Don't Argue With An Idiot–Tuesday Thoughts

This morning I was thinking about 2 things: Wisdom and Idiots (Proverbs calls them a fool). What prompted these seemingly contradictory things was the controversies in Washington D.C. and in the United Methodist Church. So I turned to a book that has much to say about both–Proverbs, and here is what I found:

We no more give honors to fools than pray for snow in summer or rain during harvest.

Proverbs 26:1 (The Message)

In the book The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews, the second decision needed to be made is this: I will seek wisdom. Here’s a quote that is really speaking to me this morning:

I will seek wisdom. I will choose my friends with care. I am who my friends are. I speak their language, and I wear their clothes. I share their opinions and their habits. From this moment forward, I will choose to associate with people whose lives and lifestyles I admire. If I associate with chickens, I will learn to scratch at the ground and squabble over crumbs. If I associate with eagles, I will learn to soar great heights. I am an eagle. It is my destiny to fly.

“The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews

Yet when I look at our government and my Spiritual Tribe, I see no such seeking for wisdom. What I see and hear are fools, idiots spewing their venom of “I’m right, you’re wrong” perspective. And what “I” want to do is argue with them, showing them where they are wrong! But after the argument I remember this quote supposedly from Mark Twain:

So, today I choose wisdom. Arguing with idiots and fools is just like Solomon said in our Proverb this morning–it’s like praying for snow in the summer; ain’t gonna happen unless you live near one of poles or in high altitudes. It doesn’t make sense. Or like praying for rain during the harvest season–it’s counter intuitive, standing in the way of what you want to achieve.

In the midst of so many fools, take a different route–a “wiser” response. Seek wisdom for yourself. An idiot will not seek nor see wisdom for themselves. But you–rise above the strife of lunacy. Wisdom will help keep you calm, steady and strong. Seek wisdom from God and His Sacred Word. Seek wisdom from those who seek their wisdom from God. Arguing with idiots won’t change anything. Seeking wisdom transforms you–and that wisdom will rise above the dust created by lunacy. Remember, idiots are empowered by our arguing. Seek wisdom, and the idiot becomes impotent.

And love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to HIM!

Throw It Out There Thursday News Flash

(Writer’s Note: This is NOT an endorsement of any elected official, nor is it denouncing any political party. Any resemblance to this is strictly satirical)

On December 18, at approximately 8:23 pm E.T., Wisdom was viciously attacked in Washington D.C. by a mob of 230 men and women leaving Wisdom with life-threatening injuries.  Wisdom was quickly taken to Walter Reed Medical Center and is reportedly on life-support.  A team of doctors there, along with a team from Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic have joined their efforts to bring Wisdom back from what seems to be the brink of death.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an aide of one of the attackers told this reporter, and I quote, “It’s about time!  Wisdom is an aged fool that keeps getting in the way of our plans and agenda.  Wisdom needed to go into retirement on a deserted island.”  I managed to locate Wisdom’s twin, Common Sense.  Common Sense has been in a weakened state for years due to not being used.  Common Sense told this reporter, again I quote, “I have long dreaded this day.  I now fear my own death is more imminent now that ever.  If my twin, Wisdom dies, then I shall also die.”

Lady Liberty arrived as soon as she heard about Wisdom’s condition.  In a prepared statement she said, “I am gravely concerned about the future of Wisdom.  Your founding fathers relied heavily upon Wisdom to form this republic.  Even those founders who did not believe in the God of the Judaeo-Christian heritage, recognized both the importance and need for Wisdom.  They knew this Republic would never last without Wisdom.  And myself?  If Wisdom dies, I know that they will successfully kill me.”

It is my personal observation that throughout the history of this famed republic that Wisdom has been attacked many times.  Each time Wisdom prevailed.  But this time?  I am left unsure.  All we can do is watch and wait.  We will stay on top of this developing story until Wisdom dies; or Wisdom prevails.

Is It Time To Change The Rules?

Recently I entered a strange world–it’s called Twitter. Oh, I’ve had a Twitter account and these musings here show up in my Twitter feed. But instead of just “tweeting”, “liking”, and the occasional “retweet”, I decided to dive in to a thread that, well, got my attention.

It was about doing away with the Electoral College because it wasn’t . . . fair. I was amazed at the number of people wanting to abolish the Electoral College all because “their” candidate wasn’t elected. The theme of being unfair rang throughout the rants.

And I was dumbfounded by those who didn’t understand it. I made a simple comment, excuse me, “tweet”, that the U.S. is a Representative Republic and not a democracy. One “twit” (I know my snarky is coming out) corrected me by saying that Google corrects it to “Representative Democracy”. I tweeted that just because Google said it doesn’t make it true. Right now I’ve drawn all the curtains and regularly peek outside to see if the mob armed with torches and axes are approaching the house. And I wept that so many were being educated by Google rather than knowledge and common sense.

I could go on about what I encountered, but another thought came over me. It was the question that is the title of this post: “Is It Time To Change The Rules?” It seems to me that our culture is being driven to accept only the results that it desires in the moment. If rules gets in the way of achieving those desires, then the rules need to be changed in order to achieve the wanted outcome.

Now, those who know me knows that I can be a rebel by breaking some of the rules. And there are some rules that indeed need to be changed. Our nation has a history of changing rules, rules that are unjust, rules that demean human life, or make it impossible for citizens to reach out for their potential. Some rules have taken a long time, too long of a time, to be changed.

It has happened even in the church. Wrong and sinful things were justified and approved. People were segregated by social status and the color of their skin. Women were denied the opportunity to pursue God’s call on their life. (Some still deny them that right. And for those who sincerely believe I am wrong on this, it’s OK for you to be wrong. And if you take Paul’s “let women be silent in church” out of context, then I’ll take it out of context and say that women can’t sing in church! Yes, that’s me being snarky.)

Yes, rules have been changed. Those changes happened because there were rules that needed to be broken, urgently needed to be change. Why? Not because a group decided those rules were unfair. The rules weren’t changed so that some group could get their way. They were changed because those rules were unjust.

It’s the desire to change the rule in order have one’s own way at any cost that disturbs me most. There is an attempt in my Tribe to change the rules on Christian conduct; to change the definition of God-Approved Marriage. And when the rule won’t change, they live in open disobedience, with little or no consequences. And this desire to change the rules in order to get one’s desired outcome has led to chaos and anger; anger and chaos; and it’s ripping apart both our nation and church.

Yes, some rules need to be changed. But never, ever, ever simply to achieve some personal desire or wish. Rules that need to be changed are those of justice and keeping the doors of opportunity open to anyone and everyone. Changing the rules needs to be done through discernment, deep thought, and focused on the issues of justice and human dignity. The Electoral College is about as fair as it gets–so it’s not about justice. The Electoral College doesn’t take away human dignity. And this is for the cupcakes–when your candidate isn’t elected, it’s NOT a matter of dignity; it just that you act so UNdignified. So why change that rule? Changing rules to achieve one’s personal (and often selfish and void of common sense) desires, will only devolve into chaos–and that chaos will invite tyranny into the U.S.; something the Founding Fathers worked hard to prevent.

If We Could Just Get Rid Of……

They have sold their spiritual birthright for a bowl of political party.

Rate this:

Like a geyser spewing the contents from a septic tank. Like an active volcano of toxic waste. Like a tornado of ignorance. Like a hurricane of thoughtless thoughts. Like a tsunami of stupidity. All happening simultaneously at the same location.

This is more than how I would describe our nation–it is the daily, 24/7 365 days of the year reality of our nation. My choice of words does not make this true about this nation. Simply put (and I realize what a difficult time many have with the “simple”), it is the Truth about the good old U.S. of A.

It’s why I rarely watch the news. I neither want to be affected or infected by this virulent, noxious, venomous, baneful, pernicious, ruinous, pestiferous, nefarious. . .(trying to think of a word that can be said by children). . .mindset that is eroding our culture. And it seems to me at least, that no one wants to stop it.

This mindset I’m talking about is this title: “If we could just get rid of…… then our problems would be solved.” Get rid of Trump. Get rid of McConnell. Get rid of Pelosi. Get rid of Omar. Get rid of AOC. Get the Republicans out of office. Get the Democrats out of office. More and more malodorous anger, hate and bitterness–towards another person.

Look, I know each of these persons I mentioned (and a whole lot more) have and continue to contribute to this nidorous mess that is undermining the hearts of minds of…..people. It is easy, too easy, to lay the blame at the feet of this person or that person; of this group or that group. But that is not the source of our problems–it’s just the symptoms of what’s gone tragically wrong.

The Blame, as it is, lies at the feet of 3 Groups. These groups are NOT, I REPEAT, NOT Democrat, Republican, and Socialist. Here they are:

1. Accept The Lies

This group of people have accepted leadership that freely espouses lies in the garments of truth. They never demand their leaders to be truthful. They have resigned that leaders lie and that’s just the way it is. In his powerful book How Do You Kill Eleven Million People?, Andy Andrews gives the right answer: You lie. For liars to rule, they have to be empowered by those who are willing to be led by liars. This includes those who vote for them; as well as those who do not vote at all.

2. Don’t Think For Yourself

This group rarely, if ever, takes the time and energy to analyze what is being purported as Truth. They simply hear someone that speaks to their feelings and accept it as truth. They allow the polls, the newscasters, the news networks (even local) to determine who needs to be elected to leadership. And then those elected leaders, present falsehood as truth, so the lemmings believe them. They have sold their spiritual birthright for a bowl of political party. Careful thought and analysis requires time and energy. Above all, it requires us to entertain the thought that we may be wrong; then work to see if we are wrong.

3. The Surrendered & Resigned

This group is just what the title says: They Have Surrendered And They Have Resigned Themselves That It Is What It Is. There really is no sense of despair in most of the folks in this group; a few feel despair but not the majority. They simply have no hope for real change. They have accepted that the mush they are being fed is their only choice. And for those in this group who attend church? “Come, Lord Jesus and end this mess so I can live happily ever after in Your Presence.”

So, how can this mess be transformed into The Message of Hope? It’s simple–really simple. Start with yourself. Become a person of Truth. This means that you allow The Truth to change YOU before you accuse others of lying. Do not accept leaders who lie. Demand from your leaders truthfulness. And when elections come around, don’t let another person or group tell you how you need to vote. Find that honest woman or man and encourage others to vote for them, too.

And don’t fall into the trap, “Well, politics just takes an honest person and makes them dishonest.” If a politician is dishonest while serving in office, it simply means they were dishonest BEFORE they were elected. Break this cycle of lunacy and madness. Claim your spiritual birthright as a part of the Movement that changes everything, even politics. Oh, this Movement is called “The Kingdom of God”!

When Did THAT Happen?

The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.” Genesis 3:4-5, The Message

Rate this:

Though I haven’t been actively writing much lately, I have been actively thinking… more like…reflecting on the current state of affairs. I have been engaged in active observation of our culture… of the church… and though it’s given me a headache, frustrations, aggravations, agitations, and a variety of discombobulations, it has not filled me with despair nor desperation. Maybe a Goody’s Headache powder or a little 15 year old single malt–but I’m not anywhere near throwing in the towel and giving up. But I have reached a moment. It happened this evening as I was taking a shower. This moment is NOT an epiphany–but a question? Here it is:

In the book of Acts, those who committed to be Disciples of Jesus were committed to the Good News of The Kingdom of God. Their life was called Koinonia, a shared life together. Others were always more important than themselves. Sharing was natural. Caring was deeper. They hungered for more understanding of this Kingdom. This Kingdom came first. Koinonia Community marked by being TOGETHER in the Ekklesia (that’s the Greek word mistranslated as church). Ekklesia is a Greek word that means “the called out ones”. They were passionate about The Gospel of The Kingdom of God, telling that powerful story. And church today? Tenured Pew Sitters have stopped being producers for the Kingdom and started being the Consumers. As consumers, they want to church to do and be what best suits them. They want to be in control. It’s no longer about Koinonia Life, but what suits them.

Another thing, it seems there are those who think that with the passing of centuries, suddenly WE know more about what God means than the ancient writers who shared their stories. I know the saying , “With age comes wisdom.” LIE! LIE! LIE! I’ve seen way too many examples of age coming all by itself; wiðutan–that’s an old English word that means ”  a word expressing lack or want of something”. They called themselves “Progressives”, thinking that their thinking is making progress for humanity. They insist that there are parts of the Biblical Ethos that is, for a lack of a better word from me, WRONG! Progressives insist that our minds, our reasoning processes (a process that is polluted by sin in ALL of us) are better suited to guide us in life on earth. Pardon me, but isn’t that what Satan told Eve and Adam? It’s not longer about seeking, praying and listening to the Holy Spirit.

Yet another thing, unique to the U.S., is that politics will solve all our problems. Voting becomes a matter of religious preferences. It’s about which political party sits in the Oval Office, which party controls the Senate, which party controls the House of Representatives. We are about to enter a new election cycle and there will be all kinds of ads of candidates holding Bibles, talking about Biblical values, while standing in front of an American flag. Since when did Jesus give up His purpose of being The Messiah to a political party? I’m wondering if there are other responsibilities Jesus is giving up and where do I apply for it? People get all worked up over politics and say our nation is doomed because of this party, that party, that politician. Whatever happened to making our culture better through personal actions that reflect the heart, mind and glory of God? Somehow, I don’t think God is neither Democrat nor Republican. Furthermore, I strongly suspect that both parties causes God to have many a face palm moment!

Oh, I’m just getting started. Entitlement! In the words of Madea, “Oh, Lort!” Whatever happened to personal effort and goals worth WORKING toward? In an earlier blog I place much of the blame on participation trophies (Click here for that blog) People simply think that (and I call it a ‘philosophy’) I exist therefore I am owed! Look, folks, you are not owed anything simply because you breathe oxygen. It takes drive and determination to achieve success. You want us to reward mediocrity as if it were a virtue.

And then there’s “feelings”….feelings, nothing more than feelings….Got that song stuck in your head? Good. People are being lied to that you are who you feel like you are. In other words, your feelings override everything–biology, truth, reality. And to inflict as much damage and harm humanly possible, there are some who insist that God, the Creator, made you that way and that the Cross sanctifies your feelings. Well, I feel like a Billionaire, and you need to provide me with everything that would make me a billionaire. Whether I have the cash or not, give me what a Billionaire would want–a jet, huge mansion, multiple cars, you name it! After all, my feelings are that I’m a Billionaire, that’s what matters the most. Living by feelings does not liberate you–it makes you its prisoner. We are all more, much more, than our feelings!

Well, I could go on….but I’ll stop here. I’ll end with this:

The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.”

Genesis 3:4-5, The Message