Chaplain’s desk – Lost Civility

What has happened to the ability of society to disagree without being disagreeable?  It has come to the point where if someone has any type of other idea rather than the one you hold, it’s almost outright war.  Be it political, religious, or any other thought, anyone who holds an opposite thought is automatically an enemy to be destroyed as quickly and as humiliatingly as possible.

We see politicians telling constituents to shoot, set fire to, or make up lies about their opponents.  Religious leaders and scholars of all of the three major faiths are not far behind in condemning and calling for elimination of their opponents as well.  Muslim imams tell their people that Islam is to be world-wide and they can do most anything to bring this about.  Jews tell their people that Christians hate them and want them out of the way.  Some Christian leaders have called for boycotts and harassment of Jews and Muslims alike.  Where does it end?  If it continues, there will be bloodshed like never before.  Is that what it will take to make people return to the days when people could agree to disagree and still work out their problems together for the good of all?

We even see near violent differences among both Christian denominations and Jewish people. Ultra-orthodox, to conservatives to progressives.  Methodists are having major differences within concerning condoning and even ordaining people from the LGBQT arena.  Lutherans seem to be in the same boat.  Baptists have a multitude of groups that cannot agree on everything so they form their own conferences.  Some have even gone so far as to picket fallen soldiers’ funerals because of problems the group attaches to a sinful nation.  Instead of protesting the government to do something, instead of showing a plan to help with solving the problem, they attack individuals who may or may not have had anything to do with their protest.

Yes, these types of problems have existed for millennia, but they seem to be growing rather quickly in our time. I look back at Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews during the days of Jesus.  He had to contact Jesus at night because he feared the wrath of the others in power in those days. (John 3)  Jesus gave him an answer he couldn’t believe, even though Nicodemus knew the scriptures as well, or even better than most others.  Jesus told him he must be born again to enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Christians have used that same term for centuries, but it was Jimmy Carter, during his presidential campaign, that brought it to the attention of most people.

To be born again means one commits their very life to Jesus.  It gives us a new spiritual life.   We Christians believe that He was born in Nazareth, Israel as prophesied, his parents had to flee Herod the Great and so took Him to Egypt for a couple of years, and again fulfilled prophecy of Messiah coming out of Egypt.  My book, A Strange Journey, Listening to God’s Messengers, tells the story very plainly. A true Christian is one who follows the commands of God, found in both the New Testament as well as in the Old Testament.  Many claim to be Christian because their parents were, or they live in a Christian nation, but they fail in the main aspects; that of living a life for God.

Do Jews and Christians actually follow the same God, Jehovah?  Look at these verses. Isaiah 11:10 Then in that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be gloriousPsalm 94:10 He who chastens the nations, will He not rebuke, Even He who teaches man knowledge? He teaches man, not just one race but all men.

God is in the process of restoring Israel and His Word will go to all nations, tongues, and tribes.  Isaiah 49: 6.  Indeed He says, `It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”

I say all of that to reiterate that the only way to end, or at least slow down the hatred, the vitriol, that flows for the mouths of so many people today, is to have people reexamine their own lives.  I believe turning to Jesus will do what is needed, but I know that isn’t going to happen for the most part.  It could happen if Jews and Christians again looked at what God said.

2 Chronicles 7:14.  “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

If MY people, if God’s people, will humble themselves and pray, but even more so, if God’s people will turn from their wicked ways, seek His face in all we do and say, then He promises to heal our lands.  He promises He will listen to us.  What other god can make that promise and live up to it?

If we don’t seek God’s face, if we don’t humble ourselves before Him, if we don’t turn from our wicked ways, then God is going to judge us and our countries with a severe judgment.  The day is coming when Messiah will come to judge and to rule, and I believe we are very close to that day.  This is what Jesus said about that day.

Matthew 7:16.  “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?  17.  “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  18.  “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  19.  “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  20.  “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.  21.  “Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22.  “Many will say to Me in that day, `Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  23.  “And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!‘  Notice that even some who have done good works will be cast out.  He called their works lawlessness.

There are people who say that only Jews will come through at the end, that nobody else is God’s child.  Of course, there are also those who say everyone is God’s child, but only God knows who are His and who will see Him forever, as well as who will not.

So, people of all races and creeds need to come together and work out some differences, but we need to do it with a humble, contrite spirit, looking to God Almighty, Jehovah, for leading and help.  It’s more than just a council of churches; it’s more than just groups announcing they want to become a unified body of some type.  That body, a world-wide religion under one man, is closer than most think.  That will be lawlessness.  We must stop the cursing of others, stop the refusal to help others, look to God for answers and He will listen and heal us.

Chaplain Bob

About the Author
I have worked with prisoners in a jail and patients in a hospital. I currently teach a weekly Bible study at a nursing home and lead services at another twice a month. I have been in law enforcement and sales all my life. Married nearly 50 years.Author of one book.