How many of you remember the old and violent Bugs Bunny Show? You know the one that’s politically incorrect by today’s standards? For instance, shows that featured Bugs Bunny boxing a huge boxer. Of course the boxer was typecast as a dim witted moron. During the course of the match, Bugs would change into various costumes and entice or harass the boxer in many ways. Eventually the boxer would be worn out and unable to keep track of Bugs movements. In the final few bouts, he would eventually ask: “Which way did he go?” And Bugs Bunny would land a final hit that would knock the boxer out. We would all laugh and the next short would start.
Fighting a spiritual battle is very similar to the boxing match with Bugs Bunny. However, we are in the position of the boxer and the devil is in the position of Bugs Bunny. When we realize this, the match is no longer funny. It becomes really serious. Unfortunately, we’ve never been shown how serious our personal battles against the devil really are. We’ve been too conditioned to look all of our lives and its battles as things of logic and reason.
Let’s look at a simple domestic situation with Billy and Sally. Billy and Sally had an argument. He lit into her with a barrage of verbal abuse that would make a sailor blush. Billy treated Sally that way because he grew up in a bad home with an abusive father and his mother was timid. So he believes that all women are timid and all men should abuse their wives and girlfriends. That would be the psychological explanation. Billy isn’t responsible for his actions against Sally, it was Billy’s father that was responsible for training up Billy in this manner. So Billy has to reconcile his life against his father’s life and “find his own way.”
But in considering all of Billy’s problems and his relationship with his father that caused him to have such a distorted image of how women should be treated, Billy is never brought to the point of responsibility for his own actions. The responsibility was transferred to his father instead. Billy had a bad father. Billy had a weak mother. Billy has a distorted image of right and wrong. Billy, Billy, Billy, Billy, WAIT.
What about Sally. She was the one abused by Billy. Sally is the victim. But in this line of thinking, Sally is completely ignored. Billy is the center of attention. And he is the abuser! In all of the reasoning above, logic ignored the obvious and came to the wrong conclusion. It’s laughable when we get a chance to step back and look at what really happened when there is no standard of truth. Logic and reason alone is doomed to fail simply because logic and reason alone has no standard at all. It’s fluid and always changing according to the whims of the leaders of society. And unfortunately, as long as men must govern men, there will never be a perfect and free society. Socialist promises are based upon the logic and reasoning of the 19th Century. They have chosen to ignore the reality of the history of the 18th Century, (The Age of Reason and the French Revolution), and continue to sell a humanist form of Utopian perfection on our children. But wait, the American Revolution happened in the 18th Century didn’t it? Yes it did. But it was still not the real cause.
So we’ve gone back 200 years now, and the spiritual cause of today’s break down is still not revealed. Let’s go back to the 17th Century. This was the century that introduced reason into the Christian religious world. This is the age of Deism. And Deism was a very short lived period of belief. But the affects of Deism is still being felt today. The 17th Century was the period of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692 and 1693. From the beginning of the 17th Century to the middle of the 18th Century, Deism rose up to combine reason with religion. It was the reactionary result of the Age of Discovery, (1415 – 1572), followed by the Reformation, (1517 – 1648), and concurrent Scientific Revolution, (1543 – 1687).
So now we’ve looked at Billy’s problem and abusive relationship with Sally and drilled back through his relationship with his father and backed up all the way to 1415 with European sailing and global exploration. We’re considering the impact of history and society upon Billy and his father. What could make these men abusive against women? Is is society’s lack of value for a female life? Is is simply historical male dominance? Let’s face it, sailing and exploration are both male dominated and violent. Wars and piracy are also male dominated, but not exclusively male. The last woman executed in Massachusetts was the female pirate, Rachel Wall, on 8 Oct., 1789. Which also proves that women are not universally timid. But remember, Sally is the victim here. We’re only considering Billy’s problem with his abusive nature and its cause.
With all this history of male dominant violence, Billy seems to have no chance for redemption. He’s simply a product of a family and society that is abusive. He needs psychological help and with the advances in science and medicine, HE CAN BE CURED. (Cough, cough) Or maybe not. How familiar is all of this dribble? Does it remind you of school? How about college? Have you ever lived through this kind of convoluted reasoning that ends up being even more senseless than the original act of abuse? It sounds like the rehabilitation ideas of the modern American prison system doesn’t it? Yet there are successes in rehabilitation that emerge from prison. If a convicted criminal can be changed in prison, maybe Billy has a chance after all. What is proven to be the most successful method of prison rehabilitation?
GETTING A PRISONER BORN AGAIN AND BUILDING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THAT PRISONER AND GOD ALMIGHTY.
Where logic, reason, science, and drugs have failed, Christianity succeeds. Not religious Christianity, (although that has also proven to be successful, temporarily). But Radical Christianity, one that helps the prisoner build a personal and spiritual relationship with God. That prisoner learns about God’s direct and personal concern for them. They learn that there is a written standard for truth that can be trusted, but also that God can warn them of subtle tricks of the devil that was used to fool them. Tricks of enticement or pleasure and tricks of pressure or threats of harm. These are the only two ways that the adversary uses to fool good people to do stupid things to one another.
If Billy was raised by an abusive father, there is very good reason to believe that the home where Billy was raised also lacked any form of religious grounding. There was no standard of truth that Billy knew. The only truth he knew was this: “Violence is the most sure method to produce desired results.” If the desired result is obedience, threats of violence must be followed up with violence in order to gain respect. This only works as long as the abuser is able to maintain their dominance. What would happen if Mary took a self-defense class? What would happen if she became a Black Belt? Now Billy has lost his upper hand and Mary could become the dominant force in their relationship or there could be no relationship any longer.
Violence, backed by reason but without a standard of truth behind the violence, leads to division and hatred. Violence, backed by both reason and truth, (self defense for instance), leads to trust and security. In a family relationship for instance, the violence is directed to outside influences that attempt to harm the family. It is not directed to family members. So what about corporal punishment? Isn’t that violence condoned by the Bible?
Yes, it’s condoned by the Bible but it is never meant to be a violent attack from adults against defenseless children. Children can only understand absolutes until they develop the ability to reason. If a parent threatens a punishment of some kind because of an infraction, they must make sure of two things, the punishment gets the child’s attention and they do it. For instance, if you threaten to take a toy away from the child because of lying, then you must take that toy away and it must be something that holds meaning to that child. The take away may be temporary or permanent depending upon the child, but it must reinforce the fact that the parent is the parent and the infraction is wrong and must change.
Can you see that there is still a punishment here? But the punishment didn’t have to be a crack on the hiney. If the child ran out to a busy highway, then a crack on the hiney may be justified. There has to be love and logic in the punishment. (A little revelation from God won’t hurt either.) But Billy’s punishment from an abusive father may have been more like a beating than a method to gain attention, and correction. Are you getting confused like the boxer against Bugs Bunny yet? Are you beginning to feel like the boxer’s statement, “Which way did he go?” If so, then I’ve succeeded in taking a heated argument and by using logic and reason, stretching it so far that the original cause is completely ignored.
Simply by trusting logic and reason, and following a rabbit hole, I’ve taken logic and reason to an illogical and unreasonable destination. How far can I go with this line of thinking? How far would you really like to go? How far did I really need to go? I assumed that Billy was the aggressor and Sally was the victim because of the verbal abuse he did. What if Sally sold his pristine and classic show truck for $100? Did this change the picture at all for you? Now, who is the victim? Was the verbal abuse justified or a natural reaction?
You see, when any situation happens and a believer receives an opportunity to help, going to God first to ask what to do should always be the first reaction. Maybe it would be best to stay out of the situation altogether. That could very well be your answer from God. Christians are called to build the Kingdom of God and lead people to Christ, we are not the world’s psychiatrist. Maybe one simple and innocent question could diffuse the whole affair. But only God could tell you the right question to ask. Maybe she sold the truck to their son or daughter. Maybe the truck is being repaired or restored as a special gift for Billy out of love and Sally was trying to make it a surprise. (Chip Foose could be involved.)
You see, Radical Christianity is not a natural habit for religious Christians. We trust our logic and reason too much and we can easily take a “rabbit trail” to a land of complete confusion. This is not God’s will for our lives. God is not the author of confusion.
1 Corinthians 14: 33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”
This is His will for all of His children. It doesn’t matter which Christian church you attend. As long as you are born again in Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit, then you and I are brothers and sisters in Christ and part of God’s household. The first and main purpose of the Holy Spirit is for Jesus Christ to comfort us. That means you and I. As long as we live in the world of the flesh with people who reject the God we serve and the Savior who saved us, we really can use comfort. But that comfort is hidden away as long as we choose not to seek a personal relationship with God. Religion is useful for leading people to Christ and teaching how to love one another in a fellowship of like minded people. But religion ends where faith begins.
If you want to build your faith and have a relationship with Jesus Christ that leads and comforts you, then the world will have no power over you any longer. Logic and reason will give way to truth and revelation knowledge from the Holy Spirit. We can’t flush logic, reason, and knowledge completely away until Jesus Christ returns and we are changed into His likeness. So, until then, we need to use everything God has given us to succeed. Then, when Billy and Sally come to us for help, we won’t be confused like the boxer against Bugs Bunny. We will be able to overcome the world, and defeat the devil at his own game. Why? Because Jesus Christ already defeated him and Jesus Christ will show us how to do the same, as we need it. It won’t matter any longer which way he goes because we are following the way Jesus Christ would go.
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