Category Archives: Culture/Worldview Tracks

Culture. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.
(1 Corinthians 3:19)

Ignoring Romans 12:2 How Government Schools And Urban Living Have Led To Mind Control In The 21st Century (Segment F)

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The Couch Potato Factor

 

Entertainment is not always a villain. However much of the content found on TV is a problem, and total time spent on entertainment is often a factor. In a sense a bigger problem is the failure to get off the couch and participate in something active. This is easy to do in a rural environment, especially for those of us who live on farms. Walking, hiking, camping, and golfing are some examples where urban people can spend their time away from the adverse influences found on TV. It takes a lot of effort to do these things for many families, plus you have added challenges with families with young children. The main point I make here is that being active in entertainment is better than sitting for all your entertainment.

My Uncle, Charles Rowan played the part of the groom

For practical purposes the television destroyed much of family activities, even in rural areas since it is so much easier to sit than to do. I recall my childhood when Dad was member of a local men’s civic group’s softball team each summer. They played other civic groups. It was a good form of entertainment. In a similar manner, there was a local summer baseball team made up of young adults. While I was never a part of one of these teams, they had a large following because they were very good, and the summer league was very competitive. They included former high school team members, and most were 20 -30 year olds.

Dad’s civic group also had other family oriented activities. Most memorable was the Womenless Wedding stage play the men had for the community. There were no women, so several men dressed up as women to play their respective parts like bridesmaids and bride. I can still see my Uncle Charles, a small man, who played the part of the groom and his “bride” was a tall overweight man, the largest in the club. Of course a play with that title conjures bad images in this day.

In essence, a large part of our indoctrination problem comes from our lack of activity, and of course this is a greater challenge for city dwellers.

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The Sinister Factor

 

The Bible says none of us is good. Our righteousness is like filthy rags. While we were all born with that sin nature, there are some individuals in the world who are off-the-charts wicked. Some are very powerful people who have a lust for more power. Some wish to see billions of people dead so the remaining elite will have this earth as their big playground/park. Since they are so over the top in their beliefs, the ordinary man fails to realize such wicked men exist. Furthermore the most powerful men keep a low profile. They don’t run for public office; they choose who runs for those offices. This topic is too large to warrant spending much space and time here, but I think it is necessary to address it in some manner.

The public school system is the easiest target. While the beginnings go back more than 150 years, the leaders in the 20th Century have had the most impact. The schools were designed to control the people. Look it up, and learn how the public school system and those who lead it now are basically following ideologies established by Hitler, Stalin, and other tyrants. Worse is the fact that some wealthy men in America helped finance Hitler. Think of it this way; if you can start a war between two countries and then make money selling arms to both sides, what a deal!

Believe it or not the medical profession has a similar background. While Christians started early hospitals, the money barons put their claws in the system about 100 years ago by subsidizing medical schools that had an emphasis of drugs for treating symptoms, rather than nutrition for correcting deficiencies. Here’s the idea; train men to prescribe drugs and then make money by selling drugs.

Psychological Operations (PsyOps) – These have developed in less than 100 years. They used propaganda via advertising to get women to smoke, get doctors to approve of smoking, to get women into the workplace, to break up the family by various methods. There is also evidence that much of the emphasis on sports was planned well in advance. If men can exhibit their manliness and tribalism by selecting a favorite team and then participating in all the trappings of being a sold-out fan, then that same man can use his testosterone by sitting in his living room rooting for his team, or perhaps he can buy the shirts, the caps, the stadium tickets and really get involved in the game. This “game” then can serve as a distraction from the issues in the world that really matter.

The best thing for the doubter is to do your own homework… or is that just it …too much like WORK. A final word about the “sinister factor” is that this cannot affect you very much once you withdraw from the IOTA.

Part III

Where Do We Go From Here?

 

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Withdraw From IOTA – My Story

 

Here is how I withdrew from the Information Of This Age (IOTA). My first efforts were not a part of some grandiose plan to reach into many aspects of my life, or many different activities/systems. It began in the 1991 when Democrats selected Bill Clinton as their party nominee for president in the primaries. I said, “That’s it, I will not be a registered Democrat anymore.” When the first George Bush was running for president against Bill Clinton, Dan Rather of CBS News torpedoed Bush in a TV interview. Having no respect for Rather in the first place, it made it easy to say, “That’s it; I’m not listening to that Dan Rather anymore.” Ultimately I withdrew from many things over a period of about 20 years.

Following my decision to never watch Dan Rather again, all TV news shows were the next to be excluded from my “watch” list. I decided I would not listen to lies and have my intelligence insulted. Comedy shows were the next to be rejected. My favorite TV shows were “cops and robbers “ dramas, but they were next. I got fed up with exciting drama shows that were peppered with Christian bashing and/or propaganda like “killing unborn babies is okay,” and “Homosexuals are so cool compared to the straight guys.” I just got sick of it. As I rejected the television programming, I began to read more with the added time that was freed up.

 

Last on the TV to go, were sports. Basketball is my favorite, and I still have some affinity for college level, but I got tired of watching what I thought were spoiled NBA millionaire tattooed thugs, slam-dunk. Sorry folks, I’m just not entertained by that. The “high-fiving” in all sports, down to little league, frankly does not impress me. Jerry West was my hero in college days as I watched courtside. He never slam-dunked, nor did he or his teammates high-five as if they had never made a good play before. I like the athlete who does an excellent job, and shows no emotion as if his great play was like a routine everyday practice play.

Replacing Garbage – Replacement followed withdrawal during that 20-year period. I’ll be honest it wasn’t exactly intentional. I didn’t say to myself, “I’m going to keep the TV off so I can read some good stuff written by Christians. (to be continued after a brief detour)

(Detour) I am taking a brief detour to make some points about an important principle. My waist size has decreased three inches in the course of the past year with a drop in weight of about 20 pounds. I have a strong academic and practical background in animal nutrition, so when I begin to learn via Internet about mineral and vitamin supplementation for humans, I quickly related to what I was reading and hearing. Basically, when the diet is balanced, food intake will adjust to what the body needs. Deficiencies cause individuals to continue eating seeking to find the limiting nutrient(s). Without the nutrients to balance the body’s need, people have a hunger or craving for the missing, causing an over consumption of food. The most readily available foods (fattening carbohydrates) are then consumed in excess quantities, and this leads to increased weight gain. In contrast, if a balanced diet is consumed, a person will not normally eat beyond what the body is craving. That is simplified, but it can serve as a guide as we analyze the massive amount of information that most are exposed to each day.

(continued from above) As I deleted most of TV from my menu and spent more time reading books and Internet publications, the more I yearned for answers as to “Why is our world this way?” This led to the study of Christian worldview (CWV) principles to better understand the world in which we live. As I got into that, then it made it easier to put much TV viewing behind me. For the past three summers we have not put a TV in the big house, or summer residence. I immersed myself into CWV in a relatively big way; I purchased the entire Five-volume works of 22 books written by Francis A. Schaffer, and read them all that winter about four years ago. I followed up by reading other works. I think the following is a C.S. Lewis quote, “For every new book you read, read two old ones.” (Classics that have withstood the test of time.

During my more intense times of studying Christian worldview compared to other worldviews I conducted some thorough study of materials produced by Summit Ministries in Colorado. Summit was formed by Dr and Mrs. David Nobel about 50 years ago. I purchased several books and videos including teaching materials for various ages of school children. While they produce multiple teaching materials and conduct various conferences, their signature emphasis is their two-week long summer conferences for high school and college aged students. I have also had multiple conversations with the staff and a few students who have attended. With no hesitation, I believe this is potentially some of the best training a young adult can receive.

An important Scripture, Romans 12:2, can be our guide for studying worldviews. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Do not be conformed to this age. Look at it this way, suppose you are awake 16 or more hours a day, but have about four or five hours when you are not busy working, eating, etc. and can choose to invest your time in something else. Let me assume you do not have something like a woodworking shop to pursue hobby carpentry. Lets assume TV, Internet, and other media are available. Now lets assume an easy way to occupy your time is to grab the remote and turn the TV on, and basically consume “information of this age.” (IOTA) Just as the body seeks to fill the needs of missing nutrients, the mind is often looking via media entertainment, to correct an imbalance, or at least fill in the time of one’s waking hours. And, let’s be honest, entertainment is just has more appeal than studying.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Now suppose you decide the IOTA doesn’t line up with your beliefs.   In my case, as I begin to delete the IOTA, I began to fill my mind with other information. There was a long period of transition as I deleted time spent on IOTA, while increasing my time on other subject matter. I haven’t arrived, but I know I am better informed now than I was back in 1991 when I first began to withdraw from the system

The more I studied CWV, the better I understood what is wrong with our world, and this led to more rejection of IOTA. What may not be so obvious at first glance is that most of the IOTA is easy to find, while uncovering truth takes more effort. People in our world who have evil intent, especially those with massive financial wealth, seem to be more dedicated to infiltrating those businesses and institutions that produce IOTA. This includes movies, music, television, academia, and governments. Why did IOTA become repugnant to me? Answer: I think I was beginning to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Urgency. I am not a naturally rapid reader. Although I have a PhD, my technical field did not require reading large volumes of information, just seeking out and analyzing the facts via scientific research and reading. I tend to be analytical, willing to read non-fiction to get answers. The materials I began reading a few years ago were not technical. I read much more in a year than any one-year period in my college days. In the advanced stages of my deletion of IOTA, and substituting Christian works, I acquired a sense of urgency, as in “I must learn this as fast as I can because we are in trouble.”

Here is an interesting thing about the “urgency” mentality. When an issue is urgent, then it means that many other issues must necessarily be relegated to a low priority status. Therefore the “IOTA” is expunged via natural entropy; IOTA then becomes like a large beach ball sitting on a large hill that can be moved with a gentle breeze, and it eventually reaches a lower status at the bottom of the hill. There is nothing super-spiritual about the experiences I had over a 20-year period. It was in essence a natural progression. I didn’t consciously see the connection to Romans 12:2 until I got to writing about “Withdraw from the System,” which was a part of a series of letters written to my sons and sons-in-law about preparing for the apparent coming of an economic collapse. Yes, I was familiar with the Scripture beforehand, but not focused on it as such. An interesting cycle developed. An increase in knowledge of CWV led to an increase in the level of urgency, which led to less desire to be influenced by IOTA.

Knowledge of the Bible is not the same as Christian worldview, however Bible knowledge is necessary to develop CWV. If one lacks knowledge of the worldviews that compete with CWV, then it is difficult to develop a CWV. For example, suppose someone supports the idea found in the Bible that says widows should be given proper care. That’s fine. Now suppose the same person says this is a reason why government welfare money should be used to that end. A different worldview just crept in, and it is Socialism/Marxism. Christians who believe the widow needs support should do so by giving freely in some manner. The person who believes the government should support the widow, is in essence advocating that money be taken away from those who pay taxes and then part of the money should go to support the widow, and the remaining money to those (government) in charge of taking and then distributing.

Deception. Here is the key point on worldview concerning the above scenario. People, especially the young, are easily fooled by the bait and switch thinking that the government should help the widow because she has a need. The widow’s need is the bait; the government’s involvement is a switch from the idea of freewill giving by the Christian over to government confiscation of money from one to give to another. It is wrongheaded charity from the get-go. It is not Christian and it is not charity; it is thievery, which is at the center of the spread-the-wealth-around Marxist worldview. Democrats in D.C., by their advocacy are Marxist and/or Fascist; they just would not dare call it Marxism or Fascism. Actually Republican leadership is the same, with different talking points. Furthermore, Christian teachers and pastors who push for government subsidies for the poor are also promoting a wrong worldview.

And also consider the government school system, it is thievery when governments take money from it’s citizens, in the form of taxes, which are not voluntary, and then use that money to support their ungodly formal education system. Sure there are laws, instituted by men, but consider the Christian, whose Law are you to submit to? Huh? Tell me!

While my story here of withdrawal from IOTA has been largely a focus on media, and how we adults must develop and exercise discernment, the greater red flag warning should be toward what younger people face in the next 5, 10, or 20 years.   Children will be challenged by the media, the schools, (even Christian), colleges, practically all governments (city, county, state, federal), many big businesses, and even many religious (including some Christian) groups. Americans to a large extent have been deceived, and thus trapped. A withdrawal from the trap will be difficult.

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Ignoring Romans 12:2 How Government Schools And Urban Living Have Led To Mind Control In The 21st Century (Segment E)

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The Celebrity Idols Factor

 

If there is a TV program with an appropriate title it is “American Idol.”   While it is relatively easy to point out some positive benefits of such entertainment, the audience is unknowingly contributing to our problem in America; the problem is hero worship. Movies, TV, sports, and the pop music industry supply more than enough American idols. While our teens, in general, are woefully ignorant of history and current affairs outside of the celebrities they worship, they likely know lyrics to ungodly songs, and likely know much about which unmarried Hollywood starlet (or is that harlot?) is sleeping with Hollywood stud what’s-his-name.

In a word, America has become obsessed with entertainment, and it is even more troubling when we consider that grade school aged children are often exposed to television programming that promotes the worship of such idols. As a matter of fact, the idol worship often begins with pre-school-aged children as they watch fantasy programming on TV. Teens are affected more than anyone else because of the school factor, the free time factor, and the freedom factor; the freedom to make certain choices on their own. The fathers in a similar fashion have become obsessed with sports. The 2013 NFL Super Bowl is less than a week away as I write this. If an alien from another planet were to visit us, or if a Founding Father visited us, or if someone who sailed across the Atlantic on the Mayflower visited us, they would no doubt be shocked at our obsession with a single GAME of football.

12

 

The Time and Space Factors

 

In broad terms, there are two factors that are precursors to the obsession with sports and other forms of entertainment. Space is one factor; when people become crowded into small spaces, they are limited in their ability to be entertained by what God has already given us, his creation. The small living space in cities also limits certain creative endeavors. Try building a tree house inside many cities and see what happens. Or, plant garden vegetables between the front of your house and the street, and see how that goes over with neighbors, the homeowner’s association, and city officials.

The second precursor is time. Dad is home from work, the kids home from school, the automatic dishwasher eliminates some meaningful work, and boredom sets in. People seemingly have nothing to do, especially when you discount the activity of actually reading the Bible or some other book as a meaningful/enjoyable use of one’s time.

Furthermore, there are so many sources of available entertainment, especially with hundreds of TV channels, the Internet, mobile phones, and other devices that allow people to watch sports, play silly games, chit-chat, Tweet, text, send photos; it is just seems to be endless.

Therefore, once people are crowded into small spaces with time on their hands, then a real challenge lies in what they are to do. Why not just grab the TV remote and get your daily mind poison? Or, pick up that mobile phone and go at it, so to speak. Think about it: a popular phone app lets people play Angry Birds that seems to be addictive. My two cents; Angry Birds played by crazy people.

Entertainment has become a time hog – As we look at the history of the family dating back to Old Testament days and compare that to family relationships today, the follow becomes evident:

  1. Fathers and sons don’t spend as much time together now as they did in the past
  2. Sons were separated from the fathers when they began attending public schools
  3. Fathers working in the city accounted for much of the father/son separation
  4. The sons filled their time with entertainment
  5. Entertainment also began to fill the father’s time schedule
  6. Sons are likely separated from their fathers about three-fourths of their waking hours and entertainment accounts for much of that.
  7. To a large extent, the entertainment becomes addictive; once they get use to being entertained, then neither the son nor the father care about spending time with the other. At least on the surface, that’s the likely outcome in my opinion.

Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us…” (Exodus 32:1, NASB)

The Bible says the Israelis wanted to make a god because Moses was taking too long to descend from the mountain. The basic principle shown in that Scripture is still at play today… people get bored waiting. I suppose we could say that’s why the Devil invented the TV, plus a handy remote control.

In conclusion, regarding this lengthy discussion about entertainment, fathers and sons have filled their daily lives with things that occupy their time using those things that are most readily available. It becomes so much easier when they are confined to a small physical area. It is much like the domestication of an untamed, or wild animal; it is much easier after you first capture, and then confine it to a small place. Then you feed it what you want it to eat, and gradually over time you train it to do what you want. Who would do that to us, especially our sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters? Who wants us to loose the war with the information of this age (IOTA)?

 

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The Pigeon Religion Factor

 

Pigeon religion has reference to the fact that too much of Christianity is based upon placing individuals into special age and/or interest groups much like one would place items in the pigeonholes of a roll top desk. Nothing in early church history suggests that we should follow such a pattern. In fact, the church has conformed to the world, in particular the public school system. During the latter half of the 20th Century many small one-room schools were replaced with larger consolidated schools. The one-room schools often had students ranging in age from six years to 14 years, and often, older students assisted the teacher by helping younger students in the classroom.  I have more knowledge of this than the average person  because my Mother taught in one-room schools, and my wife, Glenda, attended such schools.  As larger schools were built, students where placed in classrooms according to age much like placing them in pigeonholes. In a similar manner, mega-churches have been on the rise, and similarities can be seen between big schools and big church congregations. Some knowledge of history can help us realize how the church has in many ways conformed to this age because of these changes.

A problem many of us have with history is that we don’t relate to any part of history in which we have not lived. Our thinking based on this view of history is dangerous, as we do not know all the influences that have shaped the pattern in which we now live. In fact, we know very few. The public school system is one of my favorite whipping boys, mainly because criticizing the public schools is like picking low-hanging fruit from a tree. Just walk around that public school tree and stop at any point, reach up and pick something to criticize and you will be safe. At this point in history, there is little that we can call correct and good concerning public schools.

When teens are put in a pigeonhole, they expect to hear things that relate to their interest and selfish desires. They don’t have to give a whit about the elderly widow ladies in the congregation; after all they are just old out-dated people. The chitchat among the teens is of course, geared to the same self interest. Teens are not unique in these matters; just pick any group and you have similar attitudes. How about the fact that some adults don’t want the interuptive crying of a baby while the pastor is so eloquently proclaiming his latest prosperity message. The larger the congregation the more pigeonholes to separate families into different groups.

One of the unintended consequences of pigeon religion is that this separation of family members may send an unspoken message that things of God happen in God’s house (that building constructed by men, where people congregate), and not particularly anywhere else. Furthermore, it makes it easy for some parents to shift all the responsibility of godly teaching to others. It can cause the father of the household to relinquish his responsibilities as priest of his home to someone in his congregation, the pastor, the teen pastor, and the Sunday school teachers.

In summary lets consider the hazards of pigeon religion in the form of a bullet point list. Pigeon religion promotes:

  • Selfishness
  • A narrow worldview, a world of one person, me, myself,
  • Dumbing down to the lowest level of teaching/learning
  • Entertainment that can become the emphasis as a substitute for teaching important biblical principles
  • The separation of family members at a time when we are to focus on God
  • The centrality of the pastor rather than Jesus, as leader of the Church
  • The unspoken idea that fathers can abandon their priestly responsibilities
  • Attitude that I don’t have to study; someone will teach me
  • The idea that the pew-sitter, especially adults, have nothing to contribute to the gathering of the believers; “Just be quiet, listen, and pay your tithes.”

Christians have a personal relationship with Father God through His son Jesus Christ, yet much of what the church congregations do is merely following or conforming to patterns of this age, particular the public school system model.

Christian schools have also been justly criticized for following the pattern set by public schools, using similar textbooks, methods of teaching, etc. with a prayer added to cover the God part of the day. The Nehemiah Institute through their PEERS testing program, has shown that most Christian school students have a worldview that is barely better than those students in public schools, and that there has been an alarming decrease in Christian Worldview understanding during the past decade. That’s convincing evidence that the pattern of this world is more closely followed in Christian schools than we would like to believe.

In summary of pigeon religion, we have followed a worldly pattern of categorizing people into groups that better enable mob control as it were, which is antithetical to cultivating individual development and responsibility, including the development of a stronger personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It also hinders family oriented Christian gatherings and fails to promote inter-generational fellowship.

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The College Factor

 

There is ample evidence that shows that the college campus is filled with more misinformation than any other place in America. There are four major reasons for this:

  1. Students on average arrive on campus with a warped worldview because they have been trained that way for 12-13 years in public schools.
  2. Students come to campus with freedom they did not have while living at home with their parents.
  3. The college campus has long been a cauldron for radical thinking professors, mainly in the social sciences (an oxymoron, for sure, as social and science do not go together), to settle in and spew their ideologies on to an unsuspecting captive audience.
  4. The marriage between radical college professors and tyrannical minded politicians and businessmen provides fertile ground to promote every imaginable thing that is contrary to God’s Holy Word.

It is not necessary to use a sledgehammer to kill this fly, but a few examples can give us all the information we need to make an informed judgment. I did a search (Start Page) for “queer studies college” and got over 290,000 results. At Wikipedia I found this, ” There are currently over 40 certificate and degree granting programs with at least five institutions in the United States offering an undergraduate major…”  I looked at courses offered at one of the colleges and learned that they have more that 20 separate courses in their queer department. That’s queer, for certain.

While five colleges with a queer studies major may not sound like many, I found that more than 200 colleges have Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) chapters. In short, if the leadership at a college campus has trouble with gender identity, then there is little reason for any sane parent to send his son or daughter there to spend four years of one’s life trying to get an education in such an warped environment, and paying big bucks to do so.  Some might say that is intolerant. That’s right, it is. Let me emphasize that much of “education” takes place outside the formal classroom setting. Also remember we are talking here about God’s instruction, “Do not be conformed to this age.”

Just as a matter of review at this point consider:

  1. A student beginning at five years of age is separated from his parents for six to eight hours daily during the school year for 13 years before entering college.
  2. The city dwelling student is also separated from at least one parent all summer.
  3. The average students gets no work experience
  4. The student has thousands of hours of media indoctrination by the time he finishes high school
  5. Therefore, upon entering college the student is like a dry sponge for soaking up radical, ungodly propaganda found on most every campus.

NOTES:

LARGE of anything seems to be a problem, large government, large cities, large schools, and large church congregations all contribute to the problem of conforming to the pattern of this world.  Part of that pattern is “group think,” which stiffens creativity, individual thought and action.  Furthermore, I remind the reader that Christians have a personal relationship with God, the Father, through His Son, Jesus Christ.  It is a one-on-one relationship, and not a result of the Communist inspired “group think.”…DR, 10/14/17

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Ignoring Romans 12:2 How Government Schools And Urban Living Have Led To Mind Control In The 21st Century (Segment D)

10

 

The Entertainment Factor

 

Those of us in agriculture like to say that our advances in our professions freed up time for men to take other jobs. It is a “which came first the chicken or the egg” situation. Industrial/technological inventions helped farmers produce more efficiently, and the farmers’ efficiency helped free up labor for other occupations.

For centuries man’s day was likely filled with similar activity, working, eating, walking, and sleeping with little time for daily entertainment. That did not change much until large numbers of people moved into the cities. I hasten to point out that the city environment had some similar affects on both adults and youth. The available time for entertainment from Moses until the end of the 19th Century changed very little. When the city population went from 10 percent up to 80 percent, extra time for entertainment evolved. Much of the entertainment had to be created in order to give people something to do. Or, more accurately, enterprising people saw a market for entertainment because many people were available as potential customers. Created entertainment more nearly describes the activities for school age people.

Can we used for home use milk daily

Entertainment for Farm Families – Most of the increase in farm production has occurred during my lifetime. Farmers went from producing food for about 20 people to a level of producing enough for more than 150 people. I know something about how farm people spend their time.  I was a farm boy, a Dairy Science major in college, a county agent, a PhD in animal science, a college professor in animal science, and for the last 30 years, a farmer. I know what I did with my time in the 1940s as a small child. I know what I did with my time in the 1950s as a teenager; I know what it is like as an adult living in cities (20 years) and how I spent my time. I know what a farmer in this day does with his time. I know what it is like to live on a farm as a 71-year old, as I continue to farm. I know what to do with any spare time I have. Practically all my life I have been associated with agriculture. For most of that period I have also been involved either directly or indirectly with education of young people.

Entertainment in the rural environment was easy for this farm boy. I’ll give some examples of my time growing up on a dairy farm. My dad went to bed about 8:30 p.m. because he arose early to milk the cows. While I didn’t help milk in the mornings, I did do some chores in the morning and finished those in time for breakfast at 7:00 a.m. when the entire family sat down together. After breakfast I did a few more chores before going to school. After school I had more chores and helped milk the 30 cows. Like clockwork, Dad and I entered the house carrying a gallon of milk in a metal can for home use at 6:00 p.m. The entire family sat down at 6:00 for the evening meal.  After supper Dad might work in the garden while it was cool, and perhaps I would go hunting groundhogs.

During a three or four week period in September and October before the hunting season opened, I would go to the woods after school each day to sit and watch squirrels.

Woods near dairy, a nice place to visit in the fall

Because I had work to do on the dairy farm my time in the woods was limited each day, but I really looked forward to that pre-hunting season activity. While I didn’t actually spend a lot of time hunting, the time in the woods when temperatures were nice and the tree foliage was changing provided some genuine joy.

Sports in our public school were a part of our lives. I participated in baseball and basketball, but these activities did not dominate the lives of families involved. All practice for these sports took place in the last hour of the school day, and there were no other practice sessions. Baseball games were held during the afternoon on school days, and basketball games were at night during school days. The activity was enjoyable, but as I analyze it now, there seemed to be more balance with regard to sports time versus family time than some of the sports programs today, even those in rural areas.

Summer brought on projects for me and my cousins like building dams across the creek to make a swimming hole, building tree houses, making carts from junk machinery parts. Then there were 4-H projects, fitting and showing livestock for fairs, the pony rides, more hunting, exploring the five caves within walking distance of home, etc. Creativity was a major part of

DR and Champion Market Lamb, WV State Fair, 1956

summer entertainment as we built things, trained animals, and worked to attain some goal. I remember digging a groundhog out of his borrow, and then placed him in a rabbit cage I had. Of course I didn’t foresee the fact that our farm dog would tear the cage apart the first night and kill the groundhog. I also remember the entertainment some of us got catching bullfrogs by hand at nighttime. It took a flashlight, a stealth technique and a quick hand. My main point is that we did not have to look for things to do on the farm. Lets face it, city folk have never had it so good.

We never had summer baseball practice, because we didn’t have Little League Baseball. The nearest swimming pool was 12 miles away, and it was cold spring water. We really didn’t have time to fret over our lack of a swimming pool. The same can be said about movies; we rarely saw one, but didn’t miss them either. Television viewing was self-limiting in a way because we did not get a TV set until I was about 10-12 years old and there was little programming of interest to me, and besides, my schedule was full anyway. In those days I never heard of a small child watching Saturday morning cartoons. Honestly, I don’t even know if cartoons were on TV then. As I look back and recall our farm life and compare that to the cities full of thousands of children living in an environment where creative, productive work and play opportunities seem to be almost completely lacking among young people, I view their situation as sad. It is as if some unseen master is manipulating their lives in order that these children may become addicted entertainment slaves in a make-believe world. In a like manner, adults have so few options for their leisure time.

To summarize my experience as a farm boy in the 1940s and 50s, work was a way of life for the entire family. We were not overworked. Sure there were some jobs that were not particularly enjoyable, but tell me there is anything wrong with that? Is life not just like that, we at times have work to do that is necessary, but not particularly enjoyable? Entertainment was also a part of life, but it did not consist of a large block of time, plus it was woven in with the other activities in an almost seamless manner, like the trips to the woods to watch squirrels for a half-hour before completing farm chores. We didn’t have to take a trip in an automobile to some place for that bit of entertainment.

Entertainment for Urban Families – While I spent about 20 years of my adult life in small towns and cities, it has been more than 30 years since I lived in that type environment. I do have opportunity to visit urban areas at times. Most of my focus here has been on entertainment for young people, although some of the same challenges for youth also apply to adults, mainly what do people do with their free time.

For farm people, the term “free time” is almost laughable. Many urban dwellers would not understand, since they have little or no concept of farm life. For example, as I write this, we are in the long days of summer. I go out on the farm twice after the evening meal, once to tend to some minor chores and put the sheep into a smaller field to protect them from coyotes (guard dogs help). The second time is near dark and that trip is to shut the doors to two chicken coops so they will be protected from predators. Free time in excess is typical and basically a very serious problem in urban areas. For the discussion to follow, I will separate urban youth into two broad categories again.

Entertainment for Poor Inner City Youth. At the risk of stereotyping, the following are characteristic of many in this environment: poor, small living space, unwed mothers, renters. The neighborhood has a lot of children with basically no work to do, and all their play must be made up. The play is not a natural part of the environment as it can be with farm-reared children. Many are what I call half-orphans, meaning they have one parent missing from the home, usually the father, and some likely do not even know who their father is. So here is the setup outlining just a few possibilities:

  • Products of public schools
  • Half-orphans in many cases
  • No work to do
  • Much idle time
  • Likely entertained by various types of media

What do we expect with this type mix? No more questions.

Entertainment for Affluent Urban Youth. These young people live in a more spacious home and neighborhood, some in very upscale places. However, they have several similarities when compared to the inner city youth. Perhaps they listen to similar music, use mobile phones for much of their entertainment, and likely view some of the same unwholesome TV programming. They are more likely to travel by automobile to arrive at their place of after-school activity.

  • Products of public schools
  • Some half-orphans
  • No work to do
  • Some idle time
  • Likely entertained by various types of media
  • Enrolled in multiple activities (sports, arts) to entertain/keep busy

There are two primary points to make here. First: the inner city group is likely to get in trouble quicker than the affluent group. I’ll just leave it at that. Secondly: both groups have time from end of the school day, perhaps 3:30 p.m. until some unknown bedtime, where there is little natural flow of work, family time, and entertainment. Unlike the farm boy who may do chores before the seven o’clock breakfast, the city dwellers often stay up late at night and sleep as late as possible the next morning. The boy who lives and works on the farm has early bedtime as a matter fact of his lifestyle.

It is safe to say that practically all media entertainment aimed at youth is unwholesome. While the affluent families are more likely to have a father in the home, there is little likelihood that the fathers and sons spend a lot of time together as they “walk by the way. In fact,  some suburban fathers have long drives and get home late from work.

The final, and yet very important thing to emphasize is that work is absent from the lives of practically all urban youth. The idea that young people 12 – 18 years of age do not need to work is foolish at the very least. It is almost beside the point that we say, “But, they don’t have opportunity to work.” True, they don’t for the most part, but perhaps the Body of Christ needs to do some work here.

Perhaps Christians should sit down and make a long list of all the advantages of urban living and make a list of all the disadvantages. One of the more ominous facts about all who live in urban areas is that adults and youth alike have become addicted to entertainment. As a consequence they have a problem looking at life through any other set of glasses. My own experience plus that of others my age, who have lived in both cities and rural areas, gives us some unique perspectives. This is particularly true since we also had close ties to days dating back to the Great Depression era. Our parents lived in those days, and we learned some valuable principles concerning work ethic, perseverance, conservation, frugality, family enterprise, and challenged living that was born out of their experience. Furthermore, my generation knew a time when mobile phones, computers, television and cultural debauchery on a mass scale did not exist. We know there can be a better cultural environment than that we see now. We saw a change in the culture that went from “Father Knows Best” to “Dad is a Dummy.” God knew what He was talking about with his commands that instructed men to see that both sons and grandsons were taught properly.  When I look back on the post WWII days of growing up in a rural farm area, I do see one disadvantage we experienced. Since we were surrounded by adults at home, school, church and community who had lived through the challenges of the Great Depression days, there was a constant drumbeat from adults that we needed to get all the education we could get and then move to more urban areas in order to find work. In other words, we were not encouraged to stay in the rural area and work. Many of us left the area, while many of the back-to-earth, hippy generation moved to rural areas like my home area about 10-15 years after I graduated from high school. The “earthals,” as some call them, saw the advantage of living in rural areas, became productive citizens, and many demonstrated excellent entrepreneurial skills. Then of course, many people like myself moved back after working in the cities for a while.


NOTES:

This chapter, “The Entertainment Factor,” is perhaps the most important chapter in this book that explains how we have ignored Romans 12:2. Christians who believe the way to change our culture to a to a more positive one is through changing our government school system, are just plain foolish, in my opinion. I firmly believe we now have a culture that has overdosed on entertainment, BIG TIME. …DR, 10/12/17

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