The Fallibility of Human Nature

The Fallibility of Human Nature

Before we can understand how imperfect we are, we need to admit we all have imperfections and flaws. That said, let’s look at what happens when we refuse to see ourselves as we really are.

Take the daily news we tend to absorb. What motivates what we see or read? The headlines tend to grab us–based upon our individual stances or beliefs–and we’re often ensnared by the headlines and never read the details of an article or listen to the details of newscasts. Then, when we don’t bother with the details, but want to share what we just read or heard, we become arbiters of spreading *fake news* if in fact, what we shared was not truth. Allowing headlines to ensnare us is a human flaw–we all do it–and this is one of the reasons why we saw what happened in 2016–false headlines led many to believe lies about Hillary Clinton. Okay, this isn’t about Hillary, but it does serve to make the point being made–we are flawed human beings and sometimes, we allow our biases to interfere with good judgment.

Recent news (not fake, but very real) has revealed that Donald Trump is an un-indicted co-conspirator in crimes involving campaign violations (and others as we’ll soon see). He was listed as “individual 1” in a sentencing memo for Michael Cohen–his former fixer. At any rate, many people–including Republican elected leaders–have chosen to ignore the obvious because it doesn’t gel with their personal biases. In fact, Orrin Hatch (invisible glasses) has even stated that if trump has committed a crime, he doesn’t care. Kevin McCarthy has said, “if campaign violations is a crime, then we’d have to prosecute a number of people in Congress” (not exactly a statement that builds trust or faith in our elected officials). As a consequence, trump supporters (Cult45 and MAGAts), tend to believe the menace because he tweeted, “totally cleared the president. Thank you,” after the sentencing memo dropped. Why? He didn’t read the memo to discover he was referenced in it. And because of his ego and narcissistic tendencies, he would never admit it anyway, at least not publicly. Word on the street has it–he’s totally unnerved by the findings, but since his supporters only watch Fox News, they’ll never know the truth of the matter because–they’re not interested in truth, just in finding news that supports their thinking.

Someone on Twitter earlier today suggested that we go back to the Fairness Doctrine where all sides are presented in the media so then the consumer would be able to make wise decisions about the news. In theory, it sounds good, but wouldn’t it make more sense to educate the public in how to recognize credible sources of information? First of all, the consumer of information has to “want to know truth” in order to recognize it when it’s being told. How do we determine truth? What are the facts/evidence supporting what is reported? Who collected the facts/evidence and what is their reputation/credibility? What is their motive in collecting the facts/evidence and in the subsequent reporting? If the person presenting the information has extreme biases about what they’re presenting, can they really be objective in their perception of how the consumer will either receive or reject what they say?

Then, we have to take into account the “place” where the consumer of information is when they either hear or see certain types of information. On a good day, when everything is going our way, we can be a bit cynical about some of what we hear, but on the other hand, if we’re already soured about events surrounding us, we tend to only want to hear those things that encourage our being sour on everything. It’s human nature! It’s what we do!

Right now, many (not all) of us only want to hear the very worst about trump because it serves our purposes in knowing we were right about him all along. But are we right? Did we miss something in the process of wanting to be right? It’s possible, but that’s not the purpose of this article. I’m simply pointing out the fallibility of human nature and the fact that none of us are always right or always wrong. We’re simply human beings with biases developed over the course of lives. Sometimes, we’re wise enough to look deeper–see the details and change our perspectives, but that doesn’t happen too often. When we have hardened views on almost any subject, we’re only inclined to listen to those people who build pillars to support our views, rather than listen to those who deliberately challenge us to widen our horizons and hone our views based upon the facts/evidence we discover.

Today, we live in such a divided society that no matter what one person says (Democrat or Republican) they are judged because of stances they’ve taken with or without justification. We can move our society to a better place if all–everyone–regardless of party affiliation would simply take the time to *research* information, determining whether it is credible or not, analyzing the motivation behind what we use, before drawing any conclusions about any presented information.

Now, I’ll admit–I have some favorite news outlets and most of them will actually support my biases. However, when I hear things that don’t sound credible–I research–and I don’t care who said what. I’d rather take the time to research the information before spreading lies, creating undue animosity–which is what many people do. I know trump supporters don’t like the fact that *he lies* consistently, with no purpose at this point because we all know, he lies. The problem is–one day–he just might tell us the truth (though he and truth have no relationship) and no one will believe it because he lies. I encouraged him over two years to have someone read to him, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” I don’t think he ever read that or had anyone read it to him.

The really sad part is, he never read about Pinocchio either. His comprehension skills, to say the least, are negligible.  The proof of that statement is available in a video clip of him, “tossing a coin” to determine which team did what (Army vs Navy last weekend), but he took that literally. The “coin toss” is actually, flipping the coin, but he didn’t understand that and made a fool of himself and as a result, social media lambasted him. But I digress. The point of this is to encourage others to understand the need to research information from a variety of sources before we decide how we feel about it or spread it to others.  If we’re going to read or listen to *conservative* views, we might want to sprinkle enough information from the other side to come to a logical, rational conclusion. I’m reminded of the nonsense that was spread by conservative outlets about Hillary and the Parkland Students–created because of conspiracy theorists who had no evidence on which to base or promote their fraudulent theories, but they promoted them anyway and many gullible people, swallowed them whole.

Non-credible sources include: Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tomi Lahren, Tucker Carlson,  Jeanine Pirro, The Daily Caller, Breitbart, Common Dreams, New York Post, Fox News (Entertainment) Network, or anyone who cannot or will not provide facts/evidence to support what they say and that includes Jerry Falwell, Jr. Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, or Paula White or a multitude of other Evangelicals who lied to their congregations when they told them, “God chose trump to be president.” Where’s the evidence? Are they operating on feelings? Is it based upon The Word of God? The Character of God? Do trump’s actions align with the Word of God?

What the Evangelicals won’t tell people is how they have contrived for years to find someone who will do whatever they want done–under cover of the White House–for an exchange of money–the almighty dollar that speaks volumes for those who are greedy and corrupt. And yes, I’m calling out the Evangelical Community that lied to people and is still lying to people. They do not know God, or His Word, or His Character. If they did, they would not have told people God chose trump. It’s just that simple and that can be researched and proven by trying to align trump’s character and behavior with The Word of God.

But we know, the lying Evangelicals won’t tell people the truth, because they don’t want to admit their fallibility as human beings because to them, being a Christian means you can never be wrong. The reality is, being a Christian really means–we try to live like Christ–admitting our shortcomings, recognizing we’ll never be perfect and always seeking Him to guide us in all things. And when we “think” we’ve heard Him speak to us, we can prove it by aligning what He says to us with what He’s already said in His Word. God is not a man that He should lie or change His mind about What He’s said or the Purpose for which He said, anything.

God knows just how imperfect we are and the fact that we’ll never reach perfection as long as we are in a position to “choose” what we say or do. When we fall short, we acknowledge it, seek forgiveness and guidance and keep it moving, until the next time and there will be a next time. It’s what happens to fallible human beings–we are true to our nature.

 

 

Strength To Endure!

Strength To Endure!

It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.  He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.  I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes. They cried for help, but there was no one to save them— to the LORD, but he did not answer. I beat them as fine as windblown dust; I trampled them like mud in the streets. You have delivered me from the attacks of the people; you have made me the head of nations. People I did not know now serve me, foreigners cower before me; as soon as they hear of me, they obey me. They all lose heart; they come trembling from their strongholds. The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior! Psalm 18:32-46 NIV

Though the days seem long and wearisome, and the nights a never-ending gloom of sadness and nightmares, though the idiocy never seems to find itself an end, though those in positions of authority continually abdicate their responsibilities, though it seems like nothing will ever change for the better, we yet have hope and our hope is in God–who strengthens us, not in a person who does not know God.

The leadership in this country–in the executive branch and the legislative branch have severely and negatively impacted the lives of all who live in America. The office of the presidency has forever been marred by the vile and despicable behavior of the one who currently resides in the Oval Office. The legislative branch has become a laughingstock because they lack a spine and will to do what’s right for all Americans. They are bogged down with stupidity, greed and corruption. They are blind to the needs of those who elected them in their pursuit for greatness and grappling to control. Both in the House and Senate, the leadership is more concerned with obtaining a political win for the orange maggot than in legislating to meet the needs of their constituents. On a daily basis, we see the inevitable decay and downfall of a nation, once revered, now the butt of jokes on a global level.

For those of us who are watching, intently, every move, every nuanced communication via social media platforms, and mainstream media–we see and we know that our only hope is in the One who created all things and without Him, nothing was ever created. Though it would appear that the horror many are facing on a daily basis will never end, it will. Though it would appear that no one cares about those in crisis, there are. Though it appears that Russian meddling will continue to infiltrate and negatively influence our election results, they won’t–unless we let them.

We have the strength to endure the onslaught of madness and corruption when we seek God for all we need and for wisdom from on high. If we start paying attention–to the details and facts–not the false propaganda, we will prevail, and rise to the occasion stronger than ever to fight back–against the tyranny that is attempting to overtake our democratic republic. We must arm ourselves with factual information in order to make wise decisions. We must refute the liars and promoters of false propaganda when they raise their ugly heads. We must call a lie a lie and a liar, a liar. We must stop sugar-coating and soft peddling truth when hard, unadulterated truth is needed for the survival of our nation. Above all, we must be willing to see truth and acknowledge when we’re wrong and adjust our thinking so we won’t fall for the lies promoted by those who wish to desecrate our nation.

Love trumps hate any day of the week–and for centuries to come. We give up our freedoms to choose our paths when we allow authoritarians to persuade us we need to be controlled and manipulated. It is hatred that drives manipulation and love that encourages freedom of thought and choices. We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived by the enemy who roams the country, pretending to be Christian, when they are actually soldiers of Satan and we know because of the lies they tell.

We no longer have time to sit idly by and watch the destruction of a nation. We must rise up with truth and love guiding our every step, as we battle the enemy that promotes lies and spread hatred. If we are who we say we are, we will not promote hatred of any person regardless of their ethnicity, gender, or faith. We will lift up all with love and compassion, meeting the needs wherever we can so all will know–we’re never alone and that God is our strength.

2018 midterm election is coming up soon and if we really want to see our country headed in the right direction, we must elect lawmakers who will legislate for the benefit of their constituents, not their egos or bank accounts. When the House is righted, then we can concentrate on electing a president in 2020, who will govern for all Americans, not just some. We need a compassionate, empathic, wise leader governing from the Oval Office and though there are many choices, there is one who knows the challenges and struggles of the Everyday American.

Political philos2

Hope

Why Hate One Another?

Why Hate One Another?

“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Proverbs 1:22 NIV

The righteous hate what is false, but the wicked make themselves a stench and bring shame on themselves. Proverbs 13:5 NIV

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:3-10 NIV

Yesterday, I posted a poll on Twitter about why people hate others. The options were: inbred from birth, experience with others, or propagandized fear or all of the above. I anticipated that not many would respond because if they did, they would have to spend some time in thought–getting a grasp on why they hate others.

The intent of the poll was to do just that–make people think! I see so much hatred in social media posts against people that they don’t know, but feel justified in making really horrible comments. There are groups threatening a civil war simply because they don’t like the fact that many Americans and MSM don’t agree with the current administration in Washington. They’re actually threatening a march on New York, armed with assault rifles because they don’t like what the newspaper publishes–truth based upon facts uncovered.

Then, for no apparent reason–Kayleigh McEany decides to broadcast her racism by referring to people living in Nigeria in huts and continuing the birther nonsense against President Obama. Now, I get it–I really do–just about anyone speaking on behalf of 45 is speaking to an audience of one. They do what they know will pacify his ego and stoke his hatred for Obama and Hillary. That is simply a very sad, pathetic existence to have–to live allowing hatred to color every thought and to my knowledge–neither one of these has ever done anything to him. Oh wait–Obama made fun of him at correspondents dinner and Hillary told the truth about him. Yeah, that should justify hatred of them; it’s not like they murdered or raped family and friends, or went out of their way to destroy his reputation (he did that on his own).

Hatred because of disagreement is misplaced at best and dangerous at its worst.

We do not have to look alike, think alike, dress alike, worship alike, or speak alike–we are all created by God, blessed with differing gifts and we should be able to accept and embrace the differences–loving one another because God is Love! For any Republican to claim to be a Christian and yet have not the love of Christ in their hearts for all people–they lie.

Though we disagree about issues, we must agree that we are all human beings and that we are capable of exercising wisdom and settling down to reason with one another–not using the opportunity to stir up hatred against others. Our disagreement can be expressed without hatred and when people don’t want to face truth about a situation or people–that is still no reason to hate the ones who bring truth to light. We must learn to disagree, agreeably–without planting the seeds of hate.

There is a simple reason for me to discuss hatred.  When people hate others they don’t even know–it’s because they have no love for themselves. Whatever is in our hearts, that is what will come to the surface, spilling over into everything we do–whether it is hate or love. I’d rather keep asking God to “refill” me with love rather than allow hatred to seed and grow in my heart. Perhaps, this is why I don’t understand hatred–there’s no room in my heart for it.

In our current political environment, we see so much hatred in policy proposals, actions and attitudes of people who are white against those who are brown and black and none of this hatred will ever bring about greatness for any of us–only unconditional love–compassion for all, will ever truly make us great.

I’m capable of unconditional love–promoting truth and not lies–and serving the needs of all Americans because I understand that Raising The Standards for Everyday Americans–financially and spiritually and culturally will make the greatest difference in the lives of all.

Raising The Standards

 

The Leadership Charge!

The Leadership Charge!

Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.  Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever. I Timothy 5:19-25 NIV

In Paul’s letter to Timothy, instructions are given for those in leadership positions in how to govern and teach others as well as for himself. Any good leader–knows they need to have the wisdom of those who know what they’re doing in order to lead others. Wisdom from above–is immeasurable and when followed–peace and love will reign.

We are living in an age where many people think that whatever they find on the Internet is credible. Those of us who know how to determine credibility of information know–without question–that not everything on the Internet is trustworthy and we certainly should not share the lies and falsehoods promoted by others. For when we participate in the spreading of lies–chaos reigns and reputations are destroyed. And then we are reminded by what Hosea said, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.”

We must remember that God sees all and more importantly, He knows our hearts and intent for everything we do. We mere mortals can only see what is exposed–not having the ability to read a person’s mind, but if we are careful to observe a matter and seek Holy Spirit, we can accurately assess information gathered and draw conclusions–predicting what happens next.

There are so many false news outlets infiltrating the Internet, that I cannot begin to name them all, but I have seen how they operate. Many of the URLs–include the name of the party providing the information and we know is skewed to favor them and impugn others. The real travesty is that when people don’t know how to discern the truth from the fiction, the gullible believe the fiction and will not hear the truth. When leaders–anywhere–but especially in the church–promote fiction as truth, they will have to answer to God, not only for what they do, but what they have led others to believe.

How do we discern truth from fiction in a news outlet? Look at the source–how many writers are involved? What is their source of information? What is the level of bias detected? Is this a true journalistic endeavor or is it simply a means for someone to vent? Blogs and most other social media posts are merely there for the purpose of espousing the writer or group’s opinions and many of those expressed opinions are not based upon any legitimate facts. Unless the site is an actual news outlet (NYT, WSJ, WP, or local news chains), chances are–what is said needs to be verified or confirmed through another legitimate source. The other method to determine truth of a situation is by the end tags–.edu, .org or .gov. Some–not all–bearing the .com or .net tags are not credible sources and need confirmation. Research the author of the site and their credentials or expertise.

As Believers–we should be able to discern truth from fiction by seeking the basis for what is said on The Word. Holy Spirit will guide us in all truth and we shall know the truth, if we have a mind to listen.

With the above premise–how can we then participate in vicious lies told to destroy a person’s reputation without seeking credible witnesses? Specifically, I’m referencing the lies promoted and advocated by Fox News, Breitbart, and Alex Jones. The things they promote are based upon fractions of truth–becoming whole lies–and there is never credible confirmation of anything they promote. Does not Paul warn us about–participating in the sins of others in his letter to Timothy? So, if people publish lies and we promote the lies, are we not just as guilty as the person or entity who started the lie?

If what we see or hear cannot be confirmed by two or more credible witnesses–we should not partake in the character assassinations advocated by false news sources. Do we not have ears to hear, eyes to see, and Holy Spirit within to direct us in all things? If so, we need to rely more upon Him than in the production of fake news, designed to destroy–not only the targets of the lies, but the gullible who believe the lies. Facts are verifiable, while fiction–is just that–made up in the minds of those who promote it.

If what we do does not promote love, peace and harmony, then we might to re-think what we’re doing and get our relationship with God right!

After The Facts!

“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15 NIV)

We do many things without thinking about the consequences of our actions, until we are confronted with the consequences and have to deal with them.

What led us to this juncture–doubt, fear, greed, indecision–or lack of knowledge?

We have all probably made a decision impulsively or simply made based on the information we had at hand.  After we reap the consequences of our immediate action, we then have an opportunity to re-think and re-live the event--viewing what we did then and contemplating what we could have done–after the facts are obtained–because we now have more information.

Our lives are like being on trial or the jury–when we make decisions with limited information–sometimes we discover we made the wrong decision and realize–after the fact–that had we obtained all the information pertaining to the matter, we would have made a different decision.

There is one decision we must make now and we have access to all the information.  That decision is a determination to live for Jesus Christ.  If we don’t make the decision now, we won’t have an opportunity to rethink our lack of a decision, after we’re dead.  Choose now, while you have the opportunity to choose and to receive His many benefits. After the fact–of death–opportunity no longer exists and the lack of decision for Christ, puts you in opposition to Christ.  Choose this day!