|Vol. 13 No. 2 February 2011||
Donald R. Fox
Do you get the feeling that people are not as polite as in times past? Showing appreciation by saying, “Thank you,” seems rare among many today. Do I think that people do not appreciate receiving a kind word, or you doing something for them? No, I do not! I believe people welcome such things and that has not changed. As I see it, the problem is a lack of good manners. What has happened?Good Propriety and Politeness Is Needed
Simply put, many have not been taught good manners. Teaching decent civil demeanor must start at a young age. By schooling those that are youngsters, the aim is to show respect as a normal reaction in our interaction with people. The term, “Yes sir,” and the like are unknown for too many. Instead of “Yes sir,” you may get a grunt or something like that. For many, this is normal speech. It matters not to whom one is speaking. Be it Mother or Father, the schoolteacher or a policeman, impoliteness is the usual response for many. It is sad to observe those who have never been taught good manners. Sadder is to view those who know politeness is needed in our society; however, they have chosen to be ill-mannered rascals.
“To present a good impression, you must act like you weren’t raised in a barn! It is difficult dealing with those having no manners or concern for others. A huge societal issue is a general lack of respect for what has been taught in history regarding human concern and compassion toward acquaintances. …Good manners are an increasingly archaic school of thought that displays respect, care, and consideration.” (https://www.wikihow.com/Have-Good-Manners)
The Importance of Our Words: “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).
The Influence of Our Words: “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be” (James 3:6-10).
Observation: Have I met polite young folks? Yes, we all have. Have I met impolite older people? Yes, I have. This essay is designed to show the need to instill good manners at an early age. I also believe that maybe we have touched on a pet peeve for some of us. Remember, being taught at an early age to say, “Yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, etc.? Good manners should be a vital part of one’s upbringing. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
D. Gene West
The word “inerrancy means,” “incapable of making mistakes, or containing no mistakes.” Men for hundreds of years have sought to find errors or mistakes within the pages of the Sacred Volume, but none have been found. Several books have been written alleging that there are errors, mistakes and contradictions in the Bible, but these books have been found to be in error because the authors did not carefully read their Bibles before beginning their critical work. In this brief article, we propose to look at one or two of these so-called mistakes of the Bible and demonstrate that if men had only read their Bibles more carefully, they would not have found themselves in the foolish position of affirming the existence of something that does not exist.
In 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, the amicable apostle Paul was urging the Corinthian church to greater faithfulness in its service to Christ, by reminding Christians of the mistakes of the Jewish people in the past. One incident to which he made reference is recorded in Numbers 25, and speaks of a plague that came on the Israelites because they committed harlotry with the people of Moab. The plague came to an end when Phinehas, grandson to Aaron, and son of Eleazar, followed an Israelite man and a Moabite woman into a tent and killed them both with a javelin. The number of people who died in that plague, according to the Book of Numbers was twenty-four thousand (25:9).
When Paul made reference to this event in 1 Corinthians 10:8, he said, “in one day twenty-three thousand fell.” Those who are critical of the Bible are very quick to jump on this incident and declare that there is a contradiction between the writer of the Book of Numbers and Paul, in that Paul mentioned a thousand less people dying in the plague than did the writer of Numbers. However, a little careful reading will clear the problem immediately. Moses recorded in the Book of Numbers that there was a total of twenty-four thousand people who died, and Paul reported that twenty-three thousand of them died in one day. Consequently, there is no contradiction or mistake, because one writer reported the total number of people who died, while the other reported the number who died in one day.
Another example of this sort of thing is found in differences in the years ancient kings of Israel and Judah reigned. By combining the numbers of 1 Kings 15:10; 16:29; and 22:41, the author of these passages alleges that King Ahab of Israel died in the 19th year of the reign of King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Yet, 1 Kings 22:51 says that he died in the 17th year of Jehoshaphat’s reign. Again, it is claimed there is an error, a contradiction between these two passages. By observing other passages of Scripture, we learn that parts of years were counted as whole years in the reigns of kings. That being the case, if one king began to reign in the last month of a year, reigned the whole of the next year, and one month of the third, he was said to have reigned three years rather than the fourteen months he actually reigned. Thus, so far as actual time was concerned Ahab died in the 17th year of Jehoshaphat=s reign, but counting parts of years for whole years because these men were kings, Ahab died in the 19th year of the reign of Jehoshaphat. Consequently, there is no contradiction. We have the reporter of the incident referring once to regal years and a second time to actual years. Even if there was a mistake here, which there is not, one could easily explain it by a copyist’s error, since letters were used for numbers in the Hebrew language. The error would be in copying rather than in revelation. Furthermore, such numbers as these are of no consequence when considering the overall story of the events of that time, and the goal of the Bible, which is to reveal to us God=s dealing with man in order to bring about his redemption from sin. There are no alleged errors in the Bible that cannot be easily explained as we have explained those above. The problem is not that the Bible is full of errors, but that feeble men have no confidence in what God has written for their salvation.