Centauri Emperor: How will this end?
Ambassador Kosh: <musical tones> In fire!
~ Babylon Five, “The Coming of Shadows”
Yesterday, another man was shot by police. Allen Berly Todd Jr. was shot when he resisted arrest and apparently refused to drop his weapon. Where are the protests, such is still going on in the case of an idiot at Walmart who kept pointing a BB gun at people and disobeyed police instructions? Where are Al
Charlatan Sharpton and Jessie “Himey town” Jackson? Oh, that’s right! Todd was a white guy, so he doesn’t count!
The violence of the killing of New York police execution-style, riots in Ferguson, and much, much more point to the violence of this age. However, there are enough facets to this Todd story to have several take-aways, and I want to cover just a few. It especially, however, points to one very big point that is particularly obvious and bothersome to true Christians this time of year, and I want to expand upon that particular point.
I dread having to point out what should be obvious, but one thing that is blatantly obvious is that common sense is in short supply. The biggest shame of all isn’t that people cannot discover the truth, for it is sitting right there before them, but that they do not even care. I see this all the time in dealing with people, and it is worse with some than others, but the fact is that majority of the human race is neither rational nor sane.
We have to be different. Christians are called to be people of truth, even when it hurts.
Here are some takeaways from Todd’s situation:
- Idiots often get killed. If you have a weapon, if you make people feel threatened, and if you disobey law enforcement, then expect to get shot. Race and all the rest do not matter. Obey the police unless you have a very good reason, and even then you should not be surprised if you get shot still.
- By most reports, Todd was having difficulty staying employed and was upset that he could not afford Christmas presents. The world’s holidays put an unrealistic expectation and unreasonable stress upon people. God’s holy days stress something completely different, including planning and saving ahead of time and being generous but only as far as one is able.
- According to TV reports, Todd had a prior and did time. He was released and was unable to find steady employment. Liberal “compassion” rules out the death penalty, but ex-offenders are left with a far worse fate where they are kicked out into a world that doesn’t want them either and forces them to re-offend just to survive. There once was a charade of rehabilitation, but the system no longer even pretends to do that any longer. Is such an existence better than death? Who is showing compassion under this present system?
Mark Wahlberg is a rising star, with platinum records and an acting career. However, he has a record, which has lead him to try to get it pardoned. Quartz ran the editorial, “Mark Wahlberg shouldn’t get a pardon for his teenage violence, but there’s one thing he’s right about“, which should be a must-read for anyone really trying to understand why God’s system is far more just than anything man can come up with. In fact, the only thing that really resembles prison under the Law of Moses is when someone accidentally kills another. Not murderers, but ones who through neglect commit manslaughter. Even thieves are required to repay, even if it means working the debt off, which is far more just than simply taking more from society rather than becoming a contributor to society by being housed and fed without any work at all.
As much as I could write several articles on the last point alone, I want to hone in on the previous point that Todd purportedly was upset that he could not buy his family Christmas presents. Laying aside the entire pagan origins of the holiday, laying aside whether or not it should be celebrated, I really want to ask: Is such a thing worth it? Death over Christmas presents?
Focusing on the Here and Now
In a way, I suppose, even that isn’t totally his fault. Look at the marketing this time of year! Look at the emphasis upon “get” in a world that only values you according to how many toys and trophies you collect, i.e. get, while alive.
30 Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
~ Pr 6:30
Yes, I can pity someone who steals in order to eat or to feed their family, but, I’m sorry, I cannot extend that compassion to stealing in order make yourself look good. It is nothing less than materialistic pride to not look bad by not buying any presents.
That is focusing upon the here and now.
Thankfully, Christians don’t do that, right?
Actually, some that call themselves Christian really do seem to have lost their focus. I remember a bunch jumping upon a bandwagon on a UCG Facebook page about how they hoped that God would resurrect their pets. Their pets!?! Talk about dwelling on the small stuff. That’s why I’m glad that Life Hope & Truth recently ran “Will God Resurrect Animals?” Personally, I think we are going to be far too busy getting to know other members of God’s family, working towards a common goal, guiding shellshocked people through the Millennium and preparing the New Jerusalem to worry about past physical things.
I find myself having trouble pulling away from this physical world, as some of you are well aware. I got another fun legal notice in the mail today that makes me worry that yet another obstacle has been put in my path. I have a friend who recently lost her son, went to her first Feast since his death, and subsequently had a severe stroke. Another person I respect lately died, and I could not afford to travel to the funeral. I live with someone who is undoubtedly the most selfish and yet most apathetic person I have ever met, and I struggle every day to check my attitude.
I am amazed at how events and people can be organized into such an attack, but then I realize we have a powerful enemy. I used to ponder if he had nothing better to do, and the real answer is, “No”, believe it or not. In fact, getting us discouraged, depressed and in a state of unfaith is one of his major goals. If he cannot get to the Father directly, he will “attack” God through us! Of course, the irony is he attacked Christ as well and drove people to crucify Him, but that was playing right into God’s hands!
And, it isn’t just me. After all, from what I described, you can see there is at least a widow and another person in seriously poor health. The prayer list seems to always get longer.
Still, these are things dictated to us by this temporary world!
Ambassador Kosh in the sci-fi show Babylon 5 was correct that everything would end in fire, but he was wrong about it being the end.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Peter points out that this physical world will end in fire, but he goes to great pains to point out that there will be a new heavens and earth. This world, and all of the worries and troubles we know now, will be gone. It will be replaced by something newer and better.
Against this backdrop, he asks a very important question: “What manner of persons should you be?”
His answer is that we should engage in holy and godly conduct by keeping ourselves unspotted by the world (cf Jas 1:27).
He also says we should be found by Christ “in peace”. When I look at those who cause division with the Body with slander, gossip, insinuations against those whom are in reality are conducting themselves in a more godly manner than the accuser (Mt 7:3-5), it becomes very evident who will be on the outside looking in because they are spotted both from the outside by the world and from the inside from the cancer of their arrogance, and they will drag down their followers with them.