Live Contrary to the World

Live Contrary to the World

Live Contrary to the World

Pic by Balazs Toth

 

Today we live in a culture saturated with self-serving, self-indulging, and self-gratifying people. It doesn’t take much to see how true this really is. We could point to the level of violent crime in the US, which indicates on some level a selfish desire to inflict pain on others in order to gain some demented level of gratification. Don’t believe that statement? Consider this comment from one Memphis teenager regarding a teen mob attack at a Kroger grocery store, “It’s fun…That’s just what kids do.”

Violence, though, is just one of many behaviors that reflect the reality of a selfish culture. What about a city that votes unanimously about criminalizing homelessness? Yes, it’s true. The city council in Columbia, SC voted to criminalize homelessness. Why? The motive isn’t completely clear as one council member said it was a temporary measure toward “a more sound resolution.” But like most decisions similar to these, it usually revolves around money. Apparently some businesses are voicing concerns on how the homeless crisis is affecting the city. (Read: Affecting sales and the bottom line.) Instead of addressing the issues in a more humanitarian way, it’s apparent that incarcerating, or moving the homeless to “a remote emergency shelter” on the outskirts of the city limits and where they’re out of sight, is a more acceptable alternative.

Another example of a selfish society can be found in Daytona Beach, CA and Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The law enforcement in these cities are told to enforce ordinances that make it illegal to feed the homeless. According to the laws of these cities, it’s up to the government to use taxpayer money to meet these needs in the community. The penalty to feed the homeless on your own? Large fines and even jail time. These laws seemingly run contrary in showing compassion to those less fortunate.

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To Hallow or Not to Hallow Een

To Hallow or Not to Hallow Een

To Hallow or Not to Hallow Een

 

This October 31, many Memphians will be out celebrating what is today referred to as Halloween. In many regards, Halloween is considered a major holiday in the US, perhaps surpassing Thanksgiving and coming in behind Christmas, which is the number one celebrated holiday. But is Halloween a holiday that should be celebrated, particularly among Christians? According to one website, Wiccans see this as one of their eight major holidays, so how should Christians respond?

 

According to Dictionary.com, the name Halloween is derived from All Saint’s Day even though the Christian holiday doesn’t have any resemblance to the holiday celebrated today. In fact, it is more likely based on the Celtic New Year, which at that time celebrated the dead arising for one night, among other things.

 

There are several aspects regarding Halloween that should raise “red flags” among Christian believers. However, it is a matter of disagreement even within the Christian community about whether Christians in general should be involved in the holiday or not. While some arguments “for” participation may have merit, there is one aspect of the argument that is completely left out and will be discussed later.

 

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