We’re familiar with Isaiah’s warning: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” 

So how could opposites ever trade places?  How could people be persuaded that something obviously bitter is actually sweet, evil be fobbed off as good?  One tactic is the clever and growing use of two little six-letter words.  

First Word:  Modern

Calling something modern implies that what went before must be old-fashioned.  Which means out-of date.  Which means useless.  Which means it’s not applicable in today’s “with it” world.

Second Word:  Theory

A theory is new, different, exciting, a promise of something better.  And, especially, a possible replacement for old-fashioned practices and values.  It also appeals to those who like to be first – first to be smart enough to “understand” it, first to be brave enough to advocate it.  Early believers become distinguished as debate ensues.  Theory proposers stand out from the crowd.

Calling something a theory also deflects opposition if a claim is too bold.  Advocates can answer that it’s only an idea that “deserves study” and listeners should “have an open mind.”  That’s good enough for their purposes.  Seeds are planted. 

The idea is that a theory in place long enough becomes less arguable and may indeed become a practice or be seen as a truth.

In-Between Words and Upside-Down Results

Now place a concept between the two words and we creep closer to the world Isaiah warned us about.  Consider the creepiness of these theories in current circulation:

  • Modern Gender Theory – feelings and self-identification rather than biology determine a person’s gender and how the world should view zim and ver.  Gender is a social construct. 
  • Modern Monetary Theory – if the national debt is too burdensome, print more money.  Don’t worry, raising taxes won’t affect the economy. 
  • Modern Police Theory – defund the police and commission social workers to defend citizens.
  • Modern History Theory – change the reasons historical events happened, such as the 1619 Project re-defining America’s beginning.
  • Modern Critical Theory – ridicule the wisdom of classical literature. 

Might others be just around the corner?

  • Modern Family Theory – eliminate use of such words as father, mother, son, daughter, brother sister …   What’s that you say?  They’re already doing this?  In Congress?!
  • Modern Income Theory – give everyone a universal basic income to cover the expenses of life.  Use initials UBI to give it heft. 
  • Modern Education Theory – if people are given a universal basic income, why not give everyone a college diploma as well?  Everyone will be smart and rich.
  • Modern Victim Theory – encourage people to be easily offended, quick to blame others and to excuse their own behavior.  Personal responsibility is old-fashioned. 
  • Modern Diversity Theory – be inclusive of people of diverse backgrounds, but only if their thinking conforms to the theories of the day.
  • Modern Religion Theory – churches are discriminating and oppose those who don’t believe as they do.  They should be heavily regulated.
  • Modern Sin Theory – this begins as situational ethics or relative morality guided by whims.  It culminates in the total repudiation of sin, the “whatever a man does is no crime” philosophy of Korihor.

The point is this:  If people ignore obvious realities such as male and female, if they believe debt can be eliminated by printing more money, if situation ethics determines morality, and so forth, the ability to distinguish good and evil deteriorates just as Isaiah warned. 

More importantly, how likely are such people to recognize the truths of the gospel?

Gary Lawrence is an author and pollster. He welcomes comments about his articles, so contact him at:  [email protected]