In today’s pop culture the message is don’t be negative. Say only positive things. Never discuss your troubles with anyone. Unfortunately, the Bible is the most negative book in the world. In the world that God created everything has to be properly balanced. For a battery to work there has to be a positive and negative terminal. Take away either one and you can’t start your car.
I know! It’s much more popular to be positive than to be negative. We just have to know when and where each is required. Martin Luther said: “The church is like a drunkard on a horse. First he falls off to the right, then gets back on and promptly falls off to the left.” Obviously he was saying that we need balance. Try to use “one without the other” and we will be like the drunkard who can never stay on the horse.
240 times in the Bible the words “thou shalt not” is quoted. All of these scriptures are negatives. “Do not.” is listed 90 times in the Bible. The Ten Commandments are prohibitions: “Thou shalt not” – or in other words “Don’t do that.” (except for Commandments 4 and 5 in Ex. 20:8-11,12). These ten laws define “negatively” the heart of the covenant relationship between God and Israel.
Millions of laws, rules and regulations are a part of everything that is done in this country. Laws, rules of business, accounting, space flight, medicine, all have negative rules and laws. No doctor may neglect his patient and bring about his death by careless behavior. An airline pilot will loose his license if he breaks any one of the hundreds of rules and laws.
For example several years ago three airline pilots flew a plane loaded with passengers to their destination. Hours later they tested more than twice the legal limit for being drunk. They all were heavily fined and lost their Pilots license forever. One lived in Conyers. So what’s all this talk about not being negative?
The senseless rebuke of anyone who talks negative about anything is as old as civilization. It’s the heart and soul of an old Greek philosophy that matter is not real. It’s based on Plato’s theory of forms. It’s the basis of the “Christian Science Church,” and the teaching of its founder Mary Baker Eddie. She stole most of her ideas from a preacher named Quimbley.
“The word of Faith doctrine” is being preached all over America. This false claim is based on the teaching that we are little gods, and our spoken words have creative power just like the word God spoke during the creation of the world. Utter nonsense. Then the followers of this non-biblical doctrine are told that what they say can bring about “positive or negative consequences”.
Recently I heard the King of the Religious con men say while looking sternly in the camera: “When you pray don’t ever use that faith destroying old saying “If it be thy will”. Then he spouted off a laundry list of everything wonderful and good that his deluded followers could have if they only “spoke the right words.” (Be sure and send me a faith offering of at least a thousand dollars.) Please don’t spit on your computer. I am fully aware that I’m being negative!
In his agonizing prayer in the garden before his crucifixion Jesus prayed: (Luke 22:42 KJV) “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
Is the police force negative when it kills a bank robber who has just shot three people? Is a fireman being negative when he closed down a building that has faulty wiring? Are our troops in Iraq being negative when they kill the murdering butchers who behead innocent people and blow up women and children?
Is the government negative to prosecute crooked businessmen, or drug dealers? If everyone were positive all the time then there would be no law and order, no prisons, mental hospitals for insane criminals, or stop signs. Our world would be terrifying. A red light is definitely negative.
We would have no United States Of America without the declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson to King George of England. In it Jefferson listed long pages of grievances of the colonies. He pleaded for understanding. He begged King George to stop the corruption of the English Governors who care nothing about the subjects in the colonies. It’s the world’s saddest and most negative letter ever written.
Finally Jefferson wrote that all hope of redress, correction of the wrongs, had brought the colonies to a place where they were forced to declare themselves Independent and free from the rule of King George. With the help of Almighty God, we will give our sacred honor, our possessions and our lives to right this terrible wrong.
Critical Thinking at the University. I spent lots of my time at Georgia State University earning a Master’s degree in Psychology. I also earned a Doctorate in Theology. Many have paid their dues at a University studying all kinds of subjects. What is “Critical Thinking?”
While critical thinking is something we all engage in to manage our day-to-day lives, the word 'critical' is commonly thought to have a negative meaning, for example finding fault with someone or something. We need to find fault with the “con man” that is trying to swindle our aged parents. We need to find fault with the corrupt politicians who are stealing, taking bribes and destroying our great country.
My neighbor recently bought a new Miracle Grow feeder that uses a bottle of liquid. No mixing or mess. On the box and in their advertising on TV they show two flowering plants. On is small, and the other is very large. “Use our product and you will get flowers over twice as large.”
My curiosity got the better of me. I went to Home Depot and looked at the package. In very tiny letters on the bottom of the advertisement was this statement. “Use of this product produces much larger flowers than using no fertilizer at all.”
At a University, however, 'critical' has a broader meaning: being critical involves making judgments and evaluations. Making judgments can involve distinguishing between fact and opinion or evaluating the validity of information and it’s sources.
These judgments need to be well grounded in research, wide reading, and consideration of all possible viewpoints. Critical thinking in this sense is based on a number of factors, and is not just uninformed personal opinion. We all need to learn how to do it in order for our skills and knowledge to grow and develop.
My grandson Ken Jansen earned a Masters degree in music from Akron University. He’s a great music director and is also an ordained Minister. He gave me a wonderful gift recently. It was a CD computer program with all 24 very large volumes of Pulpit Commentaries on it. I’ve own the books for over 57 years. Now it’s so easy to research scriptures and with a PDF program just cut and paste the information into my writing.
It’s a marvelous tool for critical research of every verse in the Bible by the best scholars of Greek and Hebrew, then five different highly educated scholars gave their Homiletical views of the chapters. It has over 22,000 pages and 95,000 entries.
Godly Christian men produced it over a hundred years ago. They used their knowledge working together to carefully explain the clear meaning of the Bible. It has none of the foolishness, liberal thinking, and false teaching so prevalent today. Thanks Ken, for a great gift to help me with my “Critical Thinking”.