Nothing New Under the Sun
Conversations are always about “what’s happening now”. Whether at the water cooler, lunch with co-workers, or a night out with friends, the current events swirling like the early stages of a tornadic wall cloud seem to command our discussions. You have been in some of those that address topics about our President, the moral decline in our nation, rampant violence, suicides in the news, “ME, TOO movement, education and teachers, etc.
Frequently following the latest heinous act of senseless killing, people discuss the horrific act, wondering what they would do if placed in a similar situation, or how can such acts in public places be stopped. Or, if it is a setting where moral issues are being considered, the range of topics extend from the medical marijuana bill before Oklahoma voters, the sad state of sexual assault against children, the abuse and rape of women by notable people, or the many sides of drugs/gangs/violence.
In the midst of that kind of interaction, one can leave the conversation believing that people have never been so evil. Although, we in our generation have never seen behavior so atrocious, it is not true that evil men have not lived in such debauchery before. Noah’s day, God repented that He had made man. By the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, He would literally wipe those cities off the map. And, Israel’s sinfulness caused God to place them in bondage more than once. In our parent’s era, they witnessed the atrocities of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and even in our recent years, the beheading of Christians in hostile Muslim countries.
The world is upside down. Evil is called good and good is seen as evil. The morality of our nation is a cesspool of filth. The more contemptible one acts, the more they are hailed as courageous. It is not courage to flaunt the laws of God. It is deadly. He is not an impotent being that thinks sin is cute. He is a righteous Judge that is soon coming to bring the sickle of judgment and He will harvest this evil generation and condemn iniquitous, riotous, and flagrantly rebellious souls to an eternity separated from any chance of being with or knowing God.
Cities today support festivals, parades, and days of recognition to celebrate moral bankruptcy. One of those that has been around a while is call Carnival. It is not something that started in South America or in New Orleans. It is as old as ancient Greece and still it is celebrated in the 21st century with great enthusiasm.
The origins of Carnival date back to the ancient Greek spring festival in honor of Dionysus, the god of wine. The Romans adopted the celebration with Bacchanalia (feasts in honor of Bacchus, the Roman equivalent to Dionysus), and Saturnalia, where slaves and their masters would exchange clothes in a day of drunken revelry. Saturnalia was later modified by the Roman Catholic Church into a festival leading up Ash Wednesday. It quickly evolved into a massive celebration of indulgences – one last gasp of music, food, alcohol, and sex before Lent – before the 40 days of personal reflection, abstinence, and fasting until Easter (not exactly what the Church probably had in mind). 40 days of purging sins, preceded by a week filled with virtually every known sin. The word itself comes from Latin, “Carne Vale” or “Farewell to the Flesh”. (www.afropop.org).