Saturday, August 29, 2015

And The World Asks "Why?" - Part 2 (Revisit)

Again, the picture is what I’ve titled “Stormy Land”, by Saija Lehtonen.  It inspired this series because it demonstrates a truth.  The storm clouds bring a sense of impending gloom and doom.  The landscape no longer has the same inviting look that it would on a bright, sunny day.  That’s true for our intellectual and emotional state, as well.  Bring in a bad economy or a situation like the Sandy Hook shootings and our outlook is closer to gloom and doom than bright cheerfulness.  Last time, we did a brief survey of US history up to the ‘60s.  So far, we’re not seeing signs of much evolutionary improvement.  But there’s still some 40-50 years to go.

Throughout much of the twentieth century, there were different schools of psychology and psychiatry, driven by men like Freud, Jung, and Skinner.  While having varying approaches, they all said that men could control and fix themselves in a way that was beneficial and permanent.  Again, remember Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”.  That suggests that we don’t know enough to fix ourselves.

Those very schools of thought hyped the idea that man could help himself and spurred the thinking started in earlier decades that drugs could solve a lot of our thinking and emotional turmoil.  Both by prescription and by a variety of illegal recreational use.  But there's still little really pointing to continued success.

Let’s put one thing in proper perspective, here.  We’re not saying that there isn’t a place for psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, and prescription drugs as part of the overall solution to mental illness and psychological issues.  But there are a couple of questions about their use.  Are they dealing with the problem or the symptoms?  And are they the total solution?  We’ll be addressing those questions as we continue.  But, first, let’s finish putting recent events in historical perspective.

In the last several decades or so, we’ve seen The 10 Commandments removed from display in public buildings, prayer eliminated from public schools, the pledge to the flag eliminated to leave out “one nation under God”.  The first responders to the horror of 9/11 erected a cross made of steel girders with a flag flying from it.  That’s proposed to be moved into the museum dedicated to the 9/11 event.  But atheists are fighting it as “a religious symbol”.  I guess their sensitivity is more important than historical accuracy.  But, for our discussion, here, let’s leave it at the erosion of Christian influences.

At the time of the Sandy Hook shooting, it was mentioned on the news that there have been 37 incidents like Sandy Hook, Aurora and the DC Sniper since 1974.  In other words, we basically have at least one horror per year.  This is with fluctuating gun laws and increased efforts to thwart insanity and terrorism.  The one common factor was the escalating removal of Judeo-Christian influence in society.  Consider that, under the very influence society is trying to remove, we don’t find 37 such incidents in the previous history of our nation.

Albert Camus, the famous author and philosopher, drifted from Christianity to atheism.  Yet, he’s quoted as saying, “I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is.”  Possibly self serving pragmatism, but I think it also emphasizes something else.  There can be one who disbelieves, or another who has a wrong understanding of Christianity, or a third who is a doctrinally sound individual in a Judeo-Christian influenced society.  But, whether one believes or not, the Judeo-Christian influence establishes a moral compass that guides the entire society. 

Psalm 32:8 (KJV)  I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

That verse reminds us that, while the Israelites were not the best behaved lot that ever lived, God still guided them through numerous situations.  And that’s true for our world today.  We need more of that if we’re to avoid incidents like Sandy Hook and the mass shooting that injured Gabby Giffords.  We’ll explain why, as we continue.  The same source of guidance to avoid such incidents is also instrumental in the healing we need from them.  And that’s one of the things that we’ll look at, as we proceed, on Monday.

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