Ichabod: Where did the Glory go?

The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.    -C. S. Lewis

conceptual sign post with, danger slippery slope

As many permit themselves comfort from the woes of this world, there exists a jagged edge that they drift dangerously close to, careless to the reality of the fall that awaits them.  As gloomy as this sounds, I must persist in casting some reality toward you in the hopes of jarring your slumber!

In ancient biblical times, wars existed between the factions of believers in God and believers of everything else. Though the spiritual realm has its casualties, there was also an effect to the physical as well.  Death tolls in these wars, per the accounts of history and Bible, were in the 10’s of thousands! The followers of God, the Israelites, had won a fair share of battles, but also suffered great defeats as well.  In most cases, the stories relayed the importance of God and his following his commandments.

In one particular situation, Israel was facing one of their great foes, the Philistines. In 1 Samuel chapter 4, the Israelites had taken a beating and decided to bring up the Ark of the Covenant to the battle front. This represented God’s presence more than anything.  The wild cheers of elation rallied the troops and even the Philistines feared God showing up.  But…to no avail.  Israel got their butt kicked and the enemy ran off with the Ark.

The high priest and judge of Israel, Eli, lost two of his sons in the battle. That information, along with the Ark being taken, literally killed the poor guy.  His daughter-in-law was so despondent about the losses that she gave birth and died.  The midwife names the boy Ichabod, meaning ‘the glory of the Lord has departed’.  Great start to life! (Sarcasm intended!)

It seems historically that when a people decide on their own volition of self first, it isn’t too long afterward that their demise hits. The United States of America was essentially founded on a basis of the Bible as the core moral and spiritual compass. The founding fathers forged our first governing documents on the whole of scripture, keeping that, with God, all things are possible. But, as with any great nation, corruption seeps in…slowly, assuredly, and with a purpose of demise. Even the learned institutions, such as Harvard and Yale, started out as seminary schools teaching the Bible! Yet, now, you would be fortunate to find scripture anywhere within the walls of the university. We are on the safest road to hell!

So, how did this happen?  How did we get to this drowning point? The primary place to point out the failing is our own ‘churches’.  Now, I am not going to get all denominational or call out particular names.  That is not the intent of this.  But, I will shake a fist to any and all who claim Christianity as their faith, yet deny the Bible as the word of God.  Without the Bible, we do not have the compass of direction. Without the Bible, we do not have instructions. Without the Bible, we do not have a reference point to keep ourselves on the correct path!

All that said, when we cast aside His Words to us, we begin to wander aimlessly.  We become “I Chabod”….without the Glory. When we are travelling and feel uncertain about our direction, we consult a map. Now days, we are constantly looking to our smart phones for information and direction. Well, the Bible is our map. The Bible is our smart phone that has all the answers we need.  And without it…well, we rely on our own understanding. Our own views. Our own mess!

The father of lies, the great deceiver, has crept into the fabric of God-fearing churches and cast doubts, dissensions, and destruction from within.  And since pushing aside the Bible as the beacon of truth, these churches have turned into social clubs and feel-good parties…with no truth being taught! Whitewashed Tombs! Pretty on the outside, empty and dead on the inside!

Mark 7:9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!”

The churches today (not all) have essentially rejected the Bible as the Word and have, instead, decided that soft, gentle talks regarding social issues are more important than knowing God and His Word!  And with the disregard of God’s Word as authoritative and commanding, man has put himself in God’s place and now determines what is and what isn’t sin! What was once revered as Gospel has since become edited so as not to offend anyone! Sins are acceptable and they just avoid talking about His Words and commands!

The Glory has departed! And with His departing, so has His hand which has held back the enemies of God’s people!

exorcism-e1476509452483

One of the greatest preachers of all time, Jonathan Edwards, in 1741 preached a sermon that shook the very core of believers and unbelievers alike. That sermon, titled “Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God” was filled with fire and brimstone that convicted people to remedy, or assure, that their relationship with God was of utmost importance!  We have fallen so far from that reverence, passion, and belief in the God of the Bible, creator of all things, through his Son, by which we have forgiveness and restored fellowship.

There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.  – Edwards

So, I ask: Why?  Why has the Word of God been rejected by the very people who claim to believe in God? Why have we allowed His Glory to depart from us? Are we so delusional as to think that God would never cast anyone into hell? Because, if we are sitting at such a comfort level, in disbelief of God’s wrath, as to think that…I really suggest you reconsider what His Words really do say!  There is no free rides to Heaven! The Bible is very clear on that! His own people, the Israelites, were destroyed in a battle because of their own complacency and denial of His Supremacy!  YOU are no different. The church is no different.

God has never promised to save us from Hell, except for those contained in Christ through the covenant of Grace.  – Edwards

The churches have rejected God’s Word.  The Glory has departed.  Man stands alone on a wayward path leading toward destruction of soul:  hell.

I guess I challenge anyone to look at their ‘churches’ and ask the question:  Do they fully accept God’s words as complete revelation from God, or are they picking and choosing what they want to keep and what they don’t?  It literally is an “all or nothing” situation.  You either believe in the Bible or you don’t. And, as Edwards based his sermon from in scripture, ‘their foot shall slip in due time’ (Deut 32:35), there isn’t a middle ground with God.  You (and the church) are either hot or cold. Lukewarm is the path that leads to destruction.

 

 

Fotolia_859018_XS_jpg_cropped525x195o117,0s276x195

 

 

Who am I today…?

Label-Maker

Label:  A word or phrase that describes someone or something.

One of the many definitions of the word ‘Label’.  A word that is cast about in our society today with a variety of intent. People like labels, people hate labels, people feel the need to label, people want labels removed.  This word has become the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” trigger.

Any given day, at any given time, you can hear and see labels being tossed around with such complacency…yet as quickly as used, are being cause to charged emotional reactions.

There are simple labels cast upon people, individuals, such as ‘black’ or ‘white’ to denote skin color. The popular labels used to designate affiliations such as ‘democrat’ or ‘republican’.  The newer generational labels to describe, such as ‘gay’ or ‘straight’.  All these types are scrutinized to see if they are using the label as a means of identification to good or if it is a tool to castigate someone ‘different’.

The funny part about labels is how they show the hypocrisy of people.  Humanity is so quick to charge themselves as this or thus, but when labeled by others, they anger at the thought of being pigeon-holed!  Really?  I’m confused!  You want to be labeled, but get upset when you are?  Huh?

So, that being said, our world has taken things to such an extreme of stupidity now regarding labels. People want to be labeled as non-labeled.  The “I identify as…” generation has promoted the label of ‘ambiguous’.

am·big·u·ous
amˈbiɡyo͞oəs/
adjective: ambiguous
  1.  open to more than one interpretation; having a double meaning.
    • unclear or inexact because a choice between alternatives has not been made.

Ok. I get that you don’t want to be labeled with a political affiliation or a particular religion or even an ethnic background. It doesn’t change who you are! With or without a label, you are who you are inside and out and people are going to identify you one way or another.

I’m gonna draw the line at a point though. Gender.

So, you are trying to push on me that you are neither male or female? This is where my Common-Sense-Meter is jumping off the scales! I don’t care how flaky and extreme you are, but, the facts are facts. You have a penis, you are a male. You have a vagina, you are a female. You can lop it off or add one on all you want, but the fact of the matter still remains: You ARE what you were born with!

I use this Bradley Manning person that is in the news as an example.  Aside from him (yes, I am using the proper pronoun to describe this human) being a traitor to the country; aside from our government allowing him to be associated with our army; aside from him whining and demanding that he wants to play dress up in girls clothes…aside from all that, he is still MALE.

You pee standing up, you use the men’s room. Putting on a dress doesn’t make you any more a woman than putting lipstick on a pig changes the animal. The label doesn’t change who or what you are!

“But, I was born with the wrong parts.”  “I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body.” “I identify as a….”

Sorry.  Not gonna buy into that game. You want to play dress up and act a certain way because you have ‘feelings’ for the same-sex, go right ahead.  But, don’t you drag me into accepting this. Not my circus, not my monkeys!  I don’t have to accept you playing gender games anymore than you have to accept me as a good writer.  We all play pretend from time to time, but I will not be forced into accepting every and any label people want to attach to themselves!

Today, I am this…tomorrow, I think I’ll be that!

they-said-i-could-be-anything-so-i-became-a-penguin

The issue here, folks, is not that you have to believe the same way as everyone else, the issue comes down to how your beliefs or claims or labels are pushed on others.  I believe in the Bible as the inerrant word of God…but that doesn’t mean you better make concessions for me in all ways because of this!  Think about the common sense level we are talking about here! There has to be a point where the spiral is stopped! Everything is getting pushed so far to the extremes that the free-for-all of lunacy is a blurred and borderless line!  Where does it stop?

I’m going to leave that to moral judgement.  I have my line…and it is a pretty fair line at that. Considering all of the labels that people love/hate out there, I figure that common sense and a moral base need to be used to filter reality from the label-land of make-believe!

1 Cor 13:11 says “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

Good advice.

Fotolia_859018_XS_jpg_cropped525x195o117,0s276x195

 

 

 

Un-Social Media

Breaking News!  Social media is destroying humanity!  Okay, perhaps it isn’t breaking news. And maybe it hasn’t destroyed it completely. But, the extent of my statement really depends on clarifying some definitions of news, destroy, or social.  Let us take a look at those definitions and see what we end up with!

News reporting agencies can be funny entities. They are often the very heralds of doom and gloom, and yet thoroughly pride themselves as being the “first” to bring it to you. How thoughtful.  Yet in this day and age of information demand, we clamor at every source we can to stay informed and aware. As many of you know, I am one such junkie. I often find myself confused when I bring a news item to a conversation and no one is aware of the story.  Really?  I thought everyone was in-the-know about the feral cat problem in Hindustan!  (I jest…somewhat…)

But our sources of information are missing out on a really big story. That there seems to be a lack of awareness of the degradation of human interaction around us. “Social” has been morphing from how we interacted with one another into a cold, barren way. It is caving in to the world of electronics.  The explosion of social media websites is nothing new. From the advents of My Space to the highly popular Facebook and Twitter, there is certainly no shortage of internet places to “socialize”.  Major companies like Google and Yahoo have also thrown their hats into the ring with versions.  The goal: get you to use their system so that they can make money from advertisers.  Simple as that. This is corporate America looking for a means to get money.  But, at what cost?

I’m all for businesses making money.  After all, this is the land of opportunity!  Where I have a problem is when socializing is stripped down to impersonal typed words and picture postings.  Where human interaction is via electricity and not face to face.  Where emotions are conveyed by ‘smileys’.  The word social is generically defined as companionships or relations, in community versus isolated.  People are, by nature, social creatures and have the need to engage with others.  Social is key to society…groups of people together.  In the past, people would socialize with one another by gathering together.  These would be the times for friends and families to talk, share, help, care, love, support, and belong.  Sadly, that type of socializing is being replaced.  Actually, it is being destroyed.  I don’t think I need to define destroy.

It would seem that people today find solace in checking their cell phones or computers for their social fix.  Online you can post comments and pictures, share your feelings, give a virtual hug or pat on the back, date, and even break up.  Yes, that all happens on there.  Many of the things that used to be done “in person” are now “impersonal”.  People have had entire relationships online. If that doesn’t make you sad, then you may want to go see someone “in person” to get some help.  I say that bluntly with hopes of a wake up call!  Socializing is an imperative part of being human, and having human interaction is a necessary part of our mental and emotional well-being.  Give thought to the punishment of ‘solitary confinement’…separation of humans from humans.  It’s a punishment, not a reward.  Sociologists and medical experts know that the key to our sanity is the need for human contact.

It can be safely said that social media is destroying humanity.  Humans have social needs and, quite frankly, social media does not fulfill that need.  We may think that we are socializing, but it should not be the replacement to actual face-to-face socializing.  Sitting in your room with the computer is not giving you human contact.  If anything, it is numbing the human right out of you!  I would love to see the withdrawals people would have if they didn’t have their internet social medias to check every 10 seconds.  They might actually have to learn some face-to-face skills!

I understand that friends and family separated by distance use these formats as a means to stay in contact.  No issues here with that.  It’s when it becomes your everything, your lifeline to the outside world that is standing right next to you.  When people can gather in a room with one another and hardly speak to each other because they are busy “socializing” online.   I am always amazed, but rarely shocked anymore, when I see groups of people in the store walking down the aisles with their faces in their phones and no interaction with those whom they are with.  I feel sad by this, but this is evidence of the destruction of socializing.

Try something here…a new social media.  I call it talking.  This type of media requires two people, in the same location, each equipped with a mouth and ears.  This social media requires no electricity, data plan, or computer.  You simply speak what you would normally type and the other person hears what you said!  Then, the person that listened to you will probably say something back, which you would use your ears to hear it!  Crazy, I know, but when you repeat that process, possibly adding more people together….oh, the socializing that can happen!!!  Don’t call me a pioneer…I checked my history and found out that it was all the rave long ago!