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Tag Archives: apathy

Thunder and Lightning

During one of my favorite seminary classes, Revival and Revivalism, the course began by studying the gradual spiritual decline in America.  According to several historians, 1799 was one of the darkest years for Christianity in the United States.  While the death of George Washington on December 14th didn’t help this matter, apathy, complacency and spiritual indifference spread throughout the East Coast.  This climate set the stage for thunder and lightning to appear in the form of the second Great Awakening.

“I love those that thunder out the Word… the Christian world is in a deep sleep.  Nothing but a loud voice can awaken them out of it,” George Whitefield -1739.

The second great awakening used some of the techniques successful in the first spiritual movement that began in 1730, lasting until 1743.  George Whitefield was one of the local preachers in Delaware, holding Tent Revivals in Pike Creek Valley and St. George’s which is now divided by the C&D canal.  Whitefield preached over 18,000 sermons to nearly ten million people, seeking to awaken the souls of American colonists who had strayed from God like prodigal children.

But when he [finally] came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough food, while I am dying here of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, Luke 15:17-18.

Whitefield felt the need to challenge individuals, using a thunderous approach to get the attention of those spiritually floundering.  Back in the early 1970’s, a similar tone was applied, known as Fire and Brimstone messages.  Unfortunately, this style turned many off to the gospel, leaving the church as a teenager, never to return again.  Instead of yelling at people to repent, Jesus recommended being salt and light to the unchurched, Matthew 5:13-16.  In today’s culture, earning the right to be heard by living out your faith is much more effective.  Thus, if you want to live long enough to experience a fourth great awakening, demonstrate the love of Jesus daily through random acts of kindness.  This should spark the interest of unbelievers and possibly ignite spiritual thunder and lightning.

by Jay Mankus

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Standing Still or Forward Motion?

While growing up in Delaware, I got caught outside in a torrential rain storm one summer afternoon.  Trying to find the shortest route to my house, I came to the banks of Namaans Creek.  At this section of the stream, it was a about a five foot jump across raging waters.  The longer I waited, the more dangerous this situation became.  Thus, I was forced to make of one of two decisions; stand still and wait it out or take a leap of faith, proceeding in forward motion.  I choose the latter, just clearing the ledge on the other side.

For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies, 2 Thessalonians 3:11.

Unfortunately, I have spent most of the last five years standing still, afraid to take chances.  At some point in time, apathy sets in.  This often leads to becoming comfortably numb, like Pink Floyd’s 1965 hit song.  The longer you remain in the same place, the harder it becomes to change.  While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s unsettling when you know you are not where God wants you to be.  According to the Bible, those who become idle eventually end up back sliding, slipping further and further away from God.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things, Philippians 4:8.

Nearly forty years later, Reliant K released their new album Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right, But Three Do in 2003.  My favorite song from this project is Forward Motion, a reminder to avoid idle time.  Although I can’t change my past, I do have the ability to alter my future.  Thus, if this blog finds you in a similar position, stuck in a rut, don’t let doubt paralyze your faith.  Rather, trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding so that a leap of faith will place you in forward motion, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you throughout life.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Absence of Discipline

One of the definitions of discipline eludes to a branch of knowledge.  Similar to higher education, discipline is self-taught or prodded through some sort of accountability relationship.  This concept involves dedication, hard work and strict training.  For those who commit by developing daily routines usually experience blessings, success and wealth.

For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly, Proverbs 5:23.

On the other side of the spectrum, you will find apathy.  Those who indulge in this behavior will go through periods of complacency.  The by-product of this decision causes individuals to lose sight of their goals, living day to day.  Subsequently, vision for the future slowly disappears as depression, laziness and hopelessness take over.  This is what likely inspired Solomon to claim the lack of discipline will lead to death.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline, 2 Timothy 1:7.

If you have found yourself in a steady decline recently, the apostle Paul provides a message of hope.  The Holy Spirit was sent by God following Jesus’ ascension into heaven to empower those who call on the name of Lord.  Therefore, don’t allow a spirit of pessimism to reign within you.  Rather, claim the promise in the passage above so that you will escape an undisciplined life.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

When People Die Before They Reach the ER

Unfortunately, tragedy makes the headlines as well as the front pages of news papers every summer in the form of heat stroke related deaths, infants left in vehicles too long or wandering into the wrong place at the wrong time.  Former NFL player and head coach Herm Edwards tries to mentor rookies each season by proclaiming, “nothing good ever happens after midnight.”  Despite these warnings, curiosity often cause people to die before they reach the Emergency Room.

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell, Matthew 10:28.

Addiction is one of many silent killers that can be curtailed by accountability.  In biblical times, communities, families and the local synagogue served as positive peer pressure, providing boundaries to keep morality in and evil out.  While everything is cyclical, apathy, humanism and vanishing absolutes are re-writing how individuals should live.  This loosening of society has perverted freedom, resulting in chaos on the streets of major cities.  According to Jesus, the seed of murder is conceived when a spirit of anger consumes a human heart.

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell, Matthew 5:22.

Despite Eve’s sin, Adam’s lack of leadership and a world falling apart at the seams, no one seems to care.  An avalanche of emotions is stoking a fire of hatred, resentment and revenge.  What ever happened to common sense?  Will anyone ever wake up to smell the coffee of a society slipping away from God?  If these warning signs continue to be ignored, doctors will be helpless to act, like a M.A.S.H. unit who receives their patients too late, dead on arrival.  May the  words of a classic song “Stop Children What’s that Sound ” prompt hearts of actions to reverse the trend of a culture slip sliding away from God.

by Jay Mankus

Deep Inside A Sad Face

In an ever increasing uncensored society, you never know what’s hiding behind a sad face.  As frustration builds, pain lingers and troubles remain unsolved, sadness may go underground.  Subsequently, wounded hurts may turn toward apathy, becoming comfortably numb, dying a slow death inside.

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.  Psalm 55:22

If this sadness is ever unleashed, don’t be surprised by what comes out of the mouths of the broken.  Some may opt to express their feelings in other venues like Facebook or Twitter.  Emotional outbursts may simply be a ploy, crying out for help, hoping that someone will give them the attention that they need.

 Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
A sad face will remain in its current condition until an act of kindness, bright smile or word of encouragement snaps them out of this spell.  Induced by depression, souls feel trapped until a Good Samaritan comes to the rescue.  The next you you witness a sad face, don’t look the other way.  Rather, extend a loving hand to those in need, Romans 12:15.

by Jay Mankus

Waking Up in the Minority

When you fall asleep each night, only God knows what will occur in the dark of night.  However, you don’t have to rest for the world to change.  Rather, the moment you begin to stop standing up for what you believe, eventualy you will wake up in the minority.

America is a good case study to test this theory.  Prior to the 1960’s, faith was a foundation for most communities with the local church serving as a beacon of hope.  Yet, when the religious community was lulled to sleep by apathy, Woodstock transformed the worldview for future generations.  Subsequently, only 33 % of Americas believe in absolute truth, now in the minority.

All you have to do is take a look at the war on Christmas, banning Nativity Scenes even in the Bible belt to recognize this societal change.  It’s no wonder that public schools are erasing Christian holidays from its calendars.  Freedom of speech is free unless you profess Christ, then you will be silenced.  If this trend continues, you too may wake up one day, finding yourself in the minority.

by Jay Mankus

Sunken Treasure

After viewing ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 presentation Rand University featuring Randy Moss, I was struck by the mentality possessed by citizens of Rand, West Virginia.  According to Sam Singleton Jr, dreams stop after high school for those who call Rand home.  Regardless of how gifted you are, few make it pass the 7 Eleven, the only convenience store in town, known as Rand University.  This is where shining stars become sunken treasures.

Although Randy Moss and Bobbie Howard did overcome the odds to make it to the National Football League, they are the exception to this rule.  Enrollment at Rand University begins with a few 6 packs here or a joint there.  Once blinded by addiction, apathy or both, the students in Rand become stuck, unable to escape the grips of invisible demonic forces.  Subsequently, dreams sink to the bottom of the ocean, where hope is nothing more than fool’s gold.

From a spiritual perspective, there are many towns like Rand, places where aspirations die.  If you pull back the third dimension, you will find generational curses and sins of the father blocking success, Exodus 20:3-5.  Unfortunately. Sam Singleton is merely a casualty of this spiritual war, Ephesians 6:12.  If you want to avoid becoming a sunken treasure of untapped potential, make sure you are prepared, Ephesians 6:13-20, with the armor of God to shield yourself from future attacks.

by Jay Mankus

 

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