Thursday, September 19, 2019

Another Civil War in America?

I’ve never given serious consideration to the possibility until now. There could never be a war like it. Never another crisis as overwhelming as the one that led to the Civil War. Never again could there be such a blight on our good land. A war raged because right and wrong became less important than building a nation. Commerce was never meant to be more valuable than liberty. Law was never meant to be an instrument of oppression. Correcting the balance put us at war, even war with ourselves. Now, we tear down statues that remind us of that desperate time. We want to forget. But forgetting doesn’t change history. It only makes us vulnerable to repeat it. Could we be so blind as to let civil unrest break us again?

Recent assessment indicates we may be headed for such discord, even bloodshed, within our own borders. Over the next few months, I’d like to address five problematic war-starters brewing in the minds of our citizens, stirring our communities, and being presented by the media as unavoidable conduits of change in our country. Some may see that change as good, as necessary for our survival as a nation. Others view the same change as the very thing that will destroy America. As Christians, we must not adopt the mindset that has overtaken our society. The boundaries of right and wrong are not as subjective as we’d sometimes prefer. The standard of truth doesn’t waver based on opinion. Truth is true because it’s always been true. It’s a lie to believe we can conjure up our own truth, and the end of the lie is destruction.

I pray widespread malevolence doesn’t lead to war, to a social divide posing no option but to kill the enemy. Truth is, I’m taught to love my enemies. I’m not looking for a fight. But if it happens, the War may come about because of one, some, or all of these  unsettling issues:
                   1. Racism
                   2. Abortion
                   3. Potusphobia 
                   4. Theophobia
                   5. National Narcissism 

I’ll address these one at a time on my blog, every other week:
Next time: Racism: The Church, the Media, and the New Definition of Racist.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Storms, Books, and Blogging

Here begins another season of blogging after another blogless summer. What did I do during my blog break? Finish my novel in progress? Nope. Go over the galley for my upcoming novel, Our Town Atheist? Haven’t gotten that yet. Write several blog posts for the upcoming months? Yes, I did! Read a few good books? Well, one book took me several weeks to read.

The Right Side of History by Ben Shapiro is one of the most mind opening books I’ve ever read. But it was one of those books that had me reading some paragraphs twice. And while I never cared to study every philosophical view there ever was, I now see how the great thinkers of the past, whether intentionally or not, led us to our current state of affairs. I strongly recommend this book to everyone, especially college students and young professionals, of which I am neither. But I will read it again. Soon.

When I finished that book, I needed a couple of easy reads. I’m working my way into novel number two. I’m sort of glad the first one is behind me. Enough said.

So, how is my summer winding down? Like always—with the peak of hurricane season. I live about twenty miles off the east coast of Florida. I never pray for a hurricane to hit somewhere else, because I know that someone, somewhere else, is praying the same thing. And for them, I’m somewhere else. I might pray for the storm to go out to sea and not hit anybody. But if I do, it’s with full realization that only God controls the wind and waves. I don’t pray like presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, who believes a little positive mind control can move a hurricane.1 I guess she didn’t visualize the Bahamas when she did her meditation thing. Perhaps she should’ve thought a little longer about the Carolina coasts, too.

If God is to be thanked for sparing my part of the map from hurricane Dorian, is He to be blamed for leveling the Bahamas? To some, it might seem that way. But it’s the brokenness of this world that throws us all into the eye of one type of storm or another. When the storm is over, we can shake our heads at God, or we can help restore what’s been destroyed. God is there in the midst of what appears to be irredeemable. And He will use the ones who were spared to comfort and help the ones who were not.

Easy for me to say, right? I’ve lived in the path of hurricanes all my life. I’ve lost power for weeks at a time. I’ve suffered property damage. I’ve had to move my family into a hotel or stay with relatives. But I’ve never been left with nothing. Still, my heart aches and the Spirit calls me to prayer for the ones now devastated by Dorian.

And peak season is here, again, and my windows will stay boarded up for a couple weeks. If the next one is the Big One for me and mine, I will take comfort in God. He calms the storms, and I know He cares for me.

Speaking of storms, our country is being tossed about by several issues that may, in the view of some, lead to civil war. The angry, dark clouds are on the horizon. But could it really happen? My next post will give introduction to the topic I’ve been writing about this summer.

In two weeks: Another Civil War in America?