Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Lindsey Factor: A Cautionary Episode Of The Internet Shame Game

Lindsay Stone is the young woman in the picture above who felt that going to a place where respect for those who died defending American freedom was still a place you could publicly act like a rebellious 13 year old. Her alleged impulse, as she would later insist, to be cute and contrary and make "funny pictures" came, of course, from that part of human nature that resists authority, despises and pushed set boundaries and does what it wants to. It's regrettable that what she characterizes as being "funny" became a moment that she and a friend needed to be documented for their amusement.

So when it hit Facebook, as the ancient books say, "it was written" that she would find Internet notoriety knocking on her inbox and voicemail. For the Internet made her famous, in all the ways you don't want to be immortalized for it.

This foolish young woman realized that the closest thing to sacred ground in even a secularized land like America is not a place you do such things. It goes to show you how ill advised people can be and the inevitable shaming she encountered for a private moment of stupidity becoming globally public for syndicated consumption was a lesson for us. It's what I call the "Lindsey Factor," something I'll be blogging on in the future. I want to take a look at how the power of the media and the phenomenon of mass personal outrage magnified by the Web is a potent source for change for both the good, evil and all points inbetween .. and how the essentially well intended sense of establishing right and wrong can go terribly yet predictably wrong.

Lindsay, if you are still Googling to find out how far you've been able to move beyond your admittedly pathetically unfunny and insulting image you created, and you happen upon this blog, I want you to understand, as a veteran and a pastor, I am both infuriated and saddened still - how you could choose such a place to "mock-disrespect" and so completely ignore the national sanctity we hold for it. I am taking time to actually travel there this summer to pay respects at a memorial of a tragedy aboard my old ship, the U.S.S. Forrestal  that took place when I was only seven years old that cost the lives of many men serving our country. It matters enough to me that it should be remembered by all the country and Arlington is a timeless place it should be remembered at.  As a man old enough to be your father, I am sorry you now reap what you have sown but that is the nature of things.

You seem to be an intelligent and compassionate young woman who is mortified and trying to move on.  I've no interest in belittling you and believe in redemption and growth. So I am glad you are trying to still do good in a world that you've rightfully enraged over an act that didn't need to happen. I hope your help of the autistic goes well, for autism is a tragic dimension of reality in our world that you are trying to alleviate.  But your lapse has become a teachable moment to bring light upon the darkness in our world for which future writing will come. I'm just shaking my head that it had to be you .. or anyone else.

I'm certain you've now come to understand that our freedom .. and yours .. isn't free. It came at a price your example terribly mocked.

I truly hope that is the life lesson you had here.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

The End Time: Still On Schedule Even Though I Have Not Been There Myself

It is better to learn late than never at all.   Publilius Syrus

Life does come at you pretty fast sometimes. There's much in one's personal transitions during the ebb and flow of life that can consume you so very much that whatever you've set up before as a priority suddenly gets torn down again by a newer or greater one. Change is the one constant of life, from deaths to births, from revisioning to scrapping, from relationship to relationship. Whether you a believer or an atheist, whether rich or poor, whether Asian or African and no matter where you live in the great human continuum of existence, we all face the lightning strokes of personal change and the uncertainty it brings, followed by sometimes purposeful and often frantic scrambling to react and/or respond to it.

Such has been 2016 for me and my house. I am now an associate pastor at the Crossroads Church at first in Lynwood, then in Sauk Village, Illinois where I serve to help shepherd, care and grow the flock under the senior pastorate of James Schulker.  Last year was one of the greatest years of transition in both churches - while we were just starting to get our ministerial launch in Lynwood, the Sauk Village Church of God invited us to combine with them to create a new congregation. Both congregations agreed and the Crossroads Church of God was born in August, where my wife and I have served ever since and our first year anniversary is coming up. Since then our ministry has kept us quite engaged on a local church level and we anticipate deepening levels of it to come, to the glory of God in Christ by His Spirit. It would take a whole post in and of itself to discuss how I've gotten to this point .. but we know one thing. Elizabeth and I are here for this place, at this time, and for the building of the Kingdom of God.

This blog has been about discussing how the end times apostasy in our world spreads and continues to deepen and deceive.  You may now understand why I've not had time to do much with it at all for over a year, after repeated relaunching to keep it current over the years, despite my desire to keep blogging.  Time is now at an absolute premium. My calling as a pastor now is asserting itself, my long standing desire and passion, and while my calling to be also an apologist and countercult activist remains the same, it is the priorities that are now changing. This has been ongoing since 2013 and it is where He has been leading.

But Spiritwatch Ministries and this blog will continue and must remain. The ongoing rebellion of humanity against its Creator as its time is about to be overshadowed by prophetic judgment must be foremost in a truly informed person's mind when considering the days ahead. Somehow, someway, I will now continue to blog about this fallenness, about the dark days ahead because it is certain that the days are indeed getting more troublesome and uncertain. In such a time as this, the Gospel of Jesus and a living hope in Him that is an anchor of the soul are the eternal standards that will stand all change that chaos seeks to impose. Spiritwatch Ministries stands firmly upon that!

We're still going to do as we have, here in the Chicago metro area and Northwest Indiana. We're still counseling victims of spiritual abuse, still witnessing to cult members, still tracking apostacy, still consulting with pastors, still keeping the websites up and the prayers going on. Every Tuesday, at our church, I lead a weekly prayer meeting for our world with emphasis on the cultic groups and apostate elements in our culture that need prayer for conviction, for deliverance and for truth. We're not giving up .. just again reprioritizing again in the midst of change! Thanks for your patience and attention, folks! Pray for us! We'll be blogging more next week!