This morning I was listening to the radio when a caller called in about gun control. The liberalish host answered the callers point in a way that stumped the caller, and caused me to think. The following is the response the logically fallacy of ineffective laws should be appealed period, thus ineffective gun laws should be repealed just as ineffective illegal drug laws.
The point the caller was trying to make is simply the one that gun laws only hurt law abiding citizens and not really criminals. Of course the host took this to mean that the caller was arguing that we should just throw out laws that are not effective and asked the caller if he was also prepared to legalize drugs as we all know such laws are also ineffective. Now he may have stumped the caller, but he shouldn’t have. Here is why:
If you have read my first “Things I wish I knew when I was young” post you would understand that I am not against good advice but I do believe it can be harmful if not prioritized correctly. First and foremost I believe that you must understand the Gospel and look to Christ first for your hope and everything. That is our life long lesson and struggle. With that in mind I am going to share some things I consider wise and helpful but they are not to be taken as “law” but as thinking and talking points. No one is going to be perfect and we all fail.
The real question is do we get back up because our eyes are on Christ, or do we pout and stay down? Do we persevere through trials because our joy is found in Christ and our eternal hope set in Him or do we give up because life becomes hard? Do we complain at pain and suffering because we wrongly think God saved us to make us happy earthlings or do we persevere knowing that Christ endured more and has promised us eternal joy and bliss while making us into Christ like people?
I am sure that those of you older than I laugh at the thought of me thinking of myself being younger as if those few years that mark me between this age (young) and that age (younger) constitute a significant passage of time and life growth. To assure you in the positive I will say: it has. Growth sometimes has been slow for me, but it never has been shallow. Like Timothy, people doubt the young, but wisdom comes from God and he doesn’t have an age bias. Let my thoughts speak for themselves.
Many people think they are “ready” for marriage way before they actually are. While a significant amount of people are not “ready” for marriage even though they are married, this point is proven by the high divorce rate among the populace at large. I have learned that being ready for marriage doesn’t mean financial or occupational security (although such things are important to some people), but rather something deeper and more base. With my whole heart I believe God cares more about our character and its development (sanctification) than he does our temporal happiness (ultimately he cares about our eternal happiness, but I am speaking only about earthly things). So while one might think that having a good job, a house, and a bank account are necessary for being ready for marriage, I disagree. Of course having such things doesn’t mean you are not ready, but it doesn’t mean you are ready. Considering our current economic problems I am sure many people will agree with me that a good job and a home give one no security and in fact going from having them to not having them can actually destroy marriages.
There has been a serious slide in our culture that has invisibly snuck by most people. It has changed how most people (much more in the younger generations) think about themselves and their lives, and they don’t even know it. It used to be that people fit in one category, but now that category is almost all but empty and everyone has shoved themselves, without knowing it, into the other once vacant category.
I guess we should feel a little vindicated since so much time has passed since this once vacuous position came into existence. At the time the introduction of it seemed insignificant, but its after wake has been disastrous. I call it the: “why me” slide into the “why not me” pit.
It seems, in Southern California at least, that many Christians mature in the same way. We start out being legalistic and antinomian (against the a law), that is we live for the law we create for ourselves, while we think we have thrown off the shackles of any external law that seeks to oppress us (this is usually our pre-Christ days). In this stage we live how we want. We do what we want. We believe what we want. Because in the end, its all about us. We are our own gods. The next stage of maturity happens when we first become Christians (note there are many stages and none of us will achieve perfection on earth, I only talk about 4 stages to make a point on how I have seen myself and other Christians grow, these aren’t biblical stages just observations I have made). The Spirit of God so works in us to love Him, and hate evil, that we then respond to our former lives the total opposite way: we become legalistic and rule bound. If we used to drink alcohol without restraint, we now fence it in with stringent rules about not even touching it! It is apparent to us how sinful we are, and we hate that sin, so we attempt get rid of it all through our own wisdom, cunning, and devices.
Christians in this second state are easily picked out of a crowd. They dress modestly (often apparently so), they don’t drink alcohol, they don’t gamble, they don’t watch certain types of movies, and don’t do many other things that are completely acceptable to our culture and to many other Christians. They fear sinning against God so much that they put a fence around his law so they cannot even get close to sinning. The problem is this fence (like do not drink alcohol – Scripture never says do not drink, only do not get drunk) becomes the new law. People in the first state of maturity and Christians in the second state both are legalistic (trying to please god or God through their own means and on their own terms), and although the latter claim Christ as their savior, they also have added their own performance and rule keeping to the mix.
There are many stories in the world. Stories on all types of topics ranging from your sappy romance between two saplings in love to the most violently scarey attack of the rabid bunny horror films. The truth of the matter is, between all these stories, only the good ones have happy endings. Now of course how good a story is ultimately depends on many factors such as: originality, depth, tone, twists, understandability, meaning, and of course its conclusion. My purposes here is not to discuss all the aspects of story, except for one: the conclusion. No matter how good all aspects of a story are, its ending holds the final trump card which dictates how good the story really is. I would also argue that for the ending of the story to be anything but happy, it isn’t a good story.
Let us first start out by defining the word Story. A story is simply the telling of a particular sequence of events, fiction or not, that communicates a certain message (known or unknown). Every story communicates something (even if not intended by the author). If a sequence of events can be communicated in a way that no meaning can be derived from it, then it isn’t a story. Likewise if one just blathers incoherent and meaningless words, it isn’t a story. All stories have structure. They all have a beginning, middle, and end. They all have a subject and, like I said before, a meaning.
Many people believe in Santa, most of them are under the age of 10. They believe in Santa because their parents told them Santa is real. This cycle has continued for generations, the parent teaches the child, the child their children and so on. So, why would I dare tread on such holy ground? The reason I dare is because I believe the issue, although small, when compounded becomes quite large.
As I see it the issue resolves around a few different planets of thought. Is it ok to lie to someone to increase their happiness? Everyone is doing it and turning out ok, why can’t I? What is the Christian parent’s number one job towards their children? And is culture neutral and its traditions harmless?
As many of you know the New Atheists (as they are called) not only believe that God doesn’t exist, they believe that religion is evil and ought to be extinguished. They love to especially attack Christianity, because it is so bold as to blatantly tell its opponents that they are wrong. There are many things I can say on the subject, but I would like to address just one small flaw in their thinking.
Many of them, such as Sam Harris, have a distorted logic in how they argue against the existence of God. I will simplify their arguments here for times sake and just point out one of the huge flaws of it. See if you can spot the flaw before I demonstrate it. Remember they are assuming God exists for the sake of their arguments.
To understand the destructive, dreary, and dismal side of Government jobs we must first condescend to the origins of Government. Why do we have Government in the first place and why does this Government have jobs? The answer is extremely complex; allow me to state it simply. Government is nothing more than the people working together for the common good, and it is nothing less than the common good working for the people. It is the will of the people, created by the people, to rule the people by people. Laws define it and it defines the laws. It is circular, it is organic, and it is a machine.
We the people create the Government and in return the Government creates us. After we gifted some of our freedom, our humanity, our responsibility, and our creativity to it, it thanked us by redefining humanity and the boundaries in which we can act it out. It is necessary and it is tyrannical. It saves lives while destroying them, and it abolishes freedom to protect freedom. It is the giving of lesser things, to protect the greater things. It is a necessary evil, to control and protect humans, but it was not always so.
I am going to deviate from my typical topics to address a more political, cultural topic, so bear with me.
As many of you know, in California the people voted to keep the definition of marriage (what it has always been) as between only a man and a woman; the courts (one judge in particular) has overturned it.