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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Us & Them

In a very real sense, it is easy to conceptualize the phrase, and in an even true sense, it is easy to see that there is a difference. There are some that do this, and there are those who do that. In fact, it's probably safe to say that 1 out of every 5 people on this planet does something differently than everybody or anybody else!

People often end up on the wrong end of this phrase, though, because they do some things differently than a certain group thinks they ought to. This may or may not be wrong, and it is not necessarily right, either; there IS such a thing as Absolute Truth! Our differences, yes, are the spice of life, without them, life would become very boring, very fast! To a certain point, our differences can be a good thing, but when our differences cause us to forget our common humanity, then is when we have a problem!

Some people believe that it is wrong to, say, have sexual relations before marriage, while others do not! According to the first group, it would be wrong, sinful even, to engage in the act we call sex unless one is married to that person, but the other group of people, that it is okay to engage in sexual intercourse as long as the other party is willing. Is one group wrong, and the other right, or are both groups rightly and religiously doing what is good and just for them? Both groups believe religiously that the way they are living their lives is good and just, but they can't both be right, can they?

Absolute Truth tells us that only one of these groups can be right! If one group is right, then the other is necessarily wrong! Many people, mostly of the latter group, hate this, because by insisting on Absolute Truth, we are pricking their conscience, making them feel the guilt of their immoral behavior! There is no question in the mind of the first group that the second group is doing wrong, and though they often have the biblical phrase, 'judge not' ( Matthew 7 ) thrown in their faces, they will often resort to hateful tirades against this second group, because they feel so strongly that they are better than the second group just because they 'do this and don't do that'!

It could well be argued that the first group, those that love God, and keep His Word ARE somehow better than those who don't, but are they really? They are more blessed, no doubt, and enjoy a deeper, better communion, both with their Heavenly Father and with the Body of His Son, but are they actually better people; is there really any good reasoning behind the use of the phrase, 'Us & Them'?

As we have seen, there is a very real sense in which the concept of 'Us & Them' is a very true one; there are two different groups, one of which believes that a certain action is wrong, while the other believes it to be right, or at least, relatively okay. The problem with 'Us & Them' is that both groups are human! Like most any sibling rivalry, the child that always does what pleases the father or mother tends to get puffed up, and even pridefully boastful against the sibling who does not always do what the parents like.

Often, when the one sibling notes this difference , 'Us & Them' becomes 'Us Versus Them'! The 'good' child may begin to 'harp' on the 'bad' child, telling them things like, 'I'm better than you', and reminding them of their 'worthlessness' in various different ways. This emotional abuse can turn into physical abuse very quickly! This is not to say that the 'bad' child is right, and that he ( or she ) should be rewarded with the same blessings as the 'good' child, no; there is right and there is wrong: I'm not saying that we shouldn't differentiate!

There is no doubt, for common sense will attest to this, that those who do right, though not always blessed by men, will be blessed by their Heavenly Father! It is also abundantly clear that those who do wrong, while often blessed by men, will not be blessed by God, though, 'His rain falls on the just and the unjust alike'! Doubtless too; it IS better to receive the blessings of God's Presence than to always be on the wrong end, so to speak, of that Presence, to live in Heaven rather than to suffer in Hell!

So, yes, it IS 'Us & Them', but the question we should ask ourselves is, 'is it Us Versus Them'?

If so then, WE might be the real problem!


Look where this mentality of 'Us Versus Them' has gotten us so far! Yes, the Kingdom of God ( it IS HIS Kingdom, after all ) has grown and expanded far beyond our hopes and dreams, and for that matter, is eternally and infinitely expanding, but at what  cost, through how much ( needless ) pain and suffering? Some would likely argue, and well, maybe, that this pain and suffering is well-deserved by its recipients and even point out that this is a necessary evil, being the discipline of a Loving Father, or else a Just Judge! 'They're only getting what they justly deserve', you might hear, and so they are, but they're human beings, and so deserve our respect and love, because, but for the Grace of God, 'There We Go'!

If the first group would remember their common humanity with the second group, or group, then maybe we would be that much closer to realizing a peaceful co-existence, and maybe, just maybe, through that Peace & Love shown & shared, that second group may be brought into a lasting and meaningful ( healthy ) relationship with both their Heavenly Father, and the Body of His Son!

May we realize & celebrate the differences in our humanity without resorting to wrongdoing!

Charles Haddon Shank

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