Although the Wizard of Oz story was created by a Methodist (Christian), most of the elements in this story will cloud the minds of children and adults to what is true and false. I know it’s just a fantasy fairytale and we can have fun with it, but these are the types of stories that have shaped the minds of our society and the worldviews of our cultures. Even more so now, since we have the television, internet, you tube, etc., everyone is free to share their views, and to be quite honest, many things that people are doing looks quite interesting and will grab our attention. That’s what leads our thoughts astray from focusing and believing what matters most. That’s why our nation and world has changed so drastically in the past seventy years. And the changes are even more rapid, changing from generation to generation. We are experiencing the most rapid changes in our societies and cultures than the world has ever seen in the last nineteen centuries.
When I was young, I believed in witches. I believed there were good and bad witches. As a young child I wanted to learn to make potions and do spells that could turn my enemy to a frog. Where did I get that idea from? That’s what our well-known fairytales taught us. Without realizing it, Disney has shaped the minds of America. The plethora of cartoons that we allow our children to watch are shaping the young minds of our future leaders. The truth of the matter is, there is no such thing as a “good” witch. I would not have known that apart from the Bible.
Left to ourselves, we will always pick and choose to believe and follow what seems right. Without realizing it, we use our rational and experiential senses along with our intuition to make thousands of choices throughout the day. The majority of these choices will be worldly and self-centered. “Revelation” is what begins to transform and shape our minds to think in terms of a Biblical perspective. Revelation comes from the Holy Spirit. But kids won’t be learning that from cartoons. Nether will adults, with such strong influences on TV, you tube, Facebook and the likes.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
All this to say, we are living in a time that it is much harder to just walk up to someone and tell them they need Jesus. That strategy may have worked a few generations ago, but it no longer works in this day and age. The minds of our culture, young and old have been seared. We will have to take the time to build trust so people can see our Christian beliefs in action. Too often we come across arguing and beating at people to believe what we believe. Remember, the world makes all their decisions on rational and experiential understanding. Only through the Holy Spirit will they be able to see and pursue biblical truths. More than arguing we need to be praying. More than in their face we need to be on our knees. More than piety we need grace. More than anger we need love. God is waiting for His children to love on people regardless of their warped views caused by society. That doesn’t mean we need to agree with them or that we are lowering our standards. It’s quite the opposite. Our standards of love will be heightened and our witness becomes stronger. When we are able to understand how people think, walking alongside them in love and relationship, maybe then God may use us to share His love to a lost and dying world.
“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions —it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:3-5)