|Vol. 12 No. 8 August 2010||
Donald R. Fox
Basically, the public was introduced to television during the 1939-1940 World’s Fair in New York. World War II hindered and delayed television production until after the war. My generation enjoyed the radio. Radio had all sorts of programming from music, news and all kinds of shows: comedy, drama and the like. One of the favorites was “The Shadow,” a mystery show. The weekly program would start off with an eerie voice exclaiming, “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!” followed by a weird laugh.
Generally, we do not use the word lurking too much; even the sound of the word is creepy, is it not? Our English dictionary defines lurks and lurking in part as “To lie in wait, as in ambush. To exist unobserved or unsuspected as danger lurking around every bend” (The Free Dictionary by Farlex). Further, “Lurk implies a waiting in concealment or in the background, especially with sinister or menacing intentions” (Webster’s New World Dictionary, College Edition).
Frequently, we are unaware of the evil that lurks in the hearts of men. We see the outward man and we can be fooled to the true nature of his makeup. For a biblical example, we ask ourselves and ponder, why would Cain hate his brother Abel? What caused Cain to possess an unobserved or unsuspected evil hidden within his being? God rejected Cain’s offering. Cain was wroth, that is, he was blazed up in anger, he was jealous of Abel. In his heated rage, Cain killed his brother. We wonder if negative character traits lurked within him and how long did Cain harbor his menacing intentions? Did not Cain know what God had commanded of him? Yes, he did! “But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?”(Genesis 4:5-7).
God Knows Our Hearts
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:12-14).
“ For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great (Luke 6:43-49).
For some time now, I have been contemplating a phenomenon that I, through observation, could see existed, but I did not quite know how to verbalize. However, I think the words have finally come to me. I have observed that when the subnormal becomes normal, then what is normal becomes abnormal.
I have reached this conclusion after watching and hearing biblical concepts and spiritual people ridiculed as being “weird,” “radical” and “abnormal.” However, after assessing these doctrines and people, I have determined that they are not abnormal at all. Rather, they are being labeled as “abnormal” by people who unknowingly think “subnormal” is “normal.”
Rather than talking in abstract, allow me to share a few concrete examples.
A family is led in a quiet prayer at a restaurant. Another Christian across the room looks on and concludes they are “strange” and would himself, be embarrassed to be seen praying for his food. Is a praying family “abnormal?” Only through the eyes of one who thinks the “subnormal” is “normal.”
A young lady will not wear revealing and suggestive clothing, but instead wears clothing that is modest. Her Christian peers may look at her and conclude she’s “out of touch” because she will not wear the latest fashions. However, is dressing modestly “abnormal?” Only through the eyes of one who thinks the “subnormal” is “normal.”
A Christian couple attends a play, and due to the gratuitous cursing, decides to leave at intermission. Other Christians are present, and conclude the Christian couple who left are “prudes” and need to “lighten up.” However, is the decision to seek out godly entertainment “abnormal?” Only through the eyes of one who thinks the “subnormal” is “normal.”
A church is in the process of appointing elders and deacons. The elders ask the church to pray and fast. Some in the congregation think to themselves that being asked to pray is one thing, but being asked to fast is just “weird.” However, is asking the church to pray and fast “abnormal?” Only through the eyes of one who thinks the “subnormal” is “normal.”
A young Christian refuses to share, download or even listen to illegally obtained music. His friends in the youth group think he is ridiculous for his decision. However, is honesty in all things “abnormal?” Only through the eyes of one who thinks the “subnormal” is “normal.”
A Christian lady privately goes to another Christian woman who has recently offended her in an attempt to resolve their problem. No sooner than their meeting is over, the Christian woman being rebuked is on the phone telling her friends about how brazen and nervy this Christian lady was. However, is trying to settle privately one’s differences “abnormal?” Only through the eyes of one who thinks the “subnormal” is “normal.”
I could keep going with many more examples that illustrate this phenomenon, but such should suffice. I just want this to be a wakeup call. Maybe we have been living “subnormal” lives and did not realize it. Friends, it is time that we reclaim normalcy, and stop living subnormal lives. Pretending “subnormal” is “normal” does not make it so, and neither does calling “normal” behavior “abnormal” make it so.
Are those strange, abnormal people we know really abnormal, or could it be that we have been living subnormal lives? What do you think?