Vertical News - May 2008

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Vertical News - May 2008

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Vertical News - May 2008

Greetings vertical thinkers,

This year marks 40 years since 1968, a key turning point year that some consider the beginning of our era.

Like you are now, I was then a young vertical thinker. I was halfway through high school, living and working on our family ranch in western South Dakota. While doing my morning or afternoon chores or driving tractor in our fields, I remember thinking about the national and world events as the year unfolded. I was trying to see those things as God saw them.

Look at this list of critical events of 1968:

  • January—Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War when North Vietnamese forces nearly overran U.S. and allied forces. Although they lost the battle, they, aided by the mass media, won the war, first in world opinion and then by breaking America's will to win.
  • April—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. He had been one of the leaders in speaking out against racial discrimination.
  • Terrible race riots followed, accompanied by antiwar riots by students of many American universities.
  • May—Student and worker riots broke out in Paris. The "antiestablishment" mood had spread.
  • June—Robert F. Kennedy, brother of assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated himself while campaigning for president.
  • August—Soviet forces smashed an anticommunist movement in Czechoslovakia. In the United States, the Democratic National Convention faced constant riots and demonstrations launched primarily by young people against the war, against authority and against traditional morality.
  • October—Mexican authorities shot several hundred student demonstrators just a few days before the Olympics in Mexico City.

Now consider the society-changing trends and movements that gained great momentum during the year:

  • Hippie movement—young people openly committing sexual immorality and using copious amounts of mood-altering drugs.
  • Sexual revolution—the popularizing of sexual immorality of every sort under the label of "free love."
  • Drug revolution—the popularizing of the common use of hallucinogenic and mood-altering drugs.
  • Feminist movement—the championing of the advancement of women even at the expense of the family and morality.
  • Occult explosion—the popularizing of witchcraft and all its trappings.

What was a young person to think about such a cultural revolution bent on institutionalizing the attitude of rebellion against the standards of the God of the Bible?

How do you live and think vertically—about God and His ways—in the middle of a youthful society seeking lust, anger, resistance and destruction?

Of course, you live in such a society still. The contrast is not so clear today because the movements of 1968 are now the norm, and the attitude of the age is in fact institutionalized. Premarital sex, every other sort of sexual immorality, drug use, flagrant immodesty in dress and behavior and the spirit of anger and rebellion are the routine.

But beware—they are also the temptations lurking to pull you down.

The slogans of the 1968 "drop out generation" include: "Question authority." "Teachers: you are old…and so is your culture." And, "To live without dead time and to enjoy without restraint."

The last slogan is most telling. It is essentially saying: Don't bore me, and let me do what I want—now! That focus on "I," "me" and pleasure above all is the typical summary of that year. It gave rise to the ME generation of the 1970s. But selfishness does not make one happy.

With the "enjoy without restraint" statement echoing in your mind, let me share a proverb from God that I learned then.

"Where there is no revelation [or vision], the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law" (Proverbs 29:18).

The hippies, student demonstrators and other angry and misguided youth of the 1960s around the world had a very foggy vision—one not from God—so they cast off restraint and gave in to their lusts and wrong desires.
Vertical Thought magazine strives to help you understand the revelation of God's truth. Its purpose is to help you form a clear vision of God's plan for you and for the whole world. It seeks to encourage you to live with the divine restraint of good character.

Our online weekly Vertical Thought commentaries provide regular, incisive analysis of events and trends in your world. Written by a dedicated team of young adult vertical thinkers, these commentaries are designed to help us see things, events and trends as God sees them.

As a teen on the ranch, I would have loved to have had access to such writing by those who also seek to follow the true God of the Bible and His way of life. The youth of 1968 had a cause that they followed with energy for doing wrong. You have an infinitely greater cause today—God's! Follow faithfully; think vertically.

Be sure to read the new article we've added to our Web site: "Overcoming Shyness" by Carol Taylor. Even if you aren't shy, it has some great tips on how to be a better friend.