The Hidden Hazards of an “Anything Goes” Culture
The Hidden Hazards of an “Anything Goes” Culture
Written By Rev. Thorin Anderson   |   10.17.22
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Can you imagine what would go through the mind of a child upon being told by his parents that he would be unsupervised all day? He could do whatever he wanted! It would be heaven, but no loving parent would ever allow such a thing. The risk to the child would simple be too great. “Anything goes” is a bad idea for any age.  But that is where our culture is being driven by the Left.

Much can be learned about people in general from watching children. Sadly, we often do not learn much from age two to twenty! A two-year-old child is not capable of knowing or understanding the consequences of his choices; and if he is strong-willed, he resists any restrictions on his behavior. His desire is “anything goes!” But we are patient with him as he climbs a ladder or goes where he should not go. We intervene to protect him from his choices. We do not reason with him regarding the physics involved in a four-thousand-pound car striking a forty-pound child, we simply don’t allow him to run into the street. Our goal is to keep him safe until he understands such things for himself.

There are, however, some things that are not so obviously dangerous. And just as the two-year-old believes that he knows everything, unfortunately, if he has not been disabused of the notion, so does the average teen. There are choices that are becoming available to him, the consequences of which are mentally, spiritually, or emotionally, as well as physically harmful, but may not manifest themselves as such the moment a bad choice is made, unlike the immediate injury caused by walking in front of a moving car. How does a person learn such things so as to protect himself from bad choices? And of equal concern, how are we to deal with a culture that covers its collective ears so as not to hear the warnings and, indeed, calls those who sound a warning, “evil?”

The significant social unrest in recent times and the tragic rise in drug use, alcohol abuse, depression, and suicide, have not happened in a vacuum. Nothing occurs without a cause, and such alarming trends can only be traced to a culture that is increasingly rebellious against standards and, if you will, God. We are witnessing a culture collapsing upon itself and are told that it is not those who sell the poisons who are evil, but those of us who warn of the poisoning! In this upside-down world, “anything goes” is good, while God, order, and discipline are bad!

We must protest!

Little children are not wise enough to understand that a parent who is too lenient is undermining their ability to succeed in life. If one parent allows the children to eat whatever they want, run around the neighborhood until the early hours of the morning, and never do chores while the other parent tries to make them get up early, clean their rooms, do their homework, and help with tasks around the house, there will be major problems! An “anything goes, no rules” attitude by a parent, and by the same token community leaders, might make them popular with naïve young people, and politically garner many votes, but it is a mistake as catastrophic for the community as it is for the home. Every healthy organization and organism has and needs order and rules.  Nothing can long survive without them.

In the public arena, when a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court is unwilling to define what a woman is you know that something other than truth is controlling the narrative. Does Ketanji Brown Jackson, recently placed on the U.S. Supreme Court, really not know how to define a woman? Of course she does! But when people as high profile as a judicial nominee express opinions which are patently nonsensical, yet are placed on the Court regardless, the nation is in serious trouble.  Ketanji Jackson does not decline to define what a woman is because “woman” is open to various definitions, but because some powerful people have an insidious objective.

The confusion of language created by the Left is only a small part of the chaos they have created over the last few decades. They have worked tirelessly to sow discord between racial groups and conflict between men and women, young and old, rich and poor, as well as between the public and the police.  Their true nature was revealed when, in the summer of 2020, they did not seek to quell the violence, but rather encouraged it.  And just as their inability to define a woman is a fiction, so are their explanations for the division and chaos they have fomented.

America’s leaders know that the public will tolerate a societal breakdown for only so long before demanding order be restored. Thus, having created the anarchy in the first place, the Leftist elites will ride in as saviors to bring peace and calm, at the expense of liberty and personal rights.

Mrs. Jackson’s unwillingness to define something as obvious as what a woman is, is a manifestation of the Leftists’ assault on truth and against God, Himself. They are not creating conflict and confusion because they believe reality is malleable, but because their goal is to break down America’s cultural stability, incite violence, and create disorder and fear, leading the public to panic and give them, the Leftists, a lock on power from which we will not be able to escape.

As they convince millions of gullible young Americans that concrete realities directly before their eyes are not real and that they cannot trust their own perception of things, the nation experiences a collective vertigo, and the trust necessary for cultural and social cohesion evaporates. Panicked people are more easily led, more easily enslaved. This has only occurred, of course, with a simultaneous destruction of the traditional Christian philosophy and culture which have provided a foundation for the country for centuries. Until recently, Christianity has been the bulwark of truth, clarity, and common ground for Americans, making the nation extraordinarily resistant to irrationality, Marxism, and other errors.

Tragically, the Left’s assault on America, Christianity, and truth have been effective. A large segment of the population now irrationally hates Christ and Christianity not understanding the devastating consequences of discarding them. No culture or nation can long survive where the citizens do not have significant commonality and generally accepted standards of morality. The Left knows this and intends this.  America’s Founders, while differing in some interpretations of Christian theology, were still united in the broad, general tenets of the Faith giving America a strong, foundational, uniting philosophy. For the last sixty years and more the Left has maliciously undermined the nation’s orderly Judeo/Christian culture and has been replacing it with an “anything goes” culture.

As a Christian and a pastor, I understand the appeal of such. It feeds the fallen nature’s desire for autonomy and pleasure. Of course, the “anything goes” licentiousness isn’t new! Long before the Leftists began their assault on America the Bible warned of it. The pseudo liberty that Leftists temptingly hold before the public’s eyes has been around since the beginning of time. It began with the “Hath God said, “ of Genesis 3:1, and progressed to a modern outright denial of God’s existence and authority and offers a consequence-free life to all who heed its siren song.

Modern iterations are worded differently than the Serpent’s lies in the Garden, but the appeal is the same. Satan asked, “Hath God said?” and followed it with “you will not surely die.” Now the Leftists cry, “Don’t let anyone tell you what to do!” and “If it feels good, do it!” Same song, different words. But there is no such thing as consequence free living. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Newton’s Third Law of Motion expresses the principle well.

Imagine a ball game where “anything goes.” It would ruin the game, and probably injure players. Can you imagine a medical school teaching future doctors that “anything goes” or a math professor teaching future aerospace engineers that “anything goes?” In every area of life, even the seemingly inconsequential things like gardening or bike riding, no one with any sense would suggest that “anything goes.”

As an experiment I have taken groups of young people into the gym and told them that we were going to learn a new game, one for which there were no rules, none. They simply looked at me as if I had lost my mind! If it is impossible to play a game without rules, how much more impossible it is to live a good life without rules.

Only a truly evil person bent on destroying people would say that one can live however they like and suffer no consequences. If order and rules are essential for simple things like a ball game or a garden, how much more important are they for things as complex as human life and relationships? In every heart is an awareness that there must be rules to live well.  Many people today just don’t want to hear God’s rules and the Left is making it easy to ignore them!

Fishermen do not catch fish on empty hooks. They must use bait that is attractive to fish, but while being tasty to the fish, the bait leads to its demise. So it is with the bait the Leftists dangle before Americans. How appealing “do whatever you want” sounds, especially to young people who have neither a theological foundation nor life experience to protect them!

The reality is, of course, that a truly “anything goes” culture does not and cannot exist. Someone is deciding what does and what does not “go.” The “anything” they encourage for the moment refers to reckless and evil things such as drugs, immorality, and violence. Calling something wrong, on the other hand, does not go. But when immoral and destructive conduct is encouraged, conflict and suffering  become inevitable as reasonable and normal boundaries are broken down. The suffering and destruction are only magnified as those who see what is coming and try to warn others are denounced as haters and bigots. If the boycott against truth continues long enough, the destruction of the culture and of many lives is practically guaranteed. In an “anything goes” culture, the highest “good” is to do whatever one wants.

Consequences, good or bad, become irrelevant. It is not far from the moronic axiom uttered by someone in the 60s, “Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse!” Adults know that such thinking leads to catastrophe, but we seem to be short on adults these days. Tell a child that habitually eating packets of sugar may lead to diabetes and your words will fall on deaf ears. And so it is with a lawless culture. People’s hearing has dulled; and so, we witness many of our youths, some even into their thirties, displaying the logical skills of children, and tragically suffering and dying as a consequence!

Leftists, who for the moment dominate America’s ruling class, pander to the public’s baser inclinations just like those who through lies, promises, and manipulation entrap young women in lifestyles that may lead to their deaths, or the “coyotes” who make millions off promises to bring people to a better life in the U.S., only to leave many of them dead in the desert or kidnapped by human smugglers. There is no more accurate word for them than “evil.”

If an “anything goes” culture is tolerated too long a cataclysmic failure of the culture and nation will occur and those in power will cement their places, no longer as tolerant, beneficent friends, but as tyrants. The current wanton disregard for God and His morality is frighteningly reminiscent of the early chapters of Genesis which culminated in God’s declaration that, regarding mankind, “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man. . . .”  (Gen. 6:5-6). At that point the Great Flood ensued!  Whether we soon suffer catastrophic judgment as well depends solely upon God’s grace, which should lead every American who has not repented and turned from their sin to do so now!

The confusion currently enveloping America’s culture did not develop organically, it has been artificially produced by wicked people to confuse, weaken, and overcome Americans. The “anything goes” philosophy is mere bait. Once ensnared, the prey, America’s citizens, will no longer have such liberties.

Rev. Thorin Anderson
Rev. Thorin Anderson is a member of the Advisory Council to Illinois Family Institute and the former pastor of Parkwood Baptist Church on the south side of Chicago. Pastor Anderson has faithfully pastored at Parkwood Baptist Church since September, 2000 until 2022. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Central Seminary. He and his wife Toni have seven children and 19 grandchildren. Pastor Anderson also serves on the board of directors for Men for Christ, an association that organizes annual weekend men’s rallies in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois on a rotating basis. For more information on these...
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