The Devil’s in the Details

The Devil’s in the Details

I don’t think that Satan shoes matter much.

Why do we look at things like Satan shoes with such outrage, like its the cause of America’s moral bankruptcy? Are we really so naive? We see the fruit of culture and peg it as the problem, when we should look more closely at the root of culture, and find out where the problems originated.

The Evangelical world was in an uproar this year when the rapper Lil Nas created his own line of shoes. These shoes were specially dedicated to Satan. In true Satanic fashion, exactly 666 of them were made. I know, how cute. 😈

When I first read the news report, I just shrugged and carried on, my morning coffee in hand. It’s not that I don’t care about the culture. I care astronomically about the direction our culture is heading, but these shoes are only a byproduct of the cultural dilemma, not the root of it.

We are so heavily steeped in anarchy, witchcraft, and sexual immorality, that I hardly see what the fuss is about when it comes to a pair of shoes. Look what our youth are engaged with: witchcraft, drug addiciton, idoltary, sexual immorality and the pervasive addiction to pornography. Instead of these being treated as deadly issues, they are either dismissed or glorified. They are celebrated as freedoms. Anarchy and sin is celebrated as the freedom to choose — a life said to be liberated from the religious power structures.

But, is this true? Does sin lead to increased freedom? 

I believe that the truth is that freedom only exists within the confines of morality, because without religion, we have no compass for morality in culture, other than what the human conscience shows us. 

Remember, true religion is simply this, “taking care of the widows and the orphans.” Meaning, living a life of selfless sacrifice and of service to those in need. This is good and needed.

Everything in our world today screams the opposite: it’s all about the me factor. We all become consumed within our own individual worlds where we devour whatever will satisfy us, whatever immediately gratifies our daily cravings. Billboards, magazine covers, movies and Instagram posts tell us: Do this. Say this. Wear this. Buy this. And if you do, you will be noticed, liked, empowered and perhaps, idolized. 

But, without a religious substructure to society, what is our foundation? What are the effects of a culture without religion? We can see the effects of the lack of a moral structure with the rise of divorce rates, the collapse of the family, and the sky rocketing cases of child pedophilia, sex trafficking, suicide and murder.

So, wouldn’t you agree that Satan Shoes are closer to the bottom of the scale of things that are “most serious” or harmful in our world today?

People only seem to notice the city is burning when the fire reaches their doorstep. But the truth is, America has been burning for decades! 

The school systems were overrun, or rather, dominated by progressive idealougues. Fathers abandoned their families, and mothers too, in pursuit of a “better life for themselves.” Again, these were byproducts of an age when our primary worship was of hedonism, an age of drugs, sex and rock n’ roll — all of which are more important to us than God, family, or religion. And we reaped the fruit of that.

As Nietchze professed, “God is dead.” And in a sense he was right! He did die. He died in the hearts and minds of people who turned calloused and confused hearts away from the Creator and towards the idols that American culture created for them.

Entertainment. Just one idol created at the threshold of modern America. Yet, this idol undermines the thoughts and souls of people in America. It’s taken a toll on the youth and transformed them in one generation’s time.

Entertainment today is mostly bad because it has become sinful. It has separated us from God. It has also separated us from each other from a higher calling or purpose in life. It has reduced goodness to relative meaning, corrupted truth, and defaced beauty. Entertainment, the child of Hollywood, created re-education camps called theaters, now accessible from our homes, and re-educated young and susceptible American minds on what is good. It more deeply ingrained the 70’s worldview of sexual liberation and  hippie loving freedom, which merely translated to the freedom to sin and to do as one desires without moral consequence. And they called that type of freedom good. Thus, the concept of goodness itself was undermined.

Entertainment would not merely separate us from God and re-educate us, but would also alienate us from others. Isolationism is a byproduct of an age of technology, an invention that is supposed to help us connect with one another. People today spend more time on their phones and watching television than they do in the world. So, the gap between people and human interaction ever widens.

Entertainment has also become one of the many new drugs. Entertainment, while wonderful in it’s supposed platform for artistic expression, is also a direct reflection of society’s worldview. And this worldview is bleak. 

Today, entertainment provides a global stage on which Lil’ Nas, the creator of the Satan shoes, can be seen in his recent music video, sliding down a stripper pole into hell and giving Satan a lap dance. This new stage of digital amusement, is the largest ever created in human history. It is large enough for the entire world to watch any given spectacle at any time, and it can can be viewed by anyone, any age, all over the world. This is both powerful and potentially dangerous, depending on what type of content is en mass, distributed.  

And speaking of any age, it seems parents are ignoring the warning signs. Where yesterday’s parents were blissfully ignorant of the effects of entertainment on their young ones, today’s parents seem not to care. And even sometimes, to encourage it.   

While some parents care about their child making A’s, what school they go to, and even what they are learning at their desks (which is not a bad thing), all the while the kids are being educated daily (and even nightly) in the schoolhouse of social media. 

However, if parents are loving and involved, most kids would happily put down their phones if their dad or mom genuinely cared to spend time with them. If the dad stopped drowning himself in beer and ESPN, and the mom from online shopping and Instagramming, perhaps, they would be able to see their child. Perhaps then that gap created by the toxic use and abuse of digital media and entertainment, but cease, and family’s could act as one unit, fathers investing in their children, and mother’s caring for their child. 

Please, parents learn to BE INVOLVED. It’s not complicated. Most kids run into the world of entertainment because yes, it’s addicting and feels good, but also because it’s a world they can escape into and away from the harsh realities of their own cold, isolated lives. So, they turn up the music and drown out the noise…or in many cases, the silence. 

Social media, music, film, and games affect everyone, but the most vulnerable among us are the youth. Subtle distortions of truth can be deadly. Hook a young person into an addictive world that literally changes cognitive ability and ideologically tampers with the way they view themselves, and perhaps introduces them to porn, then suddenly their lives have changed, and their future, as well as their minds and souls, have been reshaped and redirected.

As the creator of MTV once said himself, “The strongest appeal you can make is emotionally. If you can get their emotions going, make them forget their logic, you’ve got ‘em.” He adds, “At MTV we don’t shoot for the 14-year-olds, we own them.” ––Bob Pittman (Former President and Co-Founder of MTV), “MTV is Rock Around the Clock,” Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 3, 1982.

And just to be clear this isn’t just MTV, they are less and less popular of late, but it’s how most social media franchises and content creators view your children, as dollar signs… keep them invested in your product and you “own them.”

In the end, Satan Shoes mean very little to me and their effect is minor. They do however act more or less as a warning call to those who are half asleep. Times have been changing— and soon enough, we will wake up to an entirely new world, if we don’t act.

Written by Jenn Beard

Sex and Love

Sex and Love

Sex is Love.

Most would agree with that statement. Some would even draw inspiration from it. But, is it true? Is sex, love?

We’ve all seen it before on the big screen, or on our own screens back home: the young couple lost in each other’s eyes. The music begins and their passion for one another becomes a physical manifestation. That heightened state of passion becomes so intense that the clothes fall off their bodies. Everything about that moment, the camera, lighting, music…it tells us they have finally done it. This couple has finally achieved the greatest love that the world has to offer, passionate “love making.” The two ideals are merged right there in front of us. As integral to each other as yin and yang, yet much closer in likeness.

Who could deny it? Sex is love.

Through the power of cinematography and music we are convinced of the splendid, matromonic harmony of sex and love. Didn’t you hear the music? Didn’t you see them making such sweet, sweet love?

And, there is truth to it – certainly. Even in the Christian ideal, sex was created for the purpose of joining two people together in matrimonic harmony…to keep that couple’s bond unbroken and to bring life into the world. So even here, again, sex is love.

The idea that sex is not love is foreign to us, because of these hollywood moments, these moments we’ve witnessed time and time again. 

And yet, the implication that Sex is Love, is dangerous.

When it suits us, we don’t have a problem with the statement. The unification was made through Hollywood, through stories, it was made to look beautiful. It was made out to be the height of what it means to care for someone. Found in the coitus of two (or three) individuals was the ultimate depths of love.

But divorcing these two concepts is messy. It does not carry with it the same magical touch of the movies – and only through forceful and impactful imagery are we able to separate those two distinct entities, one from the other.

The images of a man molesting a child or a woman being raped by her boyfriend. In these two graphic, horrifying cases, the truth becomes so apparent – that it may be rejected outright. Sex is not love. Sex in these cases is the gratification of sexual appetite. Even Hollywood will aknowledge this and yet, in the same breath, they will tell us sex is love…still.

So the truth then. The truth is that sometimes, sex can be a representation of love, a true matrimonifc harmony, where both husband and wife are lost in each others arms.

But even in the case of a married man and woman, the love is in the relationship, it is characterized by the sacrificial nature of their relationship…how each of them serves the other. How each of them, each day, lives for the other.

Okay fine, then in this specific case of marriage, can we say that case sex is love? 

No, we cannot: Sex is one of the many ways that they (the married couple but also, other couples) express their love, for one another. But, their love would remain even if they were never able to have sex again. Therefore, the love is not dependent on the sex.

In all cases, sex is not synonmous with the word love. Not in English, nor in the more complex, foundational languages such as Greek. Where, instead of one word for it, we have many, many words for love. The word love, in the Greek, is broken down into