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This is Not Normal!

NPR’s All Thing’s Considered host Madeleine Brand recently did an interview with Forest Whitaker, the executive producer of a 5 part video documentary called “Brick City.” The series tells the story of Mayor Cory Booker’s attempt to restore safety and security to the streets of Newark, New Jersey.

Part of the interview includes an emotional speech by the principal of a local high school who is cooperating with Booker. In this sound bite from the series, School principal, Ras Baraka, is heard talking with his student body after a student is shot outside the school.

Giving great heartfelt emphasis to his repeated words, “but this is not normal,” the principal pleads, “You’re living this [violent] life like it’s normal. [but] It is abnormal to go to school to talk about your friends dying, to not be able to walk home safely from school, to be jumped every other day, to fail everything, to live in squalor, to have people’s parents coming outside fighting with them in the middle of the street.

This is not normal to be going to the hospital every other week, to be wearing t-shirts that say Rest in Peace, to be writing “rest in peace” on the wall. This is not normal. It’s not normal. And nobody else’s children do this.”

The reason I wanted to point to this interview is that it relates to what I’ve been thinking lately about how the Bible treats the sins of the fathers. Have been impressed by how many times the Bible talks about confessing the sins of our fathers while admitting our own wrongs.

Why this emphasis? Could it be an important part of recognizing normalcy when we see it? Before trying to answer that, there’s a prior question that may need to be asked first:

Doesn’t confessing the sins of the fathers seem to conflict with the Bible’s  clear message that we are not held accountable for our parent’s wrongs, but for our own? The prophet Ezekiel makes an urgent plea for his people to stop blaming their parents for their own sins (Ezekiel 18:1-32).

Yet in spite of such a declaration, other prophets like Moses, Nehemiah, Ezra, and Daniel talk about confessing the sins of the fathers (i.e. Lev 26:39-40 ; Ezra 9:7; Nehemiah 1:6; 9:2; Dan 9:16; Psalm 106:6,7).

Here’s where I’m landing. See if this makes sense to you.

Am thinking that, in the case of Israel, some of their collective confessing might reflect the fact that they are looking at themselves not only as individuals but as a nation that has been testing the patience of God.

But– and this is what I want to really consider with you– could it also be that, to understand our own lives, we may need to see that life as we have lived it (maybe all we have ever known) is not “normal” (from God’s point of view) and that we can’t afford to go on– business as usual– regarding the way we think, talk, and relate to others as if that’s “just the way it is.”

Is it possible that to understand and confess our own sins we need to recognize with Isaiah, that “I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips (Isa 6:5)?

We talk about generational sins as being repeated over and over from one generation to the other, so could this be one reason it is so important to think not only of life as we are living it (normal to a broken, lost rebel race)—but as  Christ, our Savior, Lord, and Example, lived it for us—while offering to live that same life —in and through us?

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40 Responses to “This is Not Normal!”

  1. romanseight2004 says:

    Very thought provoking!

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Sadly, Mart you and I are of an age where we have seen the destruction of our school systems as well as the cities of our great land.

    Indeed we must “confess” the sins of our fathers as well as ourselves. This mess is a result of actions and inactions of past generations of leaders as well as voters. Because we do nthing to reverse the trend we are as guilty as the authors of our destruction.

    Remembering the 60’s makes me want to puke.

    All these pampered self important “students” jumped on the “liberal” self endulgent attitude of “Turn on,drop out, do your own thing slippery slide to a downward spirial of destruction. They wanted and got their way, both politicaly and spiritualy.

    Led on by a president who had prostitutes in the Whitehouse.

    But everyone wasn’t buying the lies the masses were accepting. Many were killed in Viet Nam. A war the government had no intentions of winning. The rest of us came home to people who hated us for our service to our country and our belief in a supreme God.

    We have become a divided nation of so called liberals and conservatives.

    Conservative Christian’s send their children to private school, or home school. Why? The discussion in the topic answers that question.

    We do not punish for crime. Criminals have more rights than the victims they have assaulted. Where are reform schools? These thugs who terrorize the hall ways of public school should be taken out of the school system and “punished” for their lack of respect for everything decent and good.

    Instead we have made policy that tries to make a rose out of a weed. At the expense of all the other students.

    Yes we need to confess the sins of the fathers and of ourselves for the innocent are paying for our’s and our fathers sins.

  3. poohpity says:

    I believe that we have not learned from the mistakes that have been committed in the past because we all keep repeating the pattern of sin. After the Ten Commandment we given one would think we would not commit those sins again because they come between our relationship with God. Jesus came with the knowing we would continue to commit those sins to die once and for All to cover us with the blood of the perfect sacrifice. So that God would look upon us through the veiling of the Son that covers our flaws.

    It seems to me that before His death on the Cross He told many to go and sin no more but that was not possible. Then He went to the Cross for that final justification, just as if we had never sinned.

    History shows over and over that we as a people will, while on this earth, continue to repeat the same pattern. It could cause us to become hopeless but if we consider what Jesus Christ has done for us that which we were unable to do for ourselves it takes our eyes off of what we can accomplish and look at HIM.

    There is nothing we can do to impress God. He does not want anything but our devotion to Him. He wants to be our Soul Provider, our High Priest, Mighty Counselor, our Comfort, our Strength, our rock and everything else to us. He knows we can not do it perfectly but He does not expect that.

    We are able to learn from past mistakes and make different choices because we now have that freedom, it is up to us. We have the freedom to use the time we have here to benefit the needy, to choose to forgive and to love or continue in the cycle. Just for today which am I going to choose?

  4. poohpity says:

    And that is not normal!!!

  5. saled says:

    Maybe our public schools are in the shape that they are because of the people who desert them for home schooling or private.

  6. dougee says:

    What is normal??

    Perhaps only Jesus, and if that’s true then anything we do or try to fix in this life and in this world will come up woefully short.

    This world is spiraling into decay so put all your hope in Jesus (the only “normal” one).

  7. marma says:

    Your blog illustrates why we need to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

    You are right that we take for granted what is normal.

    Part of my growing process as a Christian has been to realize those patterns set by my parents are sometimes not in line with God’s Word or will.

    In my case, one of those patterns is automatically responding to someone with criticism or the “cup half full” (goes back a couple of generations, at least) rather than seeking to build up and encourage.

    Perhaps a good way to pray is to acknowledge that a pattern handed down from parent to child for generations is sin, and that I want to be more like the Father who adopted me.

    I also wonder how much we don’t even think about because it seems so normal, but isn’t according to God’s Word. By His Spirit, through His Word and His people, we learn what normal should be.

  8. Charis says:

    Psychological therapy sometimes includes looking at childhood memories and grieving over the wounds from the “sins of the fathers”. Some christians are critical of psychology, but I think they have discovered (or stumbled into) biblical truth which we neglect to our own peril.

    As long as one remains blind and in denial about the wounds inflicted by “the sins of the fathers”, one is in danger of repeating their failures. The TRUTH can be painful to face but Love rejoices in the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall set you free.

    “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers” 1 Peter 1:18

  9. sjd says:

    Normal was before the fall of mankind in the Garden.

    Now, the return to normal is once again possible as God Himself lives in us and through us, if we have by faith recieved Jesus, and we walk by faith.

    Adam and Eve “died” that day, and we were dead in trespasses and sin until by His grace we were made alive, to be normal again with His Life within.

    But even now the majority of this world are living abnormally!

  10. poohpity says:

    I would like to know what you all think about what was said in the UN today about Israel and Palestine. I for one was simply amazed and am very concerned.

  11. bubbles says:

    saled and Steve,
    this is regarding the questions about parents pulling their children out of public and putting them in private/Christian schools or homeschooling them.

    This teacher has been in the school system for 19 years both Christian and public. The problem is the same in both places: Some parents will not allow their children to be responsible for ANYTHING. The parents excuse their child’s behavior no matter how wrong they have been. No matter what they do, it is ALWAYS someone else’s fault. (Not all parents :) are like this.)
    These parents don’t want their child to fail, but they also don’t see a need to teach the responsiblity of homework. I’ve seen children in Christian schools who are in trouble. The parent will make the comment that they will “just take them elsewhere” along with their tuition money. How will the light/water bill get paid that month? Unfortunately, the tail wags the dog. It all boils down to one thing in small Christian schools: MONEY MONEY MONEY. There’s never enough.

    Then, our lovely government increases the rigor of the curriculum for the teachers to deliver to these irresponsible students. How can teachers do anything when the parents don’t help the teachers?

    These ‘perfect’ children who do no wrong will then have parents either be looking at a judge, a jail cell, a grandbaby, or a grave in a few short years. Then there are those parents who seemingly do everything right, and stil have a rebellious child. Bless their hearts.
    I do not understand parents who allow their children to argue with them and backtalk. I don’t understand parents who will let their children win an argument.

    How can children learn anything when their parents never teach them to be responsible and respect authority??

    Oh, but of corse, I’m not a parent. I don’t know anything.

  12. dependent says:

    In one sense, we were all individually condemned as unrighteous because of the rebellion of our common ancestor Adam–the one through whom sin entered the world (Rom 5). So by ‘confessing’ or owning up to the notion that I’m tainted by the effects of that ancient sin, I come to grips with my own need for confessing, repenting and receiving the blessing that comes with atonement. As part of the human race, redeemed or not, we all feel the inherited impact and consequences that still visit us in this sin-cursed world.

    Jesus harshly exposed the Pharisee’s and lawyers of his day and explicitly tied their current “normal” hypocrisy to the sins of the ancestors they celebrated who killed the prophets of God. (ref Luk 11:37-52 and Matthew 23:29-36)

    He seems to be saying, “if you pride yourself in following the Law of Moses, then by all means. Your forefathers killed God’s prophets, but decorating their graves won’t release you from my promise (e.g. Ex 20:5) to punish several generations for the wickedness of your ancestors who rejected me.”

    It appears Jesus is pointing out the chronic nature of their group’s rejection of God’s truth, presented by him and the earlier prophets. And he promises the current generation they would be held responsible.

    But none of this ‘generational curse’, in my view, negates the power of individual repentance. That is what is so cool about the words of Exekial 18 and exemplified by Christ’s ministry in Judea and on the throne today. He’s made a way to escape the final cumulative effect of our individual sins and those up the generational line.

    Like the Pharisees, all believers needed to confess that sin ran in our bloodline…no escaping it no matter how piously we lived, how many generations of Christians formed our heritage or whether we grew up in a ‘Christian’ nation.

    But look at the hope found in the flip side! The generational curse of Exodus 20:5 is followed by a wonderful covenant of God’s faithfulness to those who obey him. Those individuals who choose to forsake the ‘normal’ ingrained patterns of sin and cling to the mercy seat of God’s throne, are ultimately delivered from ALL effects of sin. Now that is redemption and restoration worth hoping for–worth contending for–worth the price for ‘taking up our cross’ and following Jesus in a NEW ‘normal’. A ‘reconciled normal’ that Paul describes:

    “So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away — look, what is new has come!
    And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”

  13. dependent says:

    Exo 20:6 and showing covenant faithfulness to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

  14. Mike says:

    On the one hand, we are not held responsible for our parents’ sins. We are only held responsible for our own sins. On the other, we suffer the immediate consequences of our parents’ sins, as is the case in the Brick Ciy school and other families where children are suferring everyday because of selfish adults who refuse to reconcile their differences and stay married, or stay sober, or stay faithful. Just as our own sins have consequences that may last long after repentance and forgiveness, so too do the sins of our fathers.

    Mart, I think I gather from your post that you are challenged by the thought, “am I accepting as normal, something less than what God has called me to?” I am sure that I can say yes, I am accepting as normal a life that is less than what God wants me to have.

    Matt 6:33. Seek ye first the kingdom of God . . .” Am I taking that out of context?

  15. phpatato says:

    Sadly Canada has forgotten it’s beginnings with it’s desire to have God as the cornerstone. Today, God has been removed from the schools, from government buildings and even businesses – where employees are strongly advised to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Why? To appease those with different religious convictions – “tolerance” being the new buzz word. It seems we started out with the right intentions, but in just a short 142 years, the foundation has been so badly chipped away, it is in danger of toppling over.

    Bubbles you have made a very good point and it’s one that I believe is the crux of the whole matter. The family unit is lost and in disrepair. Parents are misguided, misinformed, lax in their teachings and if not althogether, then fast becoming God-less. It is now against the law to spank a child. As a result of all of these things, children today are immoral, rude, spoiled, irresponsible, disrespectful, and lazy, with each successive generation becoming worse than the one before it. So, until parents recognize that without God as the head of the home, the cornerstone in their foundation, that without Christ in their lives as their Lord and Saviour…it will only get worse. And worse, I’m afraid, it will get.

  16. bubbles says:

    The ones referred to are usually in the minority. . .there’s usually about 25% of any group like this. The rest are fine. :) Seems like the lack of the father figure and (also the mother–that’s becoming much more common lately)has much to do with the problem.

    This school has a mentor program in place with a solid church nearby. These godly people have made an impact.
    What is so sad is the children are effected by the poor choices/sins of their parents and grandparents.

    However,none of us are perfect. Have you ever watched young children play house or school? You will hear what you say in their play. Always disconcerting, because we are being watched and emulated! We have to be so careful to say/do right and godly things.

    Ps. 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and redeemer.”

  17. poohpity says:

    Yea bubbles!! Amen dependent!

    I could not afford Christian schools for my boys however my parents paid for my daughter to go to Christian school. There were so many clicks and the kids from single parent homes were shunned. Clothes, cars and affluence seemed to be the most important things. Those things were not high on my charts as important. It seemed to be that way in some churches as well.

    My youngest son had learning disabilities and most Christians schools would not take him. lol. The most important things were that in our home the boys were shown the love of Christ. They were taught that no matter what happened that I would always love them and we together would work through everything but they had to serve the consequences of their behavior. I worked with the teachers not against them. I would not allow them to blame anyone else for the way they behaved. I did not allow them to feel sorry for themselves because they had no father figure they had the best Father anyone could want in the Lord. Parents have a great responsibility for the heart, minds and souls of the little ones. I had no idea how vast that responsibility was going to be.

  18. wretch-like-me says:

    Dear Friends:
    so much to say so little space…
    Because our ‘original’ parents were deceived and ‘settled’ for something less than God intended (trading ‘normal’ for ‘abnormal’)we must reject the abnormal for normal living in Christ. Confessing before God is nothing more than agreeing with HIS Truth, accepting HIS Plan for our lives, and REMEMBERING HIS PROMISE that Sin and Death have no longer any power over me.

    I am a product of parochial schools. I have experienced first hand what you and others have related here.

    That is exactly why my wife and I chose to raise our children in public schools. We knew that even in the best of situations, our children needed to know how to cope with the world. They needed a strong foundation in real-world defense strategies and offensive tactics.

    My wife taught in the public school system for 33yrs without ‘preaching’ but ‘living’ her witness. She earned the right to share her beliefs because of the way she befriended, loved, comforted, and aided her colleagues when they needed her integrity and fidelity.

    Our kids grew to accept their own roles in this spiritual fight as ‘NORMAL’.

    Perhaps the greatest lesson I modelled for my children was the courage to recognize when I had ‘screwed-up’ and confess my sin before God and those I had sinned against; making restitution when possible and never look back… pressing on to the finish line.

    In my weakness, I found HIS Strength.
    (which by the way, Our All-knowing God knew we would need and provided for in advance way back in the garden when Adam and Eve chose the abby-normal…lol)

    PS for Steve… I feel your pain; having come of age in the 60’s. However, I firmly believe that had they lived JFK and RFK would never have continued the Viet Nam War. There is a revealing interview with Robert McNamara that supports my belief. Peace brother.

  19. foreverblessed says:

    What is normal? I agree with Mike that we must know that this world is not normal.
    Seek you first the Kingdom of God Matthew 6:33
    That is not taken out of context.
    If we want this world to be normal now, we will be sooo busy.
    God called us to be His children in this world. An abnormal world. He starts His Kingdom like a mustard seed, that is in our hearts, and in His Church.

  20. ballinbc says:

    All, the Lord be with you!
    In a way, I would want to turn it around; be abnormal to what is normal in this broken world. To be in the world, and not of the world. To be radically aligned to Jesus. To be anti-conformity … not for the sake of focusing on myself or building up my pride but for challenging myself to remain true to Jesus.

  21. Ted M. Gossard says:

    Very good. I was catching this myself on NPR.

    Reminds me of Cornelius Plantinga’s excellent book: “Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin.” With shalom the standard, the only real hope for the world is through Jesus Christ, as we well know, and the kingdom of God in him that is present even now, and is destined to rule completely when Jesus returns.

  22. foreverblessed says:

    Mart says: “so could this be one reason it is so important to think not only of life as we are living it (normal to a broken, lost rebel race)—but as Christ, our Savior, Lord, and Example, lived it for us—while offering to live that same life —in and through us?”

    And that is what the last few posts was about.
    The best thing to do is pray,to sing together spiritual songs. This might seem ridiculous, because to the human logic what difference would that make?
    But to those who are building on a relation with Christ, that is a sure way He can relate to us, calm our hearts and sprits, give us a thing to do, maybe to walk alongside parents who have no clue how to deal with their kids.

    We had an evening at our primary school, the person leading was saying: Be with your kid, have positive influence, be uplifing. Do not only say somthing when the child is doing something wrong, but compliment it when it does something right. And if you look well, you will notice that is does well often. Note that fact and compliment it. The person coaching us was saying that many children need as much as 10 times a day a positive input from their parents.

  23. foreverblessed says:

    Here is a song about us longing for Jesus:

    Psalm 42 :1-2

    As the deer pants for the water
    So my soul longs after Thee
    You alone are my hearts desire
    And I long to worship Thee

    You alone are my strength, my shield
    To You alone may my spirit yield
    You alone are my hearts desire
    And I long to worship Thee

    (On You Tube there are several versions of the songs.
    Just beautifull)

  24. SFDBWV says:

    Bubbles, I love you sister. And many thanks for being a teacher.

    What was normal for me, is not normal for another. The world I grew up in is nothing like the world children grow up in today.

    Out here in rural America, the public school systems have remained pretty much the same. Parents interfere plenty with both teachers and the school board.

    One of the disturbing trends has been consolidation. The State forcing smaller schools to close and be consolidated into huge teaching complexes that require long bus rides for most students. It also has a very negative effect on small communities who loose their school.

    Big city school systems in such places as mentioned in Marts opening statement are not easily comparable to small rural America.

    Very sad to say, but for many children who live in the inner cities of America, violence is a way of life. And too often very normal for them.

    If we are to survive as a people we must wrest control of the education of our children away from the policy makers who are anti Christian. It was the ideals of our forefathers to seperate the church from the state only so as not to have a state controled church. Never was it in their minds to seperate God from every area of government.

    Because we continue to educate chidren in this manner, they get farther and farther away from an understanding of right and wrong and closer and closer to a Godless lifestyle. This is sin and it began with earlier generations than thoes of our children.

    So we must aknowledge this as sins of our fathers and seek to atone for this sin as well as the sin of our generation continuing in the footsteps of thoes who have gone before us and corrupted what was normal behavior.

    But alas, I believe any efforts on our part will be futile. The rise of the anti-christ is becoming all to evident and the end of the age is dawning.

    Yet I say fight back and not give in. We must be that light in a darkening world, right up unto the end.

  25. cherielyn says:

    Pooh: I answered your concerns on “Getting Buddy’s Trust”

  26. InHisHands says:

    As I did when I was pursuing college courses, I try to get my thoughts written out after reading Mart’s “Been Thinking”, before I get influenced by the thoughts of others. I did see a quick scan on the way down to logging in that ‘one person’s normal is not another person’s normal. Do you think that is why God has giving us a Book of what is Normal??
    My Pastor responds to our complaint as to “why people act that way,” that “ungodly people behave ungodly.” Interesting how we become shocked by that behavior – since we know that “as a man thinking in his heart, so is he..”
    I work in the education system, and am blessed to be the advisor for our Bible Club (yes, a Bible Club in a public school,) but am saddened that we are so small. I know there are more Bible-believing students out there, but they still want to socialize with their ‘friends’, rather than fellowship with other believers.
    When we, as Christians allowed God to be taken out of our schools – (a broad accusation, but who else would want God in school, exept Christians), we opeded the door to the Not Normal behavior of the unsaved souls, who now have the ‘freedom’ to act out their beliefs. When the 10 Commandments and Lord’s Prayer were part of the daily program, the Spirit had opportunity to work – a bit easier. However, when we became a nation than bows to the desires of the minority, rather than the good for the majority – we made the work of witnesses harder – But we must keep working.

  27. InHisHands says:

    I had an added thought, normal should be to 1. Love the Lord our God with all our heart and 2. Love one another as ourselves. hmmmmm what a great change would come from that.

  28. foreverblessed says:

    When you look too much on all that is not normal, you can get depressed very easily.
    That’s why we have to look upwards, set your minds on things above.
    Colossians 3:1-2
    Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

    I do not mean that we should not think about this world. But be cautious, it can be depressing. Since God did not take away Satan from the garden when He placed Adam and Eve there, He knew what He was doing.
    He very well knew that things would go out of hands, He allowed it. How can we think that we allowed things to go out of hands, as if we were capable of stopping it.
    Shouldn’t we be better tuned in with Him, and let Christ live in us?
    He knows the way, He knows what He wants us to do.
    And unless we come to rest in Him, and be quiet, and calm our hearts in Him we cannot hear what He is trying to tell us what we must do.

  29. wretch-like-me says:

    Steve (SFDBWV):
    As much as I hate to admit it, rural America is rapidly changing as well as big cities. Technology, internet, cell phones, twitter, facebook… it is a matter of exposure. My insurance background reminds me of what agencies hire actuaries to assess…risk from exposure.

    The greatest factor we play in any equation is impact. We impact the lives of others by building relationships. We claim salvation because someone shared the ‘Good News’ with us, because someone shared with them, because someone shared with them, because someone share with them…

    God created us; but, He did not stop there. He wanted a relationship with us. Adam walked with God in the garden before the fall. After the fall, God did not shut the door. He continued to reach out and provide for His creation with full knowledge that many (if not most) would reject His benevolence under the deception of self-indulgence.

    He also knew that a few would respond and accept His plan for a relationship thru Jesus Christ. We share in the inheritance of Christ, the Son of God, due to our relationship with Our Savior. We reject ‘abnormal’ life we inherited from Adam and replace it with the ‘normal’ life God originally planned.

    That is also the key to good parenting…good schools, good friends, good churches, good govt, good nations…

    One person can and often does make a difference by investing themselves in relationships. Satan knows this and that is why he works so hard to limit and destroy them by his number one tool…deception.

    Think about it, am I really too busy to get involved?

    Is working extra hours to provide for my family an excuse for not having daily impact on their lives?

    Will the burden of a newer vehicle, a second or third car, a boat or RV, jetski, snomobile, a ‘christian’ school, brand name clothing outweigh the impact you could have provided instead of working longer hours?

    Even secular authorities recognize the early years of childhood as integral in developing personality, core values and coping skills for dealing with the world.

    Ask yourself this question. Does anyone value our possessions as much as we do? (just remember the last time someone returned a borrowed item to you)

    How could anyone value our children more than we do? We have been deceived into believing that ‘others’ can relieve us of that responsibility and do a better job.

    Govt uses that argument but, we have let govt become so large that it runs itself. This is true even in church govt. We must remain involved and constantly vigilent. Anything less is shirking our responsibility.

    It is NOT NORMAL to let others make decisions for you. God does not allow that; why should we? God intended us to grow and become happier, more responsible, more productive through relationships. That is HIS NORMAL.


  30. bubbles says:

    I 100% agree with your thoughts. I’m in the southern part of our state. Consolidation is an issue here also.
    I taught in a ‘country’ school. According to American standards (sorry, daisymarygoldr) the poverty was rampant. I had three children who didn’t have plumbing, running water, or electrcity. Yes, we could be living in a 3rd world country sitting in the dirt under a tree. But the differences in their home life effects them here.

    When children come to school crawling with lice, dirty, or upset because mom’s boyfriend has been smacking them around, what are we to do? We both know how pervasive the hydrocodone/oxycontin and meth is here–tucked back in the hills and hollers.

    Deut. 6 outlines the father is to have control over their child’s education. A sad very few parents don’t care how/if they are educated. School is a place to keept their offspring for 8 hours. I don’t see teachers here who are anti-God. With the exception of the Science/Social Studies book, the books are safe. They are far from anti-God. Most teachers–even public ones–even those who are not Christians, would give anything or do anything to help one of their students. Most all techers are there to help children get their lives together. Their sole purpose isn’t to indoctrinate their pupils with their own beliefs. There is barely time to teach what needs to be taught.
    Just a thought. Hope this didn’t come across as offensive. Was in no way trying to be unkind.

  31. rokdude5 says:

    For me, I think we need to call on our fellow prayer warriors….Lets pray about this school in New Jersey and hope that God will somehow touch those kids and protect them so that they can become fine leaders of their communities.

    What comes to my mind is Exodus 20:4-6 (New International Version)

    4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    Imagine…according to the above my great grandkids (if I will have any) would feel God’s wrath if I worship someone (or thing) other than Him yet 20,000 years from now (isnt He coming back before that?), my offsprings are going to be blessed. How cool!!

  32. poohpity says:

    It would be so refreshing to seek out those who need to feel the Love of Christ and give them someone to look up to.

    I have always been a rebel and in my earlier days it was against authority. Now I am a rebel against evil and I love every minute of it and that is against what is the norm in our world. Hallelujah!!!

  33. poohpity says:

    cherielyn, I read it. I am tickled pink.

  34. phpatato says:

    Is it not sad that parents have shunned their responsibilities and left the job of raising their children to the teachers? Then to have the gall to crawl over them when their little Johnny behaves badly and is punished or does poorly and fails?
    And because Little Johnny received little or no guidance from his uncaring, unGodly parents, he takes into society what he did learn…distorted views on what’s right and wrong. And because his family life wasn’t any different than the families in his community, what he knew and lived, to him was normal. Then Little Johnny becomes an adult and because he learned what he lived, it starts all over again only this time with his children. And so starts communities, cities and nations.

    The family unit is lost and in disrepair. Parents are lax in their teachings……..

    seems to me anyway

  35. bubbles says:

    This lax teaching isn’t present in all parents. It’s just the cluster that you find everywhere. Yes, it is sad. Many, many parents are doing the best they can.

    Sin is not right. It must be ‘normal’ to the lost, because it is all they know. God is not their father. Does rampant sin ever make your heart ache so much you just want to crawl under a rock and hide for awhile?

    This world will never, never be right until Jesus comes.
    No one can make all things right, no matter how hard they try.

    Jesus left us here to do His work, and to be salt and light. We can ask Him to use us–to be a glove on His hand. Without Him, our work is in vain. We can do nothing.

    Isn’t it wonderful to know that this life is not all there is? There is a much better place for us.
    But, then, think of all those who are lost. . .

  36. DarleneJoy says:

    Wow – Mart, I praise God for the gift He has given you to look at things with such a view. The insight and thoughts you share definitely flow out of a heart that continually draws near to God and seeks to know Him more and more – and that is a great encouragement to me.

    Thank you for sharing – you spur me (and others) on to take a good, serious look at our hearts and to seek after truth.

    May we never be content with “the way things are” and be always open to God’s work in our lives – through any circumstances or means.

  37. daisymarygoldr says:

    Good topic and conversation! Here is the humble opinion of a legalist:)

    True, it is not normal out there in the world but then who is to blame? Psychology blames the past and drugs our sin-sick souls to think we sin because we are sinners. However the Bible reveals the whole truth. Unlike what most of us tend to think, the “original sin” has not rendered humanity as completely depraved.

    Human beings instinctively obey the natural laws that are written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them as wrong or tell them they are doing right. Which means we do have the ability or free will to choose between good and evil, right and wrong… and when people do wrong to deliberately choose to disobey and break those laws, anarchy reigns and so, who is to blame?

    “Earth is polluted by its very own people, who have broken its laws, Disrupted its order, violated the sacred and eternal covenant. Therefore a curse, like a cancer, ravages the earth. Its people pay the price of their sacrilege. They dwindle away, dying out one by one…The chaotic cities are unlivable. Anarchy reigns…” (Isa 24 The Msg)

    What about us within the church? I agree with the comment above that said that if we really begin to live the righteous life that Christ lived, the lawless world would think we were abnormal. In the process of being transformed to become more like Jesus Christ, we do sin. And yes, the solution is to confess—the story however, does not end there because mere confession is not enough. I really do not believe in the Catholic way of confession or even confessing my individual sins to one another in an accountability group.

    Therefore, in order to become normal the key is to repent for my individual sins…to grieve and then confess to seek God’s forgiveness. Repentance is possible only if I have a standard to measure up to and that is God’s law. “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” Sadly, many Christians reject God’s law and in so doing also reject God…

    “You assessed your defenses, inspected your arsenal of weapons… You found the weak places in the city walls that needed repair…You took an inventory of the houses…and tore down some to get bricks to fortify the city wall…You looked and looked and looked, but you never looked to Him who gave you this city, never once consulted the One who has long had plans for this city…
    God, called out …for a day of repentant tears, called you to dress in somber clothes of mourning. But what do you do? You throw a party! Eating and drinking and dancing in the streets! You barbecue bulls and sheep, and throw a huge feast— slabs of meat, kegs of beer. “Seize the day! Eat and drink! Tomorrow we die!” (Isa 22, The Msg)…

    In all of the verses quoted above, confession of generational sins is needed only if they continue in the same sins generation after generation. Anyway, it does not apply to us who are under the New Covenant in Christ. There is no need for me to confess the sins of my grandparents if my parents or I, are not committing those same sins.

    “When that time comes you won’t hear the old proverb anymore,
    Parents ate the green apples, their children got the stomachache.
    “No, each person will pay for his own sin. You eat green apples, you’re the one who gets sick. (Jer 31: 29-30)

  38. refump says:

    “Give me that old time religion, give me that old time religion, give me that old time religion, it’s good enough for me” Anyone remember that song? It seemed like a battle cry for how things were changing in our world & in our churches & moving away from “the normal”. We do church differently now in some ways that is disconcerting to many. Not because it goes against biblical principles but because it is not the way we use to do it. How upsetting to some when they have the sermon first & singing last or change up the way we administer communion. Our church is in the midst of controversy over the type of music used in the worship. Every age group has their idea of what type of music should be used in worship. It has even caused several families to leave the church. Shouldn’t we only want the music that will best reach the lost or those seeking to find God instead of what makes us feel most comfortable or the “normal” way we have always known music to be done? Often our “normal” way of thinking gets challenged even to shaking the very foundation of our belief. We usually don’t like to me it head on but in an effort to feel more secure we immediately attack it & defend what we think is “normal”. It is only when we are secure in our relationship with Christ that we can “hear/listen” to another possible way of doing something or be open to necessary changes God wants to grow us in.

  39. farmingtonglenn says:

    (You wrote this post nearly a year ago but I’m just finding it under a topic search, “confessing sin.” So, here’s a “late” thought…)

    This parallels a theme that threads through much of our pastor’s teaching (Doug Walker, Grace Chapel – Farmington Hills, MI) – that the Bible is, for the most part, “counterintuitive” – meaning that it follows no “natural” logic that man conceives in his own wisdom or flesh.

    You summarized it well with the statement, “life as we have lived it (maybe all we have ever known) is not “normal” (from God’s point of view) and that we can’t afford to go on– business as usual– regarding the way we think, talk, and relate to others as if that’s ‘just the way it is.'”

    I wish I could claim this lesson as now officially learned and incorporated into my living but poor Doug’s been on this now for the entire 6 or so years he’s lead our church and I still wrestle with it.

    However, it’s a TOUGH concept to grasp but we believers just have to ‘get there’ at some point to be able to live in a truly Kingdom way. I think it’s not so much about understanding as about submitting, yielding, dying to self, giving myself over the God’s Spirit chipping away at my fleshly resolve and patiently prying my fingers away from the strongholds that I want to keep around for those “rainy days” when I just don’t feel like dealing with life’s challenges anymore.

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