Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Slippery Slope

Not too long ago, my husband became acquainted with a man who has only been a Canadian in the last ten years. Originally from Czechoslovakia, he is a little older than we are (mid 50's) and therefore he grew up in a communist regime.

He describes his childhood as pleasant and family oriented, with strong connections to community. He remembers that although there was limited choices for manufactured goods, everyone had enough -very little differences between classes of people. Owning a home or land was set up by 'promising' to work within a factory for a certain number of years - but it was a great possibility for people. Life as a young man in this arena meant learning many trades through hands-on work, i.e. if you wanted fresh vegetables, you learned to farm or traded with someone who farmed. Admittedly, there were strict political rules, but he does not recall feeling 'oppressed'.

Why did he leave and come to Canada? Communism fell and socialism moved in. He describes his old country as going from relatively crime free to a place that was unsafe to raise children. The change from an entrepreneurial and neighbourly spirit among people to a 'what's in it for me' state.

This man is very gracious in his comparisons with Canada. Not actually saying things were better under communism, but gently questioning whether socialism is better. And Canada is certainly socialist. Over time, Canadians have gotten exactly what they asked for and more. A nanny state.

In this country, there are drastic differences in the social classes. I do believe that the opportunity to be overtly wealthy is still out there for the hard working, entrepreneurial type. However, it is less likely with the apathetic laziness that increases with each generation raised by the state agencies.

The United States has little sprouts of socialism, too. The other day I was following some links on the story of a young girl who died at the hands of her adoptive parents. These parents claim the the death occurred because they were following the child training program from the Pearl's ministry.

Now, anytime the secular world can criticize those who call themselves christian, they do so with gusto! However, reading a lot of the comment threads of these stories, the Christians are hopping on the bandwagon of criticism. too. So many people wrote about their dislike of the Pearl's ministries and agreeing that they are to blame for this child's death (and apparently other's). A call to "someone needs to stop people like this", again referring to the Pearl's ministries.

Whoa...Hold on there, partner. I smell socialism.

If "someone" is going to want the Pearls stopped, then it will likely be an agency to govern free speech. A blessing that the U.S. citizens have at this time. The Pearl's can preach, teach, write about anything they want - no one has to listen to them.

"But what about the poor, unlearned and susceptible people who get taken in by these dangerous ministries?"

Then those 'poor, unlearned and susceptible people' are responsible for their own choices and actions. I don't agree with the Pearl's doctrine or their teachings on a whole, either. I have read several of their books and even ordered their newsletter, No Greater Joy, for a short period. I am still responsible for discerning between wisdom and foolishness - we all are.

When God tells us to 'study and show yourselves approved' (2 Timothy 2:15), He isn't talking about algebra! As Christ's representatives on earth, we are wholly responsible to know how God would have us live - not any earthly ministry. Even my own pastor preaches things I do not agree with and have had to study the scriptures to confirm my own convictions on the given subject.

Let's stop making excuses for our own lack of biblical understanding and keep our eyes open for anyone who would lead us astray from God's true word.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5


Mrs. Parunak said...

Yes, yes, and yes! I so agree with you, Kim. I, too, have been deeply disturbed by the implications of people wanting the Pearls stopped and/or blaming them for this tragedy. That little girl's horrible death rests entirely on her parents' shoulders. THEY are the one's responsible for listening to bad advice. We cannot possibly try to outlaw bad advice. That is trampling free speech and opening the door to the thought police.

Janet said...

"Let's stop making excuses for our own lack of biblical understanding and keep our eyes open for anyone who would lead us astray from God's true word."

Amen to that, Kim!

That's why I consistently exhort my children to read their Bibles, to study, to think, to learn. They have to be VERY careful to follow the Lord, not man. It's easier to put aside our brains and just follow someone we respect, but it is never wise. Wisdom comes from sitting at the feet of Jesus.