Translating the Invisible Wind – Part Nine

by Geoff Hall on July 2, 2010

The Art of Changing Perceptions?
Nietzsche’s pronouncement of the death of God, gives credence of course to the fact that God was at one time, alive and well!  So we may ask, in the minds of men and women everywhere, what caused the demise of a healthy, playful Creator God?

I think that the “death of Christianity” or the “death of God” occurs the moment they become concept. As long as they remain percept, directly involving the perceiver, they are alive. (From, ‘The Medium and the Light’. Marshall McLuhan. )

In Part Six, we looked at propaganda and that the effect of following this path, would invariably change the nature of ‘Christianity’.  We also gleaned from Rookmaaker that the starting point of our focus should be on three different aspects of our living today: Freedom, Humanity and Critique.  The effect of Propaganda on us is one of creating impotence, in that we ‘cannot see what [we] might do that would be effective’.  We then become compliant with the prevailing spirit of the age and live out the despair of consumerism and fear of pending doom.  Our lack of effective development reveals the power propaganda has had over the Christian to date.  So much for being free, our collaboration creates an impotence of action and a sterility of thought (perception), rendering resistance impossible.  This of course is an illusion, but we must understand that resistance has a cost to it.  It is not a free-ride out of Occupation territory, because we want this territory back!  God does not call us to be cultural refugees.  How then shall we proceed?

To the Counter-cultural?  Calvin Seerveld writes,

Counter-cultural movements are by inception negative in outlook, against whatever is established or dominant and labour like lobbies or fringe groups, often in spite or desperation, to make their partisan point, enact their limited reforms and then either cut and run or get absorbed.  But christian culturing is not a counter-cultural movement…No, the christian culture that is the task of God’s people is the normal, positive, free and joyful calling of acting like adopted sons and daughters of the King of creation all together, internationally, in the field where you are most gifted. (In ‘Rainbows for the Fallen World: Aesthetic life and Artistic task’.  Toronto Tuppence Press, 1980. p.184.)

I hear many Christians today speaking at student art conferences, who are seduced by the energetic adolescent appeal of the ‘counter-culture’ movement.  They talk of a christian counter-cultural art, but the whole of our cultural task for affecting change is based on the foundation of what God has said are the ‘norms’ for living, not the latest grievance or fear.  We need to see contemporary culture as ‘counter-cultural’ not as normative, with its fetish for reactionary movements.  The evidence noted in Part Three, of the health of young people is not a normative phenomenon; it is the consequence, a symptom of a rampant despairing secular humanism, with its rabid atheism and spiritual nihilism.  We could go on to look at the rest of society, but one example will suffice in this section.

Here is a quote from a piece by Ned Tempko, in The Observer, 2nd September, 2007.

“The investigation [the Gambling Prevalence Study, 2007] was commissioned two years ago as a follow-up to a 1999 study which found ‘relatively low’ levels of addiction in the UK. But this time researchers say they have found a significant increase in problem gambling, with a particularly steep rise in online betting. This confirms other research which has found a sharp rise in online betting.
These studies indicate there are now nearly a million ‘regular online gamblers’ in Britain, accounting for almost a third of the European total. On average, these individuals spend about £1,000 a year on their habit, which means that gamblers now spend more than £1bn a year online.”

You can’t watch a game of football on Commercial TV nowadays without it being sponsored by a ‘Gambling Company’.  Even programmes shown on day-time TV have numerous gambling advertisements.  It is simply a way of showing ‘our’ children that it is ‘normal’ to bet on every conceivable outcome in sport.  It is a way of creating new participants in an insidious market.  If the £1billion a year, noted above, remained in the pockets of those who earned it, people could afford to pay their bills, their mortgages or rent and keep their family together.  This is a far better outcome than increasing the profits of such companies in the name of the free-market.  There is no salve in posting the ‘gambleaware’ web address on such advertisements.  TV Broadcasters have to be more responsible for what they transmit and where they seeks sponsorship from.  Welcome to a land polluted by greed.  Is Secular Humanism working for you and your family?

For further evidence of the state of the nation check out:
http://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/client/downloads/BB_addictions.pdf

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