|Vol. 13 No. 6 June 2011||
Donald R. Fox
It was 6:20 p.m. as my wife and I started toward the church building for Wednesday Night Bible Study, 23 July 2008. We like to take the old country road toward the church building. The road is little traveled, especially at that time of night. We made a hard right turn on the small road, and the beginning of a straight stretch for about 400 yards. Suddenly, at that point we got into a lot of broken glass on the road. Dodging the huge amount of glass we noticed two boys about 300 yards away, breaking glass. The entire road was littered with broken glass. I blew my car horn at them. One ran and hid in the soybean field next to the road. The other froze and waited for us to get to him. With adult authority we said, “Why have you done this? We are going to notify the police. We see you out in that field!” “He did it!” the other boy said, pointing to the soybean field. Shirley, my wife, being somewhat angry said, “You better start picking up this glass! We are on our way to the police.” We drove to the police station and reported the problem. This old country road was now very dangerous for motorists as well as others that jog/walk this quiet road.
Why did these boys play in such a mischievous way? Surely they knew better! Surely they knew it was wrong! Did they not care? Why was this fun for them? Why didn’t they exhaust themselves in healthy activities such as playing ball and the like? Why the damaging and malice behavior? Truthfully, I do not have an answer to these questions. Unruly and unprincipled people are inclined to sin. “It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom” (Proverbs 10:23). “A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent” (Proverbs 15:5). “Devise not evil against thy neighbor, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee” (Proverbs 3:29). “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord” (Psalm 25:7).
Do I think these boys are wicked sinners? No, I do not! Are they beginning to enjoy, and are they inclined toward mischief? Yes, I think so! They need to be disciplined! A greater need is for them to learn what is civil behavior and conduct. If they don’t and if they continue and grow in this mischievous behavior, well you know, the rest of the story. “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). “Let love be without dissimulation [“hypocrisy” ASV]. Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another” (Romans 12:9-10).
These youngsters practiced malice and unkindness toward their fellow neighbors! They broke the law! Love for their fellow man is greatly needed. We pray for them that they will put away such mischief before it grows to flagrant lawlessness.
Some may think I should have not taken the time to write an essay about the tomfoolery of these boys. As kids, some of us have done things that were out of order. Early youthful corrections can turn-around wrong behavior.
D. Gene West
According to the ACLU and other similar anti-American and anti-Christian organizations, those people who claim to be Christians are the bad guys. We are, according to their warped view, trying to force our religion on everyone by erecting symbols, such as sculptures of the Ten Commandments, in public places such as in school yards, courthouse lawns, etc. Everyone is free to wear, or otherwise present, in schools, courtrooms and elsewhere, the symbols of their religion except those who claim to be Christians. According to such atheistic and communistic organizations as the ACLU, Christianity has caused the downfall of civilization, and every vestige of any kind of belief called Christian should be removed from all public eyes. It is only a matter of time until such columns as this one will be attacked by such organizations as those mentioned above in an effort to remove our right to free speech in this country. It is already being done in this country.
There are certain foreign and idolatrous religions in this country that were not here fifty years ago that are joining with the anti-Christian movement. If those who claim to be Christians in any way criticize these heathen faiths, we immediately become the bad guys, and the demand is made that we not be allowed to do this. These people because of the weakness of their religions, whether heathen or atheist, attempt to destroy the fundamental rights of the people of this nation so that they can practice their faith, or lack of it, with no interference from that which is superior in content and goal.
So-called “Christians” have fallen into this same trap. Liberal theologians lump and criticize all who disagree with them as fundamentalist radicals. We find that very strange, since the people as a whole have given a vote of no confidence to these almost godless churches who deny such things as the virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and even the authenticity of the Bible. They can criticize all they please, even to the point of actually lying about what others believe, and if anyone responds to them, even in self-defense, we become the bad guys! We are said to be narrow-minded, cult-like, believing that we alone are going to be found in the safe haven of heaven. All kinds of both remarkable and false allegations are made, yet we are the bad guys! There is one thing that all these people have in common, and that is they cannot abide those who have a sincere devotion to God and to His Book – the Bible.
If we compare the principles of the Word of God with the so-called “holy writings” of other religious bodies and show where these writings are woefully lacking in their ability to meet the high standards of the Bible, we become the bad guys! When we insist that we believe the Bible and in the God of the Bible, we become that bunch of fundamentalist bad guys. Yet, no one will enter into dialogue and show those areas in which we are faulty. They simply want to propagandize, accuse and call names rather than taking up the gauntlet, entering into the fray and coming to conclusions as to what is the truth.
Let us ask this question. Is it not possible that these organizations are really the bad guys? Are they infallible? Does everything they say become unchallengeable truth simply because they say it? Who made them rulers and judges over those with whom they so militantly disagree? It seems to be assumed that there is no possibility they are wrong, when the plain fact of the matter is that they are, and many of us really believe they know they are.
There has been a remarkable decrease in the sense of fair play in our nation religiously, politically and in every other way. The bad guys are really those who will not come out squarely and straightforwardly telling the world what they really believe. The bad guys are the ones with the secret agendas that keep people wondering about what is really going on. This is true in all fields of endeavor. Those who speak out clearly, definitely and with conviction are really the good guys. These complainers about the ignorant fundamentalists should take the advice of the late President Harry Truman who said, “If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).