Saturday, July 9, 2016

Halt. Pause. Plunge.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana
In recent days this phrase has been more often paraphrased as, “Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are destined to repeat them.” I cannot help but reflect on this notion as the year unfolds…

This past week has been full of tragedy and horror. First a shooting in Louisiana, then a shooting in Minnesota, then a mass shooting in Dallas. Just last month forty-nine people were slaughtered in a nightclub, a toddler was eaten by an alligator, and a well-known youtuber was senselessly murdered after a show. To state the obvious: quite a number of people have died.

Before these horrors, for the first part of 2016 we had the presidential nominating debacle. We watched as the parties that have come to frame politics and public discourse across the land almost literally ripped themselves apart and two of the most heinous people to have ever run for the office of president of the United States of America took the leads.

People compare Trump to Hitler but the same has been done to Hillary for many a year. Now there are those who are legitimately pointing out the flaws in such comparisons but others who have illuminated the uncanny similarities.

Public discourse is all over the place on the topic as the nation jerks on towards the inevitable nomination of these two, convulses violently as the FBI abdicates its role as a part of the justice system, writhes and roils as faction turns on faction: citizens on officers and officers on citizens, Muslims on gays and gays on Christians, and anti-gun fanatics on gun-rights fanatics.

Many are convinced the nation is imploding. Frankly, it would not surprise me. I've said it before and I will say it again (not a week after the 4th of July, mind you) that united we stood but divided we will fall. Nay, we shall plunge.

“But can't we stop it?” you ask. “But can't we, as reasoning people, look back on those mistakes made in history and move toward a brighter, better future?” “Can't we look past our petty differences and squabbles and turn and love one another as fellow human beings?” “Can't we all just get along?

My answer to you is simple, “Can we? No, we cannot.”

You see, cute little platitudes tweeted and re-tweeted by a general populace that on average only barely uses half their brain-capacity still don't carry any weight. But there is a sliver of truth there, shining like the speck of a star in a very dark sky.

That's what got me to thinking. Really, there is a lot more to the specks of stars in the night sky then one would ever guess, and I mean more than even the smartest scientist can see. Pray for wisdom on the subject sometime. But only if you're brave enough, because God will answer you.

I thought about the past as our future, the Germany of the early 1900s as the America of the 21st century. What could we learn that would change our course? So many people say one thing, and so many others another… What was the common theme?

The comparison that is most apt and terrifying is between the mindsets of those days and now. The schemas that allow for the undermining of who a person is:If you're black you're less of a person and probably a criminal.” “If you're gay you're abnormal, diseased and a lower class person.” “If you're unborn you're not a person at all and can be legally murdered.” “If you're a gun owner you're a psycho waiting to happen and should be feared.” “If you're a police officer you're a sadistic monster that should be hated or killed.” Not that these are actually vocalized very often, but they are the whispers on the prevailing winds as it were. They all sound an awful lot like: “Jews are less than human beings, they are monsters that ought to be eradicated.”

But then it hit me: As awful and horrid as these schemas are, they are not what the fundamental mistake is. The mistake, the flaw, the lie is underneath them, supporting and giving them sustenance, feeding them with a steady diet of poison.

The destruction of Germany's and America's societal understanding of what a human being really is came from three “great” people: Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud. These gods of the marketplace have told us that we're little more than apes, have very little singular worth on our own, and are sexually depraved monsters to boot. They told us that we are the highest authority and that our desires are the highest good. They knocked their point home with the gavel of “science” and crowed that we have no choice but to believe. They are their ideas and their ideas are poison.

You see, their poisonous legacy has all but killed the old way of thinking, the old way of understanding human beings. Human Beings are made in the image of God! Human Beings are created, each one of us, by the one and only God! Human Beings are glorious works beyond compare in the physical world, a union of immortal spirit and mortal body!

“'And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.'” - Genesis 9:5-6

If man is a work of God who is eternal, perfect, and righteous, then what happens when we forget that? Even worse, what happens when society's schema turns on those truths and buries them in favor of their lies? Hitler happens, people. Abortion happens. Slavery happens. Mass shootings happen and rampant, riotous disregard for human life takes hold.

No one gives a rip about anyone else anymore because how can they? They have no reason to regard human beings as special or valuable at all! If God didn't make human beings then who the hell cares if they die? What difference does it really make if we're descended from apes and pond-scum?

In the prevailing schema of the times human beings are essentially worthless, pawns in everyone's individual game of chess, to be used, abused, or thrown away per the whim of the strongest, fastest, most “evolved” person on the playing field. They say the strong will survive. Too bad the strong don't seem to survive bullets very well.

Does my sardonic tone upset you? Sadly, if there is no intrinsic value to every human being I don't have to care about your feelings. This is why I say we cannot look to history and better our future and we cannot see past our petty differences to love one another and we cannot just get along. The lies that destroy human worth also make self service, self gratification, and self worship all so much more appealing and possible.

No one wants to admit that they were wrong, that society has been wrong, that scientists have been wrong. Too many people want it all to be true so that each and every one of them can play god in their own lives. Don't like guns because they are used a lot to kill and hurt people? Take them all away so we'll all live happily every after and never die again. Don't like black people because they supposedly make policing harder? Shoot them while you think no one is looking and claim self defense. Don't like babies because of the inconvenience? Simply abort them and don't think about it. Don't like police because they're all somehow evil? Pick them off with a sniper rifle while they're trying to protect you. Don't like gays because you think they are evil beyond all reason? Just go slaughter a few dozen for the cause! Don't like Muslims because they make you nervous? Let's just throw them all out of the country!

Sorry, this is making me sick just writing about it. We are about to take a plunge as a nation like we've never seen before, people. And without dealing with the root cause in each and every person's heart, the idea that human beings aren't created by God in the image of God, every evil you can think of is possible. Hitler, Hillary, Trump, who gives a rip? Let's pick a poison and die! All are from the dust, and to dust all return.

After all, who really cares if no one is worth a thing?

“Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four —
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

“As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man —
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began: —
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;”

- The Gods of the Copybook Headings.

 Proverbs 17:10 “A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Child of Woe

How deftly does the sorrow and flowing pangs of woe,
Tear my heart wide open, but where else will I go?
How to escape the clouds and raucous cares of life…
Where will you find happiness and no relation to strife?

If I just keep my distance maybe it won't be so bad,
Maybe with every progressive passing I won't feel so sad…
And hollow words don't echo, they fall dead to the floor.
So I must go out and seek an answer once more.

God, my soul is rending in pain!
Is the 'Why? that' it cries in vain?
Who am I to seek answers that the wise could not find?
Yet, to quell this agony as my heart unwinds…

All I know is who I know and He is Faithful indeed,
To my Rock and foundation I must go to plead.
For my Lord has the words of Life, to whom else can I go?
He is the only one that can comfort this child of woe.

For He is sovereign in all things, body and soul.
And He doesn't let a sparrow drop that he doesn't know.
Come to Him both weary and overburdened men,
For He will uphold you, He understands.

And I can count it joy, even as tears flow.
For passing pangs of life produce steadfastness you know.
Because Jesus is my Hope and I know that one day,
Every sorrow will pass and every tear will be wiped away.

Not forgotten but maybe crystalized, as silver glass,
So in their memory the joy and glory will overpass,
And triumph and trumpet and overpower beyond…
What the imaginative could imagine or put into song.

And child of woe will turn and child of joy become,
And mourning to laughter and rejoicing and then some.
Oh those without the Lord, how is it you cope?
For do you not know? We have the one true Hope.