Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
- 1 Corinthians 1:20-25
I was sent the following message (in bold-italics) the other day and asked to write a blog post. I usually bristle at such requests. I rarely post anything political. But I have seen a theme lately. I hope you can follow my brain train. This is what I was sent, slightly edited.
“Watch this video of House Democrats removing the words ‘So Help Me God’ when swearing in witnesses.
“Can you believe this? Remember when during their national convention they wanted to remove any reference to God from their platform?”
The e-mail went on to state that one political party was officially godless. I won’t go that far. I remember a joke by Mark Lowry, actually part of his “I Used to be a Christian Fundamentalist” routine. He said that when he got out from the close-minded church that he had attended most of his life, he found that there were Catholics that were Christians, and Methodists, and Pentecostals. He then said, “I know y’all aren’t going to believe this, but I even met a ____ that was a Christian!” (mentioning the political party – with a roar of laughter from the audience). So, if Mark Lowry has met one, there might be more. Not saying that there is, but maybe. Thus, I will not state that they are ‘godless.’
I was looking up a different reference to fools, as those who do not believe in God are fools, when I found the Scripture above. That is where we are in the US. We have eliminated God from the picture. What we have left is mere foolishness. The ‘wisdom’ of this world is idiocy. Thus, Jesus Christ dying for our sins seems foolishness to the world-wise (but they are actually foolish).
Thus, I go on line on Easter morning – very early. There are two headlines that stand out. Two hundred dead in Sri Lanka after a bombing of churches. Kate Smith’s family is upset. Kate Smith’s family being upset had nothing to do with Sri Lanka – something entirely different.
What do these things have to do with the video clip above and the Scripture and each other? Godlessness
The people in the video that want to eliminate “so help me God” because it might offend a non-believer are themselves non-believers. I will not go further about their character, but I will state that the congressman from Louisiana tried, impotently, to get the witnesses to say the words. (Washington may only have nine toes dangling over the lake of fire instead of all ten.)
If you are a true believer, you will shout your belief in God from the mountain tops. Maybe that is what happened in Sri Lanka. How many of the 200 dead and around 450 injured – at the latest count – in Sri Lanka were CEOs (Christmas – Easter Only)? How many were faithful worshipers? Regardless, they made it known publicly that they were worshiping Jesus, and they paid dearly. Those that believed of the 200 are in a better place and not suffering, but they leave behind loved ones who are suffering their loss. Will some blame God and turn away? Will some be too scared to attend church?
Billy Graham said that the cross, by its very nature, is offensive, but now Christians are trying to do the ‘Christian Thing’ by not offending others. Hmmmm. Let me see. I have a secret. Jesus has saved me. Do I risk offending someone by telling them about Jesus? NO! That would be politically incorrect. I will sit silently and watch that other person die, and go to hell. Which is the ‘Christian Thing’ to do, watch someone go to hell or tell them about Jesus?
So, how does Kate Smith’s family fit in? Kate Smith sang “God Bless America” so well that the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers have been playing a recording of her singing the song for years. For the Yankees, 18 years, probably ever since the 9/11 attacks. Recently, a couple of 1930s recordings have surfaced of Kate Smith where Ms. Smith is singing racially insensitive lyrics. Now, beloved Kate Smith is suddenly persona non grata. Her statue has been covered as to not offend anyone.
Time out! These recordings are at least 50 years before PC existed. When something is not on the radar, socially acceptable, and you like the tune, you might sing it too. It is not white supremism. It is just a socially acceptable song for its time. Kate might sing that song in the morning and then hang out with her black friends backstage after the performance. There was no sensitivity to the issue. And most importantly, there was no false ‘offense’ taken.
I know I am on dangerous ground by making this next statement, but here goes. Please, do not listen to what I have to say because my great-great-grandfather owned slaves. If you are stupid enough to think I am racist because I have an ancestor who owned slaves, consider that the aforementioned ancestor was NOT racist. He was a poor man. He purchased only two slaves, man and woman, who had children. They were family. If it were not for those people, the crop would not come in. He loved those people, but slavery was the acceptable thing in the South at the time as opposed to hiring them.
If I have not lost you yet… Please, never listen to “Amazing Grace” again. John Newton, who wrote the words to the beloved hymn, captained a slave ship. Wintley Phipps postulates that the “unknown” who wrote the music was a slave singing that tune while being sent to the slave market to be sold on one of Newton’s journeys. If so, Newton made his money in the slave trade, and he stole the tune for his song.
I may have gone overboard, but we need to understand the socially acceptable behavior of one generation may be different than in the next. That does not make those people bad. They just did not know or did not think.
But the bottom line that allows us to sing Amazing Grace with gusto is the fact that the composer repented of his sins and turned from what he considered an evil life. He was redeemed and forgiven.
Praise the Lord! Forgiveness bursts from the words of that hymn. I once was lost but now am found! Amen!
Without God, there is no forgiveness.
We have turned from God. The video proves that. These are elected officials who some of us in the US elected to their present positions. That is on us. We Christians in the US are to blame. When PC (political correctness) started, it started with not calling ethnic groups bad names. Okay, let’s not offend. But then, someone decided that they would fake being offended in order to control the speech of others. Our first amendment rights have been taken away, because we do not wish to offend. Do we have to return to what Billy Graham said about the cross being offensive?
What is the first amendment?
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
I find 99% of what I hear from the press to be offensive. I do not shout that my rights have been violated. I change the channel!
PC is not voted into law, thus, we are not in violation of the amendment, but some want to abolish the constitution for a ‘living constitution’, a document that can change as public opinion changes rather than the old clunky way of doing things. … Don’t let them do it or this nation is dead.
We cannot listen to Kate Smith at a Yankees (baseball) or Flyers (hockey) game anymore, because we have lost God.
Without God, there is no forgiveness.
With forgiveness, we can listen to Kate Smith. We can sing Amazing Grace. And we can know that the great-great grandson of a slave owner is not racist and has a lot of friends that are a lot of different colors. He married someone of mixed race.
At this point, Christian persecution in the US is mostly a matter of words, but within a generation or two, it will be like the bombing in Sri Lanka, unless… If we do not fight for our constitutional rights, any of them, we will lose them. PC wants us to never say “Jesus” in public, unless as a curse word, but that is not the law – yet.
Boldly proclaim your faith or you will lose the right to do so.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.