Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Something to Think About!

Meditation for the week of March 20, 2011

2 Timothy 1:4-5 Greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

News organizations are not writing about looting in Japan after their major earthquake and subsequent tidal waves.  It certainly was a problem after hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.  It may be true that the press is more controlled in Japan but because the US has news reporters in the area, it is hard to believe that they would not report massive looting if it were happening.  Why is it that the Japanese seem to be more civil in this area than most in Western Christian Cultures are?   Why is it that families in our so-called Christian nation who are not inclined to be “religious” often demonstrate Christian virtues that many who claim to be Christians do not?

I received an email recently that linked looting in our society to the fact that we have taken the Bible and prayer out of public schools.  It is true that American society has deteriorated since that has happened, but is that the reason that society has deteriorated?  I doubt that the Japanese have taken the Bible out of their public schools because likely it was never there.  I am quite certain that they have never read the Bible in their public schools.  They may have taught it as part of history or as classical western literature. Why does a secular society like Japan act like Christians should act, and why do the so-called Christian nations act so unchristian-like when disasters like this occur?  In fairness to our society, looting is not done by the majority and there is a lot of altruism shown by people affected by the calamities, but we certainly have a large minority that uses peoples’ misery to make matters worse.

I would like to suggest that taking prayer out of public school is a “straw man” that we have used to excuse the break down in society so that we who have caused it do not have to take responsibility for it.  The responsibility for teaching our children about the Lord and about character choices does not lie with the schools or with the teachers or with our churches or church leaders or Sunday school teachers.  These can all be a help or a hindrance to be sure, but the responsibility for teaching our children lies with parents and grandparents.  It lies with the family.  In Deuteronomy 6, Moses commanded the Israelite’s to make the commands of the Lord a part of their every day life.   Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”  I wonder if those children wouldn’t have considered their parents to be obsessed with this one subject.   How many of us as parents can honestly say we have taken this responsibility seriously?  Some parents obviously do, but by and large our Christian society has taken the Bible and prayer out of the home, and we have replaced it with entertainment.  I suspect that most of our conversations in the home are about “getting ahead”, our jobs or businesses, our clubs and parties,  politics, sports, music and movies, and maybe even about church activities.  I suspect that very little of it is really about the Bible and the Lord.

I don’t know what the Japanese are doing right, and I don’t know that I would want to live in their society.  However, if the Word of God is going to keep us from sinning, if the Word of God is going to cause us to fear God, if the Word of God is going to be our guide, we are going to have to read it with our children and talk about it with out children.  For the most part I would like to suggest that the breakdown in our society and family life is because the Bible and prayer has been taken out of our homes rather than because the Bible and prayer has been taken out of public school.  As a society, we are not developing our children into mature adults who realize that they need to take personal responsibility for their actions.  Some seem to think that there are no consequences to their sins.  Is that because the entertainment world and not the Bible has developed their standard of behavior?  In addition, the virtues of Christianity are not always modeled by their parents and by other mentors who claim to be Christians!

I suspect that the Japanese fear “losing face” rather than fearing God.  It would be better if they were taught to fear God which is what we need to teach our children. That means that they should have a reverential awe for Him even if they are not yet believers in Him, but it also means that they need to fear the consequences of sin.  This might not solve society’s problems but it would surely be a step in the right direction.

Bruce Collins

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>