By Ronnie Westmoreland
This question is asked quite often now days, but I wonder, is it a question or a statement about the state of confusion that exists in today’s society concerning a loss of guidance. According to a report In the Christian Science Monitor, a poll conducted by the Starch Advertising Readership Service in 1983, was done to learn what the basic interests of most and yet he lives in a house that cost hundreds of Americans are today.
The results show quite a change in the attitudes of Americans in just the last two decades. In 1953, the top ten basic interests of men were: sports, automobiles, entertainment, home building, religion, gardening, travel, science, politics, health, cultural activities, entertainment and education. Religion, books, gardening, and home building and disappeared from the list.
In 1953 U.S. women were most interested in: religion, food, homemaking, child care, home furnishings, fashions, entertainment, gardening, books and education. However, in 1983: fashions, food, health, home, furnishings, cultural activities, child care, travel, homemaking, education and entertainment/books were listed as the interest of today women. Religion and gardening had disappeared from the list, even though religion had been No. 1 in 1953.
While I understand that this report was compiled by humans, and that it is possible that this report contains some errors, it still portrays the point that more and more people are turning their interest away from religion, away from God. There are many excuses offered as to why people have lost interest: they are too many busy, it doesn’t concern me, there are too many hypocrites in the church for me to want to be a part of it, and the list goes on, and on, and on. However, all of these are simply excuses in that people try to justify what they are doing. One of the reasons for all of this confusion of interest can be laid at the feet of the “so-called” T.V. evangelists. They have left the impression upon the world that all one has to do is send in their money and they (the evangelist) will settle-up (as it were) the people’s account with God. This leaves the world with the impression everything has been taken care of, and I can do as I please. They tell the public to send in your money to God, but isn’t it strange that they always give their own addresses? Jimmy Swaggart during his television interview on the Nightline news program stated that there is no profit in T.V. evangelism, and yet he lives in a house that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and then, of all things, he says if Oral Roberts would lie about one thing, it’s possible he would lie about another. Talk about the “pot calling the kettle black.” Maybe the one good thing that will come out of all this is that people will realize that men will lie for money.
The reason there is so much confusion in the world and that people have lost interest is that they have not sought after the truth. Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:32). The question then is, what is truth? Jesus said in John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Truth then is the word of God, it is the standard by which we should compare what man says to see if he is telling the truth. John wrote, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 Jn. 4:1).
Another reason for the lack of interest is simply that people have not sought after the kingdom of God. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” People have to be seeking before they can find it. Paul said of the Bereans, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11).
If people are going to learn the truth, it must be where the truth is and where it is taught. You cannot learn of God and his word, at baseball games, in the movies, etc. Yet people are more interested in these and taking their children to them, than they are in carrying them to church, and attending gospel meetings. Is it any wonder why there is so much wrong with people today? They have all but forgotten God and his word.
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 21, p. 656
November 5, 1987