Monday, March 27, 2017
Here's a warning.
Live your life in such a manner that your pastor won't have to lie at your funeral or lead the handful attending in, "Ding! Dong! The...is dead!"
Did you hear about the obituary in Texas back in February written by a daughter about her daddy?
The obit was so popular that it crashed the funeral home's website.
It goes, "_____ passed away on January 30, 2017 which was 29 years longer than expected and much longer than he deserved."
Later, the daughter explained, "I told the truth...For someone that knew him and family members that knew him, and to see something on there was a complete lie, would've been an insult to everyone that he did bad things to and there were a lot of them."
I wonder if that'll start a trend at our local favorite funeral home.
People prefer fake news.
Just ask Colonel Jessup and...
Anyway, in a people-are-strange-Jim-Morrison kinda way, that obit made me think about an American funeral.
Acknowledging America has always been divided and only God's grace has allowed us to hang around longer than expected and much longer than we've deserved, we seem more divided than ever before.
Half the country idolizes Trump and half the country still thinks Obama is God's other son.
Many prognosticators contend America has passed the tipping point.
For example, Dan Pope, one of my favorite pastors in town at Open Bible Church where I recommend folks emigrate who hate me for Christ's sake, gave Barna Trends 2017 to me at Starbucks on February 15 which isn't important except to say we're trying to leavenate that joint as much as possible because Jesus said to take the gospel into the world and Starbucks is about as worldly as you can get these days.
The Barna Group provides current and accurate information, in bite-sized pieces, to facilitate effective decision-making. Barna Trends is an annual guide to the latest cultural, religious, and political trends that help us to understand what the heaven isn't going on.
Parenthetically, for those who think it leans one way over the other in reporting "the facts, ma'am, just the facts," its research stats, commentaries, and conclusions are often quoted across the ideological spectrum by major media outlets like CNN, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Fox, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, NY Times, LA Times, and the BDR that seems to have stopped publishing my stuff now that it's changed editors again.
Among the most disturbing trends in this latest volume is 72% of Americans - cutting across race, faith, left, right, up, down, rich, poor lines - think America is going to anywhere but heaven.
Founder Barna himself concludes, "Voters are perhaps as upset with themselves as they are with the system...They know something substantial must be done, but either they don't know what that prescription is or they don't have the courage to pursue it...Many resonate with the sense that America has lost its mojo."
While I may be wrong, I think the church and politicians are mostly to blame.
Democrats and Republicans care more about their respective partying than America's health and welfare.
America's church betrays institutional loyalty to its pathetically peculiar denominations over Biblically Christocentric ecumenism.
Neither blush when they say, in effect, "Come, let us show ya'll how we can't get together for anyone's sake...not to mention God's."
Though it's not PC and rather crude, I've reached a simple conclusion.
America is stupid.
America's churches are stupid.
Gump is right: "Stupid is as stupid does."
Kurt Vonnegut in Palm Sunday comes to mind: "An Indianapolis cousin of mine, who was also a high school classmate, did very badly at the University of Michigan while I did badly at Cornell. His father asked him what the trouble was, and he made what I consider an admirable reply: 'Don't you know, Father? I'm dumb.' It was the truth."
America and her churches, politicians, educators, pastors, pewsitters, merchants, entertainers, media types, lawyers, judges and all of the below look so stupid because they have turned their backs on the only One who can save us.
We've heard it before and we must hear it again because it's the only truth that can deliver us from all of the fake news being barfed up by today's Democrats, Republicans, denominations, so many incredulously secularized pastors and other politicians: "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried" (G.K. Chesterton).
Samuel records the truth: "God blesses those who bless Him."
The answer is so simply straightforward.
Only really, really, really stupid people can't see...Him.
Blessings and Love!
Salt! Shine! Leavenate!
Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!