completed, speaking for myself, I am glad to see it go. It seems that every generation through the years has been given a particular name. Such names as the “in generation,” the “now generation,” etc. have been applied to the various decades of time. The ’50s, ’60s and ’70s all had their special title. Now as we look back at the ’80s it is being called the “me generation” and rightly so. During this course of time we have seen example after example of those in the world looking after one thing and one thing only – themselves! Humanism has been around a long, long time but we saw it explode during the ’80s. “You are number one!” was the cry heard far and wide. Evidence of this was also seen in the E.R.A. movement and the abortion on demand issue. It was also found in the classrooms of our schools as children were spoon fed situation ethics. Teachers promoted the ideas to their students that whatever situation arose, they were to place their wants and desires first.
Unfortunately this problem didn’t stay out in the world but somehow found its way into the Lord church. During these past ten years we have seen congregations split like we have never seen before. We have experienced brethren fighting with brethren over petty things that could be settled if brethren would stop being hard headed and be more soft hearted. From every rampart we have heard the cry of brethren, “If I don’t get my way, I’m leaving!” “If things aren’t done to my satisfaction then I’ll start a faction!” I have not seen as much hated and self-centeredness as I have seen in these last ten years.
Brethren, have we forgotten the Bible? Have we forgotten the principles taught us by the Lord in his letter of love? Have we come to a time when our desires and wishes come before the Lord’s? Have we just given up on the church? It saddens my heart to look back over these past years. I can only imagine the thoughts of our God. Preachers and elders alike have taken a harsh beating because the people say, “Speak unto us smooth things” and they will not! So, the brethren have left and the congregation splits and, as the finger of fault is spun, it usually lands on the preacher and/or elders.
This entire past decade has seen brethren who have forgotten how to sacrifice, how to give in to others for the expedience of the church and how to love one another from the heart. It seems we have rewritten passages such as Philippians 2:3 – “Doing nothing through faction or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself,” and have changed this passage to say, “Do anything through faction and vain glory, but through high mindedness make others count you better than themselves.”
I am not trying to leave the reader with the impression that nothing good has been done in the ’80s. On the contrary, there have been churches that have grown and disciples too. Some good has been accomplished and brethren have shown love to brethren. For many though, these past 10 years have been one big headache! I praise the Lord they are gone and I will continue to praise him in the years to come. What tag will be placed on the next ten years? Only the Lord knows that. I only hope I won’t have to ask for the aspirins.
Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 14, p. 420
July 19, 1990