Here is a good post!
I suppose some will consider Rudy u Martinka’s post a putdown on technology, but that is to misunderstand technology. To read the Bible — to give it priority in our lives — we don’t have to give up technology or our cell phones. Properly applied, technology has in fact made the Bible far more accessible. Some people, for example, access the Bible using their cell phones.
We forget that over 500 hundred years ago Johann Gutenberg (credited as the inventor of the printing press) became the first man to print a book using interchangeable metal types (=> https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/bibles/the-gutenberg-bible.html). That first book was the Bible.
Why do so few take the time to read the Bible? It is a matter of attitude. 500 hundred years ago only a few people could read. Only a few people had access to books. Most people, because they did not have access to books, understood that those who could read the Bible had a special source of wisdom. Therefore, when the printing press made it available, almost everyone craved the opportunity to read the Bible and become wise.
In our era, the printed word is abundant. So are numerous distractions, the cell phone being a big one. So we look for “experts” to summarize the meaning of this, that, and everything else. Many of these experts have told us the Bible is a book of mythology.
Yet that raises a question. How much can we trust “experts” to filter our view of the world?
Should we trust “experts” to summarize the Bible for us? Is the Bible the Word of God or merely mythology? Is it credible to believe the Bible is the Word of God, that Jesus lived, died for our sins, and rose from the dead?
Christians say the Bible is about Jesus. History records the beliefs Jesus taught us overthrew those of the Roman Empire. In fact, through His Bible, what Jesus taught us is still slowly sweeping across the world. Because Jesus was the most significant person in history — God made man for the sake of our salvation — none of us can trust someone else to read the Bible for us. Reading the Bible is something each of us must do for our self.
There are some things we cannot trust to experts. What is the meaning of life? Why do you exist? Read the Bible, and you will discover the answer for yourself.
More than we know we do combat with words. Consider the etymology of these ideological words. Consider what happens when the words “collective” and “community” become wrapped into isms.
Collectivism has strong associations with communism.
It seems that some would have us believe that the mere act of organizing people into a group with a common interest is communistic.
The word “community” has multiple associations with isms.
Like communism, communitarianism also emphasizes the community over the individual.
Communitarianism is not the same as communism, but it does emphasize the interests of the community over the individual.
- communism (n.)
- “social system based on collective ownership,” 1843, from French communisme (c. 1840) from commun (Old French comun; see common (adj.)) + -isme (see -ism). Originally a theory of society; as name of a political system, 1850, a translation of German Kommunismus (itself from French), in Marx and Engels’ “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” Compare communist. In some cases in early and mid-20c., a term of abuse implying anti-social criminality without regard to political theory.
Each [i.e. socialism, communism, anarchism] stands for a state of things, or a striving after it, that differs much from that which we know; & for many of us, especially those who are comfortably at home in the world as it is, they have consequently come to be the positive, comparative, & superlative, distinguished not in kind but in degree only, of the terms of abuse applicable to those who would disturb our peace. [Fowler]
We even have something called communalism which is similar to communitarianism. Instead of a strong central government, however, both communitarianism and communalism emphasize creating a federation of communes, just not for the same reasons.
Thanks to all these mushy isms, it is a little difficult to speak of the difference between a collective and a community. Nevertheless, people form collectives deliberately for a specific purpose. Whereas people form communities by living together and forming strong ties with each other.
Therefore, only when we speak of a community does it make sense to apply this verse.
John 13:35 New King James Version (NKJV)
35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
When we form charitable organizations, because there is a personal relationship it makes sense to provide charity at the community level. Unfortunately, our political leaders have created new and improved charities. They have used the state, especially that great collective we call the Federal Government, to give away our tax dollars using expensive health, education, and welfare programs. Hence we have politicians spending other people’s money on people they don’t even know. The result has been phenomenal fraud, waste and abuse.
Ideally, because the personal relationship between those who give and those who receive charity is so important (It is about love, after all.), charity should only be the function of local, private organizations. Only when we have no other alternative should we involve government, and that should be local government. Only when we have no other alternative should we involve either the state or the Federal Government.
What is the big issue of the moment in Washington DC? It is Obamacare. What is Obamacare? It is about whether the average American will be able to make his or her health choices without overriding interference from nameless bureaucrats. It about disconnecting the desires of people who pay the bills from the people who provide health care services. It is about giving politicians power just because they want it. It about turning our whole healthcare system into a wasteful and inefficient government-run charity rife with fraud, waste, and abuse.
Please let your senators and congressman know you want Obamacare repealed. You want them to do the same thing they did when they knew Obama would veto their repeal bill. Then you want them to replace Obamacare with laws that allow us to use our own money to make our own decisions. Do we really need their help to provide charity for our neighbors, the people in our communities. No. Not if we actually care about each other. If we don’t, there is nothing they can do anyway. If we don’t care, they won’t either.
Whenever I turn on the broadcast news, it is not long before I realize I am wasting my time. What is the latest drivel or “fake news” filling up air time? Donald Trump and the Russians stole the election. What’s the evidence? Since when do gossipers require evidence?
So is the drivel/fake news/gossip important? Yes. The Bible has much to say about the power of our words. Here is an example.
Proverbs 18:21 New King James Version (NKJV)
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
What does that mean? Here is a translation that puts it more plainly.
Proverbs 18:21 Good News Translation (GNT)
21 What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words.
The news media is partisan, and their talking heads are glib; they can also be most intimidating. Therefore, so long as major Democratic Party politicians are willing to say the most outrageous things, the news media will happily report their accusations — as presented. They will also quite happily assume the guilt of any Republican politician who does not go along to get along. All that seems to matter is the seriousness of the charge. The glib can talk all around the absence of evidence.
Meanwhile, because we have allowed glib gossipers to distract us, we risk neglecting real problems. Instead of protecting ourselves from the far more likely mechanizations of our fellow citizens, we now worry endlessly about how the Russians supposedly tampered with our election system.
Not too long ago I posted EVIDENCE OF VOTER FRAUD. One commenter, a bright fellow who calls himself marmoewp, focused on the poor quality of a few statistical studies I cited. Since the author of those studies did not have much confidence that those studies proved voter fraud, I did not waste much time defending them. Instead, I pointed to the obvious. Nobody is looking for fraud. So those pathetic studies are the best evidence we have.
If policemen made a point of looking the other way, how often do you think the police would arrest anyone? Think about it. The police would still arrest people, just not the powerful. Such policemen would arrest the victims of crime for complaining about the lack of law enforcement.
So what is the real threat? What does the evidence indicate? What question should we be asking?
Will the Democratic Party do anything for votes?
In this nation, we run our election system at the state and local level. So let’s look here in Virginia. Before the last election, our governor, Terry McAuliffe did everything he could to put hundreds of thousands of felons back on the voter rolls (see Va. Supreme Court strikes down McAuliffe’s order on felon voting rights). He did not care whether what he was doing was unconstitutional or violated the spirit of the law. Therefore, when the court got in his way, McAuliffe got out his autopen (Virginia’s McAuliffe to announce restoration of voting rights to 13,000 felons).
Apparently, whereas Barack Obama only has a pen and a phone, McAuliffe has an autopen and an iphone.
McAuliffe is a busy man. What is McAuliffe’s latest affront to justice? He is engaged in various coverups. Here are a few.
- Thousands of illegal immigrants lurking on Virginia’s voter rolls
- McAuliffe Vetoes Bill to Investigate Virginia Voter Rolls With More Registered Than Eligible Voters
Stop and think about how silly we have gotten. When we register to vote, look at how we handle the question of US citizenship.
In most places in the U.S., the question is handled solely on the honor system. When people register to vote, they check a box attesting that they are U.S. citizens. Election administrators verify identity by looking at driver’s license or Social Security numbers, for example, but under federal guidelines, they may not ask for proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport. (from here)
When illegal aliens have to violate our laws to get into our country, what makes us think an honor system will keep them from voting?
Let’s expand upon that first little video. Let’s consider the problem Sargent Schultz had to deal with. The longer he avoided reporting the shenanigans of Hogan’s Heroes, the more difficult it became for him to break his silence. Was Schultz on the the right side to start with? No, but it was not any special virtue that kept him from reporting on Hogan. His laziness, his greed, and finally his cowardice silenced him. What appeared to be funny was not so funny after all.
1 Corinthians 12 is a fascinating chapter in the Bible. Here the great Apostle Paul describes how God equips us to spread the Gospel, what Christians must do when they come together and work in unity for the cause of Christ.
First the apostle gives us a sampling of the gifts God gives us through the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:7-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
Then using the human body as an analogy, Paul describes our unity in the cause of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
But what holds the body together? In the 1 Corinthians 13, Paul describes the greatest gift God gives us through the Holy Spirit, the gift of love. Love is what hold people — what bonds people — together in unity.
The Bible has much to say about love. Because it is so beautifully written, 1 Corinthians 13 is perhaps the most well known chapter in the Bible, and this chapter, following 1 Corinthians 12 , speaks of love, the love that holds together the body of Christ. In this Age of Apostasy however, I fear we need to reflect upon of another passage.
Not enough of us strive to bring up our children in the Christian faith. Not enough Christians work to strengthen each others faith. We do not devote ourselves to the spread of the Gospel. We spend too little time in prayer and in the study of God’s Word. Have we forgotten that God is love, that He demands that we love each other?
1 John 4:7-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
God Is Love
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
What hold the body together? Love. For God is love, and His love is the greatest of His gifts to us. Because He loves us, He demands that we love each other for love is also the greatest gift we can give to each other.