The Proverbs of Solomon He that walketh uprightly walketh surely; But he that perverteth his ways shall be known (Proverbs 10:9, ASV). It’s very important for people to have dignity and integrity in their lives. The word dignity means one is worthy of honor and respect, while integrity means one is honest, having strong moral principles. One’s dignity is sacrificed if the life lived is not worthy of honor or respect. For instance, a person chooses to wallow in pits with hogs engaged in behavior that is destructive to his or her life. This could means drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, greed and many other things. Once this dignity is sacrificed it is exceptionally hard to get back. Associated with dignity is integrity. The strong moral principles that a person should live by, once sacrificed, means the person wanders from one way of thinking to another, like a piece of driftwood on the water. Perhaps in the lives of each of us we have wondered about ourselves whether or not we have cut into or own dignity and integrity, weakening the two pillars in our life that give self-respect. The proverb gives an exhortation that it does not have to be that way, and it won’t be if a choice is made, from the beginning, to choose the Lord’s way. What if I didn’t choose the Lord’s way at the beginning? Then start now. It may be your bad-reputation will follow you, but as you choose to follow the Lord, what was once lost will soon return because people notice the one who walks uprightly, according to a standard not his own. RT
In the news we read of the moral failings of many people in relation to sexual harassment and unwanted advances. Whatever it is that you think about that, do you think those accused would like to run away and hide from the accusations if they could? Perhaps some refuse to run away, but instead are determined to stand and fight, looking to expose the accuser of the evil perpetrated wrongly. On the other hand, it’s not unreasonable for those guilty for there to be a strong desire to run away and hide.
It illustrates exactly a principle of life many live with in a church context as well. When trouble brews, then blooms, many want to run away and hide. Why is this? Running away and hiding means one hides self from conflict and heartache. At least, this is intended. No one wants to experience either, but the experiencing of one or both is related, perhaps, to the proverb in Proverbs 18, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment” (18:1, ESV).
Seeks his own desire – which is what? Hiding from the problem so one does not have to face it. The shame and embarrassment are powerful “tools” that prevents some from owning up and facing a moral failing. Don’t think you are immune from such an unspiritual disposition. Not a one of us, I am sure, believes “I will run away so I don’t have to face it” way of thinking, yet it so often happens to be the ones who boldly state such a conviction quickly departs.
We run away because the embarrassment is great, because one must admit something thought or done was (is) wrong and because one feels so low the lowly one can walk underneath a pregnant ant (if you will)!
Such an approach means the problem is not fixed. Even if one starts afresh elsewhere, the problem at the previous location is not fixed.
The proper solution is to make it right. RT
The Sentence of Death
In the Columbus Dispatch today (11.25.2017, A-8), the headline reads that the once-Olympian had his sentence doubled for the murder of his once-girl friend. Initially, Oscar Pistorius received a sentence of a little more than 6 years in prison for her murder. He maintains her death was by accident, but a court in South Africa was not convinced, thus his 6 years. Life, evidently, is not valued highly in South Africa, at least not in the case surrounding Pistorius and his once girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
As if righteous indignation seemed to get the better of the court system, his verdict, on appeal, was double to a little over 13 years.
13 years? That is all he got for conviction of murder?
She no longer has life, and he gets 13 years in prison! No longer do her parents have a daughter, and he gets 13 years?
Via an attorney, her parents now believe justice was served in this matter. Justice was not served. According to the Lord, when one is convicted of murder, the life of the convicted one should be taken from him. From the time of antiquity, the Lord said as much. “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made He man” (Genesis 9:6, Jewish Publication Society Bible).
Those who have no love-loss for the Lord will speak against such justice, but the course (path) they are on and the path they take us down is the de-valuing of life. Is that the justice you want? The Lord does not, for He spoke on the matter already. RT
Angela Lansbury, a female actress into her tenth decade of life commented in an interview that some women must take some blame for the sexual harassment problem in society. “There are two sides to this coin,” Lansbury, 92, said. “We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive. And unfortunately it has backfired on us — and this is where we are today.”
In this she is correct.
There is no justification for sexual harassment, violation or any kind of wrong-doing that might be perpetrated against another person. Yet, there are many contribution factors.
- On November 4, 2017, there is a report from Paris with the headline “Paris Opens its First-Ever Naked Restaurant.”
- Hooter’s restaurant now has a change in strategy because older patrons have more interest in breast than younger patrons.
- In May of 2016, a report spoke of provocative dress and sexual responsibility.
- “A Democratic Congresswoman is under fire after saying that women are partially to blame for sexual assault and harassment in the way they dress and act.”
Thoughtful people see this as well as they see the sun shine in the sky. Agenda-oriented people, however, can’t see this at all, even as it stares them in the face. Why? Because that demands accountability/responsibility, and some think even if a woman walked naked down the street there is no justification to violation. This is true.
No justification, but a contribution.
In the earliest days of human history, the Lord said this will occur: “To the woman he said, ‘I will greatly increase your labor pains; with pain you will give birth to children. You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you” (Genesis 3:16, NET). One expositor said about this passage, “…a conflict between the man and the woman. She will desire to control him, but he will dominate her instead.”
How does she do this? There are many contributing factors. Negatively, generally speaking, she can’t overpower him physically, but she can drop him to his knees sexually.
Of course, not all females are like this, and neither is it the case that all men are brutes.
There is no justification for sexual harassment or unwanted advances by one toward another. However, this will occur, and it will never stop when men (people) have no interest in the Lord’s way, though there is great interest in the ways of man. “They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world’s perspective and the world listens to them” (1 John 4:5).
No justification for wrong, but many contributions generate wrong-doing. RT
The headline reads “Misbehaving politicians erode public confidence, DeWine [Ohio Attorney General] says.”
No doubt this is the case, but “witch-hunt” politicians, media and others in the community make significant contributions to the same eroding of public confidence.
All the media does is report, someone might reply. Yes, reporting they may do, but the way the story is reported or written makes a great deal of difference.
Moreover, in a secular society, standards of morality are not even extant! If there is some semblance of a moral compass, it is soon changed because someone was hurt in their feelings.
There was a day when sexual immorality was deemed wrong, and people knew why. Not anymore. Today, sexual immorality is hard to define and identify. There was a day when some knew this or that was wrong (or right), and could tell you why it was wrong (or right). People now use their opinion to determine what is right and wrong.
Chaos is now the norm.
It is reported that Andrew Jackson (Democrat) once said, “That Book [Bible] Sir, is the Rock upon which our republic rests.” Since our society no longer rests upon the Book, with the Foundation gone, soon we will be. It is the height of arrogance to think this will not occur.
Look at history.
In an editorial (10.3.2017), the Columbus Dispatch admonished readers “not to leap to conclusions about how best to combat this kind of violence” before the facts are all in. The kind of violence the editorial had in mind was that perpetrated by a morally deranged man in Las Vegas, having killed nearly sixty people and injured eight times as many!
One man, however, produced a commentary meme (on Facebook) about how much easier it is to own a particular firearm than it is at being a barber. He would resist my characterization of his commentary-jumping to a conclusion, but in this context, he certainly did. He has often spoken in favor of gun-control (as a very thoughtful man, though one may disagree with him, his words need to be considered).
The man guilty of a deranged act was himself morally deranged. He fires and hope to escape judgment. Escape, he did not. Though he killed himself to escape police arrest. He now is before the Lord Almighty! In a context where the writer speaks of why Jesus came to this earth, and that He is coming again, the Holy Spirit said this: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27, KJV). The morally deranged man did not escape judgment. Yet, in our society, one would not know this at all; apart from some religious folk, nothing is said about such things.
Though the Dispatch heeded us to be more discriminating in conclusion jumping, they also noted the frequency of gun violence escalating in society. What kind of solution is there to these violent atrocities? They admit there are no easy solutions, but a number of options are available to be pursued. Such options are 1) better mental health care, 2) “regulations making it harder for people with mental illness and those with violent pasts top own guns”, 3) “aggressive enforcement against illegal sales.”
Perhaps these suggestions are worthy of serious consideration, but the one solution that should have been proffered, but was not is what is most troubling. The solution I have in mind is much longer in implementation, at the very least a generation’s amount of time. But, given the “solutions” in place already, “the deep cultural rift that makes the problem so difficult to even talk about” will be, and currently are, a waste of time.
What solution do I have in mind?
In the latest issue of Apologetics Press (October 2017, p. 10), Kyle Butt wrote a brief article on how “people all over the world associate atheism with immorality.” It is true, and recognized within the article, that some atheists are moral people. Their morality, however, is not based on atheistic ideology, but an ideology that has its source in theism. It is theism, especially Christian theism, that speaks of transcendent love, kindness, courtesy, respect and behavioral qualities of this sort. Of course, atheists will affirm the same, but as mentioned, they have no foundational reason to do such. Moreover, what separates atheistic approach from the Christian approach is its lack of accountability.
Christian philosophy/ideology teaches that actions and thoughts lived on this earth are accountable to Almighty God, who will bring all into judgment. “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30-31, KJV). Atheism can’t give any good reason for a moral foundation that obligates man to act in a certain way; all atheistic ideology can hope to accomplish is that others agree with them, with society compelling behavior norms; of course, this is not a morality based on moral virtue of a righteous Judge, but a “morality” based on self-preservation. Yet, as we look at society as it has implemented this approach, not much is accomplished.
On the other hand, in accordance with the Lord’s way, Jesus said “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). In this exhortation from the Lord we have: 1) a community standard (peace), 2) there is a moral standard (holiness), 3) and accountability.
Yes, it is true the morally deranged will not heed the Lord’s counsel. It’s also true, the Lord’s way is the best solution known to man; man won’t implement, however, because he wants an atheistic society.
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-910282 (Why I Raise My Children Without God)
Here are a few of the reasons why I am raising my children without God.
God is a bad parent and role model. If God is our father, then he is not a good parent. Good parents don’t allow their children to inflict harm on others. Good people don’t stand by and watch horrible acts committed against innocent men, women and children. They don’t condone violence and abuse. “He has given us free will,” you say? Our children have free will, but we still step in and guide them. RT – this is in accordance with what atheist think is the best argument for why God does not exist. In fact, it is not that strong of an argument at all. If this is the best they can offer, there is not much offering at all, except upon the offering grill wherein the argument is burnt up! Let us begin by asking what is a good parent. If she offers her perspective, as she did, why is that good and not the perspective some other offers that is different. She has arbitrarily put forth a standard she can hardly defend without going into the realm of self-defeat. Her remark about the children, free-will and parental guidance falls flat when a real parent reflects on the actions of children. Does she stop her children in all respects from engaging is bad/evil deed? If she says she does her best, then about those times she fails, does that make her a bad parent, a bad role model? If for one, then the other.
God is not logical. How many times have you heard, “Why did God allow this to happen?” And this: “It’s not for us to understand.” Translate: We don’t understand, so we will not think about it or deal with the issue. Take for example the senseless tragedy in Newtown. Rather than address the problem of guns in America, we defer responsibility to God. He had a reason. He wanted more angels. Only he knows why. We write poems saying that we told God to leave our schools. Now he’s making us pay the price. If there is a good, all-knowing, all-powerful God who loves his children, does it make sense that he would allow murders, child abuse, wars, brutal beatings, torture and millions of heinous acts to be committed throughout the history of mankind? Doesn’t this go against everything Christ taught us in the New Testament? RT – this follows the same train of thought in the first paragraph. She offered nothing that was substantive, only a response to what she thinks she heard from others. Perhaps she did hear some of these things and, perhaps, there are some who are of shallow understanding that they could offer nothing themselves of substance. She said God is not logical, but not a single time in these two paragraphs of hers did she offer any substance (premises) that results in the conclusion God is not logical. She offered nothing but questions, perplexities and her own sentiment as to why this should or should not happen. The issue in Newtown, or any other town is not the material object that was used in the committing of a crime, any crime – this is exactly the thinking of shallow people – deal only with the surface!
As parents do, God does. He allows for man to live as he chooses. Parents do the same. They offer their displeasure or the support in the actions of their children. The actions and thinking of the children are, by-and-large, a reflection of the parental guidance given! The Almighty does similar. Those who accept His holy purpose for their individual lives will in no way render harm to another person. Those who are taught the Lord’s way, but refuse it – that is another matter.
What an irony! She asked, “Why did we allow this to happen?” meaning those who did are bad parents! She denies it can be fixed by God, but what a great job “she” did in her own philosophical training of children with the confusing moral compass of atheism. In fact, atheism has no moral compass; they have to steal or make use of that which originates in the mind of God, call it their own, and say the Creator of the moral code does not exist!
God is not fair. If God is fair, then why does he answer the silly prayers of some while allowing other, serious requests, to go unanswered? I have known people who pray that they can find money to buy new furniture. (Answered.) I have known people who pray to God to help them win a soccer match. (Answered.) Why are the prayers of parents with dying children not answered? RT – she attributes unfairness to God, a Being she denies exists. Since she, however, sees unfairness in both the trivial and the serious, then it must be the case God does not exist. This is nothing but the ploy of emotion. Questions asked and not answered prove nothing, except to raise one’s wonder. Nothing substantive here.
God does not protect the innocent. He does not keep our children safe. As a society, we stand up and speak for those who cannot. We protect our little ones as much as possible. When a child is kidnapped, we work together to find the child. We do not tolerate abuse and neglect. Why can’t God, with all his powers of omnipotence, protect the innocent? RT – A remarkable point of criticism when liberals, progressives, secularists, atheists and agnostics think it is okay to butcher them in the womb. I guess liberals, progressives, secularists, atheists and agnostics don’t exist! Why don’t those who have so much love for the defenseless protect the unborn innocent? This point of hers goes back to what the atheist thinks is the strongest argument they have. The difference between those of her persuasion and the Lord is this: those of her persuasion can’t really render justice, while the Lord will (Hebrews 9:27).
God is not present. He is not here. Telling our children to love a person they cannot see, smell, touch or hear does not make sense. It means that we teach children to love an image, an image that lives only in their imaginations. What we teach them, in effect, is to love an idea that we have created, one that is based in our fears and our hopes. RT – thus, one’s conscience does not exist! One can’t see, smell, touch or hear conscience, therefore it does not exist and lives only in a non-existent imagination.
God Does Not Teach Children to Be Good. A child should make moral choices for the right reasons. Telling him that he must behave because God is watching means that his morality will be externally focused rather than internally structured. It’s like telling a child to behave or Santa won’t bring presents. When we take God out of the picture, we place responsibility of doing the right thing onto the shoulders of our children. No, they won’t go to heaven or rule their own planets when they die, but they can sleep better at night. They will make their family proud. They will feel better about who they are. They will be decent people. RT – This is utter nonsense! An atheist has no moral foundation, except that which belongs to the Judeo-Christian religion. On what basis would an atheist say it is wrong to commit adultery? “It will hurt someone” the reply might be. So? If hedonism is the moral philosophy of a person, he/she can do what is desired. I gues, her family is proud of this hedonistic moral philosophy.
God Teaches Narcissism. “God has a plan for you.” Telling kids there is a big guy in the sky who has a special path for them makes children narcissistic; it makes them think the world is at their disposal and that, no matter what happens, it doesn’t really matter because God is in control. That gives kids a sense of false security and creates selfishness. “No matter what I do, God loves me and forgives me. He knows my purpose. I am special.” The irony is that, while we tell this story to our kids, other children are abused and murdered, starved and neglected. All part of God’s plan, right? RT – I wonder if she knows the dictionary definition of Narcissism. Here are three definitions from Google: 1) excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance, 2) extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type, 3) self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder. What Christian teaching, name just one, comes anything close to this. On the other hand, this is part and parcel of atheism. As she closed her essay, she spoke of the value of religion, but since her materialistic viewpoint is only of this world, she has bought into the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), and he is happy she did.
The God she chooses to deny existence to is the very one she will stand before one day. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” This is her choice, however.
Not long ago, I had a brief email conversation with a brother in New York regarding the recent situation in Ferguson, Missouri. A brother in Alabama shared his thoughts on the situation in Missouri with an email post that contained nothing but Scripture. Evidently, it hit the brother in New York hard, and negatively. He sent me an email expressing himself with pointed (but not unchristian) words disapproving of the post. If an email can have “passionate” written all over it this one did. I thought about engaging him in a debate, but I restrained myself from doing so, and only sent him a note:
“No fear, brother. What is important is dialogue, the Lord’s teaching, and the application of His higher will to our lives. From a distance, I am in no position to judge, so I don’t. Isn’t it a good thing the Lord looks past our individual failings as we live in the midst of collective failings? But for the grace of God there go I. I did a quick reading of your email. Tomorrow I will read again. Have a great evening, brother. You are an asset to the saints in your service to the Lord.”
Passions can run high when from a distance a person judges something with incomplete information. When such occurs misunderstanding perpetuates. In my estimation, this is what happened here. The next morning he wrote me and was very pleased with what I said and wished me nothing but the best.
It may never be easy to know just how to respond to human situations like that which occurred in Missouri; but, on the other hand, if Romans 12:9-21 is applied, we know exactly how to respond.
Not long ago there was a letter to the editor that took exception to that which I wrote. It was not a particularly strong exception, but one that was present just the same. In fact, one could read the letter and think it was but a “slap on the hands” given me.
I was grateful to read it and had hoped that others would give response to what I wrote more than just the one I have seen.
In any case, the gist of the letter was that 1) The “Catholic Church has and will continue to maintain that Holy Matrimony is indissoluble between one man and one woman,” and 2) “[e]very effort must be undertaken in these contemporary times to engage those who profess perfectly or imperfectly their faith in Christ.”
Without dealing with the first point, let me address the second. It is true that the Lord’s church should seek to make a positive difference in the lives of those who struggle with sin. This approach not only applies to those outside of Christ, but those in Christ who continue to struggle. The nature of the sin is immaterial, struggling with whatever it is – people need an answer and a spiritual place where others can assist. Who of us can’t relate with such a sentiment?
Being able to relate is tremendously important, but no saint should even entertain the thought, much less speak it, that it is okay to compromise the Lord’s way for the benefit of making oneself acceptable to a larger number of people. Frankly put, there is no way we can improve upon the Lord’s message and method, so we ought not to try. Yes, it may be true, that more flies will be caught with honey than with some other trap – but a trap is all that it is. It is a feigned effort with a disguise that will fall off.
Just how strong are you? Are you so strong emotionally, physically, or spiritually that you won’t let another see your weakness’? Some people are not afraid to show their vulnerabilities to another; others won’t even consider such a thought. In fact, some go to great lengths to hide the vulnerabilities and weaknesses that exist within, and if one gets close to seeing and exposing (even if there is a desire to help) those weaknesses then heavy artillery comes out! Unbeknownst to a good many people, however, is that one’s weakness (singular or plural) is already exposed and known. Most definitely the Lord knows them (Hebrews 4:12), and many times fellow saints know them also. The great effort at hiding, then, is not so much because it is desired that others won’t see it (though this is true), but because we are hiding ourselves behind an imaginary wall of protection.