Phyllis Fox Plum
Do we bend with every trend?
A trend is basically a widespread movement of an interest group of many people in agreement of a program, an agenda with the purpose to change or add new ways to the culture, usually challenging tradition and its customs, mores. Yes, we bend with every trend, and break. The bending usually breaks the rules meant to be safeguarding our moral character and solidarity. When worthy standards and unity weakens, the next generation is short-changed. Most trends bear the edge of rebellion, whereas goodness is most trendy among saints.
Why bother addressing trends? It is because God is in charge, He observes with eyes of love. "Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You" ( Psalm 38:9). Mankind is fallen and vulnerable, usually bending with every wind-of-doctrine while the evil-one prowls around the world looking for souls to devour, to come between God and His Children.
Trendy philosophies and practices show up in marketplace, in civil operations of government and entertainment, in education, health care, media, the arts, churches, fashions -- everywhere. Trends quickly go global, stretching across the seas. Generally, the music industry and Hollywood can move trends along overnight! "Know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4: 4), no matter where we live.
Mysterious or different exposures to trends feeds our curiosity and sparks our imagination. The first question recorded in the Bible's Garden of Eden was asked by a different voice than God's, “Did God really say that you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” (Genesis 3: 1). Eve didn't question it. She and Adam bought the thought, and owned the lie. People at every age prefer to be in charge and make their own rules.
The difference between Truth and lies is a stretch. It is a human trait to prefer something new. Fads easily distracts us from focusing and listening to the Lord, they tickle our ears; “. . . men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3).
Are the trends in our day killing us -- spiritually? Yes, many have already been accepted. The issue of trends must be addressed because we are making decisions when accepting what intrigues us. All philosophies and practices must be discerned. AVOID: enneagrams, labyrinths, astrology, horoscopes, crystal power, fortune telling, séances, channeling, consulting warlocks/sorcerers/ wizards, witches (Wicca), spirit guides, chakras, past-life regression (reincarnation), relativism, idolatry, gods and goddesses, pantheism, numerology, necromancy, Ouija boards, Dungeons and Dragons, Tarot cards, Course in Miracles, Eckankar, est (Werner Erhard) -- only a few mentioned here. These examples fall into three sections: secular humanism, eastern mysticism and the occult.
Researching, uncovering and defining what constitutes a dodgy trend involves studying decades of determined, strong-will individuals that push their opinions forth to influence multitudes. These activists avert God's Order, the rules, even laws, to suggest options that favor free-thought. Is that a problem? Yes it is, when the law of nature, of the community and of God's Word is disrupted and dishonored.
Why avoid these philosophies and practices? Because esoteric spiritism removes Christ in order to give mankind godhood AND replaces Truth with lies. In addition, children are expected to be tolerant, to accept diverse ideas and lifestyles, to blend, to bend, to compromise according to the loudest voice. Parents are pushed aside by aggressive educators; some parents fail to notice violations, others fail to address the issues.
Truth must be altered in full view in order to become a trend – in full view -- especially aiming at and hitting the energetic hopes of young minds and unsuspecting adults, causing them to lean into new views to replace tradition. Activists misuse the language to manipulate what sounds good. Bending that far-over, away from God's protection, is a catastrophe. Why? God's Children lose their balance and forfeit on the discipline and acceptance of what is difficult, like God's Commandments, the Eight Beatitudes, and natural laws. Obeying HIM is expected.
Trends can be traps set in-place to distract from what benefits the body, mind and spirit, first by putting aside critical thinking, accepting free-thought outside of reason, logic and natural laws. Second, posting constant reminders (through symbols) in the home, school, and marketplace, i.e., the Star Wars collectables hit the store shelves in 1977 with Darth Vader, Jedi, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leah (etc); the film was vivacious, fast moving, creative and exciting; the toys, clothing and lunchboxes, videos, games (etc) came home from the store and is viewed daily, emphasizing "The Force of the Universe."
In the Harry Potter series, check out the mysteries of spiritual energy, levitation, manipulation of minds, flying through the air, and foreseeing ahead of time. Isn't all that demonic? "As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming" (Ephesians 4: 14).
Strive to let God's Absolute Truth become trendy. "Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans 12: 1).