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Batteries and misplaced religion

Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.  – Jer 17:5
Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. – Ps 146:3
Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! – Ps 40:4

I stopped in at our local recycling place last week, looking for a way to efficiently process my household waste. I know the people who started and run the 20-year-old facility. While I might not agree with their political grid, they are dedicated environmentalists who do a lot of good at the local level.

The woman who co-founded the facility told me that they used to separate batteries for dedicated processing, but now there is no one who will take them, so they just get thrown in with the rest of the waste. She said there’s a lot of resistance from commercial carters, who want to simplify the collection process, and she even alleged that the carters were simply merging separated recyclables into the main garbage stream.

Batteries are portable energy sources that we increasingly rely on to enable tools for convenience and communication. Think of over 2 billion cell phones. Add portable tools, cordless phones and radios. Take into account industrial applications, and heavier consumer applications such as the new hybrid electric cars. When you consider that batteries are composed of a witch’s brew of heavy metals and other toxins, you begin to see what a huge issue this is.

We in the West live in the greatest civilization that ever was. Greatest in power, greatest in achievements. Yet we cannot find our way to process batteries because carters are using strategic political contributions to bend the system to their own profit.

The wicked accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the ways of justice. (Pr 17:23). That is exactly what is happening in our society, except now the “contributions” are made in the open! Whether it’s unions, or big business, or Wall Street crooks, everyone is working the system for their own gain, at the cost of doing what is right, to the detriment of the common good.

Make no mistake, we are watching the spectacular implosion of our society. Because the pace of life is accelerated, we are inured to change. Distracted by the latest celebrity newsmaker, we no longer take notice, but our institutions are crashing down around us just as surely and obscenely as the Twin Towers toppled, each collapsing floor adding to the energy and inevitability of the destruction.

A couple of days earlier I had stopped by my mechanic friend, to see about getting some work done. He was in his small office on a used car lot, and another guy was there with him. My friend said things hadn’t been great lately, and he asked me where I thought the economy was going to go. I told him that I didn’t know, but added that I had zero confidence in the current administration to solve our problems.

That was it. The other guy took off running about how Republicans in general and Reagan and G.W. Bush in particular had ruined everything. I calmly tried to reason with him concerning the cause of the housing meltdown being politically-driven inappropriate mortgages, but that got washed away by a harangue of vitriol and profanity that had no basis in fact or rationality. When the man finally declared loudly that Obama was the best president this country had ever had I quickly reverted the conversation back to the work I needed done, and then with a smile sincerely wished the two men well, and left.

What I had experienced was not politics, it was misplaced religion. This man had come to trust that our government was going to solve his problems. He viewed everything as class warfare, and he couldn’t see the huge distinction between government solving our problems for us and government enabling us to solve our own problems, often by getting out of the way.

How can it be that the government that cannot even process used batteries is increasingly running our lives, and is now close to taking control of our healthcare?

We took God and prayer out of the schools, then out of all the public square. But man must believe and hope in something. He has to have a higher purpose that transcends his own life. So humanism rushed in to fill the vacuum. We became drunk on our scientific achievements, and we trusted in our own abilities, and in our collective democratic wisdom, to be able to find our way. We have allowed this because it was done incrementally. While we were distracted by our prosperity and by our pleasures, we were morally and intellectually dumbed down. We did what seemed right in our own eyes, and the end thereof is proving to be death.

We are at a critical time. We are called to be the church whether we are in prosperity or persecution. But how can we look our children in the eyes and say we let truth be swallowed up without a whimper of protest? How is that love? How is that righteousness?

Some say, “let it all degenerate, so that the end will come all the more sooner!” But they know not what spirit they are of. The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus comes to bring abundant life. Paul warns us not to let sin abound so that grace may abound the more. Rather, he instructs us

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.- Eph 5:11

This is a battle that we must fight. This generation of Christians has been prepared for such a time as this. We didn’t get to choose this battle, it was thrust on us. But we can choose to respond.

We must call our society back to trusting in the Lord alone, and not in man. As we respond, we must remember that it is not the arm of the flesh that delivers. The battle is the Lord’s, and man is not the enemy.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. -Eph 6:12

The arm of the flesh is of no avail. But if we go forth armed with Truth and Light, we will prevail to the saving of our own souls and the souls of many others, and God willing, we will save the nation as well.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.- 2Cor 10:3-6

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