Posts Tagged ‘truth’

Where’s The Good News?

          If you are anything like me you must be tired of watching the network news. Bad news seems to be pouring in at an unprecedented pace, to the point that we are almost numb to its impact. We have flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, financial chaos, political corruption, and Charlie Sheen. Charlie is all about winning, I’m just trying to get my mind around the prize. He’s now decided to take his act on the road and is booked to sold-out crowds around the country. As the highest paid TV personality he seems to have a following, even the network executives want him back on the show. He’s hot, he’s selling and he’s in demand. WHY? What’s the attraction, what’s the prize? Maybe it’s the hearts and minds of a lost generation.

          People are hungry and desperate for something to feel good about. Human beings are born with the need to believe in something. God created us that way. He did so for His purpose and has presented us with the opportunity to live this life with an overflowing abundance of all that we need to fulfill our needs and He stands ready to enable us to live above the moral degradation of society. When any person chooses to live outside this provision they are left to fill the void inside with anything and everything that comes along, even the likes and philosophies of Charlie Sheen. His TV persona as a womanizing, party hardy, self-indulged character seems to emulate his off screen lifestyle. His indiscretions are not occasional but rampant. We’ve come an unfortunate distance from “Leave It to Beaver”. As a society the impact is obvious. Divorce is a major business, over half of our families are broken, our education system is failing and our children encouraged toward the heretofore unthinkable. Tell me they are not influenced by the immoral behavior portrayed as normal on TV and in the movies. The legislature continually tries to overcome these issues by enacting more laws to govern behavior. They are currently considering ways to prevent teen “sexting” via smart phones, a problem reportedly involving 22% of our young people. As a result of all of this brokenness teen suicide has reached an epidemic level.

         The networks themselves seem to be addicted to “bad news”. When a slow news day comes the filler pieces are most likely something scrounged off “You Tube” and almost always the content is negative (not to mention unworthy of prime time news).  So I ask, where’s the “good news”? Has society sunk so low that there exist no interesting and uplifting human interest stories? In a world that is desperate and needy for something to feel good about it seems the networks are not really all that interested.

          In the midst of all the chaos and turmoil, trials and tribulations, really “Good News” does exist. There is hope, there is a future, and there is truth, a way and a life. These things can only be found in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Perhaps the only thing worse than the lack of good news on TV is the deafening silence of the American church in proclaiming the only real “Good News” available to everyone who is willing to listen, if only given the chance to hear, even Charlie Sheen. Each of us must take personal responsibility for finding and living in God’s truth. If you are skeptical let me ask just one question. Given the fact that our society was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, yet in the wisdom of the courts we removed prayer from our schools and largely abandoned the beliefs of our founding fathers, is it really working for you?

Apathy Finally Dies In America

Can it really be true, “apathy” in America is beginning to die? It is quite possible that we are beginning to see passionate beliefs rise up as Americans debate our true identity. Questions about heritage, our rights, losing our rights, socialism, freedoms and much more have become daily topics of interest around the proverbial water cooler, sidewalks, kitchens, and computer chat sites of our culture. It is a testimony to human nature that when times are high and things are good we tend to feel less need for the deeper meaning of life. Apathy then prevails and the contemplative waters of society become shallow pools where we tend to embrace quantity of thought as opposed to quality. It is in times such as these that new and different ideologies filter into our culture and gain a foothold of acceptance without passing any substantive test other than “it sort of sounds good to me”. Now we have arrived at the root issue at hand. What is the test for our beliefs? What standard should be met before we accept an idea or pass it on to others? Is there a basis for truth and if so what is it?

I was inspired to this writing because I became aware of some opposing comments that were traveling through my neighborhood via email. It would not have been difficult for me to jump on one side and make a defense for my particular point of view but I decided there was a greater good to be served. After years of growing weary of apathetic people in the work place or in church or in government or in social clubs I am excited to see my neighbors passionate about what they believe. Passion is a good thing. I also know that it can be a double edge sword. It can bring out the worst in people or the best. It can be either an opportunity for growth or a platform for crisis. As we venture out of the abyss of apathy we need to take time to dig a little deeper and discover truth for ourselves. This wisdom applies to all points of view, no one is exempt. We live in the information age and anyone can out find almost anything in a matter of minutes at the push of a few buttons on the keyboard. Perhaps this is also one of our problems, more information than we can digest at any one time.

On one suggested website entitled the “American Thinker” I found this quote. “Our Founding Fathers were religious in a new way, the Judeo-Christian way, and they were the liberals of their day by deducing that our political and human rights come from a power higher than human government; but they were conservative to Biblical morality.” This was their test in forming our identity. Most Americans are unaware of the extensive process that went into forming this nation and while consulting many written documents to make their decisions the document most used (43% of the time) was the Bible. It’s a historical fact. I’m sure that there were dissenting opinions about many points but at the end of the process the majority ruled and our identity as a nation was set in motion. The two party system was designed to have different viewpoints, in other words a clear choice. Opposing viewpoints are meant to sharpen our intellect and understanding of who we are. Bi-partisanship was not really intended. One of the problems facing us today is that fact that some Republicans act as if they were Democrats and visa versa. We aren’t presented with a clear choice in fact most feel we aren’t presented with a trustworthy choice. The battle lines have been drawn between conservatives and liberals and the two sides are not pure. True leaders have become scare. Those are the ones that clearly take a stand and can clearly articulate their beliefs, regardless of the political cost. The alleged leader that governs on the basis of popularity will never make the right and difficult choices required of real leaders.

There are some fundamental things we need to agree upon. There are some things that we can oppose one another on and still live in peace. It does however become essential for us to look back to our beginnings if we truly want to understand who we are. Personally I believe as our “Founding Fathers” believed, that we must not abandon Biblical morality (unfortunately we are a long way down that road). Liberty means that we make room to debate and discern in order to discover the truth. As an example, the Bible commands us to love even our enemies. Current political correctness says we need to be tolerant of all others. What is the difference between the two? Simply this, as a Christian we show others love in order that they may see Christ. This is meant for a higher purpose. Tolerance, as some interpret it, asks us to forsake our identity. We can be loving and tolerant but we must uphold the values that this nation was founded upon. I’m a conservative but I see the need for liberal thinkers. Think about this, in what other society on the face of the earth other than one based upon Judeo-Christian values, would anyone be allowed to express their liberal point of view? As passions rise, so must our practice of measuring the truth by the only reliable standard known to exist. The standard used by our founders; the Bible.

Do You Know How to Give “Good Gifts” to Your Children?

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13)

          Certainly none of us ever want to give gifts to our children that are harmful. This scripture assures us that our heavenly Father only gives good gifts to us, by means of His Holy Spirit. His gifts are meant to help us as we journey through this life to live it more abundantly and to have a life that is marked by joy and peace in the midst of whatever mess we may be facing. His gifts have a purpose and direction behind them and empower us to be the person He created us to be.

          With that in mind shouldn’t we as parents think wisely about the gifts we give our children? While not excluding the material gifts I wish us to consider the more intangible things that we are likely to pass on, things that develop character. I am struck today by the enormous disregard for truth that is so prevalent in our society. The victim mentality has all but taken over many who live in and around us. The victim mentality says that the world owes me and even when I find myself in an unfortunate situation I can feel free to put a spin on it so that I am not ultimately responsible. Many of the leaders of our country as well as popular sports figures, movie stars, singers and actors fail to own their own mess. We have become a society that enables bad behavior by constantly calling it something other than what it is followed by worldly solutions such as a week in rehab or the latest pill (which by the way has more side effects than the original problem).  So one “good gift” among many that I can think of is a respect for the “truth” and the character to own your own mess.

          If you want to view a blatant example of deception in place of the truth, go to the following link for an explanation of the GM payback.  https://www.rodgerweese.com//www.breitbart.tv/reasontv-did-gm-really-pay-back-its-loans-in-full/ (I forgot to include some of our corporate leaders in the above list.) This is “smoke and mirrors” at its zenith. There’s a popular mindset floating around our culture today that truth is whatever one perceives it to be. The corporate leaders as well as their political counterparts would like us to believe that GM paid back the multi-billion dollar bailout when in fact they received additional taxpayer dollars, TARP money, to use for the payback. Take it from one pocket and put in another. Is this really a payback? See if that will work for your mortgage or your car payment. Is this integrity and what does it say about their opinion of the American public?

          Our culture is in dire need of leadership with moral fiber. Our children are the next generation to lead and we must pass on some standard of character and honesty for them to operate by. We must guard against allowing the culture of our times to mold our thinking and our behavior.  Good gifts include a legacy of values, respect, standards and priorities. Look around and ask, are we better off with than were a decade or two ago or have these precious commodities eroded? The proof is all around of us.