How to make it in a broken world by the Survivalist, Herb, sixty years ago teaching desert survival, finding water in a dry river bed, the eatable desert plants and how to cook them, and building a fire with no fire sticks of any kind was a snap. That is compared to teaching survival on Main Street today with guns all pointing at you, hatred everywhere, a total lack of mores in and out of the church. Now that is a challenge and what this essay is all about. If you don’t have time to read it and would prefer for you and your loved ones to end life in a gutter in a pool of your own blood, that is your choice.
The source for the information in this essay is listed here with foot note ID. Various editions of World Magazine (W), Albuquerque Journal special report on Sunday edition July 17, 2016 by Edmundo Carrillo (AJ). Various Associated Press and Journal wire over the past month (AP). Eric Metaxas article Liberal Censorship July 15, 2016 (EM). Various quotes from Facebook that have been posted and reposted so many times the original source is not available (FB). Conservative and liberal blogs (b). The Bible is all quoted from the NIV 1986 Ed. If you want to prepare your heart and mind for this essay read and pray over First John chapter two before you read.
This is a fact, Jack, “Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:1b, 2).
Risk taking, as our God has always been, when he formed from the dust of the earth the Imago Dei, and breathed life into his hand formed man, he made him with the creative, artistic and communication skills of the Trinity. With that, he created in his image, free will; the ability to choose whom to love and how to love; the choice of whom to obey and in what way to obey them and the freedom to disobey with consequences. This set up an ongoing war between the fallen angel, Lucifer, and the Trinity with mankind as the street fighters.
Sin reigned as Paul wrote in Roman 3. Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. God responded to this sin with harsh punishment such as a worldwide flood that drowned between seven to thirty billion people. There were snakes, famine, war, captivity, evil occupation and treason and none of that had any lasting affect. Sin still abounded, but God had a plan that was a God-sized plan that was humanly impossible. This plan would atone for sin, give new birth and new life and would organize a new godly family that with the Great Commission would be a family that included every race, every culture, every economic condition, every educational level, every social level, every language and would be called the Holy Universal Church.
That church went 1800 years plateaued or in suspended animation, and did not really get going until the United States first constitutional amendment at the end of the 1700s. In the last two hundred years, it has gained a foothold, but far too many of the so-called Christians have never caught the vision.
Thus the first lesson in 2016 Main Street survival. We all, people worldwide, are in the same boat; we are out-numbered by Satan’s forces and we need the tie that binds us together.
With the first in history, Freedom of Religion in the American Bill of Rights, we led the way in refurbishing the Great Commission. We have a two century head start on the rest of the world, but we have been consistently falling behind.
Eric Metaxas in World Magazine of July 23, 2016 nailed it. His father is an immigrant from Greece that grew up during the Greek Civil war with Communism and his mother is an immigrant from East Germany and grew up under Communism. He is a first generation American, a graduate of Yale and a four time New York Times best-selling writer. He is wearing more important writer, speaker hats than a centipede has need of shoes. Here is his directive and our first step to survival.
“My Parents taught me to hate Communism; I always knew it was wicked and anti-human. They gave me the perceptive to say, no matter what: This is genuinely the best nation in the history of the world. What made it great is that we don’t exist for ourselves. We have this fundamental biblical idea that we exist for others.”
We are our brother’s keeper. It is a simple proposition; IF WE ARE OUR BROTHER’S KEEPER, WE MUST LOVE HIM TO DO A GOOD JOB. IF WE DON’T LOVE HIM WE ARE IGNORING HIM, WHICH IS A KIND OF AGGRESSIVE PASSIVE HATRED.
“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. Who ever love his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble” (1 John 2:9,10).
This is the tie that binds us together from 1622 to 2000; we are a people bound together by the concept of American brotherhood, all for one and one for all. It took us nearly 200 years to develop that concept that was polished in WW2. Our concept of tolerance during those years, we could disagree in debate and we could live with the disagreement, and I would die fighting for your right to be in my opinion, wrong. We lived in the Bible and Eric’s world of “we exist for each other” brotherhood. This was nationwide in American citizenship; church-wide in Holy universal church fellowship loyalty.
The electronic age of computers, e-mail, X-boxes, Facebook, social media became us, and we withdrew from music recitals, Bridge clubs, family evening get-togethers and church more than at 11 am on Sunday morning and we became a nation of isolationists that socialize in our pajamas, and have lost the concept of brotherhood with fellow Americans. Most importantly, we isolated ourselves from our fellow Americans and we began to think not as a tribe, but as a lone wolf. At that point we became subject to outside influences that caused us to begin to see our self, our race, our language, our culture as superior and when media, our connection with the outside world told us those different than us in race, language, education were in the news causing trouble we became at once antagonists and it did not take much to turn the antagonism to distrust and hate.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the street marches of Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter and an occasional sign saying, All lives Matter. Suddenly across the board in America there is a fear that black men are bigger, stronger and not to be trusted. We are suddenly on the brink of a race war in the United States. Police have become trigger happy in several cases; outlaw shooters have killed police just because they are, “Pigs in a blanket”. We have lost any concept of being family and One Holy Universal Church; the tie than binds has been discarded. I am going to quote an article, an interview with a black Policeman serving in the most liberal city in New Mexico, the City Different, Santa Fe. This article exposes the hypocrisy of liberalism (AJ).
“Anwar Sanders, a Black police officer in Santa Fe has become apart of a national conversation on race and law enforcement. His experience in the City Different is anything but flattering…Anwar states the greatest need is education about the black race in NM (see Bound In Chains in Agape’s Epistle, 24, July). I see a lot of racism here in NM… Even if an area is gay friendly, and NM is far more LBGT acceptable than Black acceptable… Anwar has been interviewed on CNN and NPR over his blogs on race relations…Many people, all they know about black people is what they see on TV or the movies and perceive black men as threatening and dangerous, never to be trusted…. When out of uniform and in a convenience store, women will clutch their purses and walk away rather than pass close by…. I recognize the burden of my identity in this country; with a badge on, I am recognized in one way, at least part of the time, without it I am just another black man to be feared… the 21st century racism is different than the Past where there were hangings, home burnings; today it is the side remarks, and name calling that almost goes unnoticed by the others of the white race… called the N word, being called ”gorilla” or “Monkey” or “Shadow man.”
Another black officer, Jacquaan Matherson, that is 25 agreed, with Anwar… Jacquaan added that he thought many of the offensive remarks were made in ignorance and across the board education could solve a great amount of the racial problem. (Again, the reason for this Epistle, to educate). Both Anwar and Jacquaan stated they loved helping people of all races and the reason they were speaking out was that they want to be in the position to actually make a change (in people).”
One of the problems of coming together as a tribe is that there are greater than racial divides in the country, the philosophical divide where Liberalism will accept anyone to the table of the marketplace of ideas except the conservative Christian; Eric Metaxas addressed that problem of intolerance in Liberal Censorship:
”Writing in the New York Times recently, columnist Nicholas Kistof took that first hard step…’We progressives’, he wrote, ‘believe in diversity and we want woman, blacks, Latinos, gays and Muslims at the table as long as they are not conservative.’ (Or one might reasonable add, evangelical Christians).”
“Kristof and his fellow liberals profess a love for tolerance and diversity. But when it comes to the most important kind –diversity of thought—he admits that the gate keepers in academia and the media actively stigmatize those who hold different views than their own.”
“We are fine with people that don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.” Kristof continued:
“ My Facebook followers have incredible compassion for war victims in South Sedan, for kids who are trafficked, even for abused chickens, but no obvious empathy for conservatives (Christians) scholars facing discrimination. Speaking of Facebook, former Facebook employees told Gizmoto, ‘The social media titan’s news curators routinely suppressed conservative news.’”
In a Blessed Be the Tie response to Anwar’s call for across-the-board education about the ethnic differences and cultural differences between the races, especially the education of the Blacks to white and the white to black, we are going to have to agree to meet with Liberals and Progressives and listen to each other. In the same way, following Kristof’s lead, Progressives are going to have to accept us conservatives. We need an honest and open dialog. Better to throw words at each other than to shoot bullets at each other. There are so many intelligent and conservative blacks that are speaking out, they need to, as have the Trump organization, give them places of prominence and full partnership, not Uncle Tom crumbs, and seek a united front in accepting all races as a part of the team.
The government road blocks are, especially, quotas in hiring. One of the things we will have to accept and work around is the government and left wing organizations quota demands instead of being honored and promoted based on skills and hard work. Recent demands, The Oscars and boycott for not enough (quota) Blacks recognized. And the professional baseball world bemoaning not enough (quota) Latino coaches. We need to find areas of agreement and work on the differences one at a time.
3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did (1 John 2:3-6).
The Bible offers no clearer path to God than love and obedience.
23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
The tie that binds us all together in this next step to survival is to love those different than we are. Now, let’s toss that sophomoric expression, “We have to love them, but we don’t have to like them.” Or “We love the sinner but hate the sin.” These two have been the stepping stones to racial and political hatred and war for centuries. First we are told you can’t love God whom you have not seen, if you can’t love Man whom you have seen. Now listen, you can’t love some you don’t like. You can’t really like someone you don’t know. So getting to know someone (educated about them and socializing with them) allows you to like them and as you like them and really get to know them, their dreams, goals and passions, you can grow to love and accept them. Following that step one in getting the indwelling of the Trinity, we take step two.
We learn to obey Jesus to walk as Jesus did…. That is to OBEY him in reconciliation and showing love and forgiveness to all those that want to continue the street war that has been going on, kind of like that old hippy song, “Let there be peace in the world and let it begin with me.”
Ephesians 2:16, “and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”
God’s impossible dream and plan of the Holy Universal Church was that the blood red of the cross and the redemptive promise of the open tomb would cover the racial differences in receptive Imago Dei and tone our racial, social, economic, political hostility to the neutral fellowship of the God family. It just has not happened across the board in the church and as a result, the church cannot lead the way to culture. As I have been reminded this week, the hostility must go.
Ephesians 1:7, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.”
The next survival step in reconciliation is to remember from whence God has brought and remember all sin is damning and the one to whom I am hostile, or that is hostile toward me, is no worse a sinner than I.
Matthew 18:15, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”
If you need to say, “I am sorry,” or “You have hurt me”, the poorest means of expressing this is e-mail, but at times and the distance involved it will do, then there is the personal letter, a phone call; but if at all possible go face to face to seek reconciliation. Face to face reveals the facial expressions, the body language and the tone. You can’t come to communion time in church if you have not reconciled with the combatant.
Romans 5:10, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
Christ’s whole life spoke love, reconciliation and salvation to us, so how we live from now on must be an example of our desire to bring to the situation, reconciliation and harmony. In obedience, we show our heart by how we walk like Jesus.
Second Corinthians 5:18-19, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
We have been given the ministry of reconciliation that is across the board to all Christians. To obey Jesus, we must wear the mantel of Romans 12:18, “ If it is possible, as long as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”.
If I have the ministry of reconciliation between all the warring parties then even if I do support the second amendment, and I do, I will not own a gun. There are good political reasons. Military leaders have been alerted to the possibility of being sent to kill citizens. Those with guns will be targeted. This is a personal choice.
If I am going to have the ministry of reconciliation, I will remove all language and jokes from my thinking that show disrespect or could be so construed.
If I am going to survive the birth pangs of pre-tribulation, I must keep my eye on the horizon, on the future promises of God and not fear those that can kill the body, but those that can kill the soul.
The most important part about survival for eternity is to listen to Jesus speaking to the church in Revelation. “He that overcome I will give the right to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.”