To get a finger on the pulse of our culture, I decided to do an experiment. For months, I've faithfully read the "Dear Abby" advice columns to learn the current problems average people face in our topsy-turvy world.
This advice column is something of a national institution, going back over 60 years, and is a fairly reliable indicator of real people seeking real answers to real problems today. Daily, it dispenses counsel to 110 million readers in 1,400 newspapers worldwide!
While growing up, many of us read the columns out of curiosity, or our parents clipped them out for us to teach us practical wisdom on topics like handling squabbles with in-laws and neighbors, family life, child rearing, dating and good health. Sometimes there'd be an amusing account of a pet problem or handling a grandma's quirks.
Have you read the column lately? Are you aware of how far things have departed into the bizarre, as sinful conduct is airbrushed away while consequences remain? The eye-opening discovery I found was that scores of people are needlessly suffering because they simply don't know truth.
This is a window into America today.
How about premarital sex, abortion, transgenders, pornography addicts, voyeurs and exhibitionists? Counsel given young people comes from unscriptural resources.
What's the point?
This experiment is another cultural indicator of our serious moral decline. It's urgent to recognize America's desperate need for spiritual awakening.
"Truth is fallen in the street" (Is. 59:14). We've drifted off course from our Judeo-Christian foundations, and society is in meltdown.
Romans 1:21-32 outlines the downward spiral we're experiencing: reject truth, lose discernment, reap moral chaos.
Prophetic watchmen highlight these discouraging developments to jolt people to cultural realities. Hopefully we'll jettison complacency, pray fervently and engage responsibly for spiritual transformation.
George Otis, Jr., globe-trotting for decades documenting genuine awakenings, says there are three essentials for transformation:
1. Realize the gravity of the situation.
2. Understand time is running out.
3 Respond to God's lifeline of opportunity through repentance and resolve to follow Him.
We're Not Who We Think We Are
Researcher George Barna sobers us: "Only 10 percent of American adults have a biblical worldview." Seven of 10 Americans call themselves Christian, yet surveys reveal serious departure from biblical truth.
His extensive work shows that most Christian adults want to learn a biblical worldview on today's issues but most Christian pastors won't equip them. They fear losing giving members, so they remain muzzled rather than being mouthpieces of truth.
Passing on Truth
Os Guinness, author of Impossible People, illustrated the importance of transmitting truth to the next generation.
In 1928 the relay race was introduced into the Olympics. Team USA was always on the winners' platform at Olympic games. That is, until 2008.
Apart from the Jamaicans, the Americans were fastest in the world, yet this time gained no medals in the men's or women's relays. The problem: They were superb runners but failed in handing off the baton.
Here's the deal: America's crisis is a crisis of truth. Millions have no moral compass. They're adrift on a sea of confusion looking to Dear Abby and others for guidance. They need help.
The good news is that we're commissioned as His ambassadors. We've been given a reprieve with this recent election and have the opportunity to be catalysts who turn things around. Our sacred responsibility is to pray and transfer truth as we engage people winsomely today.
Hurting people seeking answers from Abby are typical of people who need God's Word. I strongly encourage you to avail yourself of The Bullseye Challenge, which meets this need by preparing informed influencers in 30 days.
• "I highly recommend this innovative resource so we speak clearly, boldly and tenderly today!" —Mike Bickle, International House of Prayer
• "The cry of my heart is that we think biblically and speak clearly. I highly recommend Bullseye." —Bill Johnson, Bethel Church
• "This comprehensive tool will make you a confident communicator in today's confused culture!" —Dr. Michael Brown, Line of Fire radio program
• "This book and immediately accessible videos hit the bullseye for the church today! If every Christian took this challenge, we'd see America turned around." —Jennifer LeClaire, Charisma magazine
Don't delay. Lay hold of the baton in these desperate times.
"Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, wisely using the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you should answer everyone" (Col.4:5-6).
"Desperate times require desperate measures." —Hippocrates
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 45 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy advisor with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). Click (here) for his "Here's the Deal" weekly podcast.