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Character Education

As societies evolve, the meaning of words change to reflect this evolution.  In the early stages of American history, character referred to personality, nature and qualities.  One of the synonyms for character is ethos, where we derive the Greek term ethics.  Ethics is the system of philosophy where individuals develop their basis for defining right and wrong.  Today, character education focuses on an initiative to foster global citizenship.

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out, Proverbs 10:9.

Based upon the United Nations global education initiative, character education is based upon three core philosophies: humanism, socialism and utilitarianism.  Utilitarianism teaches actions are right if they are useful or for the benefit of a majority.  Socialism advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.  Finally, humanism denies the presence of a Creator, seeking solely rational ways of solving human problems.  Signed by former president Obama, this curriculum is now being implemented into public education within K-12 schools across the country.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect, Romans 12:2.

When I first heard of Character Education on the Rush Limbaugh Show, I thought this sounds good, a step in the right direction.  Yet, as I began to hear and read more about this as a former teacher, I was horrified.  This attempt to erase the biblical influences within the foundation of America is unsettling.  Nonetheless, unless parents begin to challenge what their children are being taught, the true history of America will be forgotten.  May this blog awaken believers to stand up to this indoctrination by studying and teaching God’s divine intervention upon the founding fathers of this country.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Invisible Yield

Yield signs are usually found at the intersection where roads merge.  Typically, one road deadends into another, warning drivers of possible oncoming traffic.  Instead of a sign, some states use flashing red lights that serve the same purpose.  However, when two individuals meet, there is no sign.  Rather, there is an invisible set of unspoken rules.

But he gives us more grace.  That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble,” James 4:6.

When it comes to submission, especially for woman, times have changed.  Perhaps, the world is trying to cancel the truths of the Bible, referring to it as sexist and out of date.  Whatever the reason, submission in the spiritual sense is like obeying an invisible yield sign.  This act is symbolic of humility, opening the door for God’s favor.  Considering others more important than your own needs and wants honors the invisible yield.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, Philippians 2:3.

The greatest obstacle to submitting to God is the “what’s in it for me” mindset.  This mentality is aided by the notion what have you done for me lately God?  This selfish consciousness blinds many from putting others first.  Subsequently, a me first focus permeates throughout most cultures.  This byproduct has deteriorated ethics, morals and standards nationwide.  Only a spiritual transformation will change this current trend and lead to the invisible yield, submitting to God.

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

 

When the Lines Vanish

While watching a rerun of I-Robot, a 2004 film featuring Will Smith, there are parallels to modern day life.  This Science Fiction movie takes place in 2035, where the richest corporation in Chicago, U.S. Robotics, has a lofty goal of having a robot in every home.  Guided by the three laws, founders of the NS-5 robots believed there creation was flawless.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it,” Matthew 7:13.

Today, boundaries of the past have been replaced, exchanging biblical standards with a progressive form of political correctness.  Instead of relying on a book, the Bible to define right from wrong, a liberal playbook is being laid out to re-educate the hearts, minds and souls to a new generation.  Thus, when the moral lines of yesterday vanish, the government is seeking to take over like U.S. Robotics in I-Robot.

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them, James 4:17.

As acts of violence escalate, perhaps one can assume that those crossing this invisible line are amoral.  However, knowing ethics does not always guarantee that actions will follow.  Free will built into an individual’s DNA can override the facts of life.  Therefore, when the lines vanish, revolution is inevitable.  In these days and times, fasting and prayer is essential to keep people on track spiritually, shining light into a world filled with darkness.

by Jay Mankus

 

Waking Up to a Whole New World

Twenty years ago, adult, controversial and risque commercials appeared after dark, when most children were asleep.  The culture was much more conservative, careful not to corrupt the innocence of youth.  Unless you are living in denial, today everything is fair game, waking up to a whole new world.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us, Romans 5:8.

Social media is setting the pace daily, led by what’s trending on Twitter, followed by the latest eye catching video on Youtube.  Subsequently, a new generation lives by an entirely new set of standards, distant from the ethics of the Bible.  What once was wrong has become mainstream, normal to an accepting society, open to news ways of thinking.

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them, James 4:17.

Caught in the middle, the church is forced to balance grace with truth.  Although kinder and gentler, its difficult for those raised in the Fire and Brimstone Era to get past obvious sins.  Thus, when a microphone is put in front of a pastor’s face or as the camera rolls, its hard not to portray these individuals as judgmental, void of the love of Christ.  Despite what Christians believe about abortion, homosexuality and divorce, its better to demonstrate faith rather than shoving your beliefs in someone’s face.  Waking up to a whole new world will require an emphasis on living examples of Jesus to reverse these trends and possibly inspire a revival throughout the land.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Elusive Search for Authority

Cowboys and Indians are symbols of western exploration in America.  In 1997, Paula Cole asks the question in her song, “Where have all the Cowboys gone?”  Although the sing refers to a woman looking for a story book ending, to live happily ever after, cowboys are symbolic of hard work, self-reliance and in a sense, law and order maintained by sheriffs who rode on horse back.  Like the famous quote from Curly in the 1991 film City Slickers, “cowboys are a dying breed.”

Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits, Mark 6:7.

The same can be said about authority today.  Between the hip hop and rap culture disrespecting police officers with their lyrics, political correctness redefining ethics and the assault on the authenticity of the Bible, authority is disappearing.  By smearing individuals with integrity as well as failing to hold others accountable to high standards, the ability to confront, rebuke and correct flawed worldviews is diminishing.  All that remains is a blue print laid out by Jesus to his disciples.

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give, Matthew 10:8.

Jesus sent out 12 ordinary men with one extraordinary message, “repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.”  Jesus wasn’t trying to be like an overbearing coach, parent or teacher trying to tell you everything that you are doing wrong.  Rather, Jesus wanted human beings to reflect upon their lives and allow the Holy Spirit to convict souls.  When sins are expressed in a public settings, others feel compelled to come clean.  This atmospheres lays a foundation for revival.  When the words of the Bible are used properly, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, God’s authority can be restored to on earth as it is in heaven.

by Jay Mankus

 

Somebody’s Gotta Be Right?

If you unravel the earth’s history, forefathers, prophets and religious leaders have made some bold statements.  These claims have shaped and formed the beliefs of worship centers throughout the world.  Founders like Buddha, Moses, Mohammad and Jesus have inspired generations of followers.  However, how do you know the one that is right from those who have slightly strayed from the truth?

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” John 14:6.

According to C.S. Lewis, each belief system possesses ethics, morals and prudent principles.  A former atheist,  Lewis wrote Mere Christianity to explain his journey from unbelief to faith.  Using apologetics, logic and theology, Lewis methodically separates Jesus from all other individuals.  Despite his findings, a progressive culture has forgotten about Lewis, professing there are many paths to heaven.

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved, Acts 4:12.

At this point of contention, do you go along with the crowd, confront naysayers or examine the scriptures to ascertain the correct road to heaven?  While critics may call you intolerant, narrow minded or old fashioned, most would rather be safe rather than sorry, spending eternity in hell.  Thus its essential for inquiring minds to test everything, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, so that in the end the truth will set you free.

by Jay Mankus

 

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