Summary: Time flies. Months slip away. Years are lost. Before we know it, a decade has passed. However, decades of the past can teach us today!
A decade. 10 years. While we are in the middle of it it seems to crawl by but then when it is gone we look back and we are amazed at how quickly time has escaped. Last week we looked at the 60's! Now we move forward a decade and check out the 70's! Again one of the best ways to understand or catch a glimpse of a decade is to listen to it. Play 70’s soundtrack We come out of the 60's in a haze of smoke and free love and we march in to the 70's.
Greece, Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory, Jaws, Happy Days, The Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, The Dukes of Hazzard, Farrah Fawcett, The Muppets, Star Wars, Scarface, The Beatles break up, Elvis dies, Farrah Fawcett, Atari comes out, Michael Jackson goes solo, Sugar Hill Gang release rappers delight, Disco, Jim Jones and Jonestown. 3 Mile Island and Farrah Fawcett!
CNN described the 70’s like this . . . Careening from crisis to crisis. We endured the scandal in the White House (watergate). Political upheaval and Nixon becomes the only president to ever resign his office. The Arab oil embargo led to a recession and interest rates exploded (18% mortgage rates). We watched the Iran hostage crisis drag on and play out on TV. All of these painful moments led President Gerald Ford in the 1975 State of the Union Address to say, "The state of the union is not good". Every one remembers the disco but few remember the devastation that took place in the 70’s. One of the things that took place that shows how painful this decade was is that in the 70's professional counseling exploded onto the scene because people felt like they had lost themselves.
The 60’s preached the sermon . . “if it feels good do it” and it was so embraced that in the 1970's the result is discovered in an unlikely place. It is found in comedy routine about Geraldene. Flip Wilson, makes a statement that reveals the offspring of the 60's and in a nutshell embodies the decade of the 70's. He said, “The Devil made me do it.” So, now that we can do what feels good the next step is we have come to the place where we refuse to take responsibility for our own actions and place the blame on somebody else. Perhaps the most glaring revelation of this idea is that in the 60’s sexual revolution we are taught we can do what we want so in the 70’s if that freedom causes you to get pregnant then you should not have to accept responsibility for this action. So, Roe vs. Wade lands in court and abortion as a right is set into motion. Another example of the 70's mentality is the institution of "the No Fault Divorce Law" which was championed by then CA Gov. Ronald Reagan who would later say it was the worst political decision he ever made. This new law said that a marriage could be dissolved by either party for any reason. No responsibility. No consequences.
So, I would say the 70’s are really nothing more than the story that was started in the garden extrapolated to its full effect. Remember the account in the garden it starts like the 60's - if it is pleasant to the eye eat it. Don't worry about what God said. But it quickly graduates to the 70's because the snake blames God, the woman blames the snake and then the man blames the woman. If you want to sum up the The 70’s I believe you can simply say the 70's was the decade of blame. Blame everyone else for my issue, my problems, my difficulties. Pass the responsibilities to everyone else so I don’t have to accept responsibility. I believe this decade is one of the most devastating in our history because we still feel the result today. To this day everyone is a victim. So now I can sue someone for something i did. When I spill hot coffee on my lap I can hold the restaurant responsible that sold me what I asked them to sell me.
What's worse is that same mentality has not only continued to be pervasive in society but also in the church. So, now you have believers who can do what feels good even though it is condemned in Scripture. And worse than the fact they feel no remorse they can live together, name the name of Jesus but homosexually active, live and act like the world but still say they are saved because it isn’t their fault the devil made them do it. We make excuses because we don’t believe we are responsible. I can cheat because I was raised different, I can be sexually promiscuous because this relationship is different, I can refuse to honor God with finances, deal with my bitterness and my attitude because I am a product of my neighborhood. What sin is acceptable to you? What are you excusing?