Thrown-Away Lives

Years ago, Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock and Third Wave, argued that our society was fast becoming “throw-away.” He made a pretty powerful case, based upon our propensity to purchase disposable, one-time-use items. Since the publishing of his book, our trash-generating generation has been increasing the volume at an exponential rate, recycling notwithstanding. His worst-case scenario is now becoming a reality: nothing is made to last, and new sells.

As our societal values merge with our economic mentality, we are presently just as unstable in our moral grounding. A relativistic, subjective ethic allows us to change to accommodate the latest psychobabble, and what has always been right has suddenly come under fire. We employ exceptions to the exceptions to the point of blurring black and white into a murky shade of gray. Nothing is absolutely wrong anymore, especially since we are the exception to the rule. And, even the rule isn’t a “rule,” per se, it is more a generic guideline; if it is convenient.

A large part of the reason this departure from objective truth is so pervasive today is that people have deserted God’s Word. There are no shades of gray in the Book. God’s word is always precise and unwavering, and that kind of static, dependable, unchangeable directive creates problems for moment-motivated activities. “If it feels good, do it” is the anthem of Satan and not the pragmatic philosophy of happiness some “experts” try to pawn it off to be.

If our society, and also the church, is to redeem itself from this “Tofflerish” digression, we must reassert the fact of truth, both in its existence and it “knowability.” We must stand up when standing creates controversy. We must identify and accept things, concepts and principles as they are described biblically: sin, salvation and service. Finally, we must find our basis for life in God’s Word. If God says it’s wrong, we avoid it; if God authorizes it, we obey and use it to further the Kingdom. If we do not return to a moral, ethical and spiritual certitude, we all will become as expendable as the aborted baby or the euthanized octogenarian; and we will be, in eternity, thrown-away lives.

Jeff Sweeten