Good for Goose and Gander; One and All?

There is an old proverb that says: “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander! The meaning is: ‘What is good for a woman is equally good for a man.’ The principle is: What is good for one type is equally good for another type, despite any irrelevant differences between the types. Well, we live in a culture and society wherein it seems the rights of the individual are being promoted and respected over the good of the group, even if those rights are detrimental to the group of which the individual is a member.

I’ve been thinking about something that I am trying to ‘flesh-out’ to see if it is a universally applicable principle in view of the insistence of individuals to demand the right to express themselves, even if their expressions are contrary and harmful to the group. Here’s the principle I’ve been investigating: ‘If it is good or right for one or some; it should be good or right for all!’ Now, let’s see how that works with some of the issues that are being debated in our society today.

Let’s start with racism. If it is good or right for one or some people to be racist; it should be good or right for all people to be racist! But, what kind of world would it be if everybody was a racist? Would it be a world that anyone would want to live in? I don’t think so! I think it would be Hell! If everybody thought and acted like they were better or more privileged than everybody else, we would have the recipe for a chaotic and dangerous society!

And speaking of danger: What would society look like if it was good and right for everyone to own and carry guns? Well, we really don’t have to imagine what it would look like; we’ve already been there and done that: It was the era of the wild, wild west! You can see milder versions of what that was like by looking at old episodes of Gun-smoke, Rifleman, and Bonanza! As I am typing this post, I am recalling news reports of shoot-outs between gang members and law enforcement that rival and surpass the famous gun fight at the OK Corral!

At the risk of being labelled hateful and insensitive, I dare bring up the issue of homosexuality! If it is good and right for one or some people to be homosexual; it should be good and right for everybody to be homosexual. But what would our world look like if everyone was a practicing homosexual? In fact, perhaps an even greater question is: Would there be a world at all? It takes a man and a woman to have a baby. Would we really be at ease and satisfied with a generation of test-tube babies; all produced by artificial insemination? I don’t think we would!

What about criminal activity? If it is right and good for one or some people to be crooks, then it is good and right for all people to be crooks! But what kind of world would it be if everybody was a crook? If everyone was a liar, a thief, a deceiver, a devious person, a pervert, or whatever? Do you see my point?

The point is this: Whether we like it or not, there are moral principles and guidelines that have been instituted by a Higher Power! Man, in his arrogance, likes to think of himself as being his own god! But, if everybody was their own god; society would break down into chaos! (By the way; since we have thrown off the yoke of the true God, this is exactly where we are headed!) Just because you may not like or agree with these moral principles, that doesn’t exempt you from their jurisdiction! People think it is OK to break God’s laws, but in the final analysis; they really don’t just break the law; the law breaks them! Our world is filled with people who are broken, disconnected and lost because of their attempt to be their own god! In the final analysis: What’s good for the goose may or may not be good for the gander, but it is not the right of the goose or the gander to decide what that ‘good’ is! That right is reserved only for the Creator of the goose and the gander! The Creator of the goose and the gander knows that there are some things that are good for the goose and the gander, but there are also some things that are good for the goose but not for the gander!

All Dogs ‘Don’t’ Go To Heaven

all dogsIn an age of political correctness and moral inclusiveness, talk of the concept of Hell is passé and distasteful, even in the church and in religious circles. It seems that there is a prevailing belief today that it does not matter what is done in life or what type of life one may live, when one dies; there is an automatic admission into Heaven. In other words, the prevailing belief is that all dogs go to Heaven!

I was confronted with this common belief that everyone goes to Heaven when they die when I viewed a Facebook posting not too long ago. It was a memorial posting in memory of someone who had been murdered, who during their life-time, was a known drug-dealer and gang-banger. I would have passed the post up were it not for the artistic rendition of the deceased drug-dealer, hovering in the clouds with angel-wings and a gold chain around his neck! Among the many comments to the posts were comments like: “Rest in Peace Hommie!” and “I know you’re in a better place now!” Now, I am not one to judge whether or not this person actually is in Heaven or not; that’s not my call. All I’m simply saying is this: You can’t die a devil and be raised a saint! If he did not accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior, he is not resting in peace and neither is he in a better place!

I know we don’t like to talk about it, but if the Bible is true, then we must accept the fact that there are people in Hell! We must accept the fact, no matter how distasteful it might be, that all dogs DON’T go to Heaven! If that were the case, then Jesus came and died for nothing! If everybody goes to Heaven anyway, then there really is no sense in church, morality, or even right-and-wrong! If all dogs go to Heaven; the Bible and the idea of God, is a lie!

Now, people like to think that God is a God of love and that such a loving God would not send people to Hell! And they are right! That’s why the Bible says: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV) God loved us so much that he sent His only Begotten Son. The Son loved us so much that he gave his life on a cross. The problem today is that people want to go to Heaven on their own terms! And they are upset and they reject the idea of a Holy God who would dare to put restrictions upon their desire to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to their immoral nature!

But the bottom line is this: No matter how people try to deny it, ignore it, or explain it away; Hell is real! At least Jesus said it was! In fact, he talked more about Hell than he did about Heaven!

God and Heaven paid the ultimate price to keep us from going to Hell! So if there was no chance for us to go in the first place, then the redemption process recorded from Genesis to Revelation is one big fairy tale and if that’s true, it was also a colossal waste of time!

The greatest demonic trick of all times is deniability! Satan wants humanity to disbelieve his existence! But even if you don’t believe in something, your disbelief does not negate its reality! I’m reminded of what I heard a young man say to an old preacher! The young man said: “I don’t believe in Hell!” The old preacher replied: “Your disbelief will not keep you from going!” No! No matter how we might try to deny it or try to “angelize” people who live sinfully, the truth of the matter is this; all dogs don’t go to Heaven!

We’re So Smart: We’re Stupid!

stupid peoplePaul wrote of mankind’s rejection of God in Romans 1:22: “Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].” (The Amplified Bible). Wow! Isn’t that where we are today? Particularly here in America, where we claim to be more civil, sophisticated and smarter than the rest of the world! Yet in America, we have more people incarcerated per capita than any other advanced nation! As of January 15, 2015, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies, there are 2,228,424 prisoners in the United States. That is enough to make the United States rank first in that category. The second highest number of prisoners is in China, at 1,701,344. According to the Brookings Institution, in 2013 there were 710 Americans imprisoned for every 100,000 residents. This makes the United States rank first out of thirty-four OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries ranked in that category. The average incarceration rate among the OECD nations is 115. We spend more money on education than anyone else, yet we are NOT among the list of the 3rd quarter rankings of The World Top 20 Educational Systems! According to the site: Ranking America, the United States rank 14th out of forty countries ranked in the category of cognitive skills and educational attainment!
A study by two New York City cardiologists found that the U.S. has 88 guns per 100 people and 10 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people – more than any of the other 27 developed countries they studied. Japan, on the other hand, had only .6 guns per 100 people and .06 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people, making it the country with both the fewest guns per capita and the fewest gun-related deaths. Drs. Sripal Bangalore, who works at NYU Langone Medical Center, and Dr. Franz Messerli of St. Luke’s Medical Center studied the statistics of guns per capita and gun deaths. They used firearm injury data from the World Health Organization and guns per capita data from the Small Arms Survey to put together a list of 27 developed countries.
In view of the seemingly monthly occurrences of mass-shootings in America, coupled with juvenile behavior of government on all levels, it is obvious that we are not addressing “the elephant in the room!” When we have problems, we think we can fix them by throwing more money at them! But of course, before we do that, we must conduct studies of the studies to verify the finding of the studies! Then we must have meetings to plan the meetings so that we will be more productive in the meetings! I’m sorry, but nobody told me when or where the funeral was held; but apparently, common sense has died! If it is not dead, it is definitely not as common as it used to be!
What is the elephant in the room that we don’t want to address? The fact that the basic problem in this country is something that money, studies, gun-control, and government cannot address! It is the problem of sin! Call it psychoses, social maladjustment, or whatever! The real issue in America is a matter of the spirit! Gun control or even having more guns makes no difference if we have no self-control! But self-control does not come naturally! It comes as one’s spirit is influenced by Spirit of God! But the problem there is that, in America, for the most part, at best, we have restricted God and spiritual things to church buildings on Sunday mornings. And at worst, we deny the reality of spirit, by insisting that a bad home life, mental illness and other factors are to blame and that psychology and behavior modification (Pavlov’s dogs) are the answers! But the truth of the matter is this! Some people just don’t do evil things; some people are evil! And evil is not just restricted to behavior; evil is a malady of the spirit! And the malady of the spirit can only be fixed by the God of the Bible that America seeks to restrict to the pages of the Bible!
Wow! What a mess we have made! We are seeking morality without the Author of morals! We are seeking peace without the Prince of Peace! We’re trying to make people act right while all the time denying the reality of right! In this country, we’re so smart; we’re stupid!

Morality Without God

moral compassThere is an interesting phenomenon occurring in our culture today. People want to dismiss the notion of a supreme authoritative God from the moral landscape yet they insist on still using moralistic terms such as “right” and “wrong.” But how can there be right and wrong when there is no ultimate moral authority? Who decides what is right and what is wrong? Is the question decided by a majority vote or common consensus? The problem with such a notion is that what is deemed as “right” is constantly changing according to the current majority and the will of the majority is too often subject to influence of a vocal minority.

Most people are familiar with the first part of the KJV’s rendition of Proverbs 29:18 which says: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” However, that is not the complete thought of the verse. The latter part of the verse says: “But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Since this is Hebrew poetry, and the main device of Hebrew poetry is parallelism, the first and second sections are usually similar or they are in direct contrast to one another. The second part of the verse starts with a contrasting “but” which let us know that this is a case of contrast. The second part of the verse is a direct contrast or completely opposite of the first part of the verse.

Now this presents us with a problem because of the KJV’s translation of the Hebrew word: “hazon” to the English word: “vision.” In modern English, we normally associate the word “vision” with sight or the setting of goals. But is that the meaning of the word in this verse? Was that the original meaning the author wanted to convey when this text was first written? In view of the contrast in the latter part of the verse, I don’t think it was.

One other possible translation of the Hebrew word, “hazon” is; “word of revelation.” What is “word of revelation?” It is the law or the word of God! Now, while “vision” as we commonly use it is a valid application, I don’t think it was the original author’s intent. I think the original author intended to make a contrast between people perishing who were without the law or the word of God and people blessed (happy) because they keep, that is obey, the law (word of God).

As we conclude, we must also note that the Hebrew word that is translated as “perish” actually means; “let free, make someone go out of control, allow to run wild.” Do you see that? This verse that we have traditionally used to encourage goal-setting and success, actually reveals the cause of the sad state of morality in America today! When people seek to have a righteous morality without a righteous God, the inevitable result is moral chaos! I think the New Living Translation is closer to the original truth the author wanted to convey: “When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.”

The only solution to our social and moral dilemma today is that we turn back and submit to the Divine authority of God and acknowledge that the LORD, He is God! It is He that hath made us and not we ourselves!

When Absolutes Were Absolutely Absolute!

absolute shirtWhatever happened to the day when a man’s word was his bond? Whatever happened to the time when the truth was the truth and a lie was a lie and there was no confusion in differentiating between the two? Whatever happened to the days of absolutes?

The philosophical thinking that governs the social interactions between human beings in our society has shifted dramatically since the beginning to the last century. At the beginning of the 20th century, in the United States, most people functioned according to basic Judeo-Christian principles and common logic. Now, this is not to say that everybody was a Christian or an upright moral person. But, there were certain values and ideas, steeped in the Judeo-Christian tradition that even non-Christians honored. Among these principles was the idea that there was such a thing as absolute truth. For example, if “A” was true and “B” was the exact opposite of “A,” then logic dictated that “B” could not be identical to “A” and hence, if “A” was indeed true, than logic and common sense dictated that “B” was false!

But, somewhere after the bitter reality of two World Wars, we sunk beneath the plane of moral absolutes and common logic. We now live in a time when truth has been transformed from something that was once absolute into something that is now relative! (By using the term: “relative” I mean something, of which the validity of is depended upon unsure and changing factors) The standard of behavior is no longer a clear-cut “black and white” issue, but has been smeared into a non-distinctive gray! For many, the truth is no longer a matter of fact, but merely a matter of popular public opinion! Moral character and integrity has been traded off for political, social and economic expediency. Today, it is considered more proper to be “politically correct” than just simply correct!

A generation ago, the virgin was normal, while the girl who had “been around” was shunned. Today, the girl who has “been around” is glamorized, while the girl (or boy) who is sexually pure is considered to be abnormal! There once was a time when homosexuality was thought to be sin, (by the way, God still calls it sin!) now it is just another of many alternative lifestyles! With the majority of society, drowning in the dark seas of relativism, those who believe in absolutes appear as lighted buoys, illuminating a channel of moral integrity that leads to the firm shore of absolute truth! But the sad reality is that instead of being attracted to the truth as moth are attracted to a light, men love darkness rather than light, so they run from the light into even greater darkness! What is truth? God’s Word is truth! Man may change; but the truth remains the same! If you want to have a firm foothold in a crumbling world, may I suggest that you plant your feet on the Rock! On Christ the Solid and Absolute Rock you can stand, all other ground is sinking sand! All other ground is sinking, shifting, transitory, relative, politically-correct, popular-opinionated sand!