Kruptikos: Thinking Too Big

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THE WAY TO DO A GREAT DEAL IS TO KEEP ON DOING A LITTLE. THE WAY TO DO NOTHING AT ALL IS TO BE CONTINUALLY RESOLVING THAT YOU WILL DO EVERYTHING.  CHARLES SPURGEON

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In our hopefully upcoming DVD series “the Engagement” we will have a tour entitled “Fruit, Weeds and Counterfeits”. One of the key elements of that tour will include a survey of the many “counterfeits” that we find in our culture that deceive and pull us away from the true meaning of agape love. One of those counterfeits is best described by Linus from the cartoon “Peanuts”:

I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand!

It’s funny, but this is so true of our modern culture. This is the Hollywood notion of gushing about loving the World, but in so doing, loving no one, really.

The true agape love that we are called to (we will try to define it in tE) can only be carried out within the context of a deep relationship. If you fervently seek the true good of an individual, you can only do that with a small number of folks.

C. S. Lewis put it this way:

It is easier to be enthusiastic about Humanity with a capital ‘H’ than it is to love individual men and women, especially those who are uninteresting, exasperating, depraved, or otherwise unattractive. Loving everybody in general may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular.

And G. K. Chesterton noted this, which might seem as if he were speaking of the progressive elite in our culture today:

They hate kings, they hate priests, they hate soldiers, they hate sailors. They distrust men of science, they denounce the middle classes, they despair of working men, but they adore humanity. Only they always speak of humanity as if it were a curious foreign nation…They are ceasing to be human in the effort to be humane.

What is happening here is that we have embraced a counterfeit of true agape love. True agape love operates only in the “small”. We have substituted in its place the “large” and in so doing have destroyed it.

I have, of late, been fascinated by the understanding that Jesus, when He started His ministry, did so by calling together a few men…twelve in number. Yet He really concentrated on three. If you study the Gospels, you will find that Jesus did heal many and He did speak to the multitudes, but it appears that His focus was on these few men. And when He left, it was to these few that He gave the charge to then go and make disciples of the nations. But how were they to do that? I would submit to you that they understood it within the example that He had given them.

Paul expressed it this way:

And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2

All of this is in keeping with the God who created only two human beings and then told them to fill the earth. They were not expected to have a million babies. They would have a few and those would have a few and eventually this notion of the “few” would become the “many”.

In summarizing the entire law, Jesus told us to agape God and to agape our neighbor. He didn’t tell us to agape the world, for we cannot do that.

We are awash in a culture that has bowed the knee to itself. We worship ourselves. We believe that we are a god who can generate truth within our own heart. Because we are a slave to our hunger for significance, we then dream of big things for ourselves…in our daydreams we are the one that ends up being so, so significant. We get the girl, we get the guy, we win the lottery, we become famous, we become the greatest entertainer or athlete, we are loved, we are adored, we are the center of attention.

Motivational speakers after motivational speakers encourage us to think big, to dream big dreams. We love to think big. We love to dream big dreams.

I am not saying that there isn’t a place for that at specific times and places in one’s life, for there is a need to not settle for that which is less than what we can do or accomplish with the gifts God has given us. But we are in danger of reinforcing the lie that anything "significant" has to come from that which is “big” and never from that which is “small”….that “big” is “significant” and “small” is therefore “insignificant”.

How deceitful.

It keeps the body of Christ from thinking that there is something quite grand about dedicating your life to your family and the neighbors that live next door. It keeps us from action because we think our part is too “small”. It fuels our sense of insignificance. It ignites lust. It fans the flames of jealousy and class warfare.

It destroys contentment.

It makes us want.

It renders us ineffective.

We want the “big” and not the “small”.

Despising the few, we want it all.

Even when we want to help others, we can get overwhelmed by the reality that there are too many needy, too many sick, too many abused…just too many. The problems are just so large…

And we end up doing nothing.

Oh, we resolve to do something…but we have to make the “something” big in order for us to think that it is worthwhile and significant.

But we can’t.

So we don’t.

I suspect that if Linus were real and he were sitting around the fireplace with Jesus and he uttered his sad commentary: “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand.” that it is possible Jesus would have smiled and then quietly said, “I can’t stand mankind. But I love people.”

Don’t let “big” get in your way of taking time for the widow next door.

The way to do a great deal is to keep on doing a little. The way to do nothing at all is to be continually resolving that you will do everything.  Charles Spurgeon

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Kruptikos: Socialism (1): The Scam of Utopia
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9
Surging Crime and a Look At Its Causes
“Crime is first a moral issue. Failure to address it on that level ensures it will only get worse.”  Cal Thomas Unless you are a Rumpelstiltskin, you must be keenly aware of our culture’s surging crime. In our own city, we have had eight murders already this year compared to only one by this time last year… and last year we set a record high for murders. This is in Colorado Springs, not Detroit or Chicago. In New York City, homicides are up 11% and shooting victims up 68%. In Georgia, some residents of Buckhead are wanting to secede from Atlanta because of the crime wave that they think the city doesn’t care about. As one Buckhead leader said, “we are in a war zone here” and the police are increasingly demoralized because they arrest criminals only to see them released by the legal system. The number of cops is way below what they need… some say as much as a third.  All this in the midst of, or aftermath of, calls to defund the police. 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How demoralizing for police officers to put their life on the line making an arrest, only to turn around tomorrow and find that the guy is back out on the street. It is not surprising, when the cost of committing a crime decreases down to almost nothing, that crime rises and criminal activity becomes bolder and more and more brazen.  With all this said, however, what has not been addressed in commentaries or news broadcasts, up until the Cal Thomas article, is that “crime is first a moral issue”. The State doesn’t determine ultimate right and wrong, God does. And when God declares something to be wrong, that declaration springs from His very nature. Stealing is wrong because it is contrary to the character of God.  Part of the great worldview divide that now plagues our nation is whether or not we want God to have any say in our personal, public or legal lives. No one any longer makes an appeal to God’s nature or Word when it comes to making laws. This is in stark contrast to our founding when William Blackstone, the legal author and tutor of all lawyers in early America, flatly declared that no law has any value if it is contrary to God’s law. This was to be the litmus test for any legislation and it was pounded into the head of all who made and prosecuted law in America. Not so today.  Making policy and law in accordance with God’s design leads to peace and prosperity, as best you can have in a fallen world. Therefore, it is not surprising that public policy, state and federal law and judicial decisions, absent any eternal or divine foundation, are not only woefully inadequate to mitigate crime, they exacerbate it. Cal is right when he says that crime will only get worse if we continue to see it as merely a social or oppressive issue, or driven by the prime ethic of malevolent compassion. All of this is leading us inexorably to a time when “everyone will do what is right in their own eyes”. Maybe we are already there. So, dear Remnant, how will be act in these times?  First of all, do not get caught up in the lies of this new worldview and allow it to squeeze you into its mold regarding right and wrong. Be sure of this: it is not your heart that establishes the ethical lines. Second, the fight against bad policy is a good fight and it should be fought as best we can. Third, never let the enemy sap your hope or your joy or your commitment to Him. Take the longer view. Keep your eyes upon Him. But finally, we must keep in mind that any real change is going to have to take place in the heart and soul of individuals. That will only come by the faithful and persistent prayers of the saints for those who are providentially placed near them along with the development of a significant relationship. If we remain faithful to this call of the Lord, then we pray we will begin to see a change in the few. And if the Lord should bless, that could translate into many. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:90     The encoded phrase was: TGKWQ KP LKGPN E WBGER KPPXQ. LEKRXGQ NB EHHGQPP KN BC NYEN RQJQR QCPXGQP KN AKRR BCRM ZQN ABGPQ.  TER NYBWEP