Thursday, January 03, 2008


I am concerned for our nation and our world. People have become even more shallow and mean spirited than ever. They are more often than not driven to do that which best serves their own need. This service of self often brings us down to the level of destrcutive behavior - destruction of ourselves and those around us. This lack of a common thread of simple descency threatens to undermine the very mortar of our culture's brick wall. The casual use of the most foul language in public places is but a single indicator, but it goes way beyond that. I see it in those around me and (God help me) I see it in myself.

This experiment in freedom that we call the United States of America is suffering from a disease. That disease can best be described as "Personal Responsibility Deficiency". When the majority of people stop doing the right thing 'en masse' and wave the flag of freedom as a defense, there seems little optimism for hope. A free society such as ours can only exist when washed in rain of personal responsiblity for actions. Without that rain, we will either wither and die - too weak to defend ourselves from tyranny. Or we will become that which we most hate in an attempt to maintain order. Fascism is often the fate of free people who lack the conviction to maintain righteousness at the level of the individual.

I'm not advocating puritanism. I don't think people need to be restricted. That never works. You can't fix a man from the outside in. He must change from the center. That change will radiate out and manifest in his actions. Will he ever be perfect? No. Will he fail as he makes bad choices? Most assuredly.

So, what do we do about the problem? I believe there are answers. I believe that education can help. I think that people can adopt correct behavior because it makes sense. But mostly, I believe there is an answer that transcends all of these if not simply supporting them. That answer is Jesus Christ. He is the ultimate source of hope.

Will most people ever know Him? Probably not. Faith in the unseen is tough. Critical, but tough.

Given that, I do wish people would at least attempt to follow His central teaching on behavior from which all moralilty and law can be drawn. I know others have said it too and pardon the paraphrase, but here it is:

"Love your neighbor in the same way that you love yourself. Do not do anything to anyone that you would not like done to you."

Even if one can't cross the line and embrace the theology, the simple common sense of this idea should make just a little impact on people. Shouldn't it?

The path many are on now will never lead them home.


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