We have reports from early historians (including Jewish), that Jesus Christ, literally turned the world upside-down. How, you may ask, could He have turned the world upside-down? He disdained the popular understanding of man’s relationship to each other, and to God.
Jesus was probably the first “equal rights” crusader. For sure He healed indiscriminately, and met people at their need, not their want. He spoke of going the extra mile, and that a worker was worth his pay. He spoke of loving, and forgiving, those around us, rather than extracting an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. He set forth the example we were to follow: Love as I have loved you, and forgive as your heavenly Father has forgiven you. Jesus spent His days lifting others up, and encouraging them to be the best they could be. Isn’t that the pattern set down throughout the Hebrew/Jewish history? He taught us to value all life.
Today, we are witnessing another upheaval in the world. The movement appears to be returning to the old ways. One person has property rights over another. We no longer are satisfied to get along, we now have a need to get even. We no longer respect or value life. We indiscriminately kill people before they are born. We are seeing evil being extolled, while good is attacked as bad. I am amazed to learn that law-abiding citizens are considered a threat to our livelihood, while people committed to destroying us and our way of life are considered to be heroes. A lie told often enough becomes a form of truth.
Pundits claim that the increase in gun and ammo purchases after the debacle in Arizona is a harbinger of calamity. If you are a law-abiding citizen, and you lawfully own firearms, you are a threat to the rest of the country. My guess is, that had the people gathered to hear congress-critter Giffords been packing lawfully, there would not have been so many people shot. Criminals feel safe in “no gun zones”. They are pretty sure there is no one going to stop them until they are able to do the damage they want.
It is true, I carry a gun, not because I am afraid, but because I am confident that I can defend myself when, and if, it should ever come to that. I also carry a gun, because I cannot carry a cop; have you ever called 911? Think about the time it takes for the operator to extract the information they need, to verify there is a threat, and then think about how long it takes for law enforcement officers to get to where you are.
Christianity is the only religion/belief that encourages living in peace. So, then, how come with all the bumper stickers, and billboards touting the message, “unity” “coexist” “can’t we all get along?” are we seeing an unprecedented attack on Christianity? How come, the department of home land security has identified Christians as terrorists? If my remembery is correct, it seems to me, that the Communism that was rampant when I was growing up, had quite an adverse reaction to Christianity. Then, history shows us that the Third Reich primarily failed because they acted to erase the Jewish/Hebrew people, only to find out that the Christian community stood up and stood beside the Jewish/Hebrew people. The two world wars we were involved in have shown us that Communism, socialism, Nazism have their beginnings in evil. When people wish to lord it over other people, and take the opportunity to exterminate others who do not see eye to eye with them, we are dealing with evil. E V I L!!!! For evil to flourish, a good man need do nothing.
How have we gotten to this place in time, and in history? America is considered to be a Christian nation. Ask anyone on the street, and they are probably going to say that they are a Christian. They have gone to Sunday School, recited catechism, been confirmed and baptized and are now a part of the body of Christ. You will even hear that they have been married in the church, and have made arrangements for the church to perform their funeral. They even force their children to go to Sunday School, and go through the motions of meeting the requirements for the ritual of joining the church. They may even pray before meals, but come Monday morning through Saturday night they forget that Christianity is a way of life, they assume it is a point to reach, an apex, an ultimate place to stand. There is probably no better example of this than “Mardi Gras” or “Carnivale”. Well, we do need to consider Halloween as maybe a close second.
What is the symbolism behind “Mardi Gras”? To begin with, the peak of Mardi Gras is “Fat Tuesday”. The day before Ash Wednesday. The participants wear masks and costumes, basically resembling demons and ogres. It is fashionable on that day to dabble in as much debauchery as you can possibly get into. And what is the reason for the debauchery? Yeah, you bet! Come early Wednesday morning, you go to confession, receive the mark of the ash on your forehead, and you are ready for the Lenten period. You have made yourself ready for the new birth that is heralded by Easter Sunday.
And Halloween? I’m glad you asked. Halloween is considered to be a contraction of All Hallows Evening. Why is that important? Well, the next day, November 1 is All Saints Day. History reflects that there was a time, when Christianity was “turning the world upside-down” that people continued to maintain their old pagan ways. One of the rituals they had was, on the day before All Saints Day, they would watch for the ghosts, or spirits of the dead to come back and go through the town. If they were able to receive treats, then the spirits would bring a blessing to the town, and would not haunt it. If they found the townspeople to be inhospitable, they would wreak all kinds of terror on the town. So, today, we dress our children up, as ghosts, ghouls, ogres and other forms of spirits and allow them to “trick or treat”, and if they don’t get a treat for their trick, then they treat the offender to another kind of trick.
How true is the axiom, that those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to relive it. Jesus issued in and ordained a new day, a new world. Many of our ancestors came to the New World, to avail themselves of the new life that Jesus had brought. Here in this country was the freedom to live as best you could, to own what you work for, to worship God, as the Creator and Sustainer of this old world. How true, that familiarity breeds disdain. Too many of us have been raised in the lap of affluency, and have exercised the God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, until we truly believe that we are the only one who has any right to it. How can someone in their right mind ever conceive that having the governing of man is better than the governing by a Sovereign, beneficent Creator God.
May God have mercy on our back-slidden souls.