OUTRAGEOUS! The state of America

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
~2 Timothy 3:1-5.

We’ve come a long way only to realize we haven’t come far at all.

Several years ago singer-songwriter Geron Davis said something that has stuck with me: “People are people are people,” he said. He further explained that in every church, every business, every situation in life, there is one of you, one of me. In other words, wherever you go, you’ll find an encourager, a complainer, a conniver, a leader, a follower etc.

Interestingly, I have found that to be true for the most part. But in today’s weird times, the tables have definitely turned a bit. Today, there are more complainers — and they’re louder. Today, there are more vengeful people than compassionate. And, unfortunately, today, there are more who hate than those who love.

If you’re paying attention at all, you realize we are living in unprecedented times. Every day seems to bring a “we haven’t seen that before” moment and the country appears to be spiralling out of control in so many ways.

Yes, there are some stabilizing factors in this crisis. There always are, and while we have to look carefully for them, we should be very thankful for those. There are good people in the world who are seeking to help and encourage others, people who are giving of time, money and resources in these critical days.

But let’s get something straight. If you believe life has been turned upside down by one person, you may be part of the problem. It’s not Trump, Pelosi, McConnell/Schumer, Schiff, Hannity, Lemon, Joel Osteen, Kimmel or any other single person. It goes deeper than that, much deeper. Those people and the tendencies in our society, are only the symptoms.

THE MEDIA.

I know, this is beating a dead horse, and that horse is so dead it’s beginning to stink. The media has a lower approval rating than almost any other entity in America today, most politicians included. Very few people trust the media.

You see it in almost every poll, but the media never ranks high on the trust meter. In current times, the media ranks at the bottom of the Gallup survey. While giving hospitals, state governments, the CDC/NIH, Vice President Pence, President Trump — and even Congress — substantial approval numbers, the media was at 44% approval of how it was handling the crisis.

Virtually every survey you can point to has similar or worse numbers. So here’s my question: Why spread the turmoil? Why perpetuate the lack of trust by sharing their so-called news stories? Why be complicit in advancing their agenda?

Seriously, though, can you hold it against ’em? They are merely pawns in a greater news story than they know.

LATE NIGHT HOSTS.

Wait, aren’t these people supposed to be distracting us from the horrific, demoralizing events of the day? Hasn’t the late-night entertainer always been an escape from reality? Hmm, it’s one thing to poke fun at politicians and other leaders — Johnny Carson, David Letterman and Jay Leno were masters at it. Sure, they got their personal and political messages across, but they stayed above the fray and refrained from personally demeaning and disparaging commentary.

Late-night television has strayed off the entertainment reservation and has devolved into nothing more than one-upsmanship and targeting of people for personal or political gain.

But you can’t blame the late-night guys. It’s just a sign of the times.

RACE.

Friend, you can cut this any way you want to, but this goes deep. It doesn’t matter what side of the debate you’re on if you can’t see there’s a problem here, you ain’t paying attention at all! Sorry, but the bandaid that society has put on this has been ripped off more times than the top of a volcano.

When a man is shot while out jogging, it shouldn’t matter whether he’s black, white or red. You should be outraged! Period. It’s not a racial issue, it’s a human issue! Often, when race is involved, the story and discussion rise for a short period, then they are lost again, and the bandaid goes back on again.

Rodney King may have said it best when he pleaded: “Can we all just get along?” What’s at the core? Is it one person’s fault? Is it one race’s fault?

Take a deep breath, step back from the fray and look at the view from a few thousand feet up. People are people are people, whether they are from this generation or the last.

That’s no excuse, but go back up and read the opening scripture and you’ll understand the time in which we live: “…without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous…”

CONSPIRACY THEORIES.

These silly conspiracy theories are a flashpoint in our society. It doesn’t matter your political persuasion, your religious colors or your personal opinions about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, there’s a bunch of rubbish out there. Wild imaginations fraught with anxiety-driven, fear-mongering, conniving plots and treasonous intrigue.

Again, note the scripture. Folks, they can’t help themselves, but it must not be you. And, when you get down to it, you and I must not associate with it or participate in such wild imagination discussions.

SELFISHNESS.

Notice the first line of the scripture above: “People will be lovers of themselves…” You don’t hvae to listen to people very long to determine their agenda. For the media, it’s all about their view, not the news. For late night hosts, it’s all about the laudatory response they can get. For conspiracy theorists, it’s all about them being right and scaring you.

Today more than ever, no one will accept blame. No one wants to compromise. No one is concerned about the other guy unless they use him as a pawn to get their way. No one wants to consider they may be part of the problem.

Hint: Rick Warren is right. It’s not about you!

Friends, we are where we are, not because of someone or any group of people. We are where we are because “…these are the times that will try men’s souls.”

Go back and read the scripture at the top again. That, friends, is where we are. It is spot on and nails it completely. There are very few words in those sentences that you can’t apply to today.

The question is: Where are you and what will you do with this in light of an American society that lives in outrageous times?

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