Grab Some Popcorn
Friday, March 29, 2013 at 6:23PM
Tom Graffagnino

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
—Psalm 1:1-2

“Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.”
—Psalm 119:1-2

“No matter what its boasts or pretensions, a civilization that is stripped of memory and the moral imagination is in jeopardy of collapsing in upon itself, its public world imploding into fragments of private desire and gratuitous brutality. The so-called realistic images that the Great Stereopticon (mass media) projects onto the screen of common life do not fortify belief. They may evoke pity for the other and pity for oneself, but they are incapable of leading us to a clear understanding of justice. They may stir the passions, but they do not solidify the virtues.”
—Dr. Vigen Guroian, Religious Studies, Univ. of Virginia)

I noticed today in the news that the Center for Disease Control is reporting that there are now well over 100 million Americans who are infected with a sexually transmitted disease of one kind or another….and a disproportionate number of the victims are young people (children, really) between the ages of 15 and 25. I’m sure there are many contributing factors behind this sad fact, but I am convinced that the underlying cause…the root cause… may be attributed to the culture’s steady drifting away from and the slow abandonment of the moral boundaries prescribed by the Ten Commandments, the guideline rules for holy conduct instituted by God for the purpose of bestowing goodness and safety upon a sinful, Self-absorbed and self-destructive humanity. Ultimately, the Mosaic Law was… and is still… a Divine doorway leading to health, blessing and to Truth. The Commandments were to be a “tutor”, a custodial supervisor, entrusted to humanity to guide us out of enslavement to sin and death into freedom and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.1

Tragically, however, we have proudly and foolishly jettisoned our respect for these Divine boundaries and rules. Instead, we have substituted our own more “flexible” and... presumably…, more “caring” set of human preferences. Our new, progressively “updated” and perpetually shifting standards make us feel much better about ourselves, after all. We are convinced that they help us to better meet our “felt” needs in a changing world. They caress our inner child, they coddle our shallow emotions….

The newly revised contemporary “standard” states simply this:

Scripture is no longer a meaningful moral guide for most. Today, we formulate our virtues from the bottom up...from pop-culture oracles, “enlightened” sciences and pop-psychological fads. The authority of Scripture has been downgraded to a cultural yawn….on par, basically, with a Dear Abby column or a not-so- interesting puff piece in the “Life” section USA Today.

Secular consensus has usurped Divine Revelation, and we’re mighty proud of it.

Our new, “improved” norms have been distilled down, summed up and shipped out in shock-valued X and R-rated entertainment packages of flash and glitter by the profits of Hollywood and Madison Avenue. Today, mass appeal and how you feel, run the American Idol show.

It’s a Bread ‘n’ Circus remake…21st century style.

Obviously, the box office ”take” has been tremendous. The money’s pouring in. But the CDC reveals the true bottom line. And it’s not a pretty picture.

Grab Some Popcorn

Moral bound’ries?....Heck, who needs ‘em?
Moses' Law?....Who really cares!?
‘Cause what matters now is feeling,
And, like, feelings are to share!

There's no reason for restraint now,
Here in Bread ‘n’ Circus Land…
Grab some popcorn, have a seat, sir.
Let us help you understand.

Let the wide screen mesmerize you,
Let the current fashion reign…
Let the flash of entertainment
Make you wise and make you sane.

As the light here dims around you,
Grab a Milk Dud and a drink.
Settle back, enjoy the feature …
Let us tell you what to think.

Yes, enjoy the new attraction,
Oh my, yes…we aim to please!
Just ignore those Bible warnings…
(And venereal disease.)

Moses’ Law, you see, was faulty,
Jesus?.... Tragically confused.
Even though they may have meant well,
We’re afraid that they were used.

Let the wide screen mesmerize you,
Let the current fashion reign….
Some things in the Holy Scriptures
Are a quite unholy pain.

We feel Jesus was mistaken
‘Bout some things we face today,
He lacked knowledge and discernment
(We’ll forgive him, anyway!)

Jesus shoulda read the scripts from
Higher critics…PhD’s!
Shoulda hooked-up with some movies…
Modern scholars are agreed.

If he’d only been born later!
He’d have impact…he’d have gloss!
Recognition! Oscar Power!
Not that shameful bloody cross.

Gosh!... He could have made a diff’rence !
(Though he did the best he could…)
If he’d had a better agent…
If he’d been more “Hollywood”!

Good direction’s all he needed!
Better make-up for appeal…
Better editing and lighting
Would have helped him seem more real.

With a more progressive screenplay,
He’d have been much more atuned!
His attraction would be greater…
”Christ Revised!” …Ha!...Coming soon!

Lord, rebellion is our nature,
Help us hear your Just Commands!
Sow your Word of Faith among us…
On these deadly shifting sands.

Sow the Truth into the heart, Lord,
Help us see here in the dark…
Light the path to Cal’vry for us…
Seed of Life…Eternal Spark.

“Our culture is close to the end of the road but not necessarily at the end of the road. There is a way that leads to destruction, as Jesus said, but there is also a way that leads to life.”
—Harold O.J. Brown

“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
—Hebrews 13: 7-8

1 Galatians 3:22-25

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