The Climate Of Our Day – Wanna Get away?
Some of you might remember the Southwest Airlines commercials that showed people in difficult, bad, or embarrassing situations, followed by the question, “Wanna get away?” As 2016 has drawn to a close and 2017 dawns on us, the political climate of our day has certainly left many of us wanting to just get away…away from social media…away from the news…away from charged conversations and situations…away from all of it! I mean, the frenzy is just too much, isn’t it? Everybody has an angle or agenda; everybody has thoughts and ideas about what is best and what isn’t; and everybody seems to have no problem belittling or demonizing “the other side” to try to get their way. So, I ask you…
Wanna get away?
Yeah, me too! But where do we go? I say we get away to Jesus, but…I can almost see some people rolling their eyes, tilting their head back, slumping their shoulders, sighing, and muttering these words:
“Great, yet ANOTHER topic that no one can relate to, agree on, or wants to hear because its not relevant and it gets people acting all a-fool!”
Am I right, or am I right? So, we can’t talk politics without starting a veritable war and firestorm of emotion and anger; and we can’t talk Jesus without doing the same. Anybody besides me ever stop to wonder why that is? I mean BOTH have the potential to affect our lives (and afterlife) the MOST, yet we are often instructed to openly discuss them the LEAST, or most likely…NOT AT ALL! That seems interesting to me.
No King, or rather…Not My President…let the Judges rule
Do you want to know why I have come to believe the Bible? I have come to believe it because what it says will happen happens. Oh, I know there are a lot of people out there making “predictions” that they supposedly got from the Bible, like when Jesus is coming back, but that is not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about simple proverbs or phrases that have the ability to transcend time and seem to speak to our days. Its like a golf course map. The little handout shows how the course is laid out and what each hole looks like so you can match certain things up to know where you are on the real thing. The Bible is like that as well. It gives us a map to history, not only of the past, but also history in advance! Sometimes we see things from history repeating and playing out in a different time and place, but the map still fits. One such historical happening that in many ways is playing out today is the book of Judges. A key phrase in that book is this one:
Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
How do I know it’s key? The Holy Spirit, AND…the phrase appears twice in the book of Judges, while “no king in Israel” is repeated four times within the book. If you’re saying, “so what?”, let me ask you this: did you never have a parent, teacher, or boss, say, “I’m saying this again because it’s important?” If you read the book of Judges, you find that the theme turns out to be a period of time in Israel’s history where they departed from their God-given order and core-values and descended into complete anarchy and chaos. Many heinous things are done, many in God’s name. I think it is significant that there is no king during this time and rule is carried out by a series of judges. Still don’t see the correlation with America today? Let me break it down for you…
There is no king…not my president;
“protesters” riot, revolt, loot, and destroy property…hey, it’s right in their eyes;
A panel of judges is interpreting the law…but is the interpretation by what is right in their own eyes or according to what the law actually says?
I’m just sayin’…I didn’t MAKE the shoe fit…it just does! Remember the golf course map analogy? Looks like a par 4, dog-leg left, pond in the corner, two sand traps before the green, Hole #12 to me (if you’re confused, reread the golf course analogy section from earlier and think about it…we’ll wait). So what do they say about learning from history?
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Careful – Bridge out ahead
So what’s wrong with doing what’s right in our own eyes, I mean, as long as we’re sincere and all? You can sincerely travel the road that has the bridge out, and guess what? It’ll still kill you if you keep going! Three different proverbs (technically four since one proverb is repeated) supply the answer concerning doing what’s right in our own eyes:
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Proverbs 14:12 (also Proverbs 16:25) There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
That thing about a way SEEMING right, but ending in DEATH…STATED TWICE…ought to get our attention! I know people who sincerely did what ultimately got them killed. There’s more to consider than just sincerity. And I love Proverbs 21:2…EVERY way of a man is right in his own eyes. Think about that for a moment. Very seldom do you hear someone say, “I know this way isn’t right, but I’m going that way anyway.” Why? Most go the way they go because they believe it to be the RIGHT way…sincerely! Very few travel willingly on the road that they KNOW will lead to their death, except those wanting to die, but that is another subject for another time. For now, which is the right way? How can you know? Just because others, or the majority, see it as the right way, does that still make it the right way? Obviously I’ve given you much to think about, and you should go and do just that. As you go though, here are a few more questions you need to begin to look into for yourself:
- Why do you believe what you believe?
- Is there evidence to support it?
- Has the evidence been interpreted by you or by someone else for you?
- Has the evidence been interpreted correctly?
- How do you know?
I’ll close with this. Another reason I have become a Bible believer is that it doesn’t just paint the rosy red picture of “all is well and bliss.” It paints reality….the good, the bad, and the ugly. It does not back away from difficult and hard topics and questions. But it does offer hope…hope of something beyond existing for a little while and then just disappearing forever and ever. The Bible shows the dastardly deeds of the religious “in God’s name”, even done by those he calls “his people”, as well as the ability of a person who has rejected God or the idea of God to still be moral and descent. If you stumble across this blog and you’re an Atheist, I get where you’re coming from, but I would caution you about pointing out all the evils of religion, because I can also point out all the evils perpetuated by professed Atheists. There is a place for generalizations, but seldom, if ever, is it fit for lumping groups of people into boxes. Maybe next time we’ll get into the topic of interpretations. Until then…think about those questions! Thanks for reading.