Archive for December, 2012

I’ll Be Back in 2013

I’ve decided to take a break for the next week. It doesn’t mean I won’t be pondering; it just means I won’t be sharing what I’m pondering. Please come back in the New Year. May God surprise you with blessings until then.

The Sermon on the Mount–Part V

You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery,”; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

Lewis: Two Kinds of People

C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce is one of my favorite books, as it depicts a fanciful journey from hell to heaven so that those in hell can see what they have missed. Any Lewis book is full of pithy insights. Here’s one from The Great Divorce that I find particularly lucid:

There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.

Guns, Violence, & the Heart of Man

Some regular readers of this blog might be wondering why I haven’t yet commented on the horrific elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that occurred last Friday. First, I wasn’t even planning on doing blogs this week since my wife was having more surgery and we had to go out of state for that. She has had the surgery and is recovering; all seems well.

Second, the blogs earlier in the week were written late last week, about the time that shooting took place, and there wasn’t time to find out enough facts about it yet. Neither did I know for sure how the media and politicians would treat the incident—although I could have guessed without too much trouble. They have exhibited their natural tendency to blame all the wrong people and offer all the wrong solutions. If you were to take their analysis seriously, you would have to consider the NRA public enemy number one, and the absence of gun-control laws as the cause for the loss of innocent lives.

I am not a gun owner; I’ve only ever shot guns one time in my life at an NRA shooting range. It turns out I’m actually a pretty good shot. But I’ve never had the urge to buy a gun for myself. Generally, I’ve felt fairly safe. But I do believe in the right of gun ownership without interference from government. The Founding Fathers went through an experience that confirmed the need for a people to defend themselves against a government that sought to take away their basic liberties. Self-defense is Christian. Being meek and humble does not equate to being a fool.

Those on the liberal/progressive/socialist [choose one—they are synonymous] side of the spectrum, due to the worldview from which they operate, mistake the problem and the solution. Gun-free zones, rather than offering more safety, instead advertise just how defenseless those in that zone are. And I know this will sound like a cliché, but gun-control laws only affect the law-abiding; criminals ignore them. Therefore, all they accomplish is to make the criminal’s task easier.

I oppose, then, any presumed solution that concentrates on the external without taking into account the hearts of men. Only a few commentators have braved the political correctness police to say what really needs to be said: the real problem is the evil that lurks in the minds of sinful men. Evil does exist, and it is explained by the Biblical worldview. Man is at odds with God, rebelling against His righteous ways. Man seeks to do his own will, whatever fulfills his own selfish desires. Evil is real, and it won’t be appeased by any gun-control law.

We have to look deeper to find why these episodes seem to be increasing. It has to do with a culture that pushes God and His laws to the periphery. It has to do with a culture that idolizes selfish pursuits regardless of the moral law God established. It has to do with a culture that has overthrown sexual restraints. It has to do with a culture that has lost the belief in the image of God stamped upon every person, leading to disregard for the sanctity of human life. And this is how we train our children. At least a couple of cartoonists get it:

The only amendment I would make to the second cartoon is “easy access to guns without proper moral guidance.”

Some may object: doesn’t the Bible have a lot of violence in it? Yes, it does. But it roundly condemns the sinful actions of men. I’m not against all depictions of violence; what I am against is the loss of right and wrong when we encounter violence, particularly in the entertainment media. All too often, evil is glorified and righteousness is derided. A generation raised on that type of indoctrination is the real Lost Generation.

Here comes my “simplistic” solution: we must return to the Biblical understanding of man’s sinfulness, God’s judgment on sin, and the hope that is given through the Cross of Jesus Christ. When we recognize our sin, repent of it, and turn to the mercy and grace offered to us in that Cross, the heart is changed. If enough hearts change, a culture is changed. When a culture is changed, a nation may yet survive and prosper.

A Strange Negotiation

Are we getting closer to a “deal” on the fiscal cliff? Interestingly, as Republicans continue to offer compromises—many of which include numbers Democrats previously proposed—all of their offers meet with condescension and a special brand of haughty disdain. I’m still not convinced that Obama and his party really want to avoid any cliff. Going over the cliff will make more people dependent on them, which is their overall aim. And to top it off, Republicans will get the blame if for no reason than the media will make it appear they are the problem. Obama’s kind of negotiating is strange, to say the least:

In the latest round of proposals, the administration is criticizing Republicans for not including enough spending cuts. Really? Spending cuts are an Obama priority? I’ve never realized that.

To me, it appears that the president is focused on one thing and one thing only, and is oblivious to the obvious dangers of his path:

We’re in for a very bumpy ride, and just wait until all of Obamacare kicks in. It won’t be fun.

Right to Work

Right-to-work laws are not difficult to understand. They mean an individual should not be forced to join a union in order to work. It used to be called liberty. An increasing number of states are catching on; the latest is Michigan, which last week joined the right-to-work states, thereby championing liberty while raising the prospects for greater prosperity within the state. The big unions, though, are violently opposed to these laws. I use the term “violently” on purpose, primarily because the violent nature of these unions was on display in Michigan as the legislature passed the law and the governor signed it.

They are referred to as union thugs for a reason. And they have a supporter in high places who said nary a word about the violence, but instead was quite vocal about limiting individual liberty. Of course, he doesn’t know the first thing about creating jobs anyway, so what’s the surprise?

I can only hope that the image of big unions threatening liberty will become burned into the public consciousness. It’s time to recognize what they really stand for:

Let freedom ring.

Illustrating the Fiscal Cliff

Are you getting tired of hearing about the fiscal cliff? Well, that’s too bad because it’s going to be a constant topic for the rest of this year. Then we’ll probably go over that cliff after the new year. The political cartoonists are having a field day with the “cliff” image. Quite often they are able to puncture the political rhetoric and get to the truth behind the image. Here are some examples:

And then there’s that “solution”:

Actually, it won’t end up being only the rich:

Too many American seem to be living in a fantasy world:

Fantasyland should be in Disney World only.