Sara's Musings

Home » Spiritual Warfare » What’s Going On

What’s Going On

September 2016
S M T W T F S
« Aug   Oct »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Blogs I Follow

The Gospel of John

Click pic to start reading the Gospel of John

God’s Offer to Us

Click pic for "God's Offer for Us"

The Gospel Cannot Be Contained

Click pic for "The Gospel Cannot Be Contained"

The Cost of Discipleship

Click pic for "The Cost of Discipleship"

Our Highest Priority

Click pic for "Our Highest Priority"

Penetrating the Darkness

Click Pic for "Penetrating the Darkness"

Leaps of Faith

Click Pic for "Leaps of Faith"

baltimoreWe live in turbulent times. I think back on the Watts Riot of 1965 that occurred in the impoverished African-American community in Los Angeles that killed 34, injured one thousand, and over four thousand were arrested during the six days of its duration. I was 13 at the time. Here’s a brief description of what happened during those six days in August 1965:

The Watts Riot, which raged for six days and resulted in more than forty million dollars worth of property damage, was both the largest and costliest urban rebellion of the Civil Rights era. The riot spurred from an incident on August 11, 1965 when Marquette Frye, a young African American motorist, was pulled over and arrested by Lee W. Minikus, a white California Highway Patrolman, for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. As a crowd of onlookers gathered at the scene of Frye’s arrest, strained tensions between police officers and the crowd erupted in a violent exchange. The outbreak of violence that followed Frye’s arrest immediately touched off a large-scale riot centered in the commercial section of Watts, a deeply impoverished African American neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles. For several days, rioters overturned and burned automobiles and looted and damaged grocery stores, liquor stores, department stores, and pawnshops. Over the course of the six-day riot, over 14,000 California National Guard troops were mobilized in South Los Angeles and a curfew zone encompassing over forty-five miles was established in an attempt to restore public order. All told, the rioting claimed the lives of thirty-four people, resulted in more than one thousand reported injuries, and almost four thousand arrests before order was restored on August 17. Throughout the crisis, public officials advanced the argument that the riot was the work outside agitators; however, an official investigation, prompted by Governor Pat Brown, found that the riot was a result of the Watts community’s longstanding grievances and growing discontentment with high unemployment rates, substandard housing, and inadequate schools. Despite the reported findings of the gubernatorial commission, following the riot, city leaders and state officials failed to implement measures to improve the social and economic conditions of African Americans living in the Watts neighborhood. (Quote source here).

Fifty one years after the Watts riot it would appear not much has changed in our society as racial tensions, once again, threaten to tear our society apart. And the number of incidents of racial tension and violence in the past couple of years has been mind-numbing (and that doesn’t even include the several terrorist attacks that have taken place in this same time frame, too). As I was trying to find an article that adequately articulates what is really going on, I found a number of articles regarding the racial tension and violence and other current societal ills too numerous to count, and the views are often disparate. Does anybody have an answer?

war-wrong-questionBack on May 21, 1971, Marvin Gaye (1939-1984), an American musician who gained worldwide fame for his work with Motown Records, released what came to be one of his most famous songs which still has a lot meaning for our turbulent times today. That song is titled, What’s Going On.” Unfortunately, Marvin Gaye met with his own violent end when he was fatally shot by his father, Marvin Gay, Sr., on April 1, 1984 at their house in Los Angeles (source here). Here’s a little background information on how he found this song, or rather, how the song found him:

The spring of 1970 was a dark time for Marvin Gaye. His beloved duet partner Tammi Terrell had died after a three-year struggle with a brain tumor. His brother Frankie had returned from Vietnam with horror stories that moved Marvin to tears. And at Motown, Marvin was stymied in his quest to address social issues in his music.

While he was pondering his next move, a song fell in his lap that would provide a channel for all his sorrow and frustration (quote source here).

Here are the lyrics to the song, and the YouTube Video is at the bottom of this post:

“What’s Going On”

Mother, mother
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today

Father, father
We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what’s going on
What’s going on

Mother, mother,
Everybody thinks we’re wrong

Oh, but who are they to judge us
Simply because our hair is long
Oh, you know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me
So you can see
What’s going on
Ya, what’s going on
Tell me what’s going on
I’ll tell you what’s going on

(Lyrics compliments of AZLyrics.com)

We talk too little and assume too much today. It seems like everybody is yelling and nobody is listening, and when it comes to the terrorists–they are coming from an ideology that we simply cannot understand. It reminds me of something the apostle Paul wrote to his young protege, Timothy, that is a bit hard to read, but nonetheless, I will quote it here (from The Message Bible). It is found in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:

Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.

That is quite a list of negatives, and, of course, not everyone is going to fit every label mentioned, but we can all find ourselves somewhere in that list starting off with the very first item mentioned–“self-absorbed.” Just look at the plethora of “self help” books published every year (Christian and secular), and how the media caters to advertising “stuff” to make our lives better or our bodies thinner or our teeth whiter. And look at our “online” presence especially on sites like Facebook. And we change smartphones almost as often as we change clothes in order to have the latest and the greatest cell phone available (which also keeps the tech billionaires in billionaire status, too, which speaks to the second item on the list–“money-hungry”). We are often a “self-absorbed” and “money-hungry” culture, like it or not.

It makes me flinch to read those verses. It’s not a pretty picture. And the ingredient absent in all of it is the ingredient most needed to solve our problems–love (with a big dose of humility thrown in). We make an appearance of love (and we can fake it really well) but underneath lurks the truth, and it leads back to the whole issue of being self-absorbed. We want what we want when we want it, and if we can’t have it we brood or do whatever it takes to get it. That is essentially what is at the bottom of all of the ills in this world. Being self-absorbed (e.g., self-centered pride) kills genuine love and humility.

do-nothing-out-of-selfish-ambitionC.S. Lewis (1898–1963) made the following statement in his book, Mere Christianity,” in Chapter 8 titled, The Great Sin.”  Lewis “was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement” (quote source here). Lewis states:

There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which everyone in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else and of which hardly any people… ever imagine that they are guilty themselves…. And at the same time I have very seldom met anyone… who showed the slightest mercy to it in others. There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves. And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.

The vice I am talking of is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it… is called Humility…. The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.

If you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, ‘How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronize me, or show off?’ The point is that each person’s pride is in competition with everyone else’s pride.

The Christians are right: it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began. Other vices may sometimes bring people together: you may find good fellowship and jokes and friendliness among drunken people or unchaste people. But pride always means enmity—it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God. (Quote source here.)

At the core of our self-absorption is pride. In a devotion titled, Don’t Let Pride Be Your Guide,” by Rick Warren, founder and senior pastor at Saddleback Church, he states:

Every conflict that you go through in a relationship has an element of pride mixed into it. What is the middle letter of the word “pride”? I. What’s the middle letter of the word “crime”? I. What’s the middle letter of the word “sin”? I.

We have an “I” problem! “I” want what “I” want and “I” want it now, and that causes all kinds of problems. In any relationship, never let pride be your guide, because pride is the root of every other sin.

The Bible says in Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (NIV). Paul says that there are two conflict-creating kinds of pride. One of them is selfish ambition and the other is vain conceit. Selfish ambition says, “It’s all about me” and vain conceit means, “I’m always right.”

Selfish ambition causes all kinds of problems. James 3:16 says, “Where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” When you find confusion at your workplace, your church, your home, in your marriage, and even in the government, you can know that selfish ambition and jealousy are causing it.

Vain conceit is the attitude that you are always right. The Living Bible translation of Philippians 2:3 says, “Don’t live to make a good impression on others.” We do this in every area of our lives, but especially on social media. It’s a great temptation to make yourself look better on the Internet than you are.

In Galatians, Paul lists about 17 effects of living with pride. He says when we live a self-centered life, it shows up in all kinds of ways. He starts off by saying things like self-indulgence shows up in sexual immorality and wild partying and getting drunk. You would expect those things.

But most of the things on the list are actually relational sins. Galatians 5:19-21 says, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear… quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy…. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (NLT).

If you want to be happy in your relationships, you’ve got to have harmony. And if you’re going to have harmony, you’ve got to have humility. Never let pride be your guide. (Quote source here.)

There is not one person on the planet that doesn’t have a problem with pride. Any time we think we are better than someone else it is taking front and center stage in our lives. And at the core of all of our societal issues is pride. Call it whatever you want to call it, but it is still pride.

So what is the opposite of pride? It is stated in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts . . .

Always hopes, always perseveres . . .

Love never fails . . . .

YouTube Video: “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye:

Photo #1 credit here
Photo #2 credit here
Photo #3 credit here

Advertisements
Follow Sara's Musings on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 292 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 33,376 hits

Translate This Blog

Click pic to go to translate page

Follow me on Twitter

Need Answers? Go to . . .

Click pic for "GotQuestions?org"

Don’t Put It Off

Click pic for "Don't Put It Off"

natsab

Here I stand.

The Daniel Fast

Consecrate yourself unto the Lord through extended prayer and fasting.

Unshakable Hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

It's a God thing...

Unpacking the baggage of life, love, and spirituality

drcristy

Dystopian Fiction Writer | Doctor | Wife | Mom

Reformedish

incompletely reformed thoughts on God, ministry, and life

lovelyseasonscomeandgo

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Messianic Sabbath

A daily break in your day to celebrate our salvation in Yeshua (Jesus) and our abundant life through the Torah

For Such A Time As This

"...who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14

The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Disciples of hope

Living the hope that comes from Christ

daily meditation

daily thoughts on scriptures

The Minstrel's Wife

A worship leader's missus and her views from the pew

From the Wisdom of our Founders

Important Quotations to Instruct and Inspire

Growing Forward

a blog for those seeking personal change for God's glory

The Old Guys

Quotes & Resources From... The Old Guys

Prime Reality Ministries

God is the Real Reality!

Flotsam and Jetsam

Random thoughts and commentaries on God's Word

Sara's Musings

Living It Out. . . on WordPress.com

Don Sweeting

Reflections on theology, worship, culture, history and the church

What's The Good Word?

Reflections on daily readings from the Scriptures

A DEVOTED LIFE

Practical Daily Devotions for the Real World

The Daily Way

A Daily Devotional from Dr. Michael Youssef

Jean Huang Photography - Los Angeles Custom Portraiture and Fine Art Photographer

"Transformational Beauty" "Maternity" "Newborn" "Children" "FineArt" Photography

Life in the Boomer Lane

Musings of a former hula hoop champion

Laura's Lens

Taking a look at the beauty around us

Perception

Photography. Life.

ILLUSTRATION AGE

THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE FOR ILLUSTRATORS

The Elliptical Saloon

Weblog for WhiteHouseMuseum.org

Thought For the Day

Bringing whatever stirs my heart

A Breath of Fresh Air

"Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God." Philippians 2:15

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Tracking events and trends in Israel, the U.S., Russia and throughout the Epicenter (the Middle East & North Africa)

ForeWords

Lectionary Musings within the Community of Christ

Of Dust & Kings

Empowering Faith. Transforming Culture.

A MINIATURE CLAY POT

"We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives" 2 Corinthians 4:7 The Message

gracefully50

On your birthday: count your candles, count your years, count your blessings.

lilies, sparrows and grass

"That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works." Psalm 26:7

%d bloggers like this: