Why Standing Stones?

Why Standing Stones?

In ancient Israel, people stood stones on their end to commemorate a powerful move of God in their lives. It was a memorial to something God spoke or revealed or did. Often these standing stones became reference points in their lives. Today, we can find reference points in the written Word of God. Any scripture or sermon can speak something powerful into our lives, or reveal something of the nature of God. In this blog I offer, what can become a reference point for Christians, taken from God's ancient word and applied to today's world.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

An Open Letter to Hollywood

Editor’s note:  This is a bit of a departure from my usual posts.  This isn't a sermon; it hasn't been preached.  It is a response to a video that I saw entitled “Celebrities call for Gun Control Plan,” which can be seen below.

I’m not a gun owner.  To be perfectly honest, I don’t really like guns.  I have no desire to own one.  I've heard all the arguments, pro and con.  I don’t know if owning a gun will make me safer.  I also don’t know that outlawing guns will make things any safer.  It would seem to me that gun control would take the guns away from law abiding citizens, but those who have no regard for other laws would also have no regard for gun control laws.

I live in a country where private ownership of guns is illegal.  The only ones who have guns here are the military, the police, and gangsters.  The regular people don’t have them.  While it’s true that Taiwan is one of the safest nations in which to live in the world; I’m not sure that it is the absence of gun ownership that makes it safe, but a society that doesn't glorify violence on TV or in the movies.

I think that Mexico is a perfect illustration of what happens when guns are controlled.  Law abiding citizens are not allowed to possess firearms, but the police and the drug cartels have them.  Innocent people are murdered everyday by the Drug Cartels and the corrupt police who support them and participate with them. 

According to the Latin American Herald Tribune:

The number of civilians killed in the conflict pitting Mexico's powerful drug cartels against each other and the security forces soared by 172 percent in the last twelve months, capital daily, Reforma, said Monday, citing official figures
"Collateral" deaths increased from 61 in 2009 to 166 last year, according to the report from the Attorney General's office.

The second amendment to the Constitution says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  The reason for this is clear.  It is for the states to protect themselves from the tyranny of the Federal Government.  In giving up our guns we give up one protection from the tyranny of a potentially corrupt federal government.  The question is what is a well-regulated militia?

A well-regulated militia is made up of private citizens who will own and employee guns for the protection of rights and property.  It was militias that carried the day in the war against the British in the beginnings of our country.  The military was made up of farmers and others who owned weapons and used them against a tyrannical government to protect their rights. 

There are many gun laws that regulate the ownership and use of guns.  Handguns require registration.  Assault type weapons are banned in some states.  There are waiting periods.  There are rules regarding who can own a gun.  There are carry permit regulations.  Gun ownership is well regulated.  In fact, Connecticut gun laws ban the use of weapons like the ones found in Newtown.  Gun control laws in that state did not prevent the murders.  We are still seeing horrendous murders in places, even though those states have gun control laws already in place.

I can join with these celebrities in saying that I hate the murder of innocents.  Those who are murdered only because they are there is a horrible thing.  As a Christian, I detest the shedding of any innocent blood.  It is one of the things that God, Himself hates.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)
6:16 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

God, Himself hates the shedding of innocent blood.  We see this in the story of Cain and Abel as Cain is judged and cursed for the shedding of his innocent brother’s blood.

Genesis 4:9-12 (NKJV)
4:9 Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" 10 And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11 So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth."

God curses those who participate in the shedding of innocent blood. 

So Hollywood, I join you as you condemn the murder of innocents, but there is a problem between us.  You have no credibility when it comes to protecting the life of innocents.  How many of you have supported what you call the pro-choice argument.  This is the ultimate in the shedding of innocent blood.  How can you lecture us on the murder of innocents and support the death of unborn innocence.  How many times have you railed against Christians for their pro-life stance; called us haters and accuse us of forcing our morals on you.  When we stand for the very thing you are saying you stand for?  Does innocent life only begin at birth? 

This time you are lecturing America for it’s stand on Gun Control, in the same way as you lecture America for environmental issues.  We hear you, but we see you continuing to do the things for which you are calling us out.  We see you as being those who say one thing and do another.  Here is a case in point:

Despite his environmentally-conscious stance on green issues, the Black Eyed Peas rapper, 37, chose to take a private helicopter to the venue.

It is understood the journey, which is a 286 mile round-trip from London, used 71.5 gallons of fuel and released three-quarters of a ton of CO2 into the atmosphere. 

He even tweeted pictures of the so-called “hip.hop.copter” for fans to admire, after landing at Oxford’s University parks.

From there the singer used a pedal cycle to travel the remaining few hundred yards to the Radcliffe Observatory Weather Centre.

There he told an audience: “Climate change should be the thing we’re all worried and concerned about as humans on this planet, how we affect the planet, our consumption, and how we treat the place that we live in.”
By Hannah Furness  - 10:17AM BST 23 May 2012  - The Telegraph

I see you speaking the words of your publicists.  You’re looking for issues that will appeal to your fan base:  The people who idolize you and look up to you.  But you don’t live your words.  They are just another set of lines in a script that you speak. 

You cross the world in private jets, “hip.hop.copters,” and SUV motorcades with huge personal carbon footprints, and you lecture us about driving our cars, and using our air conditioners.  Your actions are for photo-ops or news conferences and they just scream hypocrisy.

What is that you do that makes your needs so much more important that the rest of the world’s.  You sing vapid, useless songs or pretend to be someone else in front of a camera.  Where is the value in that?  It’s not as if what you do elevates this generation.  It’s not as if you’re creating anything that can change the human heart.  It’s not the songs you write or the films you make that influence people to put a stop to their evil behavior.  Nothing you have done has caused one Columbine or one Newtown to be avoided.  In fact, it is those things you do, your art, that people imitate.

James Holmes the shooter in Aurora Colorado, called himself the Joker.  In fact, he thought that was who he was.  Columbine killers, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris dressed as the hero of “The Matrix.”

You have made your video, where you call for a gun control plan.  But guns are already controlled.  You call for an end to violence while you work everyday in a violence-soaked industry.  Many of you have made films where heroes violently use guns to kill people.  But films don’t just glorify the hero protecting people from the bad guys, but also glorify those using weapons to murder and kill innocents, such as Woody Harrelson’s film , Natural Born Killers:  Open, ugly, and graphic violence.

Do you know what would impress me?  It would impress me if you walked away from the money and lifestyle that graphic and influential violence has afforded you.  I’ll be impressed when you stop parroting your publicist’s latest script and make a real stand against gun violence.  Until then spare me the lectures.

You mock and ridicule those who call for arming teachers and school security, while you send your children to private schools with armed guards.  You call for private citizens to throw down their weapons, while you have armed bodyguards to protect you.

Filmmaker Michael Moore's bodyguard was arrested for carrying an unlicensed weapon in New York's JFK airport Wednesday night.
Police took Patrick Burke, who says Moore employs him, into custody after he declared he was carrying a firearm at a ticket counter. Burke is licensed to carry a firearm in Florida and California, but not in New York. Burke was taken to Queens central booking and could potentially be charged with a felony for the incident.
Moore's 2003 Oscar-winning film "Bowling for Columbine" criticizes what Moore calls America's "culture of fear" and its obsession with guns.
 Michael Moore's Bodyguard Arrested on Airport Gun Charge

You call Christians on hypocrisy and immorality, while you promote immoral behavior.  Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are expecting a baby.  This is being lapped up by promoters and publicists, trumpeted by so-called fan magazines, entertainment television  and tabloids.  Perhaps, Kanye will be responsible and do the right thing, by supporting his child, marrying the child's mother and remaining faithful.  But what about the others who see his behavior and want to be like him.

In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade.  Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households has decreased by 1.2 million.  Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million without a mother.  In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers.
Fathers Disappear from Households Across America – Washington Times, Dec. 25, 2012

I’m not an NRA member.  I’m not promoting gun ownership.  I just believe that it is time you took some responsibility for your part in all this.  I think it’s time for you to be responsible for your words and actions.  You want to have an impact on your generation, your community, and your nation?  Then it’s time to walk away from your violent and morally degrading films.  It’s time to start living the standard that you demand from the rest of us.  Refuse to participate in the things that influence, unless that influence is positive.  Begin to live the moral stand that you espouse.  It will have a price, that I guarantee.  You will lose some popularity.  It will cost you financially.  But you’ll gain credibility and you will have a real impact on your generation.  You will be able to stand, knowing you did the right thing.  Spare us the lectures, and show us how to live it.


Number of Innocents Killed in Mexico Drug War up 172%
Latin America Herald Tribune Website  

Will.I.Am Attends Climate Change Talk in Helicopter, May 23, 2012, The Telegraph

Michael Moore's Bodyguard Arrested on Airport Gun Charge

Fathers Disappear from Households Across America – Washington Times, Dec. 25, 2012