Introduction then Indoctrination

launch

On February 25, 2007 an advertisement aired on ABC introducing Apple’s first iPhone.  In June 2007 the iPhone was released and the indoctrination was launched.

At that time, 10 years ago, I was not using apple technology, although I had been around it since my early days in computer retail selling Apple II’s.  This Apple product sold for $1298 with only 4K of ram in 1983.

The Apple iPhone 8 base unit with 64GB (34 years later) was introduced at $999.  Predictions of iPhone 8 unit volume for the first 12 months is 241.5 million.  This is what I call an introduction and indoctrination plan that worked.  I realize there are people reading this right now who do not purchase Apple products, and never intend to do so.  That’s ok, I’m not endorsing them, each to his own I say.  I’m sure Samsung, Motorola, Nokia all make a good product, but can we all just agree that Apple (at least according to the latest Gartner data) is leading the industry in market share (as of Q4 2016).

Introducing a new idea is one thing.  Indoctrination of this new idea in such a way that it impacts the entire world, is a whole other thing altogether.

The Old idea in the first century had been around for a about 1400 years, first given to Moses while he lead God’s people out of bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land.  We call it by different names:  The Law,  The Torah, etc.  Made up of the first five books of the Old Testament, the Old idea was God’s role as Creator, God establishing a Nation, and God’s Laws for that Nation.  The initial instruction set was only 10 Commandments, encompassing everything a person would need to relate to God and to his fellow human.

  • No other gods before Me
  • No idols
  • No using my name in vain
  • Keep the Sabbath day
  • Honor mom and dad
  • Do not murder
  • Do not commit adultery
  • Do not steal
  • Do not lie about your neighbor
  • Do not covet your neighbor’s stuff

It just seems to me that even now, after 3500 years since this stuff was written down [Exodus 20:1-17] we still don’t do any of these things very well.  I realize that these original DOCTRINES were given to a specific group of people (the Hebrews), but God’s intention was that the Hebrews be a light to the world about God’s blessings.  By now we should be so convinced of God’s blessings that the world would look different than it does.

Here’s the thing, after 1400 years of indoctrination the Hebrew people were not only NOT a light to the world, they had been so cut off from God that the last prophet to arrive, announced the coming of God’s Kingdom and the arrival of Messiah, the NEW IDEA.  So steeped in the Old idea were the leaders of Israel, that they had no clue God was doing something New.  The arrival of Jesus is Good NEWS!  The introduction of Messiah should have been the pinnacle of Jewish existence.  Instead it became infamous for the actions of the Sanhedrin, orchestrating the death of the Son of God.

Here we are, 2000+ years removed from this event.  And while there is much indoctrination among the many different beliefs about who Jesus was, or is, or will be, when I look around our world I’m a little sad that we don’t seem to have made the same impact today as the first apostles did when it all started.  Peter preached on two separate occasions and 3,000 and 5,000 men respectively, came to be first time Christ-followers.  Where is that kind of preaching today?

When the church gathered for prayer, because two of their own were chained to the wall in a prison cell, God heard their prayers and the chains fell off, while an angel of God lead them out of that jail.  Where is that kind of praying today?

Have our hearts grow so cold?  Have our wills become so weak?  If we can’t get folks to just stand up and hold their hand over their hearts for the singing of a national anthem, how could we ever expect them to stand and do battle against the spiritual forces of evil at work in this world today?

We’ve lost sight of what Jesus said about His church.  Do you remember?

Matthew 16:18
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Jesus wasn’t talking about Peter building a church.  Jesus was talking about the faith statement Peter has just uttered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

If this is the faith statement, and the Church is living this out in truth and power, then why does it seem Satan and Hell are winning so many battles today?  … in the media, in politics, in our school systems, in almost every entertainment venue, including the NFL?

We’ve fallen prey to his deceptive ways.  Tolerance was introduced as the Prime Directive.  Now it seems the indoctrination of “tolerance” has led us to the point of no return.

God save us from ourselves, and from those who would destroy us with agendas of hate and condescension.  God, show us the way back to you.  God, launch us back in Your direction…

If you liked this blog post feel free to share it with your friends. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Launch

 

Enlightenment or Indoctrination?

Daily Post: Educate

englightenment

During the 17th and 18th centuries humanity began to celebrate the powers of human reasoning, took a more direct interest in science, accepted and embraced religious tolerance, and desired to develop governments free from tyranny.  These are historical facts based in actual events.  It is referred to as “the Age of Reason,” or “the Enlightenment.”

On the other hand, indoctrination is primarily about control.  Indoctrination is the “process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.” (according to https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indoctrinate)  The clearest example historically, might be  how Hitler believed the German youth could be raised in such a way, indoctrinated through education practices, that they wholeheartedly supported Hitler’s ideals and agendas.  So Hitler set out to achieve these beliefs by transforming the school curriculum, and create organizations like Hitler Youth.  In 1932 the membership was 107,956.  By 1933, when the Nazis came to power the membership had gown to 2,300,000 in one year. By choice or by force?  History dictates, mostly by force.

Today across America, and around the world, we continue to see movements or shifts in how people think.  Some might say, we’re not thinking at all.  When a reporter shows up at a demonstration and asks the demonstrators to give reasons for their participation, and they can’t respond in a reasoned or rational way, I suggest it’s indoctrination not enlightenment that sent them there.  It’s a sad state of affairs, in light of the really important issues that our world faces today, that people simply quit thinking and start blindly following their favorite actor’s, or favorite politician’s opinions.

Freedom of belief, and free expression of those beliefs, has been twisted and perverted. Perverted to such an extent, that even as a conservative if I say, “I believe you have the right to have a different belief,” the alt left more likely responds, “fine, but you don’t! because your’s is just wrong!”  When I disagree, I’m painted as fascist, supremacist, insane, or religious fanatic.

What our world needs is another enlightenment.  The one the world, along with true Christ-followers, has been waiting for.  And by the “world” I mean the Earth itself, because clearly humanity as a whole has not pursued or desired the enlightenment only God can give.

Matthew 24:9-14
Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

The voice of reason is being drowned out by the tyrannical insanity of mindless followers indoctrinated in the paradigm of hate.  Revising history to suit a political agenda, our land suffers at the threat of annihilation from within.  The words of Jesus give us pause, because we must continue to ask, “at what point will God’s own word become a fulfilled prophetic word?”  To be more clear,  when is “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world,” going to be completed?  Because, according to Jesus, it seems this is a trigger point which starts the beginning of the end.

I’m not now, nor have I ever been one to set timetables for the return of our King.  I’m just saying the streets and paths of our nation have become filled with lawlessness, and people have grown cold and contemptuous toward each other.  I’m not trying to indoctrinate you, I’m actually just inviting you to open your eyes, and reason with your own mind, regarding the things you see in our world today.

If you don’t know the facts, then educate yourself.  Find out the truth.  Read some history for yourself, not someone else’s interpretation of those events.  Discover, reason, and look for the enlightenment that comes from truth, not fake news.

You’re still breathing, you’re still here, that means there is still time.

Start now.

If you liked this blog post feel free to share it with your friends. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

C, C, & A

via Acceptance

members-only

C, C, & A …  churches, country clubs, and acceptance.  Acceptance is important to almost all of us.  We all want to be included.  We all gain a great deal of our self esteem or self-perception from those who accept us.   Or, we take a huge hit personally when we are rejected.  It doesn’t matter whether it is churches, country clubs, a sports team, a club, a university, fraternity, sorority, or picking teams for Red Rover, we all seek acceptance.   Every game, team, or group has their own dogma, ideology, doctrine, code or creed to which we must adhere in order to be accepted.  We must accept and incorporate these beliefs into our fiber of life, or we are deemed unacceptable.  The paradox of acceptance, is the challenge to accept in order to be accepted.

One would think that joining a country club would be pretty simple.  Pay the initiation fee, commit to pay the monthly dues, and adhere to the club’s rules and you’re in.  However, while this may be true in some smaller clubs, the reality is that there is a selection committee who deems which of all the applicants are worthy of club membership.  These folks determine if the applicant is acceptable or not.

One would think that joining a church would be pretty simple.  While some churches make it extremely easy, others are virtually impossible to join even when compared to country clubs.  In this case most churches don’t require an up front initiation fee, but expect and often demand a financial commitment to support the church.  Indoctrination to the church’s beliefs is standard in many churches large or small today, known as “new member orientation.”  Often before a person can have a place of leadership in the church they must attend the classes and pass inspection so to speak.  I get it.  The church wants to make sure all their leadership is on the same page doctrinally, so they don’t confuse the churches message to guests or other members.

I guess my question is:  Is this how God designed it?  Is this how it was supposed to be?  Was there supposed to be some kind of acceptance process to be included as part of the church?  You only have to go to the book of Acts in the Bible to know the answer.

In Acts 15:1-35 the Council at Jerusalem were to answer a very basic question:  “What must a person do to be saved.”  Or put another way, “Who receives acceptance into the Faith?”  The question was raised because there were those not Jewish coming to accept Christ as Lord by the thousands as Paul and Barnabas went bout preaching the gospel.  So there was dissent in the ranks of the early church about who was acceptable.  The Jewish leaders wanted to impose “circumcision” on the Gentile men coming to faith, as a condition of acceptance.  In the end, the Council determined acceptance would be based on: abstaining from food sacrificed to idols, abstaining from sexual immorality, abstain from eating anything that was strangled, abstain from blood. [See Acts 15:19-21]  This was the first acceptance criteria for outsiders (Gentiles) to be included in the largely Jewish entity known as the Church.  For my more detailed bible study on this passage click: The Council at Jerusalem Acts 15_1-35.

Acceptance in the long run is not determined by the church.  Acceptance is determined by God the Father.  His terms for acceptance of any individual into His family (what we euphemistically call The Church), is more than clear in His Word.  Here are the terms of inclusion:

John 14:6
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:8
God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!

Romans 10:9-10
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.

These passages are the entrance exam to be included into God’s family.  All who accept these conditions, commit to them, believe them dogmatically, and yield their life to these truths… receives acceptance from God.

No other earthly entity can add to these or take away from these and still be called a church.  If they do… they are a country club, social club, fraternity, sorority, or some such other thing… but not a church.  Is that harsh?  Maybe so.  But God will be straightening this out someday for everyone.  I hope it is pretty soon.