Weekly Sabbath Survey
An Observation — 2-8-2014
Pete Seeger died recently. Hearing his music on the news took me way back to my time at The University of Texas where I was introduced to the world of folk singers: Joan Baez, Bob Dylan. I guess I have come full circle. Protest songs and flower child simplicity are starting to make sense again.
As I was listening to the old songs and thinking back to a more innocent time in my life, I was surprised when they said that Pete was brought up before Congress and charged with having Communist leanings. He wasn’t convicted of anything and went his way. I wondered about the songs about equality and everybody being OK, a society of love. What was it in us that made us SO opposed to the Communist doctrine, since it sounded a lot like Christianity? In practice it was horrible and it grieves me that in the current ‘free’ state in Russia, members of the party are running for office again and being elected. The people are tired of crime in streets, crooked politicians, prostitution. For them, democracy isn’t what it was cracked up to be.
The truth is America has struggled with the same things. It’s the ‘freedom isn’t free’ thing. In order for our freedom to work, we MUST have laws, and the officers to enforce them. Otherwise, the evil will overwhelm the good, EVERY SINGLE TIME. (Lord of the Flies). There is NO WAY mankind can ever create a perfect society on earth. There will always have to be people above the rest of us, and people to enforce the will of the people above us, so that the criminal element cannot completely takeover. But nothing stops the people on top from having very nice things for themselves while the rest of everybody struggles to get by the best they can as part of the huddled masses. Think of every group that has ever tried this. Not just America and Russia with democracy. Here are some others: Jim Jones the Koolaide guy, Rev. Sun Moon, the Mormons who settled in Utah, even the Christian Church itself. Oh, yes.
Jesus taught about equality; nobody better than anybody else (all are sinners); He spoke of the rich giving to the poor. In the beginning, the people tried it. But even among ‘the beloved’ there were those who bent the rules, others who complained when the food was rationed out. Then the food began to run out, the money, too. The rich were scrambling for what to do and the poor were bitterly complaining. They expected the rich to have an unending supply, but they didn’t. In Jerusalem, the rich had sold out everything they had and gave the money to support the whole church. Since everybody thought Jesus was coming back almost any day, this seemed like a great idea. They could spend their time praying, singing, eating, drinking and being merry. Paul took up offerings all over Asia to send to the starving church of Jerusalem Believers. The Church came to realize it was best if everyone stayed in their same circumstances, the wealthy should continue in business and give to help the poor and to finance the travelers who felt called to ‘go into all the world and preach the gospel’. The poor were also expected to work. (He that does not work, does not eat.)
My son and I were in a deep conversation some time ago about the failings of every church situation I have ever been involved in. Every single one of them was messed up to one degree or the other. He said this, “Every idea for any benevolent organization is good. But when you add the people, that’s what messes it up, every time.” The rules are good. The idea is sound, but when people start running it, and others join it, it is immediately contaminated with human frailty, even if the organization is a church. And, this is not counting the interference from the devil, which is always there to make sure things are messed up!
The Communists were not so wrong. So were the others who wanted a place where all people could live together in harmony. They named their towns Utopia and Paradise. It’s a noble idea. But one that will NEVER be accomplished until Jesus comes and sets up His kingdom and defeats all his enemies forever. Then, we can all live as children of the King of the Universe, and we will truly have His laws written on our hearts. No person will ever hurt another person, commit a criminal act, or do anything of that kind. All will be peace and love forever more.
Listen to carefully these words: http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0F9CBCNU