OK ... I am seeing some pretty disturbing things happening all around us. I can't help but mention them. Some of you will think these things might be negative. Some of you will disagree. Some will think I (we) are not doing enough. Some will think these thoughts are political. Some will ignore this post. Some will read and forget the post. Some (I hope lots) will pray for guidance and direction from the Holy Spirit as we enter times Paul told Timothy "For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching ... they will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. (2 Timothy 4:3)" We are there!
Two things (at least) need to be said or shouted at these times. First, at the beginning of Black History Month, I wonder if we are progressing or digressing? In an age where Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of people being judged on the content of their character, not on the color of their skin, I see (all over the places I travel) a reversion to the 'good old boy' system. In the 60's, when I grew up, this system was well-established. The basic idea of this system was to hire/promote/value those people who looked like me, thought like me and hung out with me. It is loosely described as 'cronyism.' As I speak with my friends in Montgomery, Huntsville and (as I have experienced in my work-life in places like Birmingham and Charlotte) all over, I see this pathology from the 60's alive and well. A friend if our family is being 'retired' because he doesn't fit the popular 'template' of today's workplace. FIt truly is disturbing that these things continue in 2019, but I believe they are more entrenched and perverse than ever. At least people like Dr. King brought these insidious ideas out into the light. But it seems they are accepted practices today. And these ideas have found traction in all political ideologies. They are not the sole property of conservatives and liberals, black or white, rich or poor. They are epidemic in this nation which should be level-ground for all. They happen in professional sports. They happen in government. They happen in the private sector. Paul had to caution the church of his day about bigotry and bias when he said, "There is neither Jew or gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is their male or female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:28)" People of God ... we MUST move past this evil that has plagued us for so long!
The second thing is a national tragedy. I watched in horror as a law was passed in New York allowing late-term abortions when the "mother's life is in danger and when there is no fetal viability." The operative determinations can be made by a broad array of health care providers (including midwives, nurse practitioners and physicians assistants). There were parties and celebrations over the passage of this law. I can't begin to tap the depths of why this is an abomination, but let me make one point that some are making on Facebook (usually a very non-reliable source). The point is this. In Luke 1 an unborn child heralds the arrival of Jesus. The fetus, John the Baptist, leaps in Elizabeth's womb. That is hardly a statement about a thing ... it is a statement about a person. Much to the chagrin of some of my contemporaries, I must be consistent in saying that people shouldn't be making decisions about God-things. It is above our collective pay grade. And, again on the advent of Black History Month, the abortion issue has been a tenet of the civil rights movement with leaders like Clardy Craven touting abortion as a tool to 'control' an undesired population. As I stated in my 'carping' about cronyism, I believe it is both disturbing and non-Biblical to promote either of these positions.
At the beginning of this blog I said I was disturbed about our willingness to be led by ideas that are popular and appealing to our politics. Don't forget ... our ears can be tickled by hiring people for the wrong reasons ... by rationalizing that our party/belief is 'Biblical' ... by following the world's leading ... by telling ourselves we are powerless. Pray fervently ... follow faithfully ... discern carefully. And if it 'tickles your ears' test it by allowing God to transform and renew your mind (Romans 12:2). God is right ... our wayward friends, our verbose relatives and fellow citizens might just be wrong. Love them ... but follow God. Randy