Still Simpler

Still Simpler (1,181)

June 18th, 2011

I used to have a whole bunch of stuff I believed. Worse, I voiced a ton of opinions. Now truthfully, I did work on avoiding being obnoxious about it, but every belief and opinion we have protrudes from us, turning us into porcupines. Therefore, my contention is: if you believe less and teach yourself to manufacture fewer opinions, you seriously decrease the number of times you have to poke somebody with one of your personal quills. (You don’t have to agree with that—but understand, it is your opinion, and therefore … pointed.)

I used to join into arguments with people over issues like gun control, abortion, marriage and so forth and so on. These are barometer topics that cause us to distinguish one another as either conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, evangelical or mainline. I find it despairing.

So in response to building boxes for holding people, I have become even simpler. To me it’s just an issue of life or death, and yes or no. In other words, my correct response is yes to life and no to death.

For instance, I used to believe that capital punishment was essential and a deterrent to crime. Then one day I noticed in the book of Genesis that God, who had investigated the first murder—of Cain by his brother, Abel—selected NOT to kill Cain for his crime, but instead, exiled him to his own discovery, punishment and devices. It was eye-opening. If God chose to exile the first murderer, why would I think His jurisprudence had changed?

On the other hand, I was frequently confused on the issue of abortion. I certainly didn’t want to take away a woman’s human rights, but I found the practice to be very distasteful and one that I had selected to avoid myself in my youthful years. Then I realized that with good sex education, birth control, a little self-control and counseling, abortion really should cease to be nearly as much a problem as we make it. The difficulty appears when those ultra-conservative people, who really hate sex in the first place, insist on chiming in on the subject, and when the ultra-liberals want to allow personal choice without responsibility. No doubt about it—abortion is a form of death, and therefore must be a “no” from me.

People always argue about gun control. I have shot a gun. It is fun. But if a gun becomes available for common use, or even common carrying, it implies the potential for threatening human beings, which I have no stomach for. I think we should have ammunition available for those who would like to go to gun ranges—ammunition which gives the same kick, but provides no danger. And I believe if you’re going to hunt for animals (which, by the way, are God’s creatures—otherwise he would not have saved them in the ark), you should do so to get meat for your family. If it is just for sport, make sure that meat ends up in the hands of the hungry or the homeless.

How about marijuana? Some people try to isolate it off as a singular drug of preference. This is not my experience. I have not known many people who just smoked marijuana without experimenting with stronger chemicals, which ultimately lead to the destruction of human life, either socially or physically. So for me, it’s a big “no.”

You see what I’m saying? The issues are not about conservative and liberal, but rather, death and life.

What do I think about hymns in the church? I think when they were written, they were composed by excited believers, and now, more often than not, performed by drones. If they can be sung with the vigor of their original energy, I think that’s life. If not, they should be immediately replaced with something that does enliven.

What do I think about communion in the church? If it’s a commemoration of the death of Christ, I think it’s an abomination. But if it is done the way Jesus said to do it—in remembrance of his being and life—then it can be quite beautiful. As you know, Jesus said, “I have come to give you life, and it more abundantly.”

What do I think about politics? If it is used to govern the people in a righteous way, to bring better life to all its citizens, it is ordained from the mind of God. If it is a power trip, used to kill off the opponent to gain authority which normally is ill-used, then I think it is an institution of death, and if you don’t mind, I’ll pass.

I do understand my little formula has its flaws and may not apply to every circumstance. But it does work much better than either the platform of the Republican or Democratic parties. I can recommend it.

I don’t believe in war. War kills. Yet, people would say that Hitler could not have been stopped without a world-wide effort from the military. I disagree. Hitler could have been terminated from power in the early stages and left to be a paper-hanger who failed as a soldier if the German people would have merely read his book, Mein Kampf, and realized that this was an individual who was more interested in death than life.

So I have just gotten simpler. I look for the life in something, and if I find it, I say “yes” and put my shoulder behind the work. If I discover death, I walk away before the stench stings my nostrils. I can recommend it.

· Yes to life.

· No to death.

Published in: on June 18, 2011 at 1:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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