CUPCAKES!

 “You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”

Matthew chapter 12, verses 34 thru 37; from The Message (Msg)

Cupcakes! We are living in a world of cupcakes! No, not the kind one sees at parties! It’s people I’m talking about. When I was young, I often wondered why “old people” were always so. . .so blunt. They didn’t mince or sugar-coat their words. And now that I’m old, I understand. As I get older I know that my time here is getting shorter and shorter. Thus, my opportunities to speak the truth are becoming fewer and fewer. I realize that I just don’t have the time to draw pictures to explain the things that are really important. It seems my ability and talent to be snarky has come into full bloom. I define snarky as a mixture of satire with a heavy dose of sarcasm. But here’s the thing–I don’t use it very often. Some may say otherwise, but they’re wrong. I refrain from using my snarky more times than Carter has little pills. (You have to be from the south to know what that phrase means!)

My previous post brought out my snarkiness. And as snarky tends to do, I offended at least one person. (click here to see the post) Someone thought my insights worthy of passing along to several people via email. And I am humbled they thought so. Apparently one of the recipients did not like my blunt honesty. And had this to say about my post: It’s insulting and immature to speak to grown people who can think and decide for them self. To point I think it’s low class to say suck it up buttercup.”

Allow me the kindness to pull out one part of that comment for further reflection: It’s insulting and immature to speak to grown people who can think and decide for them self.” Yes, people can think and decide for themselves. Got no problem with that premise. Our problem as a church, culture, and society is HOW people think. I.E.–people are all to quick and easy to be offended–especially with The Truth. It goes beyond the insane concept of political correctness. It’s rooted in how people respond. And the United Methodist Institution is an excellent case study.

People are so afraid of hurting someone’s feelings that it has become more important to be nice than it is to be truthful. Somehow it has become mean and ugly and hateful to be truthful; that somehow if we disagree with someone that we can’t and don’t love them. Where did this idea come from? I KNOW! I KNOW! From the heart and mind of Satan! Yes, Virginia, there is a Satan even if you think there isn’t. Nowadays the only way you can love someone is to approve, bless, and sanctify how they think. And if you can’t–well you are just plain ol’ mean and insulting.

I sigh a deep sigh when I think that it’s more important to make people feel good than it is to be truthful. Did you notice how Jesus responded in the passage I opened with this morning? You have minds like a snake pit! Did I miss something here? If Jesus said that today, people would demand an apology from Jesus! And IF Jesus was present like He was then, then by their views, Jesus should have said afterwards: “Oh, I’m so very sorry I offended you. And so that you can feel better about yourself, I renounce those words and I agree with you. Feel better now? Good! Here’s you a cupcake.

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WHY CAN’T CARTOONS JUST BE CARTOONS?

Among my fondest childhood memories was Saturday morning watching cartoons. But some “social influencers” say that those cartoons were too violent. Excuse me! I’ve seen the mayhem that Bugs Bunny inflicted on the likes of Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Tasmanian Devil, and Yosemite Sam. I’ve watched every trick and trap Wile E. Coyote tried to set. And do you know what? I’ve never tried to order anything from Acme. In all my comic books, I never saw an ad to get one of the infamous Acme catalogs. And now that we’re in the age of the Wacky World Web–I haven’t Goggled Acme or ordered missiles, or dynamite, or rockets, or cannons, or even anvils. And I never shot someone like Elmer, or knocked someone out with a hammer like Bugs. Must be something bad wrong with me since I didn’t do all of that. Now, I have to admit that there are plenty of people I would have loved to have given them a good ol’ Leroy Jethro Gibbs slap on the back of their heads. But amazingly, I’ve even managed to keep from doing that; though some days are harder than others.

And my kids absolutely loved the Scooby Doo cartoons. And this leads me to today’s rant. So fasten your seatbelts and remain seated until the turbulence is over. The newest Scooby Doo Cartoon movie, “Trick Or Treat Scooby Doo” has the cartoon character Thelma (you know, she only had a single orange turtleneck sweater) coming out as a lesbian. And the writer, James Gunn, wanted this to happen as far back as 2002. Thankfully, the production company nixed the idea back then. Just wish they had in 2022. I mean, taking kids cartoons to promote sexuality. And to make it completely acceptable that teens are capable of having the wherewithal to make such a life-altering decision. This is OK, but Wile E. Coyote trying to blast to smithereens the Roadrunner is unacceptable?

Why can’t cartoons just be cartoons instead of platforms for the latest political correctness drool? This latest Scooby Doo movie is a ludicrous, farcical, incongruous, preposterous, gelastic, zany, and wacko job being done by those who think they know it all–but really ain’t got a clue about anything. Their infinitesimal minds think they are doing a service to the world. News Flash: THEY FAILED! And as if this wasn’t a big enough disaster, a large number of Twit Heads were all excited on Twitter. It’s enough to make me think about putting on a Roadrunner Costume and go out looking for Wile E. Coyote and let than anvil drop on my head! Better yet, maybe that anvil needs to drop on the Twit Heads who think this is a great moment in cartoon history. Just let cartoons be cartoons.

LOOK WHO’S TALKING!

Question for you this morning: Do we speak for the Bible or does the Bible speak for us? No, it’s not the same thing! Folks, believe this or not, it doesn’t matter one single iota! The church today has a serious problem–when it comes to the answer of this question. In my own Tribe, the United Methodist Tribe, the given answer by leadership is literally ripping us apart. But before you Baptists gloat over our split, look at the beam sticking out of your own eye. And this isn’t just a 21st Century problem. It’s plagued the history of The Body Of Christ. The disease is speaking for the Bible rather than the Bible speaking for us–and thus–to us!

It was even a problem back when Jesus walked this earth as one of us. The Pharisees and Sadducces saw their job was to speak for The Word Of God. They thought it was their job description–but it wasn’t. And today, it isn’t in anyone’s job description to speak for the Bible. In my own Tribe we have those who are doing just that. Speaking FOR the Bible means it’s up to us to determine what it means and how it applies to daily life! Mishegas! Oy vey, nosh, klutz! It’s pure schlock! Pure bupkis! I love Yiddish words and phrases. Here’s some examples of speaking for the Bible.

  • Torturing and killing anyone NOT a “christian”–by their definition
  • Judging others based solely on their race
  • Justification of slavery
  • Making women as second class citizens by saying they can’t do certain things
  • Jesus only died for certain people (predestination)
  • The blood of Jesus wipes away every sin and gives us all a new beginning–except when it comes to divorce
  • Jesus came to show us how to love, so this eliminates the long-standing sexual ethic, so it’s OK to be how you feel, sexually speaking

On that last example–Oy, Oy Vey, Oy Gevalt! It’s Dreck! Our Tribal leaders feel it is their job description (remember how Jesus felt about the Pharisees and Sadducces?) to tell the world that the tried and proven sexual ethic from the Bible is outdated. It takes an enlightened person, like them, to straighten out what the Bible got wrong. And if we don’t agree with them, then we’re mean, ugly, phobic, and hateful. What a bunch of schmucks!

The New Form Of Child Abuse That’s Become Acceptable–Throw It Out There Thursday 30 January 2020

(DISCLAIMER: Remember that Throw-It-Out-There Thursday may be considered offensive to some. This week’s post may be offensive to many. Reader caution is advised.)

Last week I said one day I might deal with this subject. Well that day has come. Today’s subject is about what has become to many an acceptable form of child abuse. I am NOT making light of child abuse that happens every day. I’m with Jesus on abusing and misusing children. He said in Matthew 18:6–“But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck.

But there’s a new form of child abuse that has become acceptable, even considered politically correct. No one is going to jail for it. There is little or no outcry against this misuse and abuse of children. And the greatest tragedy is that there are adults who will say I’m wrong and accuse me of ignoring real child abuse. This issue IS real abuse of children. So consider this the voice of a prophet who feels like he’s crying out in a wilderness.

Here is the New Acceptable Form of child abuse: People are treating children as if they are adults. The other day I was getting my daily dose of Andy Andrews In The Loop podcasts and he was addressing this very issue. Many have lost the reality–and I don’t mean the “reality TV” kind of reality, but real, as it actually happens realitythat children are NOT fully equipped adults capable of making the best decisions about their life. Heck (pardon my French), I know a lot of “adults” who are NOT fully capable of making the best decisions about their life. And it seems to me, in my humble opinion, that adults who are NOT fully capable of making the best decisions about their life are encouraging their children and parents of children to allow children to make adult-level decisions.

But a 3 year old, 6 year old, 8 year old, 12 year old, 17 year old–they are not fully capable of making decisions for and about themselves. Yes, as they get older and IF they are given the proper wisdom, they can begin to make some decisions–but still they are NOT fully capable of making the best decisions about their life. How they “feel”, what they want–this is why discipline is so essential and important.

By discipline I don’t mean punishment–I’m talking about teaching children to give up one thing in order to obtain something much better. Discipline equals training. Would you want an untrained military protecting your nation? Would you want untrained doctors operating on you? Would you want an untrained plumber working on your home? Then why in blue blazes are so many refusing or afraid to discipline their children? It’s like saying those children are NOT really important. And that, my friends, is CHILD ABUSE!

Children need to understand that they are not the Final Authority. They do not have the wherewithal to make adult level decisions. Yet this is what’s happening. A few years ago a friend of mine was telling me about something that happened to his daughter, a Kindergarten teacher. One year a “mother”, and I use this term very loosely; maybe I should say “the person who gave birth to this child”–came in and told her that her child was exploring to find themselves. One day her son may come to school as a girl, and the next come as a boy. And this alleged Mom wanted the teacher to treat and call that child according to the way they were dressed on that particular day. Child abuse, I say, Child Abuse!

They are allowing and even encouraging them to live by their “feelings”. I now refer you to a previous post, Is It Safe To Live According To Our Feelings? It is never safe to live solely by our feelings. And you can’t just do that. You could say, “But their heart’s in the right place.” NO IT’S NOT! NO! NO! NO! And yes, I hit the cap lock and bold on purpose! Stop the abuse of NOT ‘training’ / ‘disciplining’ children by treating them as fully functional adults capable of making wise decisions. The truth is, they are not capable. But they can be capable with discipline and giving them wisdom.

When Did Being Spineless Become Acceptable?

I’m calling this my “Throw It Out There” Thursday post. I am going to hit upon different subjects and just throw some words out there and see what sticks and what doesn’t. No subject, view, thought or opinion will be protected–all are fair game. Let’s get the first one out of the way:

From the picture above, you may think this is just another rant against Chick-Fil-A. I assure you it’s not. I’m not announcing that I will quit going to Chick-Fil-A. I can’t quit going to a place that I can’t honestly remember my last visit there. There’s a lot better chicken out there. I know a lot of Baptists are ill at me right now. Oh well. And I’m not calling for an all out boycott.

I am just asking a question: When Did Becoming Spineless Become Acceptable? Recently, at the behest of groups that insist everyone must agree with them and renounce their own ethos to embrace their ethos or else admit they are hate-filled homophobes, Chick-Fil-A joined a growing list of companies, corporations and organizations who have lost their spine. (Read about it here)

It’s not just a chicken place; even my Tribe has lost its spine. People are caving in to every whim and whine from a select few who are more concerned with their feelings than truth. More than cave in, those who disagree with them MUST abandon their own ethos in order to be truly a kind human being. If they don’t cave in, then they are insensitive and mean and uncaring. So, not to appear as insensitive, mean and uncaring–they relinquish the most vital parts of integrity and character–that is the willingness to take a stand for Truth.

The push for political correctness has kicked common sense to the curb like yesterday’s trash. Don’t think for a moment I’m advocating brutish words and behavior in response to those who don’t like something a company or a church does. That kind of talk and attitude has contributed to the epidemic of chaotic hate. There is a way to have a kind and civil dialogue. There is a way to be respectful to those with differing views–however this culture has closed the door to civil dialogue. It has become about wanting one’s way–regardless of how it affects others.

And so, to appease narrow-minded and hate-filled groups, organizations and corporations surrender their ethics simply to make a small group feel happy and empowered. Well, guess what, buttercup! Just because you believe something, it doesn’t mean you are automatically right. And it doesn’t mean the rest of us have to go along with you. We can be courteous and kind, yet disagree. Disagreeing with a view or an opinion is NOT an act of hate. You call it hate, but it’s not.

I hope and pray that somewhere there is a corporation or organization that will have the spine to say, “Enough is enough. We respect your views, but we are not going to cave in to your demands.” Integrity isn’t easy, and can have some short-term costs–but the long range effect of maintaining your integrity pays far bigger dividends.

Spinelessness has been elevated to a virtue to be desired. Really? Right now, as I am thinking about all those spineless individuals, corporations and organizations–I’m thinking of Jellyfish. Jellyfish don’t have a brain. Jellyfish don’t have a spine. Get too close to a Jellyfish and they will sting you and leave you in misery. Jellyfish get washed up on the beach and die. Don’t be a jellyfish.