One day when we lived in Germany, I had reason to talk to our landlord.
Standing outside his door, I could hear him laughing hysterically inside. Not wanting to break up a funny moment, I waited a minute or two before knocking. The laughter never stopped; I eventually knocked anyway. He was still laughing when he opened the door.
The first thing he says, “I think this is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.”
He points to the TV. Hogan’s Heroes is on. I watched as Hogan entered Klink’s office and spoke in German to Klink. Heir Ader then says, “Schultz and Klink are the two stupidest men I’ve ever seen!”
Here is a German that fought in WWII, watching an American show on German TV that makes the Germans, in his words, look stupid, and he is enjoying it to no end.
It seems like we have lost the ability to laugh at ourselves.
Hogan’s Heroes had everything that a 101 writing course tells you to have – a hero (Hogan), an antagonist (Klink and the German war effort), and comic relief (Schultz). The world laughed and enjoyed it, even the nation that is the brunt of the jokes. The bumbling Colonel Klink and Sargent Schultz have been entertaining Germans for decades.
Today, the world seems offended by everything. Sports teams are changing their mascots, some over a hundred years old, to something less offensive.
A few years back, Indiana State University changed its mascot from a Native American chief to a tree. They kept the name “Sycamores” but switched from the tribe to vegetation.
The Cleveland Indians have announced that a new name will arrive sometime after the current season. Maybe it is just me, but I do not get the mascot thing. I cannot imagine a team owner naming his team after someone or something they hate, something he despises. The opposite is true. He would call his organization something he admires or something that has traits he wants his team to possess.
I know some people are offended at the last paragraph and my lack of understanding and sensitivity.
The Bible informs us of why people are offended. Psalm 119:165, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”
How easily someone is offended is in direct relation to how much they love God’s Word. Mention the Bible, and some people are always offended – put two and two together.
It is interesting how much love and God’s Word are intertwined. It is intertwined so much Jesus said your love for God is directly related to how much you obey God’s Word. John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Jesus also said, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10). There is a correlation between abiding in God’s love and keeping His commandments.
The Bible also explains that we exhibit love for each other by keeping God’s Word. 1 John 5:2-3, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
This principle of love intertwined with an adherence to the Scripture did not begin with Jesus; it is also throughout the Old Testament (Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10, 7:9, 11:1, 30:16; Daniel 9:4).
In American society, love for the Scripture has all but evaporated.
Have you ever wondered why there is no peace in life? Remember the words of Psalm 119:165, “Great peace have they which love thy law…”
Even Pastors tell their congregations that parts of the Bible no longer apply. Certain things the Bible says are sin; is sin no more. Changing what the Bible calls evil to good switches “if you love me, keep my commandments” to “Jesus loves you, but He made mistakes and you don’t need to listen to everything He said.”
Peace will never come if we tell the Prince of Peace that His formula for peace is flawed.
Why are so many people offended by so many things? Remember, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”
What is the result of a lack of love for God’s Word? – great offense.
Call what is going on in our nation what you will, but the truth is, it is a lack of love, and therefore, a total rejection of God’s Word.
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With houses of worship currently closed or restricted across much of the nation, the editors of the Baltimore Post-Examiner are inviting an array of spiritual teachers to share insights from the ages along with words of comfort and encouragement. These timely messages are not exclusive to any particular faith walk and will be included in our ongoing Spirituality series.
Preacher Tim Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. His weekly column “Preacher’s Point” may be found at: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com