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The End of Boy Scouts?

Former Lieutenant General Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scouts Organization in 1908. Powell’s objective was to develop citizenship, chivalrous behavior, and skill in outdoor activities for boys aged 11-14. As this movement grew in popularity, several active youth organizations joined the Boy Scouts of America. After being successful for more than a century, the Boy Scouts Organization voted to allow gay scout leaders in 2013. This decision caused the Boy Scouts of America to file for bankruptcy on February 18th, 2020. Facing a wave of lawsuits over sexual abuse allegations, it appears we’re about to see the end of boy scouts.

In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes, Judges 21:25.

Hollywood put their own spin on the decay of morality in America with The Last Boy Scout in 1991. An ex-Secret Service agent played by Bruce Willis holds on to his marriage despite his wife’s affair. Meanwhile, Joe Hellenbeck’s work as a private eye allows him to cross paths with Damon Wayans, an ex-quarterback on a case of sports gambling and murder. After nearly getting blown up, this unlikely duo team up to solve this case. The deeper they dig, corruption leads straight to the mob. While Willis’ character has nothing in common with boy scouts, his character presses on no matter how dangerous their investigation becomes.

For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live], Ephesians 2:10.

If you take some time to listen, you may be shocked by the words that you hear. If you’re not astonished, it’s probably because you have become desensitized by the world around you. The enveloped has been pushed so far by cable television, public education, and social media that character, integrity and morals are disappearing from our society. This has led many to lose hope and subsequently cave in to peer pressure. Devilish thoughts like “if everyone is doing it, why aren’t you” enter many minds. Perhaps, this mindset led Judges in the Old Testament to do what’s right in their own eye. Instead of falling into this spiritual trap, think about what God has predestined for you to do. Although sin will keep us from being model scouts, the Holy Spirit will help you to do what’s right when nobody is looking. Whether the Boy Scout survive or not, God can strengthen the weak to live like a shining star in a fallen world, Philippians 2:15-16.

by Jay Mankus

It’s Only A Car

When I was a child, I amassed a sizable collection of Hot Wheels.  Birthday and Christmas gifts brought a challenge course, race tracks and a special case to organize all my vehicles.  Before Atari and Cable television existed, I spent many rainy days racing cars inside.  Since most parents couldn’t afford a new car, Hot Wheels were a marketing tool to introduce children to sports cars.

And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator, Colossians 3:10.

Although many of my friends became obsessed with automobiles in my teenage years, my dad’s background as an immigrant to this country kept me grounded.  This upbringing ingrained in me an ability to be thankful for what I had.  However, I did have a wealthy neighbor whose parents always brought their son the latest and greatest electronic devices.  When these gifts were flaunted in front of me, I was jealous of his families wealth.  Yet, you can’t buy love as toys are just an earthly possessions.

Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, Philippians 2:14-15.

During my last winter break in college, I got into an argument with my parents.  Like a typical adolescent, I stormed out of the house to blow off some steam.  On the way to my friend Dave’s house, I got into a fender bender, hitting the car in front of me.  This situation could of have been worse, but the man that I hit didn’t care about fixing his old car.  Despite receiving a ticket for reckless driving, the words of this man struck a nerve in my heart by saying, “it’s only a car.”

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him, Colossians 3:17.

A few years later I was on my way to work in Chicago when a flock of geese starting walking across the road.  As I slowed down, the lady behind wasn’t paying attention, skidding and ramming into my back bumper.  Since my vehicle was approaching the 200,000 mile mark, I remembered the words of the good Samaritan from Delaware.  Paying it forward, I passed on the same message to this young woman, “don’t worry about it, it’s only a car.”

by Jay Mankus

 

Blame it on the Jet Stream

In 1989, the song Blame it on the Rain reached number one for two weeks on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.  This was Milli Vanilli’s third number one single.  However, Milli Vanilli’s fame and fortune was short lived, running off the stage during the middle of a concert.  What the world eventually found out, these two stars were lip syncing each song, not the actual singers of their music.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless, James 1:26.

In this age of environmentalism, today’s weather patterns are used by some scientists to claim this is proof of global warming.  However, if meteorologists can’t accurately predict tomorrow’s forecast with all their fancy technology, there must be some other force at work in the earth’s atmosphere,  If you want a scapegoat, blame it on the Jet Stream.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us, 1 John 1:8-10.

History has a way of exposing imposters, liars and those covering up the truth.  Whether its a group like Milli Vanilli, global warming or secrets from the past, time will bring what was once in darkness into the light.  Therefore, don’t get caught up in arguments that occur weekly on cable television and talk radio.  Rather, live your life as an open book, confess your short comings and may the truth about Christ set you free.

by Jay Mankus

Films that Persuaded a Generation

1. Fast Times at Ridgemont High

While cable television first became available in 1948, it wasn’t until the early 1980’s that the Home Box Office was made available to greater metropolitan areas.  About the same time, 1982, Fast Times at Ridgemont High was released nationally in theaters.  After going undercover in 1981 at Clairemont High in San Deigo, California, Cameron Crowe received the material he needed to complete this script.  Subsequently, this film persuaded a generation of teenagers to alter their values.  Instead of falling in love, sex became the ultimate goal of a relationship, fueling the sexual revolution that began at Woodstock.

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body, 1 Corinthian 6:18.

2. Animal House

Four years earlier, National Lampoon magazine created a movie based upon Chris Miller’s experiences as a fraternity member of Alpha Delta Phi at Dartmouth College.  Additional influences came from Harold Ramis and producer Ivan Reitman during similar encounters of fraternity life in college.  Although this comedy was meant to laugh at these endeavors, a generation of college students were inspired to emulate similar practices.  Since art often imitates life, ethics, faith and morality are being discarded or put on hold until fantasies and the pleasures of this world have been satisfied.

The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever, 1 John 2:17.

3. Fatal Attraction

This final film is geared toward adults, for those individuals who have considered, contemplated or fallen into an extramarital affair.  In the 1987 thriller, Michael Douglas hooks up with a woman, Glenn Close, when his wife and daughter are away for the weekend.  When Close becomes obsessed with Douglas, this fatal attraction takes a toll on his life and marriage.  While couples initially flocked to the theaters to salvage their marriage, conviction and guilt did not last long.  Nearly thirty years later, fatal attractions seem to be a weekly occurrence either in high schools, college or the work place.  Somewhere along the way, these three films have persuaded a generation to abandon Judeo-Christian values for humanism, secularism or to satisfy worldly desires.  May a new film or movement shift the tides of change to prevent Americans from slipping closer over the edge toward hell.

by Jay Mankus

 

Breaking Bad

A friend recently turned me onto the drama, Breaking Bad.  Debuting in 2008, this storyline features Walter White, a high school teacher who has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer.  Struggling to provide for his family, Walter turns to a former student, Jesse Pinkman to avoid leaving a legacy of debt.  Using his knowledge of chemistry, Mr. White starts up a methamphetamine ring to create a slush fund of savings.

Breaking bad is nothing new, a growing trend since the first act of disobedience  in Genesis 3:6.  An old testament prophet uses similar terminology in Malachi 2:10-12, referring to the broken faith of Jews, highlighted by their acts of unfaithfulness.  Even one of the holiest men who ever lived, the apostle Paul, confesses his own shortcomings in Romans 7:15, 17-18.

Northwest General Hospital

If this wasn’t enough, the United States of America is in their 5th decade of breaking bad.  Kicking God out of public education during the 1960’s opened the door for abortion on demand in the 70’s.  The establishment of cable television in the 1980’s brought immorality, pornography and sexual innuendos into many American homes.  With moral antennas lowered, the 1990’s brought brief nudity and cursing to public television through the hit series NYPD Blue.  Edgy commercials, custom malfunctions and reality shows continued to push the envelope in the 2000’s.

As my 3 children grew up in this shewed culture, I hate to see what the next 50 years will bring their kids.  If Animal Planet’s Tanked 2013 season premiere is any indication, I’m horrified.  Without any warning, in a show often geared for kids, the 2 main characters Brett and Wayde used the word jackass several times, doing a special tank for one of the main stars in the movie series.  As individuals, media outlets and nations slide down this slippery slope, there is only one who hasn’t lowered their standards, Hebrews 4:15-16.  Go against the flow, look up to Jesus and make a conscious decision to glorify God, 1 Peter 2:11-12, so that breaking bad doesn’t enter your mind!

by Jay Mankus

The Days That Music Died

In his prime, Buddy Holly produced some of the most distinctive and influential rock music of the 1950’s.  Inspired by Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly went from playing at a local roller skating rink in Lubbock, Texas to the top of the billboard charts.  Songs like Peggy Sue and That’ll Be The Day led to his stardom until a 1959 plane crash ended his life before reaching his 23rd birthday.  American folk star Don McLean was so touched by this tragedy he wrote the song American Pie in 1971 recounting the day music died in this disaster.

Music was reborn 10 years later on August 1st, 1981 as Music Television first aired in New York City.  As cable television went national in the early 1980’s, the art of music was brought back to life through on stage interviews, behind the scenes programs on upcoming album releases and the creation of music videos.  During my junior high days, I went to a friends every day after school until 5pm so I could be informed on my favorite groups and their new songs.  This was musics second hey day, spawning an entire generation, yet this too would come to pass.

While artists come and go, dying of natural and unnatural causes, the second death of music is more subtle.  Some where in the past 30 years, music has been corrupted by sex appeal.  In an attempt to hold an audiences’ attention, music videos continue to push the envelope, developing more into a 3-4 minute adult film than a music video.  Although must consumers download songs from places like itunes, album covers still exist.  Instead of a pissing contest, female musicians appear to be competing in a beauty pageant, seeing who can reveal more of their body without being accused of pornography.

Yes, music in America is on life support, waiting for the next Buddy Holly to rescue it.  While Super Bowl half time shows will continue, we need a true leader to arise, saying enough is enough with these wardrobe malfunctions.  Doesn’t any artist have some integrity or guts to save lyrics from sexual immorality?  God is waiting, like in the days of Ezekiel, for someone to stand in the gap of morality, Ezekiel 22:30.  In the words of M.C. Hammer, Pray!

by Jay Mankus

song writer of A Simple Confession, 1994

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