h1

God is Not Raining…He is Reigning

February 9, 2008

Since the fifteenth century, Amsterdam has been known for two things: the practice of modern capitalism and open prostitution. Some would say that in the history of the business world that the two are synonymous, and I will not attempt to discourage that notion. Let’s just say that amid the Tulip Futures and Coffee stocks a few well-turned ankles have also been on display.

In fact, Amsterdam has the distinction of being the most open about all the recognized societal vices since the 1960s. They openly allow brothels to exist in their red-light district, and even allow the hookers to display their wares openly on the streets. However, that is about to come to an end.

In an article in Newsweek, the report has come in that they are buying up the properties in the red-light district and closing down all the brothels. The mayor is spearheading this campaign because he doesn’t like the “sleeze, shady dealings, violence and crime associated with the sex industry”.

Wait a second…the Dutch Liberals for years have claimed that the best way to eliminate crime is to legalize the things that people will commit crimes for: Drugs and prostitution. Now they want to eliminate those things because they cause crime? It sounds like there is a society that is finding out that God is not about raining on anyone’s parade.

Most people assume (and I’m afraid that some Christians hold this in their hearts) that God just likes to outlaw fun. He is gleeful at raining on our parade of joy. History tells us that societies that voluntarily follow the ten commandments find a lot of peace, joy and low crime rates. That is not Liberal or Conservative…that is biblical. Liberals ignore moral imperatives and Conservatives ignore ethical ones (such as taking care of the poor, widows and orphans).

But any society that sees the value of moral living reaps the benefits. Have there been any societies like that? Granted, they were short-lived, but they do exist. Israel under Uzziah and Josiah saw unparalleled prosperity. So did Switzerland in the 18th century under the Reformers. You can add Scotland in the 19th century, Wales in the early 20th century, Korea in today’s current economy and modern Fiji. All of these societies outlawed moral crimes and rewarded moral living. They all saw crime rates at the bottom of the scale

A civic leader in Amsterdam had this to say about her city:

The crackdown fits into a nationwide backlash against the excesses of 1960s “happy-clappy” liberalism, as a conservative Dutch member of parliament recently put it. Over the last few years the Netherlands has adopted a stricter policy on selling marijuana, and a ban on hallucinogenic mushrooms is slated to go into effect later this year. “People in Amsterdam and the rest of the country are starting to discern real tolerance from bogus tolerance,” says Asscher. “When Rudy Giuliani started to clean up Times Square in the mid-’90s, some people were warning that no one would ever again want to come to New York City. But as far as I know, it has had record tourist numbers each year since.” Perhaps Giuliani, who this week dropped out of the U.S. presidential race, should run for office in the Netherlands.

They are learning that God’s laws, no matter who adheres to them, are best for the creatures He put on the earth. That will always be true.

Advertisements

7 comments

  1. I agree that conservatives have had their share of ethics failures, especially in the business world where greed runs almost unrestrained. But to say that conservatives ignore ethical imperatives such as taking care of the poor, widows, and orphans is a reckless statement. I believe most conservatives do not believe widows and orphans should be abandoned, they simply believe local, private, non-profit organizations (such as the church) do a better job at meeting these needs than government. Unfortunately, the church (for the most part) has turned these responsibilities over to the government. And besides, I once read a study that found social conservatives give more to charitable causes than liberals.

    By the way, your posting points out that it was a conservative who cleaned up Times Square.

    I am just weary of hearing and reading the same tired theme that conservatives are not happy with their prosperity unless somebody else is poor and hungry. Many liberals heard this lie from their parents and boy did it stick. I have even heard Christians spout this nonsense.

    Anyhow, if we want to see a turning away from greed and the abandonment of the needy, we should start with the church in America. From my perspective, the messages coming from many pulpits and Christian leaders is a bit fluffy. And it is understandable because people do not want to go to church to feel uncomfortable when the Sunday morning service is over. I can’t blame the pastors because too much conviction flowing from the pulpit is apt to lead to a declining attendance. People go to church to feel good and anybody that does not make them feel good they are likely to consider a cynical negative thinker…someone to be shunned. Long live Norman Vincent Peale (that was sarcasm…ooh the irony). If we want to see moral living in our culture, it should probably start in our church bodies. But don’t ask me how we make that happen in the current social climate.


  2. Our parade needed to be rained on instead of having to listen to a Dixie Chick song during church!


  3. Anonymous, you are off topic…but I agree; the boundaries are not always clear. I guess we boomers just don’t get it anymore.


  4. Tailoff, you are correct about the poster being off topic. As to whether someone should have to listen to a song written by one person and sung by another completely different person…especially when the words of that particular song are so moving…is not wrong.

    After all, they said the same thing about listening to a song set to one of the most famous drinking melodies in history. They also said the same thing about a song written by a murderer, rapist and slave trader who got turned around.

    I am speaking of “A Mighty Fortress is our God” and “Amazing Grace”.

    Just because Dixie Chicks sing a song didn’t mean they wrote it, btw.


  5. I am not sure what message conservative churches have any more regarding the poor. Historically, the church fed the poor but didn’t preach about it because that was the preaching agenda of liberal churches. Then they stopped feeding the poor because that would mean we cared more about the needs of the body than the spirit. Then we stopped talking about the poor because it would be hypocritical to talk about something you aren’t doing anything about.

    Around 10 years ago, I noticed that conservative churches very quietly started to help the poor again. One statistic I read showed that in 2004-2006 churches showed a net increase in money given to feed the hungry. But you don’t hear much about it (I think) because we still feel like we haven’t done much yet.

    And maybe we haven’t…yet. In the last church I pastored, our congregation lead the way in feeding the hungry programs. But it still didn’t seem like we were doing enough. It can get frustrating. It might just be one of those “starfish” issues…make a difference with just one person and go from there.


  6. Mike, you are really stretching when you justify a politically charged song by the Dixie Chicks (a song dedicated to their husbands…how sweet) as appropriate for church. So if we are going down that path, I expect to hear “Evil Ways” by Santana next Sunday morning.


  7. What in the words of the song do you object to?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: