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Fallen Stars

The fifty stars on the American flag represent the 50 states meant to unite this country.  Meanwhile, the red and white stripes, thirteen in all, symbolize the 13 British colonies that declared their independence from Great Britain.  Based upon recent events in North Carolina and Wisconsin, it appears that some states are like fallen stars, a glimpse of what they once were.  So how did America get where it is currently, filled with civil unrest?

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 2 Peter 2:4.

Well, perhaps failing schools, a rejection of moral absolutes and the silence of religious leaders is a good place to start.  On the other hand, Common Core Curriculum, revisionist history adopted by modern SAT’s and the radicalization of college campuses is producing a generation of progressives, abandoning the spiritual principles this country was founded upon.  When you add cell phone cameras, a liberal media and a lack of personal responsibility to this equation, its always someone’s fault, not yours.

And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day, Jude 1:6.

Last night, I listened to an interview of 2 NFL players from the Carolina Panthers.  One described the last 24 hours in Charlotte as living in a war zone.  Oddly enough, after former NBA star Michael Jordan gave one million dollars to support Black Lives Matters, protesters involved with this group looted and ransacked his Charlotte Hornets down town store.  I understand the concept of protests, but stealing, shutting down local businesses and verbally assaulting police officers isn’t solving the problem.  Either this event is drawing the world closer to Jesus’ return or God is in the process of removing his blessing from a once great country.  If the latter is true, may God have mercy on us all, especially upon the fallen stars.

by Jay Mankus

A Soul Tormented by Lawless Deeds

If you turn on a news cast, at some point you will witness something disturbing, shocking or sad.  Unfortunately, many have been desensitized by a barrage of extreme videos.  Thus, as the average citizen become comfortably numb, a soul tormented by lawless deeds is either overlooked or forgotten.

For that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard, 2 Peter 2:8.

Ever since public education has de-emphasized moral absolutes, the line between right and wrong has been turned to gray.  Subsequently, hearts and minds can become confused, unsure what’s acceptable and what’s frowned upon.  In this politically correct climate, the law breaker can be excused if they hold a socially acceptable worldview.  Yet if the shoe is on the other foot, a conservative will be verbally crucified for a similar transgression.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest, Matthew 11:28.

Lost in the shuffle are those individuals wounded by lawless deeds.  When television cameras move on to the next city, disaster or scandal, those left behind must begin to pick up the pieces of their lives.  Beyond these scars, an invisible voice calls out to the bruised and broken-hearted.  May the hope of Jesus bring peace to souls tormented by lawless deeds.

by Jay Mankus

 

Situational Ethics

When you stop for a moment and take a look at what’s really going on in the world around us, its head scratching.  Students killing or sleeping with teachers?  The glorification of abortion, giving woman who are pregnant the legal right to destroy human life?    Lying as a religious practice to deceive curious minds about to realize the truth?  Copy cat school shootings, seeking 15 minutes of fame?  Nudity on public television and in prime time?

The only logical explanation for these bizarre acts is a growing phenomena, known as situational ethics.  Instead of maintaining a set of moral absolutes, where there is a clear distinction between right and wrong, situations are now giving individuals other rational choices.  Thus, in the heat of the moment or deep within the context of your trial, good excuses for sin can be made.  Dictionary’s refer to situational ethics as a system that evaluates acts in the context of their circumstances rather than by a set of moral standards.

This concept is nothing new as Jesus indirectly mentions it during a famous sermon found in Matthew 5:21-26.  Referencing the 6th commandment, the Lord chooses the word murder, not kill.  Thus, in war, killing is acceptable since the situation dictates a kill or be killed mentality.  When war breaks out between nations, right and wrong is turned upside down.  How then can someone know what is right or what can individuals rely on for a moral compass?

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis devotes an entire chapter entitled Some Objections.  Lewis talks about the Law of Human Nature which states “human beings have a curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain manner guided by their conscience, but despite these inclinations to do the right thing, they do not follow this law, breaking it through deviating behavior.  Beside war, the herd instinct, self-preservation  and motherly love steers people to take drastic measures based upon the extant of the storm or situation.

Today, these factors have blinded innocent hearts, naive minds and desperate souls from looking beyond the here and now.  With tomorrow hard to reach for many, ethics don’t seem that important as surviving today is the goal.  In John 18:33-38, a governor called Pilate called for a private meeting with Jesus.  In his heart, Pilate knew Jesus was innocent.  In fact, his own wife had a dream telling her to warn her husband about Jesus.  Although the clear response was in view, the situation urged Pilate’s own sinful nature to do the wrong thing.

Life is like years of trial and error.  I’ve spent 44 years getting it wrong day after day.  Yeah, the easy thing to do is blame the situation or the hand you’ve been dealt by God.  However, the temple within you expects more, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.  May the God above your situation take you to a better place this Christmas season.  Reach out to the One who can so you the way, John 14:6.

by Jay Mankus

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