'Why are things the way they are?'
Well, that's a deep subject ( so to speak ), but really, it's devilishly simple; mankind, outside of right relationship with the Father of all Living, is, as we read in Jeremiah 17:9, is 'deceitful above all' & 'desperately wicked'! Yes, that does explain a lot, but since the Redemption of All through the Intercession of Israel's Messiah, aren't all men basically good? I mean, really, isn't it simply our environment, or some other outside influence, like the Devil or Satan, that causes people to do bad things or to act wickedly? After all, doesn't John 3:16 say that God loved the world so much that He sent His Son to die that it might live( never mind that 'whoever believes' part )?!
Remember how, after Moses had led the children of Israel out of bondage & slavery in Egypt, they were glad to be free of their chains, but when they started to get hungry, they remembered how 'good' they'd had it back in Egypt, ant wanted to return to their 'leeks and melons' ( Numbers 11:5 )? In much the same way, but with a different twist, after the slaves were officially set free by Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of September 22nd, 1862, a monster was brought into existence, and exists to this day among the greater part of the Negroid population, and even much of the white population, that of dependence & entitlement! Because these former slaves, though they worked hard & often under rigorous & even dangerous conditions, we so used to depending on 'Massa' for their subsistence that's all that most of them knew!
In today's day & age, many Negroes, as well as ( probably more ) white folk hold stubbornly & ignorantly to the notion that they are owed something! The Negroes seem to thing that because the 'honkies' enslaved them for so long, that now the 'honkies' owe them, and much of the 'white population has jumped on the bandwagon, so to speak, and begun to clamor for handouts as well! How many people do you know, both 'white' & 'black', that sit on their wide asses all day, playing video games & collecting food-stamps, and on top of that collect a welfare or disability check every month, just because they're to fat & sassy to keep a job or afford healthy food? Because they can't hold down a 'real' job, they have to subsist on a meagre welfare check ( 'but look at my new tattoo; cool, huh?' ), and because they only get that little bit, they can't afford healthy food, which only makes the fatter & lazier, and so the vicious cycle continues!
Technology has made great leaps over the past century or so; we now have the incandescent light-bulb ( 'Thanks, Tommy' ) & thanks to Benjamin Franklin, we now have an electrical socket to plug our microwaves into! The advent of the Convenience, or 'C-Store' has been a great boon for the commerce of this great nation, if only for truckers & vacationers ( or travelers ). At pretty much any C-Store you stop at along the way, you may find pre-packaged hot-dogs, pop-tarts & hot-pockets ready to pop in any of the shiny & inviting microwaves ( there's usually more than one ) and have a delicious & satisfying meal in 30 seconds or less ( of course, you may have to make an unplanned 'pit stop' at the next truck-stop or C-Store to get rid of the unhealthy crap you've just eaten )!
One might wonder sometimes if technological advances have really had such a positive effect on this nation!
Technology is not in itself evil, though, like anything that mankind gets its grubby little fingers on, it can be corrupted & that PDQ! The creation of the Atom Bomb, for instance, though it might have been deemed a necessary evil, brought to light new technologies that helped to advance many fields. One of these fields, unless I'm greatly mistaken, and this was before the bomb, I'm pretty sure, was the greater enjoyment of that delectable delight we call beer! The Internal Combustion engine, for well over a century now, has been used to propel automobiles over roadways much faster than one can walk or run, but it has also been used as an Engine of War, and mobilized for its destructive power! These engines have allowed mankind to fly through the air with the greatest of ease ( without a trapeze )!
Comfort & Convenience may be the most glaring symptoms of this deadly disease, but Conditioning has played probably an even greater & definitely more insidious part! The greater part of the people of this country, even many of those who have been at least half-way awakened, are so used to the Comfort & Convenience of their servitude, that they don't realize the magnitude of their slavery! For many centuries, Conditioning has been used by many different powers & authorities to control the population of any respective nation, state, or area!
Even those, and this number may actually be the greater, who claim to have a right relationship with their Heavenly Father live in somewhat the same manner, enjoying the Comfort & Convenience of their Servitude, because of the Conditioning they've received for at least the last 200 years, but maybe even close to a millenia! Part of this conditioning can be blamed on a false view of eschatology, but that alone cannot shoulder the entire load of blame, there is also a false hermeneutic to blame & when it comes down to brass tacks, a misunderstanding of the Nature of God!
What can be done to rid ourselves of this insidious & debilitating disease? Can we ever hope to shrug off these chains of oppression? 'Obviously', you might hear, 'Jesus has not yet totally defeated death & set up His Kingdom on Earth ( Matthew 6:10 ), because if He had, there would be no more tears or sickness, no more war& death!' Must we, as most Christians believe, wait for the Send Coming of a Messiah who promised to return to His first-century Church ( Body )? Or, through the Power of His Resurrection & the New Temple which He constructed ( again, in the first century ), do we now have the power & authority ( Luke 9:1 ) to enact the change that is so desperately needed in this country & elsewhere?
Is it possible that, as the Disciples of Christ & Children of our Heavenly Father, that we are actually above all these petty dictators & over-lords?! Why do you think Jesus said, 'do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul' to His disciples in the first century? It wasn't because their biology, which He created & pronounced 'good' was worthless or useless; it was because that wasn't what defined THEM! In this day & age, especially, mankind, including most if not all Christians, have become so attached to & enamored with the physical 'husk' that we live in, that the very threat of its decease scares the hell out of us & causes us to submit to evils we would not otherwise tolerate!
There is Hope though! If we, as the Body of Christ, will get off our blessed assurance & leave the cold comfort & convenience of our servitude, we can overcome those years of Conditioning! While we're at it, whether because of active preaching & example, or through education, we may even teach the nations ( peoples ) around us to follow suit! Imagine that!
In His Grace & with His Love,
Charles Haddon Shank