We senior citizens know that California isn’t the same state we came to and the church today isn’t the same we knew in the 1940’s—and early to middle 1950’s—when it was the most influential, trusted institution in America.
We didn’t realize at the time that much of religious faith had a strip-mine quality, not deep-hole penetration by God’s word. Slightly below the surface cutting, nothing far underground. Cosmetic, not surgically implanted. And church-focused, not Christ-centered.
And something else we didn’t realize. Slight tremors of change occurred undetected throughout the 1950’s. Only in the early 1960’s did it become obvious that America had regressed spiritually. Music changed, from lyric-based melodies of love to sound-based attacks on accepted morality. The Free Speech Movement, popularized first at Berkeley, and spreading nation-wide, spouted hatred of all authority, human or God.
While this writer had little idea how bad it would become, even he, then a graduate student in Seminary, with Judy and three little boys at home, KNEW America had entered a new and dangerous phase.
Now Parts I-III may sound like a sociological treatise, not a Biblical message. But while I’ve added more historical information than originally planned, and more personal stories, it should all be helpful in understanding that the change in America that began quietly in the 1940’s; that continued more vocally in the 1950’s; that erupted through society in the 1960’s and continues now in depraved societal morals, wouldn’t have occurred to the extent it has if religious faith had then been the mind-saturating, heart-converting, life-dominating power Gospel preaching can, should and DOES produce when preached faithfully, to some depth, on all occasions.
The very kind of faith young Joseph, son of Jacob, possessed when he found himself away from home and in Egypt. End Part III