Thursday, December 10, 2015
This term, new to our lexicon, has continued to cause me to ponder what it really means. Here is an academic definition:
Radicalization is a process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social, or religious ideals and aspirations that (1) reject or undermine the status quo or (2) reject and/or undermine contemporary ideas and expressions of freedom of choice.
As one watches the news, read the stories of credible news media such as Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Foreign Affairs, etc, which I do daily and watch the never ending news cycle with each competing for "Breaking News" with powerful graphics and compelling music, it is very easy to throw up your hands in angst and grow numb. My wife loves to make the comment, "why do you do that for there is nothing you can do about it .." which to a great extent is correct. But I believe those that have a hunger to want to understand the major dots and how they connect, and I plead guilty to be addicted to that avocation, your context of what is happening in this world becomes mind boggling.
There are so many forces screaming toward confluence in our world that one cannot but go back to Scripture and its clear depiction of the End Times I believe. Racism, regardless of color, creed, sexual preference, location, etc is raging in this nation. Flags, songs, monuments, names history, institutions, etc, etc; all being driven by a bullying set of forces. I learned today, assuming it is accurate, since 2007, the number of mass shootings in America is the greatest in American history for the same time frame. Drug addiction, trafficking, killing has accelerated at pace that is is mind-dazzling and what I know of thirteen years of working in prison ministry, the general population has not clue of the degree of this scourge on our society.e
But my thesis is about Self Radicalization as I watch a diver in a lake in CA searching for a hard drive tossed by the killers of just a few days ago. I am a man of strong passion if you know me you know how true that is. But I realize, I think, that have a passion for something is a lower rung apparently than radicalization. Go back and read the definition. As I read it over and over through the prism of is a crazed world that worsens by the day it seems, "adopted increasingly extreme .." is the verb of the definition.
So I ask the question in the position hue; why are we not self radicalizing for Jesus and His Kingdom? How long has it been since you heard the terms such as driven, zealous, etc when referencing our Heavenly Father and the Heavenly Kingdom prepared for the believers? When you look at organized religion today and seeing so many churches closing, major reduction of membership thus becoming relics, you must ask why. Prayer has been removed from schools. Allegiance to our Nation has become a point of caustic ethos so where do our children, our future, learn about God, learn about our Nation they will run in a few years? The very history of our nation and our states is now being rewritten via bullying pressure from racial and LGBT organizations. See my point for that point is the void of absolutes in our culture; you know what is clearly right and clearly wrong. Those lines are blurred or nonexistent. Given that, chaos reigns and that is exactly what we are transitioning to I believe.
I yearn for Americans to turn from the craziness trajectory we are on and I believe if you look at the times of the terrible launch of these indicators, I must go to the President of our Nation and his tenure which is on or about 2007. The "Great Hope" has turned out to be the "Great Flop" but the implication going forward, my grand childrens' world, is shaded and jaded for their entire lifetime. Our national debt will break the back of this nation due to the mountainous entitlement spending during this same period of time ... I believe you see my point!
So what is missing; radicalization for God so my prayer for this nation is to turn back to Him for if not, this gets much, much worse. Our new normal is, well, destroying this nation and that lethal injection, I believe, has root structure back to the first ten years of our new, frightening century. An inept, gridlocked Congress, a cunning, shadowy President with a very unclear strategy for our Nation; caustic equation. Thus why would anyone be surprised by the Trump Phenomenon? This rise is due to the fact that he has given voice with passion to a scared, weary nation!
Here is all I know: I love Jesus Christ and His amazing touch on my life. I love my church home, The Canton Baptist Temple and the abundant love that church shows in so many ways. I love my family and want the best for them every day. My grand daughter's best friend's mother was brutally killed by her father this week and now my grand daughter is having to try and understand it all. This is the new normal and Satan is having a field day with the craziness that is unfolding daily. Fear, worry, discouragement; all elements of a world that has turned from God; that same God our Founders leaned heavily on as history rightly records.