Friday, June 12, 2020

How Do You Feel?

"We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued," the statement said. "Causing pain was never our hearts' intention, but it doesn't change the fact that indeed, it did just that. So today, we speak up and make a change." Lady A.

Just this morning, I saw a news report that the country music group formerly known as “Lady Antebellum” is changing its name to “Lady A.” The reason offered by the group is that they wanted to distance themselves from the supposed association of the name with the slavery issue that dominated political discussions immediately preceding the American Civil War. Let me point out, in case anyone reading this article is unaware of this fact, that antebellum is the Latin word that means “before the war.” That’s it. Nothing more is implied by the term. It is what people reading the term infuse into it that make it either benign or problematic.

When one reads the quote above, taken from a posting on social media, it is impossible not to be struck by the rationale for the name change. In another part of the statement, the group claimed that, when they formed the group 14 years ago, they were unaware of the supposed problematic nature of the term. One has to wonder how these folks pick a name for their group without knowing what it means. But it is typical of our current clueless society. Witness the defacing of numerous monuments, such as the monument dedicated to the 54th Massachusetts, an all-black northern regiment during the Civil War, and another dedicated to the memory of early American abolitionist Matthias Baldwin in Philadelphia. Can anything be dumber than to deface monuments that celebrate black lives or someone who worked to free black slaves when protesting supposed black subjugation? In the words of a park employee in Philadelphia in referring to Baldwin, “he was BLM before there was a slogan.”

Getting back to the Antebellum report, one of the reporters commenting on the story, Gayle King, said during the round when the various anchors state their opinions about the story, that she never looked at the name in the tones that the group suggested. And I say, good for her! All this “virtue signaling” truly has to make anyone with an ounce of common sense want to vomit. Gestures such as the one taken by this group are meaningless. They accomplish exactly zero. No one is made the better because this group changed its name. All such action does is sooth the feelings of those who will continue to be eternally aggrieved. If it’s not this issue, it will be another, but mark my words, something will get their dander up again, and very soon.

I don’t know the group; I’ve only heard the name in passing on the internet or the television. But I dare to bet that they are totally unconcerned for the message that their singing tells the world. And I should point out the obvious fact that the group waited 14 years to change their name. Have there been problems such as the one we are witnessing at the moment in the near past? Yeah, numerous times. Several unarmed black men have been the victims of police brutality in the last 14 years. So why, one is forced to asked, did the group pick this particular event to change their name? I’ll tell you why, because they know that it sells. They know, just like many other groups and organizations and politicians, that saying things like “black lives matter” sells. They may go along raking in millions of dollars without a hint of caring about anyone. But something like the current situation takes place, and they fall all over each other telling us how much they care. The hypocrisy is breathtaking in its scope!!

Of course, hypocrisy is the hallmark of the unregenerate heart. Take for example a meme I saw the other day on Facebook. It had the usual “Black Lives Matter” slogan pasted over what appeared to be some folks protesting and holding up placards in the background (their shapes and what the placards said were obscured). Nothing too controversial about such a posting. However, what made it problematic was not the posting itself, but what organization posted it: Planned Parenthood. Wow. Here you have the organization that alone is responsible for killing over 300,000 black babies a year telling us that black lives matter. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that I’m living in the Twilight Zone!

We look at all this insanity and irrationality and wonder how people who are, by all ways of measuring, intelligent and educated can be so amazingly idiotic. How is it that they can’t see the utter disconnect between one thing and the other? How can they yell at you that you have to care for black people, which by the way you’re assumed not to do if you’re white, while at the same time being responsible for the greatest genocide of black lives in the history of this country? Well, because their minds are blinded by the evil one (2 Corinthians 4:2-4). The sin that inhabits their heart is so thick, that they are incapable of seeing things for what they are. Their concept of truth has nothing to do with reality. They have constructed an edifice of falsehood which they now see as the absolute truth, no matter what evidence they may be shown to the contrary.

The answer, as always, is Christ. Yeah, maybe people get tired of me saying it. But just because I repeat it so much doesn’t make it any less true. Until the Lord returns, there will never be any other answer. Anything that man does to try to reform himself is destined, without exception, to fail. No amount of self-help, of so-called “love,” and of the claptrap that passes for truth will change the basic nature of the human heart. Just as with so many other instances, this moment will pass and the unregenerate man will go his way in his sin, unconcerned and unconverted until the next crisis when he will once again regale us with whatever nonsense he is told to spout at the time.

The saddest part of all this is that many within the church have fallen prey to this kind of thinking. Did not Paul tell the Galatians that in Christ there is neither male nor female, neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free? What exactly did he mean? Simple, in Christ all of those labels disappear. They don’t matter any longer because they are a construct of the corrupt world from which they come. Does that mean that those who were Jews stopped being Jews when they became Christians? No, just like the Greek didn’t suddenly become Armenian. The point is that whatever you think makes you different from others in so far as your ethnicity or the color of your skin or your social status means nothing in the kingdom of God. We don’t treat each other differently depending on where we fall on the economic ladder, for example. Since we are nothing without Christ, we have absolutely zero to boast about. All of the things that we often treasure most will eventually burn up. If we don’t learn that lesson, our lives will be a mess, powerless and incapable of accomplishing much of any lasting value!

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