School Tragedy.

What does the person who has just experienced a tragedy of unimaginable evil such as what happened recently in Florida do immediately after hearing the news? When your son/daughter left that morning with the books and homework in the backpack, you reminded him/her to pay attention, and . . . . “I love you . . . . see you later”.

A friend calls. You tune into breaking news. You drive to the school. You’re holding your breath. You want to see him/her running to you. You couldn’t imagine the horror, but now you see it. Police everywhere. Sirens blazing. Students running. Yellow tapes. Helicopters hovering. Cameras and reporters. Parents wanting to know.

Sorry. Your son/daughter was killed.

Weep. Cry till the eyes dry. Weep some more. Pray. Grab a pillow and weep. Do not disturb me?  I want some answers God. Why? Why? That was a good school. Why here? Peacefully attending school as he/she had done 5 days a week for the last 12 years. Why? Why Mine? Why would someone do such a thing? Why? Oh God I need your help. Weep some more. And now you must make decisions. Arrangements. Casket. Grave site. Funeral Service. Family time. Time alone. Weep again. More decisions. More arrangements. Try to keep a stiff upper lip holding back the tears as friends and relatives come by expressing their sorrow.

When the week passes, the loss returns in the morning as the school bell rings, every evening as expectations of their return from school you weep some more. Every evening sitting at the dinner table trying to keep the conversations on the light side. I should have told him/her I love you more often. I never should have done that. Oh, why did I ever say such and such?  I should have been a better mother/father. I should have bought that for him/her. We should have gone on that vacation.

Why? Oh God, if you’re real, why did you let this happen? Why?

 

An answer came: “I’ve been kicked out of schools.”

Tolerating the intolerant.

Over the past few days as the events within this freedom loving country of ours takes the news by storm evolving and escalating to the point that even those who do not keep-up with the news as our busy life demands upon our time, know once civil society is getting out of hand into the weird.  Most likely, you’ve heard about the student uprisings on college campuses demanding a complete stop to offensive behavior and/or speech. One event recently captivated my attention that sums up all the others. A Wooster college in Ohio sit in, students taking over Galpin Hall on January 24, 2018.

“The students demand that all new students and faculty be required to enroll in a ‘cultural competency training course’ that will begin during orientation week and continue throughout the whole first year. The Center of Diversity and Inclusion will determine the content of this training course, but it must be submitted to the student activists for review at least once a year.” [a]

Hmm? And here I had thought that the American civil behavior toward each other was already an ingrained part of cultural competency was based on the Judeo-Christian admonition that we must treat others the way we would like to be treated. On the most part we were kind, considerate, respectful, easy going, saying ‘thank you’, ‘you’re welcome’, ‘I’m sorry’, ‘is there anything I can do’, opening the door for the elderly and ladies, patiently waiting in line, preferring others the right of way, putting a check on our tongue during family gatherings and the office coffee break, respecting the property of others, politely disagreeing without being disagreeable and on and on we’d act day-in day-out.

Perhaps I’ve been wrong and that there’s another side to: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Matt 7:12

Now the student’s demand “safe zones”, a nice quiet place where they can feel safe from unwanted interruptions, conversations, some zones even offering coloring books and crayons to help escape the bigotry of others. Bigotry is defined as: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.

Hmm? So, as a Christian if I stand by and say anything whatsoever about my faith which you disagree with then I’m guilty and intolerant, I’m silenced and found guilty being punished for “hate speech”, and you’ll go to a safe zone to recuperate.  Just yesterday, a creationist speaker was dis-invited to speak on campus. Evidently his talk would have been offensive. A mayor has issued subpoenas of the sermons of the local pastors in case any kind of “hate speech” was involved.

Is society now facing a new ‘social revival’ of sorts.

Does this current generation look at America as having a long history of bigotry?  Yes, you can say that America has a history of being bigoted toward others not of their own kind.

The US was established as a democratic-republic based on Judeo-Christian morality of right and wrong, but our actual history has been filled with intolerance. Our frontiersmen pushed the natives out as our expansion into the west developed. The Indians were not wanting to be engaged with the ‘white man’ and his ways. The same was true for the millions of Europeans immigrating here: Scandinavians found other Scandinavians to live near. Italians desired to live near other Italians, the Jews with the Jews. The same with the French, the Germans, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese. They tolerated others but desired companionship of their own kind. It was part of the American dream: one nation under God, indivisible and with liberty to all. Tolerating the others while desiring fellowship with their own kind rather than forced diversity.

America does have a long history of bigotry toward “blacks, or people of color” being brought here and sold as slaves to the land owners in the south and the rich of the north. The free ones in the north expanding westward sought to live near and with their own kind. The southern states forced total separation, which did not end until Lincoln signed the bill officially ending slavery and ML King gave his famous speech. It was bigotry. It was intolerance. But haven’t we moved on from there?

Both sides of my parents were Swedish immigrants. At first we lived near other Swedes and went to a dominate Swedish church, then moved to a varied neighborhood where the high school in the 50’s of Chicago had been integrated with a few ‘black’ students living in near-by neighborhoods. That was my first encounter with those of dark colored skin and we behaved in school with tolerance; some playing football or basketball and in the band. Back in those days there were a few students who just didn’t fit the boy hormones of flirting with girls. They walked and talked differently without any outwardly shown affections for boys instead of girls. We’d quietly snicker ‘queer’. It was a considered a private matter.

We’ve come a long way since those days. Now it’s common to see integrated marriages, neighborhoods, schools and churches. Europeans with Asians, blacks with whites, browns with blacks, with Asians. Families with mixed children. Mixed together tolerating all. The brotherhood of man, as Christianity says all humankind came from the same heritage going back to the first male and female through the lines of Noah and his family; middle-eastern Arabs. Our differences are only outward appearances in skin tone and facial make-ups, that’s all, simply a fact of mixing biological genes over the centuries.

Yes, America does have a long history of intolerance towards those of a different shade and we’ve come a long way to overcome those prejudices. Now there’s this new side that is being highlighted, that of the intolerances toward the LGBT’s demanding complete open tolerance of their life choices and doing away with what they call as ‘white-privilege’. Elementary Schools are telling the kiddies that having two daddies, or two mommies is normal, that’s it’s natural for a boy to dress like a girl if that is her desire and wanting to use the girl’s locker room is fine, and even competing against girls running track is wonderful.

And, another side to this upheaval is that of those desiring the right to abort the life growing within at any time for any reason. Sexual freedom outside marriage without consequences. It’s also been noted that less and less of the younger generations are attending church on a regular basis as evolutionary atheism gains more ground denying coaches pre-game prayer time with their team, denying students to hold bible studies outside class, denying parents to instill Christian ethics in their children.

So, where are we headed as a society?  How will the future look?

Celebrity Worship

Oprah for president. She is reported to have received a thundering applause from celebrities attending the Oscar whatever. Yeah, yes, go for it. Her home was one of those hit by the recent mud slides in an affluent neighborhood of California. She’s a TV star. She hosted her own show entertaining millions of us for years. She’s African-American. She’s a woman. She’s known all over the world. Her name is familiar to everyone. She’s a world traveler. She supports civil rights. She’s been seen giving food to the homeless in Africa. She can give a speech without a script. She’s rich and famous. What more could we want.

According to some recent polls, Oprah would out star Trump in the 2012 elections by 10 points or more.

Trump was a celebrity. Obama was provided celebrity status. Clinton was a celebrity.

Merriam-Webster defines it as “the state of being celebrated.”  Society celebrates these icons, luminaries, megastar somebodies as standouts and super-stars because they’re a VIP, because one-day in the past they were a nobody, or they were born as a VIP.

One must be a celebrity to win the adulation of enough people to win an election. Your name must be known. Your face must be recognizable. What you have said must be popular. There must be an attractive nature to your voice. You must be good on the eyes. When the media likes you, they will hold back private investigators from digging deep into secret pages of your history.

If you’re not known well-enough to get the attention of the media, forget it.

The media? An entire cyclopedia collection could be and has been written about the media, about the effect of television and this global internet on the populace. Newspapers are losing ground, are looking for ways to keep and attract more readers. Newsmagazines are losing subscribers. Broadcast news finds something to grab our attention in-between commercials that grab our attention.

So, what are we doing with the time? Quietly listening to Beethoven and Bach is out and Hip Rap Rock is in. Kids are spending play time playing games on-line and the 60” screen. Riding a bicycle thru the neighbor hood is dangerous. Playing choose-your team games after school has been handed over to professionals. Education is common-core so no child should repeat a grade or get a “D”.

Technocracy has taken over. Social media is outdoing personal conversational time together over a hot cup of coffee.

We must be busy all the time. We must be involved in something all the time. To sit and just watch nature for ten minutes, for half an hour is not even imaginable. To be quiet enough to hear the trees whistle, the birds chirp, the waters ripple has been put aside for the noise on the screen.

In these retirement years I spend the mornings reading the latest that technology brings to my eyes. Push a button and there it is right before me to digest or just read passing the time: the newest and latest, the newest updates on yesterday’s new news. On and on it goes, day-in day-out 24/7. I have my favorite tabs ready to be opened to pass more time, and then saved in the history folder to be brought up to read and watch again.

We get irritated when someone offends our sensibilities. We write a comment if the writer of a post missed a point that was more important than the point the originator of the post was pointing out.

Are we there yet? Have we become a nation, a world that amuses ourselves to death? Have we become a nation of heretics?

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

  • Neil Postman | Penguin Books Publisher

Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics

  • Ross Douthat | Free Press Publisher

Changing broken down society

This morning as I was thumbing my way around this keyboard of letters, numbers, dots and dashes, my mind wandering thither and fro, unable to hook onto a some thing energizer as the Lord seemed a long way off somehwere else, when I came upon this blog post:

how to change America

 By | December 21st, 2017|Uncategorized

Driving through D.C. today had me thinking about something: how can we get through the sludge of big government and actually make a good change in this nation, and do so virtually overnight? Along a similar line of thinking, how could the (true) Church make some noise that would virtually cripple the entire nation, yet, while doing so, move it in a hugely positive direction?

Well, rest assured, this isn’t far-fetched. Here’s how we can change America in twoveryeasy steps.

Are you ready? [This is not a joke, by the way.]

Step #1: Every single Christian family that names the name of Christ pulls their kid out of the public school system in one day.

Step #2: Every single local church immediately stops all building projects and fundraisers related to said buildings, stops all debt-incurring purchases, and begins the process of helping those in need to fund their children’s Christianeducation.

There it is. No hemming-hawing, no excuse making. No hesitations. Just a quick pursuit of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and bam, the socialistic system collapses overnight. Fight property taxes (which is theft anyway because God owns the land, not the state); stop humanism dead in its tracks. Get better education through Christian schools and homeschooling, and grab the attention of the entire nation in two easy steps as we take the Bible seriously enough to rid ourselves of paganism and socialism.

 

Simple.

Computers and Creation

“You’re looking at the computer screen before you turn it on; it’s black, it’s nothing, just a blank screen. Was that how it was before the Almighty created light? You press the on button and that energy makes the screen come alive with the background you chose. You see the pictures or diagrams of your favorite places to go, waiting for you to point to it pressing the button on the mouse. Who created those icons? How did they get there? What makes it tick? If it’s overloaded or the devise is old, you may see a tiny blue circle going round and round.

“This entire physical universe is made up of millions and perhaps billions of trillions of configurations of those tiny atoms and molecules. That computer is made up of different configurations of the basics of 1 and 0, millions or billions of those two basics in different bunches create the pictures, the software, the games within that cell phone and computer. Someone, or the entire office full of programmers figured out how to do it. That computer did not fall into place over millions of years by random happenings of 1 and 0, the electrical current of a positive and negative, a yes or a no, it’s on or it’s off. Nope, a designer made it appear alive and do what it does when you press buttons, and there are certain rules you must follow and be mindful of to use it correctly.

“The same with this universe: a master designer had to do it and we must take to heart and apply those rules for us to live correctly as the designer programmed, or we just go round and round in circles.

“We want to solve our mysteries, but some will never be scientifically solved and we don’t like that.

Okay, the major question to these secular humanistic atheists is: how and where did that first physical molecule or atom come from? What caused those to expand into more, expanding into more? They say it was a big bang. Now a bang must have a force making something go bang. “Was there a time when it all began? There it is, the one element that’s missing in our deliberations: the concept of time. Time always moves. The clocks ticks. The sun and moon rise and disappear. The calendar changes. But, the almighty is beyond time, before time; therefore no beginnings, no endings, only now. Its something we can’t comprehend as we’ve been immersed in this time element with a beginning and an ending. Time was a brand new element from the first ray of light, just as this physical realm was a brand new element inside the spiritual.”

 

Copied from “Considering the Ant”. The novel by Arnold

Male and Female created He them.

You know the story. One human meets another human and through time they begin to love each other. The one proposes. The other accepts, and the date is set. Off they go for the union celebration and later a new human is brought unto them, who is nurtured, instructed and eventually leaves the first two, and the process starts again.  It’s been called multiplying the earth. After a period, the first two die leaving behind two generations related to the first.

Consider that the first two had 10 children and each of those had ten each, how many would be left after the first two died?  My math tells me there would 120 left in the family. Oh, how quickly the earth gets populated, and that’s just including the grandchildren of the first, perhaps just a 50-year period. Take it to the next generation.

God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply the earth.  And they did. Back in those days, many of the patriarchs lived a very long time according to our standards. Adam lived to be 930. Wow, how big did that family reunion become? All we are told is that after the birth of Seth, Adam was 130 years old and then Eve had sons and daughters. How many could that have been? 1 every 7 years. Only guess work. Say we cut him off at 800 years; 633 years left after Seth. Could have been 90. And then the possibility of twins in there somewhere. Just guess work since they did not leave a family album.

After Noah, the life spans of humans declined as this chart illustrates.

Life chart from Noah

Why the decline?

Well my hypothesis is that because of the disruption of the perfect garden, diseases slowly entered the genetics of humans altering the aging process.

And now, parents in the USA average 1.77 children.  China has been known to legally limit the number of children to just 1 per the female spouse. Will the process of multiplying the earth continue?

After the grandparents die, who and how many will be left to watch over and care for the next generation of grandparents? And the next? Many leaders and watchdogs promote the idea that the earth is over-populated causing a disruption in the eco-system because of the devastation these humans are causing the system, resulting in more deaths from hazardous chemicals and/or lack of sustaining chemicals. Therefore, you must limit the number of children being exposed to these changing environments even if it means destroying a fetus before it takes that first breath of air.

Do it, for the sake of the children.

But, if all limited the birth rate, then slowly there would be no one left to perform surgeries, to stock the shelves, to entertain, to educate, to tell us what happened yesterday, no one left to shovel the snow in the driveway, and on and on it goes, nothing left but dead battery robots.

Augustine and The City of God.

Somehow, a few months ago I was inspired to purchase the abridged (one volume of 549 pp) version of this historical Christian classic written over a three-year period in the early part of the 5th century.

Yes, I’ve been paging through and skipping some of this age-old classic along with some biographical information about Saint Augustine, when this hit me: “History was a neglected discipline in the later Roman Empire; the great historians of the past, Tacitus and Herodotus, were neglected, their writings used only as quarries for illustrations by the rhetoricians. The philosophy of the age was anti-historical, as if the end of history had arrived.” [1]

In this age of technology dominating our lives 24/7 who has time to read history. We look at the past as irrelevant to us because daily, we accomplish much more, so much easier, and traveling through the clouds, than having to work hard each day to put food on the table, to hunt and gather it, to keep the tent aired out, to find wood to burn to heat the coffee beans. As a student in our public-school system, all I remember of studying history was dates and names of the kings, rulers, tyrants defeating other kings, rulers, and tyrants in wars costing the lives of millions of other peasants, barbarians, subjects and soldiers.

We really haven’t changed much at all then.

But how did someone acquire so much knowledge and wisdom back in the days of riding camels, horses and trudging by sandals of leather, reading in the evening under the light of candles and sleeping on the ground inside a tent under sheep skins? Huh? How? Amazing isn’t it. The Bible itself did not become wide spread until the Gutenberg press was invented a thousand years after Augustine read the Latin papyrus scroll Old Testament and the Greek version of the New on parchment animal skin codex, and then becoming convinced that Christianity is real, is true, that the reality of all things is we are all descendants of Adam and Eve through Noah and his wife, that the Creator of all things insists that He alone be worshiped.

And now our hundreds of protestant denominations and the Roman Catholics argue about just that: how should we worship the creator of all things? What does it mean to worship? Do I have to give up something to worship, or is reading one of the current translations of the Bible for ten minutes each day enough? Is the Ten Commandments for us today or were they nailed to the cross and we’re free to do our own thing just so long as we treat others the same way we want to be treated?

The end of history has arrived, so relax as we’ll be out of here soon.

But now excuse me as I step on some toes, mine included.

Just like Adam and Eve, we desire the fruit of the garden of plenty by being glued to the Smart TV, posting an update on FB, a new message on the Smart Phone and catch up on the latest scores, political shenanigans and tomorrows weather on the computer.

“The attraction of leisure ought not to be empty-headed inactivity, but in the quest or discovery of truth, both for his own progress and for the purpose of sharing ungrudgingly with others. Nor should the man of action love worldly position or power (for all is vanity under the sun) . . . but . . .  of contributing to the eternal salvation of those committed to one’s care.”  P 461 City of God.

The tools we use is all that has changed, as now we are able to access all this history comfortably seated in a warm house by pressing carefully selected keys on a plastic keyboard.

 

  1. https://banneroftruth.org/us/resources/articles/2015/augustine-and-the-city-of-god/