Doug answers the well used question, "what can the young, God-and-country loving person do, to help turn our nation around before it slams solidly into a brick wall?"

Doug Giles
Doug Giles

The times in which we're living are darker than Rob Zombie listening to the Insane Clown Posse in Jimmy Page's dungeon . or something like that. The fact that our current cruddy culture is doing things that make demons blush takes no great insight for the honest person to perceive.
The thing that confronts us, the subject about which I get several hundred E-mails every week is a variation on the following theme: "What can the young, God-and-country loving person do, to help turn our nation around before it slams solidly into a brick wall?"

My advice is to go back to a time in history when things sucked worse than your Mother's Hoover powered by a GE jet engine. Look to see who or what remedied that particularly dilapidated situation and repeat their principles of change. Four Hebrew lads, namely, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were taken captive into Babylon, a mere 2,600 years ago. They were stripped of everything that was sacred to them. They were tempted more sorely than a 15 year old Baptist boy at a Beyonce concert, and they were force fed an anti-theistic culture. Amazingly, they didn't whine and quit life. Instead, they became punchy protagonists of transformation, once and for all proving that greatness and godly influence never depend upon favorable conditions.

What follows is a very brief and crude exposition of five of the seven habits of these highly effective Jewish 20-somethings, as recorded in chapter one of the Bible's book of Daniel. Daniel's experience is a shining example of how a young, traditional God-fearing person can begin to position himself for positive influence in our increasingly secular society. If you want a fully fleshed out version, check out my latest book RULING IN BABYLON.

1. Get a life. Daniel and his buddies were not passive, blame-shifting, slack-jawed dweebs who prolonged their infancy living prodigally within an extended therapeutic womb. Even though our present way of "life" caresses the corrupt and the careless, we must pay no heed. No, fellow conservative, commandment and constitution embracing reader: you and I must make a decisive leap away from such an enabling cradle, and jump into positive personal action. We must get out of bed, turn off MTV, change our underwear and move out of mummy's house. Let's buy an alarm clock, set it and begin to make things happen.

2. Look good. Unless you're a rock star, custom chopper builder, or a barista at Starbuck's, you might want to think twice about tattooing your shaved skull. If you want influence within our superficial style-over-substance society, then you've got to make sure you look sharp, solid and smart. Unclean, unkempt, and unfit screams, "I'm crazy" to the onlooker. You will communicate stability, elegance, intelligence and confidence when you take your time to look your best.

3. Get smart. The greatest commandment in the scripture is to love God with all your heart, soul, MIND and strength. Those who purport to be connected to the God of the Bible should not have an IQ lower than Joey in Friends. Anti-intellectualism is a scandal and a sin. It is not only a sin because it is a refusal to honor the great commandment; it is also a scandal because it keeps the community from taking one seriously. Anti-intellectualism is insulting to both friend and foe. It guarantees failure and is certain to relegate one to the back of humanism's bus. My advice: learn as much as you can about as many things as possible.

4. Understand worldviews. Unless young Christians are intellectually equipped to understand and defend a traditional biblical worldview against secular humanism, Marxism and the plethora of other beliefs fired at them on a 24/7/365 basis in the classroom and via the media . we're haggis. We must understand the ramifications of the various worldviews and how each approaches God, the world and man's relationship to God and the world. A good place to begin is with David Noebel's book, "Understanding the Times".

5. Serve somebody. Another way to adjust our secularly altered states is by serving somebody. We must get our hands dirty in the principle problems of the communities, and nations in which we live. As much as I am a wholehearted proponent of debate . sometimes - no, a lot of the time - we should keep silent and lend a practical hand. The more we help an "at risk kid" with his homework or a needy single mom get a roof over her head; the more we read to a teenager dying of leukemia at a children's hospital or play black jack with a great granddad at a retirement home: the more we balance our rhetoric with reality. It was Daniel and his buddies' servant spirit that caused them to be promoted to a powerful place of influence.

My ClashPoint is this: The grand ascent of Daniel and his compadres was as a result of giving God their utmost for His highest. Along with their deep spirituality, they became young leaders who were physically fit and well versed in all manner of knowledge. They were brilliant servants who were 10 times greater than all the resident slugs in Babylon. My advice to the young believer is to follow the simple instructions on your shampoo bottle: lather, rinse and repeat. Lather, rinse and repeat Daniel's actions, and watch how you will rise to a place of authority in our Babylonian culture.  CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.