Archive for 'Commentary'

The Art of Freedom

The Art of Freedom

Some leaders use great words to manipulate the masses. “Freedom” is one such word. Nearly every tyrant in history has used “freedom” in promising, glowing and demagogic ways. It is wise to look beyond mere words.

Art can help. It can carry themes like liberty beyond the realm of mere words. Of course, art can also be abused to distort and manipulate but it can also uncover needs and notions that words alone keep hidden. Art can shed a brighter ...

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The New Neutrality

The New Neutrality

America is passionate about neutrality. This explains the rapid rise of the following fashionable leanings in our current culture:

Aesthetic neutrality: Beauty is only in the beholder’s eye and no one can label things beautiful or ugly. Everything is “equally valid,” including crotch-grabbing, drug-glorifying, misogynistic rap songs about killing cops, hating The Man, or exploiting women.

Moral neutrality: “Sin” is an impolite word to use in polite company. Judgmentalism is one of the few traits we can still judge harshly. You ...

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The Real Problem!
(Suffering Vs. Temptation)

The Real Problem! <br> (Suffering Vs. Temptation)

God’s word does not teach that you will never be called on to suffer more than you can endure. Sorry.

Instead of promising that your suffering will always be bearable, the Bible promises that you will not be tempted beyond your ability to endure. There is a difference. Listen to the apostle Paul:

    No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you ...
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Painting the Plight of the Poor

Painting the Plight of the Poor

For the first time since the ‘60s, one in seven working-age Americans live in poverty (46.5 million Americans in 2012 or 15.9 percent). In 2000, it was 11.3 percent. For children, our 2012 poverty rate was 21.8 per¬cent. Ouch!

Of course, statistics can point our concerns in different directions. For example, 97 percent of poor households (by today’s standard) have a color TV; 78 percent have a VCR or DVD player; 76 percent have air conditioning; 73 percent own a ...

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Where ARE the parents?

Where ARE the parents?

This is based on a true story.

A church committee, in hot pursuit of a new look, replaced the old wooden pulpit and communion table with Plexiglas products. This did not escape the notice of the children who, after church, swarmed over the stage checking out the fancy new see-through furniture. With a new minister also moving in (me), this new look marked a new era for the congregation. Out with the old, in with the new!

But there was ...

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What Baptism Demands!

What Baptism Demands!

There is a river that connects the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel with the Dead Sea in the south. It has a history.

  • On the banks of this river some 3,300 years ago, the children of Israel listened to the entire book of Deuteronomy recited before entering the land of promise. Finally, when the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant stepped into that river, it dried up for the people to cross.
  • About 400 years later, in the days ...
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Dare to Discipline Your Dreams

Dare to Discipline Your Dreams

In America today, dreaming is the ticket. It’s the current key to every city and many hearts. For example:

  • To sell a product, first sell the dream.
  • To run for an office, promise dreams.
  • To build a lavish movie-making industry, call it “Dreamworks.”
  • To pass a law that enables immigrants to bypass the law, call it the Dream Act.

And so on.

In 1939, a popular fantasy film about following a yellow brick road was really about following your dreams. Dorothy ...

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“Why Not?”
(Dangerous Dreaming)

“Why Not?”<br>(Dangerous Dreaming)

“Some men see things as they are and say why.
I dream things that never were and say why not.” ~

George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950), Irish playwright.

This statement is dangerously unwise. It feels great to dream of an ideal world and lament its absence but effective leaders resist this temptation preferring to focus on reality.

G.B. Shaw (quoted above) was a devout Fabian socialist. He advocated equal pay to everyone and condemned private land ownership as “theft.” ...

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The Monster!
(Eleven years in Hell)

The Monster! <br>(Eleven years in Hell)

My title was easy but my subtitle had competition. Here were the other options:


“Blame anything but yourself”
“The helpless addict defense”
“Depravity or disease?”
“Language Matters!”
“Sin or sickness?”
“Nevertheless!”

On August 1, 2013, the Cleveland kidnapper (rapist and baby-murderer too) who held three women captive for over a decade, told the court, “These people are trying to paint me as a monster. I’m not a monster. I’m sick.”

He thinks self-pity sells.

“I have an ...

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A Pretty Pass

A Pretty Pass

“Things have come to a pretty pass . . . when religion is allowed to invade public life.”
Lord Melbourne (1779 – 1841)

Okay, who was Lord Melbourne and why didn’t he want religion in politics?

His given name was William Lamb, born in 1779 to an aristocratic Whig family in London. As a young man, he knew such “romantic radicals” as Percy Shelley and Lord Byron. His wife took up a public affair with the “mad, bad and dangerous” Lord ...

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