It is thanks in large part to the signers of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 that we have this country, because they passed it down to us.
The Bible is both a very manly book about God and a very godly book about man. And despite what you may have learned from Veggie Tales, there is in fact both sex and violence aplenty.
I don’t see self-mutilation in the Bible where the function of our God-given reproductive organs is intentionally sabotaged to keep us from being fruitful and multiplying.
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I’ve been thinking about the lyrics to the song ‘Simple Man,’ and I have questions. Like, why didn’t anyone give Lynyrd Skynyrd more to go on than this when he was young? And why was being a simple man the thing to shoot for? And where was his father?
To be sure, we don’t necessarily mean the same thing by “simple man” that the Bible does. But maybe that’s the point. Do a word search of “simple” in the ESV at BibleGateway.com and see what you get.
“Surely vexation kills the fool, and jealousy slays the simple.” Job 5:2
“The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.” Psalm 116:6
“The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” Proverbs 22:3, 27:12
This is to say, we clearly need more to go on, particularly if we want saved instead of suffering and being slain. And we should!
But this also reminds me of what we think of as being the opposite of “simple.” And I think the answer here is pretty obviously “complicated.” Like the Relationship Status option on Facebook, “It’s complicated” means we do not have a quick and tidy answer to the question.
And this reminds of why I make a living doing what I do as a Systems Integrator. The word “systems” is simple enough. But just try explaining what all goes into making a system, and you’ll appreciate that both knowledge and understanding are needed to do more help than harm.
By the way, how do we know we’re doing well? Whether we’re talking about an individual person, household, church, corporation, or nation – what is the rubric? I may be simple in every sense, Biblical included, to only consider the material factors. But sooner or later the spiritual becomes more readily apparent in its physical ramifications.
In other news, I have a tendency to use big and unfamiliar words. Whether in conversation or my writing, I at least really don’t think I’m trying to dunk or flex on anyone. But the flip-side is that I often appreciate when I read or hear unfamiliar words and phrases I’ve never encountered before, so long as I have the time and ability to look them up or ask what they men, because that’s where and how learning happens.
On a related note, I think it is possible to be too nice. And how we should know the difference between being nice in a truly nice way and being “too nice” is in whether we are loving God and others well thereby. For instance, would we classify the 19 verses that come up when we search the ESV for “simple” as being “nice” or would we instead say that these are given to us for our holistic benefit?
What I don’t mean is that we should be mean. But what I am trying to convey is that loving God and one another well requires at a minimum that we not give our young boys advice like Lynyrd Skynyrd’s mother gave him when he was young – to be simple. So also where others besides are asking for and getting input from us. If it wouldn’t be good counsel to our young sons, it’s not serving anyone else well either.
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