Monitoring ‘Dear Abby’ for Months Delivered an Eye-opening Discovery
To get a finger on the pulse of our culture, I decided to do an experiment. For months I’ve faithfully read the ‘Dear Abby’ advice columns to learn the current problems average people face in our topsy-turvy world.
This advice column is something of a national institution going back over sixty years and is a fairly reliable indicator of real people seeking real answers to real problems today. Daily it dispenses counsel to one hundred-ten million readers in fourteen hundred newspapers worldwide!
While growing up many of us read the columns out of curiosity or our parents clipped them out for us to teach us practical wisdom on topics like handling squabbles with in-laws and neighbors, family life, child-rearing, dating and good health. Sometimes there’d be an amusing account of a pet problem or handling grandma’s quirks.
Have you read the column lately? Are you aware how far things have departed into the bizarre as sinful conduct is airbrushed away while consequences remain? The eye-opening discovery I found was that scores of people are needlessly suffering because they simply don’t know truth.
Survey the Scene
Here’s a sampling of some of the column’s content (that’s appropriate for publication!).
• Twenty-five year old gay guy is dating a fifty year old divorced man who cheated on his wife with another young fellow who left him right before he met the next gay guy.
• An abused wife, once divorced, is miserable and wants to kill herself as her husband has them involved with swingers while she’s had emergency surgery and almost died but he resented her for it and now she doesn’t know if she should leave him.
• A woman married for twenty-nine years struggles that her husband asks for “threesomes” believing he won’t be complete without this though she’s hurt and contemplating divorce.
• After a spouse enters a long-term care facility the other wonders about “friends with benefits,” if it’s done discreetly.
• A lesbian, who’s dominant, is in a relationship with a woman but hurt because the other one doesn’t pay for dates.
• A wife married for 10 years discovered her mate putting nail polish on his toes and wonders if he’s a cross-dresser.
• Two married coworkers are spending “time” with each other as he plans on leaving his wife and children and she wonders whether to wait for him.
This is a window into America today. How about premarital sex, abortion, transgenders, pornography addicts, voyeurs and exhibitionists? Counsel given young people comes from unscriptural resources.
What’s the Point?
This experiment is another cultural indicator of our serious moral decline. It’s urgent to recognize America’s desperate need for spiritual awakening.
“Truth is fallen in the street” (Is. 59:14). We’ve drifted off course from our Judeo-Christian foundations and society is in meltdown.
Romans 1:21-32 outlines the downward spiral we’re experiencing: reject truth, lose discernment, reap moral chaos.
Prophetic “watchmen” highlight these discouraging developments to jolt people to cultural realities. Hopefully we’ll jettison complacency, pray fervently and engage responsibly for spiritual transformation.
George Otis, Jr., globe-trotting for decades documenting genuine awakenings, says there are three essentials for transformation:
1. Realize the gravity of the situation. 2. Understand time is running out. 3 Respond to God’s lifeline of opportunity through repentance and resolve to follow Him.
We’re Not Who We Think We Are
Researcher George Barna sobers us: “Only 10 percent of American adults have a Biblical worldview!” Seven of ten Americans call themselves “Christian”, yet surveys reveal serious departure from biblical truth.
His extensive work shows most Christian adults want to learn a biblical worldview on today’s issues but most Christian pastors won’t equip them! They fear losing giving members so they remain muzzled rather than being mouthpieces of truth.
Passing on Truth
Os Guinness, author of Impossible People, illustrated the importance of transmitting truth to the next generation.
In 1928 the relay race was introduced into the Olympics. TEAM USA was always on the winners’ platform at Olympic games. That is until 2008.
Apart from the Jamaicans, the Americans were fastest in the world yet this time gained no metals in the men’s or women’s relays! The problem: they were superb runners but failed in handing off the baton.
Here’s the deal: America’s crises is a crisis of truth. Millions have no moral compass. They’re adrift on a sea of confusion looking to Dear Abby and others for guidance. They need help!
The good news is that we’re commissioned as His ambassadors. We’ve been given a reprieve with this recent election and have the opportunity to be catalysts who turn things around! Our sacred responsibility is to pray and transfer truth as we engage people winsomely today.
Hurting people seeking answers from Abby are typical of people who need God’s Word. I strongly encourage you to avail yourself of the Bullseye Challenge that meets this need by preparing informed influencers in thirty days.
• “I highly recommend this innovative resource so we speak clearly, boldly and tenderly today!” – Mike Bickle, International House of Prayer
• “The cry of my heart is that we think biblically and speak clearly. I highly recommend Bullseye.” – Bill Johnson, Bethel Church
• “This comprehensive tool will make you a confident communicator in today’s confused culture!” – Dr. Michael Brown, Line of Fire radio program
• “This book and immediately accessible videos hit the bullseye for the church today! If every Christian took this challenge, we’d see America turned around.” – Jennifer LeClaire, Charisma magazine
Don’t delay! Lay hold of the baton in these desperate times.
“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, wisely using the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may KNOW HOW YOU SHOULD ANSWER EVERYONE” (Col.4:5-6 emphasis mine).
“Desperate times require desperate measures.” – Hippocrates
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