You’re Fired

Recently a headline of our everyday, every minute news broadcasting the latest providing us citizens information on what’s going on somewhere else, by someone else. One headline in bold type stated: “You’re Fired.” The inside story was about a previous administration politically appointed individual who spoke against President Trump and his fascist discriminative ways being dismissed from his position. This brought back memories of the TV series: “The Apprentice.”

Hmm? Everything has a beginning, a history. Yes, even commonly used phrases have a starting point, a beginning somewhere in past history. So, I wondered where and when did that phrase have its beginning. You may already perceive where I’m going with this, but anyway here goes. I entered the phrase into the computer search box and up popped many bold typed headlines with answers, one of which was that TV series when Trump is facing the contestants announcing which of them is being terminated from the next segment saying: “You’re fired.” The camera focused on the look on that person’s face revealing the disappointment, the dismay of not meeting his standards of performance.

Another explanation referred back to times of clans and tribes when a person committed a serious offense and they burned down his home.

Another explanation went back to 1885 indicating that it was a play on the word ‘discharged’ which has two meanings: dismissal of an employee, or to fire a projectile or weapon.

On this earth of ours we see the effects of fire in Volcanoes, forest fires destroying neighborhoods, wild fires burning brush, lightning strikes causing fires and the casual burning cigarette being throw out the car window. We enjoy sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows. We enjoy the warmth of a fireplace and in olden days the light provided by a wick burning within a glass.

Interesting, but still not conclusive for me as I seek to retrieve older historical records of the first beginnings from the most read, most publicized book ever, the one translated into every language: The Bible. First: the story of the old cities of Sodom and Gomorrah when burning sulfur destroyed the area because of the wickedness.

How about this one from Isaiah: “then they will go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against me for their worm will not die and their fire will not be quenched: And they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.”

From the book of Revelation: “He also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” 14:10

This also from Revelation: “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” 20:14-15

“So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:49-50

“If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, for it is better for you to enter life crippled than having your two hands to go into hell; into the unquenched fire. Mark 9:43

Is that enough? We sure don’t hear many, if any sermons on this topic anymore, do we? Why is that? Do we disbelieve, dismiss these verses as being uncharacteristic of the merciful, gracious all caring creator Almighty God, who wouldn’t or couldn’t do such a thing as it goes against His goodness.

Sorry, but “You’re Fired.”

Is Sodom here and now?

You know the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as written in the book of Genesis. The cries from the citizens of Sodom reached the Lord, who was about to go down and destroy the land. Abraham interceded, pleaded to spare the city if fifty righteous men were found. Abraham must have known the wickedness of the city, so he lessened his plea down to ten righteous men.

Angels as men approached the city meeting Lot in the town square. Lot persuaded the men to come home with him for a good home cooked kosher meal. The men of Sodom wanted the angelic men to satisfy their own lusts, banging on the door to Lots home.  Let us have them, they scream. Bang, bang the door-bell rang. Lot told them they could have his virgin daughters instead. No, no, we want these strangers. The angels blinded them, and told Lot to gather his family together and leave this city as it is about to be destroyed.

Lot and his wife and daughters left Sodom to find a new safe home for his family at a small near-by town as the mountains were far away.  He was told to hurry, don’t look back, just get out of there quickly as the town will be destroyed because of its wickedness. His wife may have been concerned for her friends and neighbors. Her daughters had been pledged to marry soon wondering why they did want to come along. She may have wondering about her home there and all the good memories she had, so she turned around to see if was true that the city was being destroyed by sulfur lightning. She disobeyed the command not to look back, and was turned into salt.

It was too late for Sodom. It had gone too far. They did not listen. They were satisfying the flesh above just and righteous living.

The citizens of Sodom had built the walls as the other areas have. They were living well. More people immigrated to the area desiring the prosperity. As time passed they became infatuated with their success and leisure beginning to look for new ways to satisfy the hunger for adventure as all things were so easy to get. They were given time to reconcile, to make amends, to treat each other as you’d have them treat you. But they’ve insisted on going their own way. As the years passed, they’ve become more and more concerned with satisfying the lusts of their selfish fleshly desires. Women were easy prey. Then men with men. Anything to get that desire satisfied. They demanded others to follow along.  They pushed their desires as their right to do as they please. The magistrates had been silenced. The judges have acquiesced finding words in the constitution that allows this freedom. The demands of the right to personal liberty supersede all other rights. Get with it or we’ll file lawsuit after lawsuit and you and your citizens will be bankrupt. You don’t want that, so go along with this new unifying measure and all will be well between us. Your children must have the right to choose who they wish to be. You shouldn’t demand otherwise. You have no right to impose your ways upon everyone. It’s not right. Come along with us and we’ll all benefit in this cultural unifying diversity. That’s all we want. We just want to be accepted. You have your freedom and that’s all we want too; our freedom to love whom we may. So, let’s get along. What’s so hard about that?

Now the world, and specifically here in the US of A is following the same path that led to the destruction of Sodom.  Lusts of the flesh. Against the laws of nature. Adding a “y” to the word Sodom means anal penetration: putting it where it was not originally intended for the purpose of multiplication.

Recently in a small town in the state of Mississippi, an active group petitioned the town of 28,000 to host and pay for a “Gay Pride” parade through the town streets.

The city council voted no: 4 to 3.

The activists threatened. You are distracting progress.

Their lawyers are preparing the suit against the town.

 

 

Are there fifty righteous men within the city?

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/