A Familiar Voice

I’ve been pretty negative about the state of the world lately.   In fact, I found myself so distraught that I needed to speak with a familiar voice.  I decided to call a mentor from my days at Tennessee Tech; he’s not a faculty member there, although I suppose he could be, if there were a Christian Studies department.  My mentor, Paul, has a calm, reasoned way of looking at any issue that I have ever brought to his attention.  For example, after 9/11, I felt compelled to call him in order to get some perspective (particularly about Islam) in order to make sense of that situation.  I think that we all seek a source of some familiar comfort when we are troubled. 

Anyhow, I called Paul (and wife Barbara — a lovely person, I might add) to just visit and find out how they are doing.  And, of course, to seek a bit of counsel.  One of my first comments was that I was calling to see how they are doing, and then some gibberish comment about “the world going down the tubes”.  So, he ran with that one.  He went on to reflect about things and echoing themes from previous conversations and home bible studies about how we are sitting here, 2000 years after Jesus, enjoying a world and a country and a civilization that has reaped and continues to reap the fruits of the greatest and only God-man who ever lived.  He mentioned that over 2 billion people (1/3 of the Earth’s population) at least nominally recognize Jesus as Lord (whether they are extremely zealous and serious or not) — an astonishing fact if you consider that there were ZERO in the first century!!  I needed to be reminded of how transitory current events are; e.g., there have ALWAYS been wars going on in the world and crime, negative events etc.  It’s just that, with the 24-7-365 media, we see things instantly, and they are repeated over and over to drill the negativity into our minds.  Furthermore, the only reason that any controversy exists over homosexuality in this country is that we have been deeply influenced by the Bible over our nation’s history (it really wasn’t brought up in hot debate in the first century church, although it was definitely noted as immoral by Paul — a stark contrast to the decadent and depraved Roman sexual culture). 

As an important contrast to this, though: we no longer have segregation — a great evil that was endorsed by our country (and its evil parent, slavery).  Women can vote (and this didn’t even happen until the early 1900’s!).  There is outreach in many ways to the poor.  And so much else.  It’s funny how I have been reading (and been amazed by) Alvin Schmidt’s, How Christianity Changed the World (under its former title: Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization), but needed a familiar voice to help its message sink deeply in.   By the way, I think that Schmidt’s book should be required reading for every American Christian — we are SO ignorant of the benefits of Christianity to us and most every culture on planet Earth.

I needed a dose of reality — not what you see on TV, mind you.  I got it, from a calm and thought-provoking conversation with a mature Christian mentor that I respect.  What a joy it is to have a mentor in the faith like that!

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Published in: on May 2, 2007 at 4:06 am  Leave a Comment  

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