The sixties and early seventies were formative years for me, and I think for many of my generation.  Think about some of the music and artists that originated during this timeframe.  Many of those artists are still performing their songs for a second maybe even a third generation.  And these artists have been influential in the lives and music of newer artists.

This timeframe had its own issues; drug abuse really started during these years and escalated in subsequent years.  Opposition to the Viet Nam war instigated protests and riots some of which turned violent.  Desegregation also contributed to the chaos and riots even though Dr. King’s premise was peaceful protest.  But at the same time a prominent theme was peace, love and no war.  This was a central theme of John Lennon’s solo career with songs like “Give Peace a Chance” and “Imagine”; The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love” contributed to the theme. Jackie DeShannon’s “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” message was

“Think of your fellow man

Lend him a helping hand

Put a little love in your heart”

The advent of the personal computer has been a double-edged sword.  While it has become an essential tool in the business/workplace environment it has also birthed violent video games, social media and is used as a terrorist recruiting platform, all of which have contributed to mass murders, police brutality and violence in our cities.  Illegal drugs have grown to the point where we are experiencing “drug wars” also taking innocent lives of people caught in the crossfire.

We like to think we live in a “logical world”, but there is nothing logical about someone driving a vehicle into a crowd of people, or shooting randomly with an automatic rifle in a church, restaurant or club.  The only “logical” explanation for these actions is mental illness of some kind.  I go back to the violent video games and social media and wonder what effect these may have had on the individual.

It shouldn’t come as a great surprise (but it still does to me).  Paul told the Romans:

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- His eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.” Ro 1: 18-23

“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.  They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity.  They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.  They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.  Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” Ro 1: 28-32

Paul didn’t hold anything back in these verses and I think they accurately reflect our condition today.  People are “inventing ways of doing evil” as well as all the other items in Paul’s list of depravity.  We, of course, have to live in this world, but we do not have to participate in any of the activities Paul describes.  In our free country we get to choose; but our choices can and often do not offer relief from the chaos around us.

“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think  about such things.”  Philippians 4: 8

“All You Need is Love” so “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.”

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