September 17, 2016
I wrote this back in October of 2003, but nothing changed except names and places have been added to the list. My premise is still the same. I would say much of my last sentence has come to pass.
I am as appalled at the murders at Jonesboro as anybody, but I am not ready to accept the judgment of the Media/Liberal Left as to the cause of this tragedy. I listened as the gun toting Southern culture was named the reason for this and that a child is the product of his environment. I am very accustomed to Southern bashing by the media. It is as common as the cold. The West is catching the flack also. After all, they are just as terrible as the South. They only trail us by 10% in the number of gun owners while the righteous North only has 23% of their population that are crazy.
They mentioned that ever since the War of Northern Aggression (not their phraseology, but more accurate), the South has revered the soldier. In this society, it is refreshing that anyone has respect for the soldier. Yes, there is a long legacy of exercising our constitutional right to keep and bear arms in this country. This fact established I find it interesting that untold numbers of Southern (as well as Northern and Western) fathers have trained their sons to hunt. Those sons grew up to fight our country’s wars and in turned have trained their sons to do the same. They held down jobs, raised families and used their weapons for their proper purpose. In the old days, men like this would have been considered fine citizens and patriots. Now, they are just part of the vast right wing conspiracy and the cause for all the woes of the nation.
I was in boot camp with a lad from Alaska. Alaska is not Southern or Western. He had been hunting since he was able to hold a rifle. Our first time at the firing range, he placed sixty out of sixty shots in the head of the target. He had never shot anyone in his school. Why not? Murder was not in his heart. Hence my premise that it is the son, not the gun.
A pistol or a rifle is a weapon of self-defense, a tool to teach responsibility to hearth and country, a tool to teach discipline and a means of self-defense. The police do a fine and often unappreciated job, but they cannot be everywhere. As much as ever, today’s citizen needs to be armed.
Murder stops when you remove it from the heart. Take away one weapon and a murderous heart will find another. A toothbrush with a whittled handle is a weapon. The six-inch pair of scissors in my office is a weapon. Well, not exactly. It is a tool, but I can misuse the tool and make it a weapon if murderous thoughts enter my heart and I enact those thoughts.
What do we do about a razor? We recently had an area youth use a razor as a weapon of self-harm and when others sought to stop him; he turned it into a weapon to harm them. I guess we need to ban razors, scissors, knives, and tooth brushes. A surgeon’s scalpel or one of their other tools kills more children than any other means and we have legalized those weapons of death because they save lives in the right hands when use for the right purposes. Guns are the same.
The boys in Jonesboro had murder in their hearts. Had there been no guns, they might have stolen some dynamite that farmers keep around for stump removal. In that case, the loss of life could have been much greater. I am sure that there were other methods, but I am not one to figure out ways to kill people. I am amazed at the things that Hollywood comes up with in movies that would have never crossed my mind.
While we are on that subject, let’s deal with the issue that children are a product of their environment. If we were all sheltered like the days before television and movies, maybe we would not have copy cat crimes so close together. News did not travel as fast and we did not have extremely detailed coverage of every gory murder broadcast and rebroadcast so that troubled people could get the facts down well so that they can imitate the crime. Yes, the press must remain free, but I think it could be handled in a much more discrete way than it is now.
I said that I am not one to sit around and figure out ways to maim and murder people. Hollywood has plenty of script writers for that. I can remember when the Lone Ranger, Zorro, Roy Rogers, and John Wayne never killed anyone. At worst, they winged them, but normally shot the gun out of the bad guy’s hand and then boxed/wrestled them into submission and jail.
Now good and bad guys alike blow off heads, arms, etc with flows of blood and parts in digitized full gore color. In many movies, it is getting hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Both have the same habits, attitudes and ability to kill and then go out for a drink or a woman as if they had just squashed a mosquito. There are no morals to any of the stories anymore. It is just senseless killing and sex. I just can’t imagine why a child might not be as sensitive or hold a proper sense of the value of life. Hollywood and the music industry spend millions on vivid visual and verbal imagery to earn millions glorifying gangsters and their lifestyles. Yep, the child is a product of his environment.
Oh yes, is it not interesting that since the coming of Dr. Spock, the removal of God from the classrooms and the teaching of evolution as fact instead of a poorly formulated and unsubstantiated theory that kids have gone ape? After all, that is what we teach them. They are high tech apes that make their own ethics as they go to suit their personal situations which means that God is dead or you are a god. Gods have the power of life and death. If a god decides that it is right for you to die then you die. Video role games abound where the player is a demon or god with vast powers to torture or destroy their enemy. Studies have shown that men exposed to pornography become desensitized to rape. Any wonder why our children are desensitized to violence? We have given our children such a great environment since 1965.
Parents, I do not leave you off the hook. With all the trash out there your job is much harder, but you must still do your job. You must resist the temptation to consider raising your children properly equating to providing more material things for them. What they need more than ever is your time and attention. When you spend sixty to seventy hours a week to provide them the toys and gadgets of this age you are telling them that the toys are the priorities of life. He who dies with the most toys loses most often his soul. The soul is priceless. Your children are priceless and will survive not having all the toys, but they cannot survive losing your love and time.
Having said that, we must pass the ultimate responsibility back to the individual, whether child or adult. I am a strong believer in a free will. Families, Church, and Society has failed many children over the years, but those children exercised their free will and found faith and strength to overcome those deficits and become men and women of character and brought values to the ones who have failed them. I may be forced to grow up in a cesspool of ignorance and walk through the sewer of an immoral society, but no one can stop me from showering if I really want to be clean. The choice to remain dirty is mine.
These children chose to murder other children and the heroic teacher. They must then be tried as adults. In Hebraic culture and some Christian sects, the age of adulthood is twelve. In other sects, there is the age of accountability that means whenever you know right from wrong and you choose to do wrong then you are held accountable before God. I cannot believe that these children did not know right from wrong. I find it hard to believe that they would think that it was OK or just a game to shoot people down in cold blood. My heart grieves with the parents and loved ones of the victims and of the boys. I cannot imagine the grief of the boys’ family. I can imagine that of the victims’ families.
These children had murder in their heart and it matured them beyond their years and they have committed an adult crime. I do not know who may have failed them, if anyone. They may have had all the love of their family and the Church. Their society may have been trying to help them all that it could. Nevertheless, they chose to kill. It was premeditated. It was not children playing with a weapon and by happenstance discharged a round into a crowd. The victims were picked off like squirrels or quail. The boys went to kill and they killed. That is an adult choice. It requires an adult sentence. I would vote for the death penalty. These boys and the ones in Kentucky and Mississippi should be executed. I do not say that lightly. I have children and grandchildren and the thought of a child on the electric chair is anathema to me emotionally. I have no desire for anyone to die uselessly or needlessly, but these murders cannot be dismissed without justice.
I believe that our society is a breeding ground for this type of thing. While we must reap what we have sown, we must still seek to prevent the spread of the disease. I pray that we would someday return to the truth that will prevent the disease and use it to heal those that are infected before they become rabid and must be destroyed. No, it is not the gun. It is the son. Unless we return our country to the Son we will all one day lose everything to much worse than a gun. God help us!!
September 17, 2016
September 4, 2016
A. W. Tozer Sermon: I Choose To Worship
Explains why there are so many churches started when there are already sound churches in a town. Someone has a new gimmick or new “twist” on a passage or a man can’t find a church to call him as pastor so he starts one. It is church based on the consumer as well. If you disagree with something, keep looking, you will find a church to agree with you or condone something you know is wrong, but you wanted your pastor to agree it was OK. You can truly find the church of your choice even if it is not the church of His choice.
I was often asked why I did not start a church. I replied that I don’t want a church of Shultzites. There are more buildings then are necessary now so I see no reason to start a new one as some need to be closed. It is better to seek God’s renewal of what is in place than to start a new church started by man and not God.
If Paul were writing Scripture today a book might start “To the Church at Cleburne/or your town, not to the churches. Rarely is a church split of God. It is normally a flesh thing. Yes, a denomination can be taken over by heretics and that is when the righteous need to pull out and establish a fellowship based on the Word, but if there is a sound fellowship in the area then they need to join that one. O, that Baptists would take this to heart, but there are many others as well.
We are to be one so there should be more church mergers than splits especially as we see the day of His returning nearing and the forces of evil intensifying their activity. There is strength in unity as long as that unity is based upon truth and not unity in spite of the absence of truth. Imagine the power we might see if we returned to seeking His will and His kingdom’s purpose rather than our petty human whims and wishes.
If we merged, it might be possible to have services for all shifts, seven days a week with the extra manpower, not to mention to have more funds for missions and the masses since we are not supporting nearly empty buildings. All those services would make it harder for someone to say they are working on the days we have worship or coming off third shift. In fact, since Paul did say we should be meeting more as the day approaches, that would be a fitting response to his exhortation/commandment. Just sayin’.