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America, Look Up

The importance of America returning to Christian principles and Traditional Family Values

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Andy Griffith

What Happened to the Black and White World?


At 12:30 pm, Monday through Friday, I carve out a thirty minute lunch break to eat a sandwich and watch one of the greatest shows of all time…Andy Griffith.  I don’t care for the newer, colorized shows featuring Warren instead of Barney.  No, I love watching the old black and white episodes and laughing at the antics of Andy and Barney.  I’ve introduced this classic television to my kids and they also enjoy it.  The Andy Griffith show tickles the funny bone and often weaves a valuable moral lesson amidst the laughs.  When the show’s on and my kids are watching, I can leave the room and not worry about my children’s eyes or ears being assaulted by raunchy images or vile language.  The episodes clearly point out the evils of lying and gossip and the importance of loyalty and obeying the “Golden Rule.”  Not only were the early shows filmed in black and white, but the morals were taught in definite shades of black and white…No gray areas to confuse the young and the young at heart.

We no longer live in a black and white world.

Our culture preaches a doctrine referred to as “moral relativism.”  In other words, what might not be right for you may be right for me…and vice versa.  Our society has shoved moral absolutes from the public sphere and replaced them with moral ambiguities.  Behaviors and lifestyles once deemed universally sinful are now championed in sitcoms like “Modern Family.”  Fifty years ago, Andy Griffith implied to a gathering of men that if there were no women around, man wouldn’t be able to enjoy a married life.  Today, that statement would be met with outrage and the perpetrator of the verbal insensitivity would be harassed until he apologized.  Somewhere between Myer’s Lake and 21st century America, we’ve lost our moral compass.

Maybe it started in the 1960’s during the reign of free love and hallucinogenic drugs.  Maybe it started when one woman’s hatred for God precipitated the eventual ousting of prayer from the public schools.  Maybe it started when the highest court in the land found a woman’s right to abortion to be scrawled in the Constitution of the United States.  Or maybe it started earlier, much earlier, when the Enemy promised godhood to humanity for a forbidden bite of tantalizing fruit.

And therein lies the problem today.  We desire to be gods, creating our own lists of do’s and don’ts, disregarding and ignoring the truths of the Bible.  If God’s “Thou shalt nots” cramp our style or our own adopted morals and values, we toss them aside, explaining the Bible’s out of touch with 21st century crowds.  Sadly, we forget that even though people might “evolve” on morals, God does not.

It’s interesting to note that the Andy Griffith show is set in Mayberry, North Carolina.  Neighborly, upstanding, and God-fearing would be a few of the adjectives to describe its population.  Today, Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert appearance in North Carolina because a law passed requiring men and women to use their own restrooms.  Can you imagine the outrage in Mayberry if a man trotted into a woman’s bathroom?  Andy and Barney would haul him off to jail and seek to find the individual help.  Finding that person help today is deemed insensitive and bigoted.

“Let people be who they want to be, ” they cry.

How about being the person God created him to be? Novel idea, huh?

Well, not a novel.  It’s a Bible idea.

I don’t believe the future of America hinges on this next Presidential election.  I believe it hinges upon the actions of Christian people.  Throughout the last few decades, we’ve failed to protest the leftist turn of our Country for fear of being labeled intolerant.  But it’s that silence which allows the voices of aberrant behavior to dominate the conversation and to hijack the culture.  No, we cannot remain silent.  We must teach our children right and wrong, black and white values without  cracks and crevices for the “But what ifs…”

But where do we begin?  There’s one step we must take before jumping into the cultural fray.  It’s found in II Chronicles 7:14,

“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.”

I challenge you to personal revival, then to join the people of God in battling for the soul of America.  And if our Country chooses to vote for a “Third Obama” term and drive a stake through the heart of America, then keep your eyes fastened on the Eastern sky, for surely Jesus’ return is soon.

“Come quickly Lord Jesus.”

A Culture of Deflated Balls


It’s challenging raising kids in today’s culture.  One of the character traits we drill in our children is honesty.  Jesus said,

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

For those who know Christ, emulating Jesus should be at the top of our “to do” lists.

Decades ago, the culture encouraged honest living as well.  Shows like “Andy Griffith,” “Leave it to Beaver,” and the “Walton’s” taught the importance of living a life of integrity, honesty being a much sought after and respected virtue.  Today, not so much.  One of ABC Family’s most popular shows is “Pretty Little Liars.”  Because of high ratings, it’s been airing for seven seasons.  What has happened to the popularity of truth?

As a child, my parents washed my mouth out with soap when I told a lie.  I learned quickly a strong distaste for Dove Bars and made it a habit to tell the truth.  As a child, I was held accountable.  No differentiation of lies existed.  Little white lies and great big lies fell under the same category, lying.  At a very young age I learned,

“Honesty is the best policy.”

In a recent study, 53% of the people polled shared their mistrust of the President.  Personally, I can’t believe it’s that low.  A few months ago, the President confidently stated “not a smidgen” of corruption existed in his Administration.  For those paying attention, they realized his statement resonated with truth.  Instead of “not a smidgen,” there’s a colossal amount of corruption in his administration.  Though many bash  dishonest politicians, and rightly so, this trait of dishonesty permeates other areas of life as well, with little or no consequence.

A few days ago, sports reporters jumped on the news of the New England Patriots and deflated footballs.  According to NFL rules, footballs must be inflated to a certain level and then checked prior to kick-off by a league official.  Between the official check and the coin toss, someone deflated the footballs.  Lowering the air pressure enables the quarterback to grip the ball with more authority and on cold days makes the ball softer to catch, a perk for the wide receivers.  Would the Patriots have won had the balls been inflated properly?  Absolutely.  The Colts played miserably.  However, one team attempted to get an edge over another through dishonest means.  How’s a Dad supposed to instill honesty and sportsmanship when a cheating team might win the Super Bowl?

There’s only one way.  I must direct them to embrace the teachings of the Word of God.

The word “Christian” literally means, “Little Christ.”  One way to imitate Christ is to be people of our word.  John 8:44 shares plainly,

“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

In other words, we’re never more like the devil than when we lie.  That nugget from the Bible strikes a chord with people.  I’ve never met anyone excited about the prospect of relationally favoring the devil and his modus operandi.  Yet, “Pretty Little Liars” ranks highly with its viewers.

Instead of ignoring the importance of truth telling, let’s be people of integrity and of our word.  And let’s remember the oft quoted statement from Bejamin Franklin,

“Honesty is the best policy.”

And by the way, there’s nothing pretty about lying…..

 

Do We Really Want the Clinton’s Back in the White House?


Fifty years ago, families gathered around a black and white television set, enjoying the situation comedy, “Leave it to Beaver.”  The show focused on Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver and his adventures.  According to Wikipedia,

“In a typical episode, Beaver got into some sort of trouble, then faced his parents for reprimand and correction.”

Regularly, viewers sat as flies on the wall, watching as Ward and June Cleaver debated their approach to child rearing and how Beaver’s punishment would be meted out.  All in all, America heralded the Cleavers as a model family.  Leave it to Beaver landed on Time’s magazine list of “The 100 Best TV Shows of All-Time.”

As a child I loved re-runs of this hit series.  In fact, I cut my “television” teeth on re-runs of Leave it to Beaver, I Love Lucy, My Three Sons, and Andy Griffith.  Adjectives like “wholesome,” “family friendly,” and “Virtuous” describe these iconic television shows.  These shows triggered laughter and taught a valuable moral lesson at the same time.  My parents never needed to turn off the set because of profanity, gratuitous sex, or violence.  Try finding shows like that today.  Other than Duck Dynasty, not many other shows come readily to mind.

As I type, I’m thinking of the Cleaver bedroom scenes…Ward and June climbing into separate full-size beds before turning the light off for the night.  Whew!  We’ve come a long way baby!

Television shows today seldom celebrate a happily married heterosexual couple, instead we find producers championing shacking up, adulterous relationships, and homosexual liaisons.  These Hollywood elitists argue they’re just mirroring the culture.  Recently, Miley Cyrus “twerked” her way into the news.  Her gyrations at the MTV VMA’s, better suited for a gentleman’s club, ignited discussion about this once wholesome Hannah Montana gone wild.  Though some parents expressed outrage, many fans of Miley stood by her side….and continue to do so.  On the day after her salacious performance she tweeted,

“Smilers! My VMA performance had 306,000 tweets per minute. That’s more than the blackout or Superbowl! #fact

Currently, 17.1 million people follow her on Twitter, up 4 million since the VMA’s.  Instead of efforts to boycott her music and lifestyle, we live in a culture more than ready to embrace her bawdy antics.

So, how does this relate to the Clinton’s?

Most people know of President Clinton’s sordid “indiscretions”, but will that dissuade an up and coming culture of Miley enthusiasts from voting for Hillary to reside in the White House?  Does it matter that the First Gentleman may turn the Lincoln Bedroom into a brothel of sorts? Where has dignity for the Office gone?  More importantly, where has America’s conscience fled?  Our Country resembles the crippled Titanic moments before submerging to a watery grave.  As passengers of the doomed vessel boarded the lifeboats, survivors reported hearing a stringed ensemble playing “Nearer My God to Thee.”

Fast forward to the present.  We proudly pledge our Country’s flag with the words, “one nation, under God….” yet we pay homage to those who press the “moral” envelope.  Contrary to popular opinion, character matters.  Integrity matters.   Morals matter.  Just ask the One to whom we recognize in our Nation’s Pledge of Allegiance.  President Abraham Lincoln said,

‘Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my
greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.’

Many in America desire for our “Ship” to be righted again.  But first, we must turn to God.  II Chronicles 7:14 says,

“If my people, who are called by my Name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

It’s time that Christians strip off the apathy and stop asking Hillary’s oft-quoted statement,

“What Difference Does It Make?”

Turning to God, makes a whale of a difference…Just ask Jonah.

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