Tag Archives: Crime

Keep Silent and Hate Your Soul

“Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not.” – Proverbs 29:24

Bewrayeth

When was the last time you used “bewrayeth” in a conversation? I don’t know if I have ever even seen it in a crossword puzzle. But before we go any further, let’s make sure we understand this old English word.

According to Strong’s Concordance,  the Hebrew נָגַד (nagad ) occurs 370 times in the King James Version. Besides “bewrayeth,” nagad is translated most often as “tell,” “declare,” and “shew.” Therefore, it is safe to conclude that “bewrayeth” carries with it the idea of making something known or telling it the way it is.

So, then, what does “bewrayeth’ have to do with partnering with a thief and hating one’s soul?

Partners

First, it must be understood that a partner in crime is just as guilty as his other partner in crime. The one driving the getaway car and the one laundering the money are just as guilty of bank robbery as the one who takes the bag of cash from the safe.

Are you a partner with a thief? Do you recoil at that question? Stop and consider that if you know of someone committing a crime, no matter how small, then you are just as guilty if you keep silent. For instance, do you know of a man who beats his wife and yet have never reported the abuse? If so, then you are enabling him to do his dirty work, which makes you his partner in crime.

Self-Haters

The hard thing to grasp is that when we try to stay out of something by remaining silent, we are not doing ourselves a favor. So many people will witness a wrong or learn of a crime, but keep silent in order to protect themselves. But even though one may stay out of the spotlight or courtroom, the one that “bewrayeth it not” hates his own soul.

What is a worse form of hate: to hate one’s body, or hate one’s soul? Which is worse, the fear of jail time or eternal damnation? Simply put, there are deeper consequences for “not getting involved” than for speaking out in the face of evil.

 

(The previous was adapted from a post I wrote on 1/01/14 for ProverbialThought.com entitled “When Silence is Self-Hate.”)

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Bible Study, community, Life Lessons, self-worth

How Polluted Is Your City?

As much as I hate to admit it, everything that Mark West says in this article about Chattanooga (my home town) is true. For example, he points out that Chattanooga was once considered the most polluted city in America – I remember those days when one couldn’t even see Lookout Mountain because of the brown smog that hung low over the city.

But it’s another kind of pollution that Mark describes in “Chattanooga: A Polluted City,” and that pollution is proving far more difficult to eradicate.

I love my city, and I’m happy to live here. I mean, seriously, Chattanooga is regularly listed as one of those beautiful places everyone one – especially the nature-loving folk – should visit at least once. In addition to the natural beauty, there’s the history, the southern culture, and the courteous people. Yet, a serious problem wafts through the streets, and it’s going to take a lot more than nice words and eco-friendly investments to solve.

Click on the above links and read my friend’s assessment of the situation. If you have any other suggestions, I’m sure he’ll be glad to hear. Just let him know I sent you 😉

Leave a comment

Filed under America, community, current events, Guest Posts, places

Gun Control (An Imaginary News Conference)

The News

As most of you have surely heard, a crazy, angry, self-described gay black man, festering Vester, shot three innocent people while on live television, killing two. All of the ones shot were white, and that was no coincidence; the killer described his reasoning for the shooting as racial in nature.

The last I heard (although I may be mistaken), Roanoke, VA is not burning. No, the only thing burning was the emotional currency in the pocket of gun-control advocates such as Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration. As a matter of fact, before either one had time to delete an email or get in a round of golf, both were demanding for more “common sense” gun legislation… to keep us safe.

Even FOX News, the relatively pro-conservative cable news network, had one of their top people, Megyn Kelly, interviewing the father and fiance of the slain reporter, Allison Parker. In less than 24 hours removed from the murder both were on national news pouring out their broken hearts – AND calling for more gun control… because, of course, “crazy people” should not be allowed to buy guns.

How I wish someone would interview me. Oh, but they can! At least in my imagination.

The Interview

News Anchor:  Today we have the Reverend Anthony Baker here with us in the studio. Reverend Baker is a pastor, an author, a father of three, a pet-lover, and a proud gun owner.

Me:  Thank you for having me.

N A:  Pastor Baker, with all the gun violence right now, how can a father and a pastor be pro-gun? How can you claim to be a role model in society, and yet own a gun?

Me:  Well, first off, I don’t claim to be a role model; those are your words. But with regard to your main question, I am “pro gun” the same way I am pro-tools.

N A: Excuse me? Can you clarify?

Me:  Absolutely! I am all about having the right tool for the job when it comes down to home repair, vehicle maintenance, etc. For example, I hate it when I get into a project, such as replacing the brakes on my car, only to find out I had the wrong tool to finish. Guns are nothing more than tools.

News A:  Tools for murder, you mean.

Me:  No, that’s not what I mean.

N A:  But just the other day innocent people were murdered by a crazy man with a gun. That was the tool he used. Don’t you think if we had more laws in place banning easy access to guns  then less people would have to suffer this horrible fate?

Me:  There are already more laws on the books than you can shake a stick at, but that doesn’t stop bad people from breaking them, does it?

N A:  And what is your point, exactly, Mr. Baker?

Me:  A gun is just a tool. Bad people use them to do bad things; good people use them when they have to. And if a bad person was trying to kill me or my family, then I’d prefer to have the best tool for the job. There’s nothing evil about the tool, only how it’s used.

N A:  Do you not think there should be more laws to keep crazy people, people with mental issues, from buying guns?

Me:  There are already laws that prohibit that, but they are only effective when you know who the crazy people are. Are you going to start testing everybody? Do you have a “crazy test” in mind?

N A:  A crazy test? Anyone diagnosed with a mental illness, for example. Should they be allowed to buy a gun like the shooter did?

Me:  No, a person who is legitimately mentally unstable should not be allowed to purchase a handgun. I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is where do you draw the line at “crazy,” especially when you emotionally push an agenda to “get guns out of the hands of crazy people”? How do you define what is crazy?

N A: What do you mean?

Me:  Isn’t it true that recent studies published by leading psychology journals have suggested that people of faith, like Christians, are brain damaged?

N A:  Are you being serious? That’s silly!

Me:  So, you’re already calling me silly, so is “crazy” just around the corner?

N A:  Oh, come on now… You can’t be serious.

Me:  Actually, I am very serious. Around 2011, I believe, an article was published in the Scientific American citing a study done at Duke University. The study claimed to prove that those who were religious, especially those who claimed to be “born again,” had brain damage, specifically atrophy to the hippocampal region.

N A:  I’ve never heard of that. I’m sure it’s just a…

Me:  And then there’s plenty of people like Dave Silverman, American Atheist president, who described the religious as “mentally damaged.” And then there’s the Left’s favorite talk show host, Bill Maher, who calls religion a “neurological disorder.” These are the type of people the White House has over for lunch and after-dinner games of Twister!

N A:  What does that have to do with…

Me:  These are the people our government listens to! The Billy Grahams of the world have fallen out of favor and are thought of as kooks! It’s the atheists, the radical left, the anti-God people like Mickey Weinstein who are are on the warpath against Christianity, so why isn’t it plausible that at some point the “crazy test” to weed out gun purchases will include Christians, or anyone of any faith that holds beliefs contrary to what the government says is healthy?

N A:  For one thing, there’s the First Amendment. Second, there’s the Second Amendment. In other words, the Constitution.

Me:  Ha ha ha! Are you serious! You must be crazy yourself! President Obama has already proved the Constitution means nothing when you’ve got an agenda to push through.

N A:  Don’t you think you’re being a little paranoid, Pastor Baker?

Me:  See, you’re already attaching labels. Pretty easy, isn’t it?

N A:  Pastor Baker, let’s get right down to the point, OK? Do you think there should be stricter gun control, or not?

Me:  Not.

N A:  You are a man of the cloth, a man of peace, and yet you don’t think we have a problem with guns in this country?

Me:  No, I don’t think we have a problem with guns in this country. Not at all.

N A:  That has to be the most uninformed answer I’ve ever heard! Don’t you watch the news? Haven’t you seen the murders? Haven’t you read the statistics?

Me:  Yes, I’ve seen all that, and it all points to something far bigger than a gun problem; it’s a heart problem. The old saying is as true as it’s ever been: “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” It’s a heart issue. It’s a nation that has turned its back on God in every area of life issue.

N A:  So, you think it’s that simple, do you? You don’t think getting the guns out of the hands of criminals and the insane would save lives?

Me:  Theoretically. Possibly. But this is America, you know. As the Japanese general once said, “There’s a gun behind every blade of grass.” You know there’s no way to get the guns out of the hands of the criminals. Only the law-abiding citizens would likely obey the law and give them up. The bad guys would just keep being bad and keep having guns. The good people would suffer, that’s all.

N A: Then do you think it’s hopeless?

Me:  No, it’s not hopeless. There’s always hope. But there will never be peace until the Prince of Peace comes back to reign. You called me a man of the cloth, a man of peace. I am, and that’s one thing I will continue to preach…peace. But I’m also a realist. As long as there are bigger bad guys out there, bigger guys than me who can hurt me, I will also preach, so to speak, the “peacemaker” philosophy of Samuel Colt.

N A:  So, are you saying you are not for any kind of gun control at all?

Me:  Absolutely not! No! All I am saying is that if only the bad guys have guns – and they will – then the good guys will always be victims. I think the logical thing to do would be put guns in the hands of good people, train them, and create an immediate deterrent to gun crime.

N A:  How in the world could that deter gun crime?

Me:  How many crooks would be foolish enough to continue to break in, rob, and assault if the average citizen was armed? Don’t you think the bad guy would think twice? I would, but then again, I’m not crazy.

And that’s how the interview would end.

Leave a comment

Filed under America, current events, General Observations

Thursday Thoughts (Peppers, Perps, and Protesting Preachers)

Another Thursday has leaped/lept upon us with all the fury and fluff of a rabid Care Bear. What am I to do but share a few thoughts with you?

Peppers.

My little girl loves hot peppers. When she eats pizza, she literally, and I do mean literally, covers it with crushed red peppers. I don’t know how she does it, either.

habaneroWell, today she decided to follow a recipe for grilled chicken that included freshly sliced Habanero chili peppers. I have no idea what it will be like, but when I got home from work she proceeded to describe to me the pain she was experiencing. It would seem that while slicing and dicing the peppers, she got some under a finger nail. Now, she is in pain.

I am not looking forward to the chicken.

Perps

Earlier this week I read of two punks who beat up a 98 year-old woman in a nursing home. The two females involved were working at the home when they decided to film themselves on a cell phone while slapping an old lady. They thought it was funny.

teenage-caregivers-mugshotsSo, what happened to the scumbag-etts? They were fired, thankfully. And, OH!…they lost their cell phones. Jail? Naaah! I guess somebody figured losing the ability to share their animalistic joys via Snapchat was punishment enough.

I think they should be tied up and released to a room full of grannies with hickory switches.

Protesting Preacher

Yes, it’s a sad day for the Phelps family, but the families of fallen soldiers whose funerals have been protested can rest a little easier. Oh, I’m sure the good folks from Westboro Baptist will one day be back out in force with all their colorful, creatively-worded signs detailing why people have died, but for now they must concentrate on picketing at home.

Fred_Phelps_10-29-2002There are many who have decided to rejoice at the death of Fred Phelps, Sr. Others have chosen the high road and have called for all of us to rally around the Phelps family and pray. I am somewhere in the middle.

My desire is that all people come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, thereby having their sins forgiven, avoiding the terrors of eternal damnation. But on the other hand, I’m glad Mr. Phelps is finally getting to hear firsthand from the God he so hatefully represented.

After all the funerals Westboro Baptist and Phelps protested, I wonder if anyone is guarding his? Sad, I must say.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Chili, current events, General Observations