Populie: The End Is Near… April 23, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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moonIf politicians want to scare up votes, they always alarm the public with a new “evil empire” which is poised to destroy us and the rest of humanity with a nuclear weapon.

Whenever religion senses apathy or diminishing capacity within the membership, it begins to tout proudly and enthusiastically, “Jesus is coming soon.”

And the entertainment industry, in the pursuit of displaying a social consciousness, makes movies, songs and plays about the destruction of the earth through environmental indifference, which leads us to live in caves and throw rocks at each other.

Meanwhile, real life goes on and doesn’t seem to have enough contestants for the game.

Yes, the POPULIE I am speaking of is the contention–or even insistence–that “the end is near.”

There are three main problems with this particular popular lie:

1. What advantage is it to us to be living in the end times?

If it’s true, it places a greater responsibility on us to be proficient. If not, we go down into the history books, filed away next to “the earth is flat” people and the judges at the Salem Witch Trial.

2. If we believe the world is going to end, we certainly do not want our lives to end.

You see the bigotry here? In other words, God should come and smite the earth while providing us an ark of safety. Why? Do we really want to believe in a God who is a respecter of persons and likes some folks better than others? Are we anxious to see a battle fought in the Middle East where the “blood is so thick that it comes up to the bridles on the horses?”

3. And of course, most important is the foolish, ongoing drivel that the future is determined by destiny.

I personally believe there have been many antichrists on Earth since the prophesy by John in the Good Book. But there have always been enough “christs” on earth to stop them.

I don’t view prophesy to be fact, but rather, warnings–and a word to the wise should be sufficient.

So what can we do in this crazed age of cataclysmic yearning?

A. Then.

Yes. Look at history. Learn from it. Study it. Know that the people who lived before us were humans also, and if you can avoid their mistakes, you don’t have to repeat them.

B. Now.

Live. Take what you’ve learned from “then,” apply it, and let the Spirit lead you every day into gentle conclusions that seek reconciliation instead of trying to foster all of your personal demands.

C. Tomorrow.

Well, tomorrow is decided by how well we learn and live.

I will not join in to the craze about the end of the world. I will not scream at the top of my lungs that “Jesus is coming soon,” nor that the polar ice caps are melting, and certainly will not be peering into the skies for missiles.

Then I learn.

Now I live.

Tomorrow is decided by my learning and living.

 

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Not Too Swift… October 27, 2012

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Human beings like to be right.

I am a human being.

Therefore I like to be right.

That is called a syllogism. In other words, if A=B and B=C, then therefore A=C.

I don’t share this with you to discuss principles of geometry. I put this thought into discussion because it is probably our greatest weakness. The fear of being wrong has caused people to continue errant ways long past reasonableness.

I saw this in myself last night. Having a night off from sharing my program, I turned on the television and watched a special about Taylor Swift. She is a twenty-two-year-old girl in country music who has set the world on fire with her songs, personality and diversity.

Now, I actually heard Taylor sing when she was a young girl of twelve–at a local middle school in Hendersonville, Tennessee. She was just another young lady in the school, involved in a talent show–but there was something special there.

Now for a bit of candor. When she released her first album and started her career on television, I was highly critical of her. She had some pitch problems and seemed awkward in her new position. Matter of fact, I made fun of her to my sons and family members. I pronounced a bit of doom and gloom for her career. I found her music to be trivial and her approach to be tentative and weak.

I do have a reputation for being right every once in a while, but it doesn’t mean that I’m incapable of being wrong. So as I watched the special last night about this dear young woman, I realized that she had not only superseded everyone’s expectations, but had also proven me to be a false prophet. Now she sings in tune, her songs are poignant and ripe with personal experience, and even though she’s been criticized strongly by people in the industry, she has kept a sweet spirit, hung in there and continued to excel. She is the personification of everything that old, grumpy people say young humans are incapable of achieving.

I was humbled by my stupidity. I was ashamed of the judgmental attitude which nearly eliminated a valuable voice from being considered–at least by the members of my own family. And even though I have an excellent reputation for being insightful, I missed it on this one.

So you see, I thought all of this to myself and even repented within my own heart of being so flat and without mercy. I was convinced that this was sufficient–that I had no need to inform anyone else of my past nasty behavior. But–that’s just not true.

Some things need to be repented of in public. Otherwise, our private moment of contrition is lost and unknown to those who need to hear it the most.

This is why the Republicans and Democrats need to admit their part of the responsibility in today’s problems. It is why the South needs to continually make it clear that slavery, prejudice and the old Confederacy are a part of their dark past. It is why the President of the United States needs to explain that he bit off more than he could chew, but since he’s in the middle of chewing on it, it might be ridiculous to switch mouths.

It is why the Republicans should be honest–that the Iraqi war and many of their policies brought our country to the brink of bankruptcy. (For after all, it was not Osama bin Laden‘s goal to merely kill 3000 people on 9/11. No, from his private collection of videos, it is crystal clear that what he wanted to do was paralyze the US in a series of vengeful wars.)

Contrary to public opinion, repentance is not a private matter. It is why the Bible demands that we bring forth fruit–so that it’s obvious to all comers and goers that our past actions were filled with error.

So let me say it loud and clear–I was not too swift. I failed to give a young girl a chance to be herself, discover her talent, and establish the beauty of her gift in our presence. Here are three things I need to keep in mind, and maybe you’d like to add them to your collection of procedures also:

1. Don’t be conventional. Remember, life is not a convention of fellow believers, but rather, more like a cafe, where you arrive famished and discover that the waiter doesn’t speak English.

2. Being wrong is smart if it’s your idea. Don’t wait around for the final exam, when the teacher and other students will discover how ignorant you are when your grade is posted on the bulletin board.

3. People get better. Give them space and give them time–and of course, both of these thing minus your interference and gossip.

So my apologies to Taylor Swift for judging her when she was still on the vine. My apologies to my family and friends for being a premature grumper. And my apologies to myself for being prejudiced and missing the opportunity of being on the cutting edge of a great idea instead of casting the first stone.

There are times that I’m just not too “Swift.” This one was “Taylor” made … for me.

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