Life is not complicated. Figuring out the right formula for it can be, but it needn’t. Just make sure to search for answers in the right places. Neither is politics too complicated. It mirrors life. In today’s culture though, maybe it’s life that’s imitating politics. Who knows? Mostly it’s a jumbled and confusing offering of angry hate-filled unsolicited opinion. Everything is tinged with disrespect, snark and hatred. Unexplainable hatred. Much of that has to do with our new found world of social media and mega doses of keyboard courage. But that’s for another day.
Uniformed people are easily swayed by misinformation. Especially when it’s added to their prejudices, ideological leanings and likely degree of ignorance. Prejudice and any particular ideology are not the property of a singular race, religion or political leaning. If you believe they are, then maybe you need to take a long introspective soul-searching look in the mirror. Maybe just look around at the crowd with which you share groupthink. That’s really your mirror.
Political advertising most of us love to hate is an example of misinformation. So is much of our media. I probably read too much news, but maybe it’s not such a horrifying malady. In advertising and media, it’s difficult if not practically impossible to find a completely reliable source for truth. There is one. The Holy Bible. Open it. It’s the place for answers. I’m not a preacher, I’m not a schooled theologian, and my life is far from angelic. I am where life’s journey has led me. A journey not always along the straight and narrow path.
A Godless population and one not properly educated in history and government is easily influenced. Recorded history is only as accurate as the author’s prejudices and ideology allows. History is written by the winners the saying goes. It’s also an enduring truth. In life, I am certain of few things, but of this I am. A person without a solid moral foundation and an accurate understanding of history and government is easily attracted to worldly glitter. Fantasies of utopia. Personally, I’ve traveled down that road. The journey might be pleasurable even a bit exhilarating at times, but the destination? Well, it’s not a good place. Still, it’s a journey okay. Albeit one without a compass or roadmap.
With whatever foundation we’ve built for ourselves or we’ve gained through education or the great American socialization process, we set out to shape the world. Or to fix it. Or to damn it. Too often we walk into a firestorm that ends in a battle about history or morality. We battle about a past we cannot change and a future we cannot predict. We judge people from the past with today’s standards. Knowing little more than innuendo, we judge people of the present. The morality we fight about is never ours. It’s always theirs. The problem with that is that we’ve never taken a deep dive into ourselves. Scripture advises:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:7 (NIV)
Someday I’ll have to answer up. You will too. Whatever measure we’ve used to judge others is the measure that will be used to judge us. I’m not certain that I’ll pass the test. Are you? We should look inward before casting stones. That’s for certain.
In our time, morals are more often discussed in terms of man-given law and politics rather than Biblically. Or maybe it’s just that political ponderings are where I encounter these discussions. Immorality is immorality. Sin is a sin. There really are no shades of gray. Yet we battle over some offensive profane statement by repeating the statement ad nauseum as if to demonstrate how earthshattering it was and how it defines the entirety of a person’s character. Using that standard, barely a few will ever measure up. However, morality does not make it into the conversation when someone decides to kill an unborn child. Right up to the date of birth. No, they’re just exercising their man-given right to take the life of the most defenseless.
America’s journey through history is not a long one. For as bad as we speak of ourselves, we are still blessed to be here. In our Declaration of Independence, we appealed to “the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions” and declared “a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.” In the beginning of our great country we knew who to look to for guidance and protection. Are we looking in the right places now? Maybe we should recall the words God spoke to Solomon concerning Israel – His people. Appropriate words for us to contemplate as well:
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
© 2020 J. D. Pendry, All Rights Reserved