THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE

Peter Edward Rose Sr. (born April 14, 1941), also known by his nickname “Charlie Hustle”, is an American former professional baseball player and manager. Rose played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1963 to 1986, and managed from 1984 to 1989. Rose was a switch hitter and is the all-time MLB leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053), singles (3,215), and outs (10,328). He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, and the Rookie of the Year Award, and also made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five positions (second baseman, left fielder, right fielder, third baseman, and first baseman). Rose won both of his Gold Gloves when he was an outfielder, in 1969 and 1970. Had he not been banned from baseball, Pete Rose’s name could have been on the writers’ ballot beginning in 1992 and ending in 2006. He never made it. However, even though Rose was ineligible for Baseball Hall of Fame, he was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2016. Cincinnati newspapers wrote, that Pete Rose—who illegally gambled on professional sports—should be eligible because “in light of the steroid scandal his crime does not seem so bad now.” Interesting argument–isn’t it? Sin that was bad in the past is not so bad today. Fasten your seat belts, saints. We are in for a Post-Modernism ride!
Post-Modernism is a term used to describe Western culture that emerged since 1990. Post-Modernism, according to social analyst Walter Truett Anderson, is an anti-science movement that emerged at the end of the Cold War. To Post-Modernism, reality is always subjective. It invites people to define their own reality. As the Beatles sang:
You don’t need me to show the way, love
Why do I always have to say “love”
C’mon (C’mon), c’mon (C’mon), c’mon (C’mon), c’mon (C’mon)
Please please me, whoa yeah, like I please you
Anderson, in his book Reality Isn’t What It Used To Be (San Francisco HarperCollins, 1990. 288p) describes six stories competing in Postmodern era: 1) Western myth of progress; 2) Marxism and Revolution; 3) Christian Fundamentalism; 4) Islamic Fundamentalism; 5) Green; 6) New Age. I would add one more: Christian home school evangelicalism. Post-Modernism diverges, like romanticism does, from a notion that reality occurs from empiricism (Aristotle) or from knowledge (Plato).
To this hopeless generation history is not sacred; it is merely utilitarian.   It is not didactic; it helps make them feel better.  The modern psychologist B.F. Skinner, for instance, disdains history and gives m & m’s to monkeys.  We have no actions–only fate driving us.  We are rudderless.  The fact is we Christians know, however, that God is in absolute control of history.  We need to teach our children to be tirelessly hopeful.  We need to make sure that we are not mawkish!  We can easily do so by speaking the Truth found in the Word of God in places of deception.
One of the greatest problems in Post-Modernism is confusion about individual responsibility.  It was Freud who told us that feelings of guilt were a sign not of vice, but of virtue.  That our problems stemmed from our mothers, not from our sin.
Finally, last week I conducted a funeral for a great lady, Gladys, who is the quintessential anti-Enlightenment, anti-Post-Modern saint. When she was 26 her husband was injured at work. For the rest of his life she cared for her beloved. He was basically a vegetable. She fed him, she bathed him. For 25 more years. She did everything for him. No complaints. No identity crisis. She just did it. When I asked her why she did not put him in a nursing home I was startled by her answer. “Never considered it,” she smiled, “He is my husband and I made a vow that I shall always keep.”
We stand squarely in the way of Post-Modernism. We reject the notion that reality is subjectively defined by each individual. No, Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Period. We do what we do for His pleasure and we share that pleasure. That is why we do what we do.

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