We took a break this week from our usual routine, and meandered down to Pensacola, Florida, to lounge around various beach restaurants, visit the Naval Air Station, and last but not least, to pay my respects to the late Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, by visiting his Bible Baptist Bookstore. So here goes with some thoughts which floated around my mind during that brief, but peaceful interlude.
The term higher education is defined on the internet as education beyond high school. However, I come from a different approach to education. I learned to read, write, and do arithmetic at age six; thus I was always under the impression that higher education was learning acquired past the first grade. On my father’s side of the family, his German heritage prevailed. My family came to America before the Revolutionary War, bringing an orderly, reasoning, odd combination of authoritarianism and individualism with them.
I was interested to learn that Germans were slow to embrace the English language, and so in the beginning, they enjoyed publishing newspapers in their native language. My uncle at age 14 founded the newspaper which became the primary support for my family for more than 50 years. My Dad helped to support his parents when he was in high school. My mother left home at age 13 to help support her family. Self-employment forces a person to appropriate knowledge, whether intellectual or hands-on, as a survival mechanism.
I applied this philosophy early on in my life, and while I have taken some college classes, I do not have a college degree. Yet despite this lack of formal training, I had at one time several persons working under my direction who held Master’s degrees in business and accounting. All this is to explain why I constantly encourage Christians to study the Bible for one’s self. There is no substitute for sitting down, trying to work something out in your own mind, rather than engaging in the common modern practice of passively listening to radio or TV broadcasters who speak nothing but religious clichés.
Based on real experiences with Germans, the joke is that they follow the dictum that if you do something the hardest way possible, it must be right. Of course that can be a fault indeed, particularly when their Higher Criticism methods are used to overturn the Scriptures. But this week I visited the National Naval Aviation Museum at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, and guess who designed the world’s first jet fighter? You see, if you fold a paper airplane the hardest way possible, it makes a Messerschmitt Me 262.
One day at work (once upon a time, of course), all of us were supposed to be writing detailed job procedures; a task which we all hated. And then from someone higher up the line, came the order that we were to draw flow charts, as well. So one of my co-workers drew two boxes with an arrow in between, and labeled the first box In and the second box Out.
Meanwhile I had been busy taping pieces of paper together which overflowed over the desk top, both in the horizontal and the vertical directions, drawn with a myriad of boxes meant to represent real life in detail. My co-worker came over and looked at my flow chart, and said, “Jacquie, what is wrong with you? You make life too complicated. Just give them an inbox and an outbox!!!” So I replied, “Laugh all you want, I now know how to embezzle a million bucks and get away with it”.
So for years I have been fighting this tendency to be overly analytical; and on May 16th of this year, I think I finally mastered it. I had been alerted to listen to a Christian Alternative Media radio host who was ranting incoherently against several persons. This particular radio host warned his listeners to get their children away from the radio. It seems he was out to get someone or other. I listened to part of his vent for a few minutes; it was blah, blah, blah, and then he called someone douggie doo, blah, blah, blah, he seemed offended that someone had been talking about higher education (of all things!), blah, blah, blah….so I clicked the radio broadcast off. Inbox—>Outbox. The alternative to the futility of listening to that radio show is rather simple; instead, study Proverbs 21:24 which simply says, Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
Now one does not have to be an intellectual to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, Intellectualism is idolatry, for I Corinthians 1:21 begins by saying, “For after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God“. Yet, in seeking for truth of any kind in a world gone mad, George Orwell had one of his characters say in his 1984 novel, After reading it he knew better than before that he was not mad. Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth, and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth, even against the whole world, you were not mad.
If you want a sound mind, ponder 2 Timothy 1:7 which says, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Throughout the Bible, we find that God expects mankind to use the God-given abilities which are granted them at birth. This naturally varies from person to person, so that more is expected from the person who has been given much. Now as much as the Christian Alternative Media is always claiming that everyone but them is dumbed down, why is it that they repeatedly publish and promote books which are some of the most boring, insipid, shallow “scholarship” in the English-speaking world? And then if one dares to ask a simple question regarding the thesis of one of these books, the response is that the author is a genius, and if you don’t understand it, you must be El Stupido. Having a fan club which routinely gives the book a five star on Amazon.com, does nothing to prove that there is any solid matter between the front and back covers of the book, not to mention the reviewer’s mind.
These hysterical story telling Christian Alternative News radio hosts have a bad habit of trying to paralyze their listeners’ minds with fear. Fear is a self-protective mechanism which arises when we sense imminent danger. Persons whose livelihoods involve dangerous situations have to be trained not to fear, so that they can still think under high pressure conditions. The LORD and His Son Jesus Christ repeatedly say throughout the Scriptures, “Fear not”. It is imperative that Christians train their minds to fear not, even though we know that fearful times are around the corner. While it is always prudent to materially prepare for an unknown future, it is even more prudent to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ, whether our circumstances be favorable or unfavorable.
I find Christian Alternative media radio broadcasting interesting because it tends to be directed towards older or middle aged Christians, who grew up listening to the radio. The younger generation for the most part is inclined to prefer visual media of some kind. There are of course exceptions to this general observation of mine.
Romans 10:17 says, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. There is a hearing which comes through the physical ears, and a hearing which has to do with the heart, for Jesus Christ says in Matthew 13:15, For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. He goes on to say in the same chapter, verse 23, But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
In the past year or so, I have documented the words of various persons in the Christian Alternative Media in order to compare and contrast their communications with the Bible, American law, sound accounting practices, and other types of commonly accepted standards. In some instances, I resorted to using satire in order to portray the ridiculous scenarios which are being broadcast in the name of God.
Christian Alternative Media radio and TV has reduced modern American Christianity to hysterical story telling, key trigger words and clichés. These Christian Sloths constantly speak nothing but platitudes in spite of the warning against this in 2 Timothy 2:15-16 which says, Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. Are you aware that all modern English translations of the Bible have eliminated the command to study in this verse? The King James Holy Bible retains this word, and it served as an inspiration for the Dispensational method of rightly dividing the truth.
Chrysostom (c.347-407), who is reported to be the first Christian to refer to the Scriptures as the Bible, said, But still you will say, “I cannot understand it! What marvel? How shouldest thou understand it, if thou will not read nor look upon it?”
All Christian systematic theologies have their flaws, and some are to be discarded altogether; yet in the best of them can be found some thoughtful insights into comparing spiritual things with spiritual. As I Corinthians 2:12-13 declares, Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. Having been a Baptist for years, most preachers substitute “spiritual things with spiritual” with the phrase, “scripture with scripture”. In any case, do not lose the fullness of what the Holy Spirit teaches, and learn with a humility of mind and heart. The fruit of the teachings of the Christian Alternative Media appears to be a sort of hubris, which boasts that it knows more than it really does.