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" People were Pickin' on me! ...What about those 'Athletes'? "

What a terrible, horrendous tragedy recently with the shootings in a Colorado high school! The worst, to date, in this country. Disgustingly enough, some media used the event to brag up their own services in how they cover the events. And political activists use it as another stepping-stone to pick away at U.S. constitutional freedoms as they seek to usher in their totalitarian ideologies.

Let us consider the two elements of the recent shootings in a way that, perhaps, the media hasn't. Let us look at the shooters, and at the intended victims. If we look at things as they appear to us when we were in school, our formative years, perhaps we can also understand our adult lives a little better.

The things remembered about the shooters is their complaint that the "athletes" would "pick on" them and taunt them. Indeed, those interviewed from other shootings have been shown to say, when asked 'why' they did it, "..people were pickin' on me."

Well...being "picked on" starts as youngsters, doesn't it. Little Johnny bapped Joey in the head with his rattle, and Joey starts squawking... "Mooooommy!! Johnny hit me...Waaaa!!!" And Joey will usually hit back. As children get older, there starts to develop the "dominant" kids, and the submissive ones. The dominant ones are usually able to get their way, usually successfully bullying the weaker ones, intimidating them into not "squealing" on them. After awhile they get into the habit of going around, seeking out those who won't fight back, taunting them, making their lives miserable.

Now, don't anybody start psychoanalyzing me while I do a little 'tongue-in- cheek' here: but I 'experienced' the "Hoke brothers" in grade school in a school for missionary kids. In high school it was "Scott Howe" who appeared in school one day with casts on both wrists from having broken them while beating up some kid. (Fortunately he wasn't pounding on me when it happened) Scott, of course, was one of the football and basketball team 'heros' of my senior class state championships that year. And then, a person gets to Bible school... a place where people are supposedly learning about Christ-like humility; and who do you suppose are the ones most highly esteemed? The athletes, of course. They are the ones "popular enough" to be elected as student body officers, even over others perhaps more 'spiritually' qualified. Of course, they are the same bunch who hijack faculty cars and put them in classrooms, fridges on top of school buildings, and other such pranks...and everybody thinks their hooliganisms are "cute". In such a setting, the best somebody like me could hope to be "known" for was to be in a musical group, singing solos all the time, and/or leading sing times. But such status never ever reached the lofty heights of the "in crowd"... from the 'athlete' backgrounds. And of course, there were the athlete companions, the cheerleaders. Now -they- were a class unto themselves, along with their would-be-cheerleader friends! It wasn't until the senior year of high school, after I had completed all the "geeky" subjects like Latin, Math, Science, and was taking some "fluff" courses to fill up my credits, like Debate, Journalism, Bookkeeping, that the cheerleaders took note of me. In bookkeeping, when I was getting continual "100's" (straight A's), they discovered a source of "assistance" to figure out their basic addition/subtraction. I was smart, and could help them with their work. I was -now- their "friend". Right!! Of course, it was the 'athlete' girls' boyfriends who "stole" the dirt bike out of my garage for a night of "fun" a few years ago. But the girl was "innocent" of any knowledge of the matter, according to her mother, because... ready for this? ...her daughter was "on the school basket ball team!" This same daughter frequently had summer-time all-night slumber parties (across my back fence) with 'love-making music' softly wafting through the neighborhood, at which her boyfriends were part of the gang...most likely when 'mom' wasn't there, and didn't know what was going on.

OK...enough on 'my' experiences. You get the picture. And as you read along, what would you say that each one of you can dredge up your own memories of those things you experienced, saw happen to others, or perhaps even... you 'did' to others?

So... let's face it. Even in "free societies" there's a CLASS structure.

But what is the "character" of the leading class? Well, sadly enough, for every Bonnie Blair or Wayne Gretzky, there are a dozen Dennis Rodmans, Mike Tysons and O.J.Simpsons. And see what we tolerate in the White House! See what the Senate impeachment vote was. See how hard it was to find a new Speaker of the House.

While we started by saying we'd look at the two classes, actually, the same malady afflicts both. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? (Jer17:9)

Yes, the "beautiful people" are at fault. James spoke against them, "My brothers, do not have the faith of our Lord Jesus, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons." (Jas2:1) Those who happen to be blessed with material goods, and a certain resultant way-of-life should not disdain those from the other side of the tracks.

Like the e-mail someone sent me awhile back; 'don't know if it was a true event, but if it wasn't, it easily could have been... As people came to church there was this raggedy "bum" slumped in the bushes next to the church building. As people walked from the parking lot into the building, many of them jerked their heads with a "sniff" and walked on in. Others giggled and poked fun. Others hurried their step a bit, to get 'inside' as 'quickly' as possible. And then, as the first hymns were being sung, in walks the "bum", up the aisle, up to the platform, takes off his hat and guise...and to the congregation's amazement and chagrin, that "bum" was their pastor!

Paul wrote to the uppity Corinthian church, "For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but are giving you occasion to glory on our behalf, so that you may have it to answer those boasting in APPEARANCE, and NOT in HEART. (2Cor5:12)

OK. So, the 'in' crowd "picks on" the geeks and nerds. That is wrong. Many of the "victims" of the trauma we've seen on TV were at fault for intolerance against those different from themselves. For treating them as outcasts. So, what should the geeks do? Get guns and shoot everybody? You know, that's nothing new. When Cain saw that Abel was 'accepted' before God, he became angry and killed Abel, too, for "believing in God". (Gen4:5,8) ..like the Columbine martyr, Cassie Bernall.

The politicians use the occasion to promote, afresh, their anti-gun agendas. The problem to them is the "guns". What was it I heard recently? S.Africa has the highest murder rate, and murders are committed with machetes...not guns. But Switzerland, that has a citizen-militia, where every household is REQUIRED 'by law' to have guns, has the lowest murder rate. They speak nothing of laws against chemicals and plumbing supplies, with which bombs are made!! And besides, Canada, that has the toughest gun laws in the world, was not protected against a school shooting in Alberta, a week after Colorado's.

When they do their house-to-house searches, what they 'should' be confiscating is rock CD's and video games! The CD's are the implement of evil and satanistic thoughts being firmly embedded into one's soul and spirit. The content is "fleshly, sensual, demonic"; to augment their "bitter jealousy and strife" (Jas3:14-15) Once this is firmly nourished in the heart, it is like Jesus said, "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders.." (Mk7:21) The problem is not the "guns", but the HEART. We have a generation of people who are so full of SELF: self-esteem, self-empowerment, self, self, self. And they have been taught to "do your own thing". If it feels right, do it. Everything is relative, after all. There is no right or wrong. Gratify SELF. Express SELF. The guns are merely a tool to that end. And video games give the coordination skills, and necessary numbing of the senses and emotional conditioning to tolerate the ensuing violence and mayhem.

Parents are instructed to "bring [their children] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Eph6:4) But society contradicts God, and tells the parents to "listen to" their children...and they [the parents] might learn something. Parents have abdicated their God-given duties to "train up a child in the way he should go.." (Pr22:6) They do not obey God's order to "not withhold correction" from the child. (Pr23:13) They learn to give "positive reinforcement" to enhance the child's view of "self". Nobody will stand up against the wrong and call sin "sin". People refuse to "punish" wrong-doing; kids or criminals.

When 'Johnny' and 'Joey' get into that scuffle at age 2, parents, rather than taking corrective measures against such behavior, get their cameras out and send the tapes in to "America's Funniest Videos" so the whole world can laugh at the "cuteness" and hope to win $$$. When adults laugh at the tantrums-at-two, the child 'learns' that such behavior is "acceptable" and they don't need to learn "self-control". (Gal5:23,2Ti3:3,2Pt1:6) When they grow up those same tantrums become 'blood-baths'!!

Listen up! This violence we are seeing today is society reaping what it has been sowing for decades! You always reap what you sow! "As I have seen, the ones who plow iniquity and sow wickedness reap the same." (Job4:8) "For they sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind." (Hos8:7)

The 'beautiful people' all sobbing on each others' shoulders, wondering how the 'deranged individuals' could do these horrendous things, should not be so high-n-mighty! Yes, what they did was awful! But look to yourselves. You need to consider James 5:1-6. You murder people, not with guns, but emotionally. And the scars you inflict are longer-lasting than any bullet wounds.

Do not think you are "better" than the gunmen. If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are in the same camp along with "..none righteous, no not one...they are all gone out of the way...they [are] unprofitable, there is none that does good, no, not one." (Rom3:10-12) You kill with the 'tongue' and the poison of 'deceit'. (vs13) You curse and are bitter. (vs14) And you "shed blood". (vs15) Not with your own hands, perhaps, but through subordinates. And yes...through the gunmen you taunted. Because you do not "fear..God" (vs18)

This commentary is not intended to single out "athletes" as being worse than others (because "ALL have sinned.."-Rom3:23). 'just using what the media has been telling us, as an object lesson for our learning. And while I sympathize with the families of the victims and have empathized with them in tears over this national tragedy, we must not allow the emotionalism of the media's continual sensationalistic bombardment of the same images over and over to deceive us into thinking the victims are necessarily 'good' because they were victims, and the shooters were bad BECAUSE they were shooters. Yes, the shooters were demonically motivated, and they were evil. But this is a much bigger problem. The problem is "SIN". And the WHOLE of SOCIETY is afflicted with it. A problem of the HEART.

"Do not look on his face, nor on his height [athletic build and good looks], because I have refused him. For He does not see as man sees. For man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."(1Sam16:7)

Were these victims in Colorado any better or worse than the 40-some killed in the bus crash a day later in a Latin-American country, which the media scarcely mentioned? "I tell you, No. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Lk13:5)

Amen!


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