By Reverend Mark Hunnemann
Remember Cindi Lauper's hit "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."? It was actually a re-do of a song Robert Hazard had written, with with a few approved changes. I think it is a most suitable anthem (for both sexes), as far as what drives many people. When I wrote the "Fifty Shades of Mommy Porn" blog, my goal was to analyze what is happening across our culture in general that is concurrent with, and perhaps feeding into, this lust for the occult. Long before I got "zapped" by the paranormal, I was interested in viewing the flow of intellectual and pop culture through a biblical worldview...for nearly 40 years. I enjoy analyzing the inter-connectedness of different aspects of culture and the flow of history. The paranormal juggernaut has tendrils that weave far and wide into the fabric of our society--it wasn't born in a cultural/spiritual vacuum and it does not exist now in a vacuum. Understanding certain habits of the heart are essential to deciphering the how/why of this historically unprecedented fascination with the spirit realm.
Why now? Why is our generation the first in human history to rush headlong into the spirit realm without the community safeguards of a designated mediator... a shaman, imam, rabbi, priest, or minister?
FUN...nothing wrong with it (per se), and so many things right about it. I wanna have fun! And according to online dating site profiles, so does the millions of folks looking for marriage...only this lust for fun has become seriously idolatrous.
About 13 years ago, I went through a biblical divorce, but simply could not (for several reasons), seriously consider dating and re-marriage. The experience damaged me to the core, and I am still broken in many ways. But, like Adam, I was lonely for companionship. So, eventually I tried some reputable dating sites.
Off and on for a few years I have visited a few appropriate dating sites. I even joined one or two for awhile in order to give it a try. There are horror stories and there are beautiful success stories--my experience has been some where in-between. However, there is one aspect of it that has gripped me lately, that is germane to our topic. And I can't shake the sense that there is a strong connection to the how/why of the mushrooming growth and influence of interest in the paranormal.
The vast majority of women on these sites designate their faith as "Christian". However, in the profile section where you introduce yourself--telling the most salient facts about yourself and what you desire in a mate--95% of the professing Christian women do not mention the Lord at all. (I don't read the guys profiles but I suspect it is worse for men). I have read thousands of profiles, so this is a rather large sampling..which makes this all the more disturbing.
However, there is one word that IS found in 99% of the profiles (Christian or not)...FUN. Yep, that word is ubiquitous in dating profiles. It is THE common denominator found amidst all the diversity in the various profiles.
Before I proceed, I need to say that there are more than a few wonderful exceptions to what I am about to say. There are some very godly men and women on those sites who make it crystal clear that God is number one to them, and a shared belief is THE priority to them. In addition, in painting with a broad brush, I run the risk of making it seem that FUN is the only thing most folks discuss--it is NOT. The longing for honesty, communication, trust and respect are but a few of the laudable traits often mentioned by most people. Having said that, it is the centrality...the primacy given to fun, that I have found so troubling.
The issue is not whether having fun is appropriate or important as A desire., (Heck that is a desire of mine as well) Rather, the issue is: what is the significance that having fun (or a man with a good sense of humor, likes to laugh, and so on) is the dominant trait that so many men and women are longing for in a mate? How are these fun-centric profiles, and the people behind them, related to what is happening supernaturally? .
On some sites, at the top of the profile section, you can even summarize in a sentence, your search in a nutshell. This is typical--"Adventurous and love to have fun and laugh... looking for same." I read that and it makes me want to weep.
In a profile, you have the opportunity, in a few hundred words, to express who you are. When a professing Christian does not even mention Jesus, that speaks volumes. Fun, fun, fun... It is the absence of Jesus and the prominence of having fun, that concerns me. And, as I did with the popularity of "mommy porn", I wonder what its significance is--especially with regards to the explosion of interest in the paranormal? Jesus said that what we say expresses what fills our hearts. According to these dating profiles, SELF-fulfillment through shared fun, is what the majority of people long for most. FUN HAS BECOME A DEMONIC IDOL IN AMERICA. As one author put it, we are amusing ourselves to death.
We have mentioned repeatedly about the disturbing trend towards the primacy of experience over reason and divine revelation. I think that this fixation on FUN, is an expression of that trend...as well as an indicator of how empty our lives are. If it would be "fun" to have sex before marriage, then why not--since girls/boys just wanna have fun? If it would be fun, exciting, stimulating, expansive, spiritually invigorating (the list goes on and on) to mess with the occult, then why not? If fun is our dominant life value, then we are spiritual casualties waiting to happen. If Satan knows how to do anything, he knows how to make sin look/feel FUN. What happens when our new husband/wife hits a "bump in the road", and he is not as fun or humorous as before? Divorce him/her, I suppose, is what many would do.
Like "Fifty Shades" of experiencing pornography (it is amazing how many women list that trilogy as the "last book read", with many more not mentioning it out of embarrassment), I think this fixation on fun is both an expression of, as well as a cause of, a dying, paganized/occult culture. We continue to consign God to the margins of our lives, and thus God is marginalized in our culture as well....and we do so with a big grin because we are having fun! Christiandom has become so anemic in our society it has lost its ability to be salt and light. Hence, America is becoming increasingly pagan with each passing day...truth is rotting in the streets, and the dust of death and dark shadows are descending upon us. God is laughing, but it is not a fun laugh (see Ps. 2).
1 John 4:1ff tells us to be discerning of the spirits. But by fixating on the experience of fun and laughter, then we are fertilizing the soil for the continued growth of the noxious weed of of spiritism.
These very same folks who long for fun and mirth, are opening the doors to a satanic lie, which will cause many to experience a wide-awake nightmare of demonic oppression...and perhaps eternity in hell....where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
I do NOT want the last quarter of my life to be a wasted by fixating on trivial pursuits. I can't say everything in a blog, but the Reformation/biblical view of play is that it is as holy/meaningful in God's eyes as preaching or prayer. However, our time here is so short, and we live in such a dark and broken world, that we must seek God's kingdom priorities. We are called to daily die to self and live for God's glory....which is not always fun. We bring God glory by loving Him above all else and by bearing as much fruit as possible-- drawing as many as possible out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of God's dearly beloved Son.
We must remember that joy is experienced primarily as a by-product of focusing on loving our dear Lord. It is deeper than happiness or fun...which is difficult to consistently maintain in a world which is so tragically bent, broken, and fallen.
A husband and wife are to accelerate each others love for the Lord, as well as help each other bear more fruit for Him together than they would apart from each other. I hope your fun-quotient does increase in 2014, but much more, I pray that we would become increasingly God-intoxicated, and more passionate about holiness than happiness.