Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

When Did Boorish Behavior in Public Become Acceptable?


Ephesians 4:29  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification (building up the hearer), that it may impart grace to the hearers.


The Nature of Mankind

I tend to only watch the last quarter of the important football games that I need to know something about in order to interact with people in my circle of acquaintances.  Since everyone seems to be taken with football it behooves me to know whether Iowa, Iowa State or UNI has won or lost their last few games.  Since last week’s Rose Bowl game was so big, I actually watched most of the last half.  But I missed the half-time show, fortunately.  So I missed the way the Stanford band, being the class act that they are, made fun of Iowa and Iowans.  I missed the fact that after winning the game,  the Stanford players, being the class act that they are, used very profane language in addressing the Iowa team.  But what I haven’t missed is the way many people are justifying this kind of behavior.  Apparently anyone (like me) who would be critical of the behavior of the Stanford band and players is just too sensitive.  I am a person who just doesn’t understand the nature of the game and that this is all in good fun.  I will give you that I don’t understand the nature of the game if this kind of behavior is what the game is all about.  I thought football taught teamwork.  I thought the players and the fans and bands were to be enthusiastic, but they were to remain role models.  That is what I thought.  I remember seeing the movie, “On Any Given Sunday.”  The coach told his team, “On any given Sunday you’re gonna win or you’re gonna lose.  The point is, can you win or lose like a man?”  The Hawkeyes seemed to lose like men, the Cardinals seemed to win like boorish bullies.


Apparently, the band was “trolling.”  That is the current way of describing their desire to get a rise or reaction from those that they were trying to humiliate.   The powerful are intent on making sure that people know that they are boss.  I think of the way that the “strong bulls of Bashan (Psalm 22:12)” bullied the Lord.  They were the religious Pharisees and the Romans who were “in charge.”  They told Him to save Himself if He was the Christ.  Then they crowned Him with thorns, mocked Him, beat Him and crucified Him. 


The Nature of Christ

I realize that many people judge the Lord I serve by His relationship with the people of the land in the Old Testament.  These people turned their backs on Jehovah and suffered for it.  I would rather judge the Lord by His New Testament dealings with those He came to save.  Unbelievers will not be “trolled” by the Lord in a coming day but they will experience the vengeance of the Lord for rejecting His willingness to take the punishment that we deserve on Himself.  And their punishment will be deserved just like the punishment of Israel for turning aside to idols was deserved.  After all the Lord had saved them miraculously out of Egypt. 


But my Lord is gracious.  My Lord is merciful.  My Lord is forgiving.  My Lord is meek.  My Lord is humble.  My Lord IS NOT A BULLY or a TROLL nor is He BOORISH (that is, uncouth, rude and crude).  However, because He allowed men to crucify Him, some think He is weak.  But His weakness was His strength.  Paul found out that his weakness was His strength as well.  He says in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”


The Nature of a Christian

A Christian has been “born again”.  He has been given a “new life” and a new way of thinking when he trusts the Lord and His worth, word, and work.  That kind of thinking puts others ahead of Himself.  That person lets no corrupt language proceed from his lips (Ephesians 4:29).  He is gracious and compassionate and understanding.  That kind of person would not only not justify the kind of behavior that the Stanford band and team demonstrated, but they would never themselves intentionally be involved in such behavior.  Years ago I read these standards for what we let pass through our lips in an advice column.  Apparently, they weren’t original with the author I read.  But they are timeless truth:


Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:

At the first gate, ask yourself “Is is true?”

At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?”

At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?”


This should be the behavior of a Christian. It is my desire this year to make sure that it is my behavior.  As far as I know, I have never intentionally intimidated others to make them look weak or small and I don’t intend to start even though I have personally experienced such behavior on many occasions..  Such behavior is boorish.  I want to be Christ-like.  Stanford is definitely not my role model.  Christ is.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of January 3, 2015

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