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Your language is shocking!

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Not too long ago, my son, who works in a fast-food restaurant known for its founder’s Christian outspokenness, came home with the following:

“Mom, I got into an argument with people at work today because they absolutely refused to believe me when I told them that you and Dad don’t swear.”

Horrors! What shocking behavior! We don’t swear!

silenced

Now, these coworkers also found it hard to accept that smoking and alcohol consumption were not among his parents’ habits, but we go ’round with that one in other circles, too, including Christian ones. No judgment or hate here for those who opt in. Those lifestyle choices are not ours. We’ve gone toe to toe with cancer and heart disease over the past 10 years — learning more about trust and mercy and thankfulness than we thought was possible — and simply aren’t interested in mixing with those chemicals.

Of course, it’s no surprise the world would not agree with our approach to speech that includes regular use of thesauruses,  scissors and the occasional rebuke (Eph. 5:4).   “No swearing” policies at schools, sporting events, etc., are mostly in place to keep altercations from escalating, rarely because the policymakers or the enforcers have any convictions of their own about the appropriateness of bad language. The days of swear words creeping “accidentally” into television and radio fare are gone. Now it’s an all-out bleep fest every night of the week.

Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson recently revealed that the show’s editors were adding fake “bleeps” to the dialogue on the show, even though no swearing was taking place. Perhaps due to the reality stars’ clean language, the network was falling below its nightly quota? If viewers at least mentally filled in the blanks with their own salty vocabulary, it would bring back up (or sink lower?) the standard television viewers expect?

No commentary is necessary, of course, in the consideration of movie theaters and their “sensitivity” to cursing and inappropriate language, dress, scenarios, plot lines — pretty much everything that can go on a wide screen gets there, in the trailers if not in the feature itself.

But there’s something happening beyond just a few high school and college kids encountering the unthinkable.  The message my son got was that this outrageous behavior had to stop. That’s crazy, his coworkers said.

Thank you very much, Marxism, this is the hand that post modernism has dealt society.  Restraint from enforcing any codes or rules upon the masses can only be effective if the masses refrain from enforcing standards of conduct upon themselves. In 2012, Mike Adams wrote at Townhall.com, “[P]ostmodern education lights a well-paved path that leads directly to moral relativism. The two are not the same thing. But postmodernism eventually compels moral relativism. If there is no objective truth then moral positions cannot be objectively true. When morals become private or subjective, they tend to be built around personal conduct – simply to accommodate personal conduct.”  Today the revolutionary cry is not that The Man has imposed his dogma on a society that desires to throw off the constructs of western civilization, but that any individual who still holds to any belief or position perceived as tainted by western civilization is a danger to society.

Well, kiddos, opt out of the brainwashing that George Soros’ media is engaging in or stand in line behind Nero’s minions. Yup. I just did that. I just adopted that uncivil tone and compared dirty-talking Miley apologists and “Stephentown 300” types to the followers of one of history’s most wicked despots.  The Marxism-fueled post-modernism that Adams speaks of in his piece found easy pickins in western academia, the results of which are now populating public education, college professorships, and Hollywood.  Today, it’s de rigeur to bewail the discomfort of idol worshipers and secularists when a child points his finger in the shape of a gun or the name of Jesus is uttered (another censored word on Duck Dynasty, until the cast confronted the show’s producers about it), but also to feel cold disregard for Christians martyred in their places of worship by idol worshipers and secularists (here and here).

Okay, lecture over. Simply, nothing will reverse the tide of persecution against Christ’s followers (which, while in full force in other parts of the world, is still yet to materialize here in our cushy land) but the sovereign hand of God Almighty. This is where trusting God finds itself as the essential claim to the Christian’s identity. The person who does not trust God does not believe what He says He will do.  God’s word is given to us “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Tilting at the windmills of our time may be the acts of obedience that the Lord has called us to, but the how and why of our tilting is more crucial to God than the where or when. As I explain to my grammar students, the hows and whys of sentences give the facts context. As adverbial elements, they make or break a writer’s intent. How you obey, and why, cuts to the heart of the matter — does your obedience arise out of fear that not obeying may bring about the calamity more quickly? Or is it a response to confidence that my trust is rightly placed in God?

As Jerry Bridges says in Trusting God, Even When Life Hurts,

I acknowledge it often seems more difficult to trust God than to obey Him. The moral will of God given to us in the Bible is rational and reasonable. The circumstances in which we must trust God often appear irrational and inexplicable. The law of God is readily recognized to be good for us, even when we don’t want to obey it. The circumstances of our lives frequently appear to be dreadful and grim or perhaps even calamitous and tragic. Obeying God is worked out within well-defined boundaries of God’s revealed will. Trusting God is worked out in an arena that has no boundaries. We do not know the extent, the duration, or the frequency of the painful, adverse circumstances in which we must frequently trust God. We are always coping with the unknown.

This also gives context to how I pray.  Do my prayers reflect trust in God’s perfect timing, His perfect sovereign ways? Or do I simply utter language that befits a good prayer and worry about the future anyway?

How shocking!

No, really. Belief means I trust Him and what He says.

Either I do, or I don’t. I am too old to play a game of self-delusion. It’s time I start watching my language.

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Written by mrsdkmiller

October 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm

What a difference a year makes, what a difference a day makes

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January, 2012: I blogged that an upcoming post would be about “when you learn about life from a dying friend”. I remember why I wrote that. My friend, Denise Sproul, had died the previous month after a “lovely” battle with leukemia. I use that word deliberately as the loveliness of Christ wafted and emanated from this faithful lady through all the sickness, the treatments, the sorrow and agony. That blog post was never written; one more post later (unrelated), I just quit. Whatever the reasons were, they’re a year old and the decisions and changes in life that they generated are now firmly in place.

January 10, 2013: The wedding is over. I am confident that the young man who covenanted to love my oldest daughter will take care of her and give himself for her as Christ gave himself for the church. I think I’ll start blogging again…..I’m determined to remove things from my busy life that are crushing the music of deliberation and care and love and creativity that should be more evident in this house. But first on the list, the visit to the pediatrician to get his opinion on the crazy bruising my 16-yr son has been experiencing for a month and a half (an appt that the holidays and wedding insanity put off for a month).

January 11, 2013: Very low platelets count, see a hematologist (you know, those guys whose receptionists say, when you call their office, “Cancer, Oncology and Hematology practice, how may I help you?”) without delay, serious warnings to avoid contact sports or anything activity that would result in a head injury.

Lord, NO! Not my son, my only boy. My only Son.

Let there be another way. Hallowed be my name.

What gain would there be in this? My glory.

Lord, make him yours.

Waiting now to see what path the Lord has laid for us… avoiding eye contact for fear of the fear we’ll see in the other’s eyes … taking baby steps in this new place buffeted by trepidation but carpeted with mercy.

UPDATE (Jan. 11, 5 p.m.):

Tom has been experiencing extreme bruising for a few weeks and a blood test yesterday (January 10) revealed very low platelets count. We were quickly set up with an appt with a hematologist at Childrens of Pittsburgh. He has been diagnosed with ITP — idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. We are not sure yet whether it is acute or chronic. When it occurs in children, it tends to be acute; in adults, chronic. Because Tom (at 16) is in that middle zone, it could go either way, and because his symptoms have been present for up to 8 weeks, the doctor tends to think it’s chronic. The only way to tell is to watch it for 6 months to a year.

Right now the plan is track the counts to see if his current low numbers are typical for him, low for him or high for him, then watch to see where they go over the next couple of weeks.

We are very, very relieved to hear it is NOT cancer or leukemia. Praise God. God is merciful.

Written by mrsdkmiller

January 11, 2013 at 8:14 am

Posted in Life upside down

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