Livin’ in a Meme World

We want it fast and we want it now…the problem with the world, says the old curmudgeon, is that nobody wants to work for it anymore.

The world is at our fingertips and a few clicks or taps we have access to more information than could ever have been imagined and we are far more ignorant than we have ever been in history, says I.

Now I know that’s not true for all people because research, writing and some heavy thinking is still going on but most people depend on Google, Wikipedia and my favorite… meme’s to articulate the world around them and shut down meaningful conversation through their soundbite world.

Why do any work when we can just do a quick search, scan an article that affirms our presumption, copy and paste on our Facebook wall and attempt to sound knowledgeable on the argument at hand. Easy peasy!

Working at understanding and debating ideas without anger or frustration when you can’t win somebody to your side just is not cool anymore. We want to win and we want to win now. Chew ’em up, spit ’em out, and move on to the next debate.

Hey, I’m not mad at you, I’ve been there. I can relate. I do it too.

I don’t need to be an expert in everything, and I can’t be, but I know what I know and what I don’t know.

When I desire to know something I’m going to work at it. I’ll spend time so I can educate myself and articulate what I think, not how I feel.

If you disagree with me no problem, let’s discuss it like we care about each other, not like we’re enemies.

I’m a Christian, and I don’t apologize for it, I believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant all sufficient word of God. Breathed out by his very breath to teach us about him and to instruct us how to find eternal life.

The Bible is the most scrutinized, researched and supported of all ancient documents the world has ever known. That’s not even debatable, but don’t trust me. Do your own research, it’s plentiful.

Ok, rant is over… Be cool, love life, enjoy good coffee.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Kevin

Can I Get a Witness?

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This term is used in song titles and in the ever-popular urban slang dictionary as “A phrase used when the user is accomplishing some ridiculous feat, or is doing something like a boss.” 1 I’m not sure I’ve ever done something like a boss, but you know what that means without even knowing what it means.

What’s the importance of a witness?

It might depend on several things, but the relevance is not the same today as it was in antiquity. Today, you snap a picture, you post it on Twitter or Instagram and boom, you got it, no need for witnesses, the whole world knows about it just like that. Take for instance Alyssa Milano’s now infamous Tweet about abstinence. Oops.

Witnesses mattered because false accusations occurred then, just as they do now. To establish what was true from what was false the Bible requires two or three witnesses. This makes sense. It’s logical.

WITNESS (Heb. ˓ēḏ; Gk. mártys).† A person who gives testimony to establish the truth of a charge or a statement of fact. The legal requirement for confirming allegations was that there should be two witnesses (Deut. 19:15). In Old Testament society giving testimony as a witness was a formal confirmation basic to mutual trust in society. Legal documents were signed by witnesses. In the case of capital punishment by means of stoning, witnesses were required to throw the first stone. The importance of witnesses for confirmation is underscored by the Decalog’s proscription of perjury (Exod. 20:16). 2

A witness protects the accused as well as the accusor, and here we have the basis of civilized society. Our justice system uses a similar format, in that a jury system is made up of peers that can make judgments against the accused and protect the rights of citizens through a due process.

While I could layout all the biblical texts and give reasons why this is important, I have something else in mind, and it deals with cults. I will travel to San Francisco this week and whenever I’m there I encounter Jehovah’s Witnesses. Now, isn’t it interesting that “witnesses” is in their name?

9  All the nations gather together,
and the peoples assemble.
Who among them can declare this,
and show us the former things?
Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right,
and let them hear and say, It is true. (Is 43:9) 3

Maybe it’s obvious or not, but notice it says bring witnesses to prove them right. The prophet knew the law of God, he knew to show something you needed witnesses. Matthew Henry commenting on this passage said, “The patrons of idolatry are here called to appear, and say what they have to say in defence of their idols.” 4

We have no small amount of evidence of the importance of witnesses but look at the very next verse of Isaiah 43, verse 10, which by the way is where the Jehovah’s Witnesses get their name.

10  “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me. (Is 43:10)

For the Jehovah’s Witness to have credibility in their religious system they need witnesses. The Scripture affirms this and the very text they draw their name from agrees. However, what we see with consistency, in cults and cultic type churches is a lack of proper witnesses. Mormons, Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and even evangelical type churches that remain closed societies deny the importance of this central teaching of Christianity. Charles Taze Russell “reinvented” Christianity according to his biases, and rather than take the witness of Scripture itself, he found ways around the doctrines he didn’t like.

I look forward to my discussions this week with the JW’s, I’ve always found them pleasant and enjoyable to talk with, although it gives me great sorrow at their deception. I pray the Lord uses his word to open eyes and convict hearts that this very basic necessity of God is being violated in their very name.

 

Kevin

 

1. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Can%20I%20Get%20a%20Witness%3F

2. Allen C. Myers, The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987), 1061.

3. All Scripture used unless otherwise noted: The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016)

4. Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 1158.

Growing Old

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Is it a mystery that we all are growing old? Some have already arrived, some are mid-way and many have yet to experience the aches and pains of an aging body. I would categorize myself at the “mid-way” mark.

I don’t think I’m old, my mind still works pretty well, but the body, not as much. Growing old is the bane of existence for many of us, it leaves us befuddled in what to think. “We” hate it but must tolerate it because, really, what can you do about it?

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31

What’s wrong with gray hair after all?

The Bible views life from a different persepctive. Growing old, rather than being something we hate or fear, is valued and we gain it through a righteous life. Matthew Henry points out “Old people especially should be found in the way of religion and godliness.”

That’s interesting because I’ve known some angry old people that knew nothing of godliness, so we know this won’t always be true.

For those of us that seek godliness, let us not despise the passing of our youth, but rather embrace what God has for us in our future. I expect it will be worth it.

I can assure you, I will never wear white New Balance sneakers, but I look forward to old age for many reasons. Not all, but many.

And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations.  And Job died, an old man, and full of days. Job 42:16-17

Kevin

 

What Happened to Stetson Man?

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Several years ago we had a running joke in our company.  It all began with a cowboy looking guy air freshener (Not John Wayne but hey he’s a man’s man).  The freshener would show up in unusual places, and if you got stuck with “Stetson,” the joke was on you.

Years ago Stetson disappeared, and the fun was all over and done.  We had a good time with Stetson, and it still makes us laugh.

It seems manliness has gone out of style today with the whole “toxic” masculinity thing you know…

As a Christian I can tell you, it’s still okay to be a man.  To celebrate what God has done.  He did create us male and female after all.  No in between, no fluidity, no confusion.  It’s straight up fact.  XX or XY.

If you are a man, celebrate being a man.  Stand up and act like a man.  If you are a woman, celebrate being a woman and don’t be afraid to be feminine.

God’s design is pure and straightforward.

Men, be men by taking care of your family.  Protect your wife from harm, nurture and raise your children.  Teach your children about God from the Bible.  You are commanded to do so.  Cry when you must, fight when you need to.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love.  1 Corinthians 16:13-14

 

Kevin

Sit back, relax…and ENJOY the flight

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Maybe you’ve heard this phrase as many times as I have.  I’ve flown half a million miles in the last ten years, which is no fantastic feat by those that REALLY fly a lot, but it’s still significant enough.

This just dawned on me the other day flying back from a trip what a ridiculous statement this really is.  What is the alternative?  Sit up, freak out and hate the flight?  No disrespect to those that have issues and fear of flying, I don’t know what of any other choices?

It’s similar to living on this earth.  We are humans with frail and sensitive systems.  We don’t do well in the heat, and we don’t do well in the cold.  We get sick easily, and we can die quickly.  We really have very little control over us and others.

We have a perceived ability to control things when we don’t.  The earth we live on is spinning on its axis as it circles the sun and each day comes and goes like the one before it and somehow–at times–we believe we are significant and that we actually have control over circumstances.

I have belief in God that transcends even my own thoughts about myself and the circumstances of life.  While the world around me seems chaotic, He is in control.  When all seems to be spinning out of control I have the opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the flight.  In the chaos, I can have peace.
Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases. (Ps 115:2-3)

Do you know him?

Kevin