The smash hit of the Sundance Film Festival, Blue Is the Warmest Color, was given the highest warning a "legitimate" film can get by the MPAA, due to its sexually explicit content concerning a lesbian relationship. Since the MPAA warning is basically a recommendation and not a binding, legal obligation for theater owners to follow, theaters can do what they want with this filth-fest film.
The quasi-porn movie opened in New York, and here's what John Vanco, senior vice president of a theater in New York, said regarding this film and children: "It's not inappropriate for mature, inquiring teenagers who are looking ahead to the emotional challenges and opportunities that adulthood holds."
New York Times writer A.O. Scott says his 14-year-old daughter has already seen it two times!
And people wonder why sex and violence are escalating among our young people. When adults, who are supposed to be responsible and at least demonstrate some degree of sensitivity to young people's sexual development, embrace this lunacy, what else can we expect? "Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools" (Rom. 1:22, NIV).
Jesus warned us about the last days. He said, "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man"(Matt. 24:37). In Genesis 6, we see the two primary characteristics of that wicked age: 1. Widespread immorality and corruption to the point where "every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time" (Gen. 6:5); and 2. The earth was "full of violence" (Gen. 6:11).
Sex and Violence in America
The USA Today weekend edition just featured two headlines on the front page: "Selling Sex" and "Violent Crime Rises for Second Year." We read the following off the front page of the newspaper:
"Rihanna is channeling her inner stripper in videos and on Instagram. Britney Spears is whipping women on leashes. Nikki Minaj is braless and spilling out of her revealing jacket on Ellen. Scarlett Johansson's in her undies on the cover of Esquire. Gaga's got a thong on. And Miley Cyrus? Well, she has taught us that each and every day could bring a new tongue or twerk Twitpic from her."
The front-page piece quotes Kimberly Hairston, a marketing executive, saying, "We are accepting it, and we're actually almost celebrating it."
The consequence for our society? Dangerous, at-risk sexual behavior has contributed to HIV/AIDS and other STDs endangering lives, jeopardizing health care and seriously impacting our economy. The Centers for Disease Control states there are 110,197,000 venereal infections in America.
In addition, fatherless households are skyrocketing, and out-of-wedlock births are now epidemic. These stats are mind-numbing:
• Blacks: 70 percent
• Hispanics: 53 percent
• Lower-income Whites: 70 percent
• All mothers under 30: 50 percent
Are the consequences of this so-called "progressive" morality jolting people to wake up? Multitudes have become so desensitized that we aren't even fazed when Minnesota Vikings star football player Adrian Peterson, who's fathered eight children by five or six women, takes a few days off to attend the funeral of his 2-year-old son who died from alleged child abuse. The NFL star said he didn't even know the child was his until about two months ago.
Violent Acts and the Very Young
In our neighborhood at 8 a.m. each morning, a bus picks up a cluster of children next to our home. I count an interesting tally of about 14 children accompanied by around eight adults. Do you think the adults are present because they have nothing better to do, or could there be an underlying sense of fear regarding what's happening in schools today? Again, abandoning biblical standards and witnessing the breakdown of the nuclear family, we have reaped in our culture with gun violence, disrespect, bullying and a profusion of profanity.
Let's survey the scene from just the past 10 days:
- In Massachusetts, a 14-year-old was arrested and charged with the vicious murder of a popular math teacher, whose body was thrown into the woods, after she held the boy after class for a minor disciplinary action.
- In Nevada, a 12-year-old boy killed a teacher and wounded two others before committing suicide with the gun he had brought to school.
- In Washington state, an 11-year-old was charged with attempted murder after he brought 400 rounds of ammo to school to try and carry out his diabolical plan.
What should we do amid this cultural disintegration?
1. Look to God for Divine Intervention
Having exhausted the sin spectrum, multitudes of youth today are ripe for an invasion by the Spirit of God. Just as God awaited the "fullness of time" to send a Redeemer, He's about to send rain from heaven, for the "fields" of today's young generation "are white unto harvest."
Isaiah 59:19 encourages us, "When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard" (NKJV). God is looking for a generation of young radicals who will be saved and stand up unashamedly to declare and demonstrate authentic New Testament Christianity in our day. Psalm 110:3 speaks prophetically of this day: "Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy splendor, your young men will come to you like dew from the morning's womb" (NIV).
2. Turn Away From Any Known Sin, and Turn to God in Desperate Intercession
Young people are looking for authenticity, so may we respond by modeling in our individual lives what it really means to be a Christian 24/7. No more phony religion or Sunday-morning-only Christianity. In our personal lives, marriages and families, may we serve as standard-bearers of God's alternative to the enticing pull of a wayward world. Together, let's show them a better way!
Then let's pray passionately for God to move upon young people today. Remember, God loves the youth of this land even more than we do. He will respond to the prayers of parents, pastors and His desperate people everywhere.
In the midst of our declining culture, where few even blush anymore, Jesus is about to break in with a soft explosion destined to rock this nation. Out of the rubble and sadness of heart, there will emerge grateful people who truly know what it means to praise our Lord. Psalm 102:16-18 declares, "For the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in His glory. He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise there plea. Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord."
My roots are in the Jesus movement of the '60s and '70s. May God once again do a similar work in our day as we respond in faith, humility and holiness in this desperate hour.