Friday, February 13, 2009

Mysterious Darkness

When my brothers, sisters, and I came home from elementary school on December 19, 1986, my mom greeted us at the door with serious news.  Jennifer Rand, a 16-year-old girl from our church, had been instantly killed in a snow-tubing accident at her Christian academy.  As the information settled into my mind, images of Jennifer babysitting us, playing her flute at church, and joyfully helping our mom dust and clean cascaded through my head.  Jennifer was part of the fabric of the 100-member church of which my dad was pastor.  Unlike some of the other teens, she evidenced a vibrant love for God that displayed itself in her sweet smile, tender kindness, and love for others. Why her?  I couldn't understand.  Why?

As I headed to the barn to help with chores that night, I did not feel the cold winter wind that fingered its way through my clothing.  I barely noticed the animals I was feeding.  Numbly, I poured water into troughs and placed grain in feeders; all the while a word resounded through my mind:  "Why?"  I'd always read of this sort of thing happening to others, but to me?

Time and again on my eternal journey, lingering questions of "Why?" have reverberated in the recesses of my mind.  Seemingly unfair situations--a faithful church member suffering from debilitating cancer, a dear Christian couple who has never been able to bear children--remain in mysterious darkness.  But this morning I read, "Clouds and darkness are round about [Jehovah]:  righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne" (Psalm 97:2).

On rainy days, when the weather is bleak, the sun is hidden behind copious clouds, and a mood of melancholy seems lingering in the air, let us consider the clouds and darkness that surround our God.  Mysterious obscurity hides reasons for many of His almighty deeds.  Doctrines are cloaked in a shroud of darkness:  for example, no man can fully comprehend the Trinity. Likewise are His ways an enigma, "past finding out."

Yet while we struggle to perceive the reasons behind the Almighty's actions, we may rest contentedly in the realization that "righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne."  No matter how unfair His deeds may now appear to our finite gaze, we can shed such sight and embrace eternal verity:  Jehovah reigns as righteous Judge.  Some tomorrow, punishment will be meted out.  Some year in the future, faith's clarity will distinguish God's infinite fairness.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Social Justice

According to the January 2009 Phyllis Schlafly report, social justice is a synonym for anti-Americanism.  I had the opportunity to witness this reality during the past autumn, when one of my high school English students entered an essay for an English competition, in which pupils from various schools presented their essays, poetry, and nonfiction works dealing with the theme of social justice.

I left the day amazed at the venom that spewed forth from various of these high schoolers' works, realizing that the source of such bitterness was found in the education they receive.   One young man from an inner-city school demonstrated his hatred for America as he carelessly began a poem he had written: "I'm tired of hearin' 'bout freedom from white teachers who teach me 'bout slave holders like Jefferson and George Washington."  His poem clearly reflected a frustration over the white-black relations of America's past and said nothing of the sacrifice of former presidents Washington and Jefferson, who contributed enormously to our nation's ideological and expiatory past.

Former terrorist William Ayers is responsible for promoting the themes of the supposed social justice, Schlaffey explains.  Since 1998, he has propagated his doctrine through curricula of which he is the author.  Ironically, the Americans of yesterday believed, as some of the one-room school teachers wrote on their black boards throughout the country: "The last 4 letters of America are "I can," not "I can't."  In contrast, social justice is a fancy term for the victimization of Americans, the unearthing of and focusing on every problem of our history, the intense curriculum bias dedicated to such propaganda.  The eternal reality, however, as found in God's Word is:  We are receivers of immense blessings and privileges at the hand of Almighty God.  We are not victims.  We are one race--the human race.  We are owed nothing but eternal damnation in Hell.  And the list could continue.

As I considered this area in which educators are now receiving training and interweaving themes within their lesson plans of mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts, I considered a true violation of social justice.  One man deserved blessings but got doom.  One man never sinned but was cursed for the evil deeds of every person who ever lived.  One man, the God-Man Jesus Christ, went homeless, though He had created all things and by Him "all things consist" (Colossians 1:18).  If anyone is looking for a victim, a true victim, they need find term personified in Jesus Christ, who was "despised and rejected of men" (Isaiah 53:3).  Although He created all and says, "The very hairs of your head are all numbered," (Matthew 10:30) He was mocked and spit upon, beaten, and cruelly hung on a cross.  God loved the world and sent Christ as a gift, but Jesus Christ, the God-Man was clearly discriminated against.  

Social justice as it exists in the curriculum of American schools is a farce.  

Social justice as it exists in the pages of Scripture is reality.