Recently I caught a segment of the old seventies sitcom, Good Times, on TVLand. This particular episode was about a pregnant teen girl. The segment I saw was a conversation between this girl and Thelma, the teenage daughter of the Evans family upon which the program centered.
As I listened to this scripted conversation between two actors in the 1970s I was amazed. Thelma basically preached a sermon. As she asked the girl about what it was like to be pregnant, she shared her convictions about abstinence and waiting until marriage. She spoke of how her parents might react and how she respected them. It wasn’t preachy, but the message was clear- sex before marriage was not the wisest choice.
Could you even imagine that type of conversation occurring between two TV character’s now? I can’t. If there were such a conversation now between two TV teens- one of which being pregnant- it would probably focus on whether or not to abort.
Much has changed in thirty years- which brings me to the title of this post. Is this evidence of a slippery slope?
As a preacher I have heard this term and the idea it represents being spoken of numerous times and usually I have dismissed it. Mainly I have not liked the context of its usage. For instance, I heard the slippery slope used in a camp board meeting to prevent campers from wearing knee-length shorts. Someone actually suggested that shorts would lead to campers having sex in the woods and therefore should not be approved. To me that was not a slippery slope, but a leap completely off the mountain.
Another time the slippery slope blocked the use of overhead technology to project songs during worship. If we did that, we were told, the next step would be “rolling in the aisles”- whatever that meant.
So I have not been a big adherent to the slippery slope idea.
But then I watch this old TV show and compare it to the junk we are served now. Wow. It does seem we, as a society, have slipped morally. As much as I dread saying it- because I always have dreaded hearing it in a church setting- I do wonder what may be next.
I have two young children. What will they be watching in thirty years?
All of this takes me back to Christ’s familiar words in his Sermon on the Mount. We are called to be salt and light in order to witness kingdom values to a world slipping down the slope into lostness.
For if there is anything that can stop the avalanche- it is God.