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A Mary T. Hoffman Commentary from


"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Lessons from History - 23 Mar 2006
By Mary T. Hoffman

When I think about past and present civilizations, it seems as though God says to nations, “Ok, I’ve let you become rich and comfortable. Now will you take that leap of faith and leave your petty selfishness and become magnanimous towards others as I (God) have been toward you? Try My way; try this experiment. It has rarely been whole-heartedly tried before. See what can happen when you really put Me to the test and behave in keeping with a truly regenerate heart and mind.”

But over and over again since the beginning of history, humankind hesitates to take that giant leap forward to free themselves once and for all by really believing God. Instead they become prideful and, at the same time, paranoid and fearful of losing what God has allowed them to achieve. Publicly they give God lip service, ritualizing forms of “worship.” Their leaders fool the masses (who usually participate in their own downfall) and become increasingly oppressive to their own people and to others. This has been true even with “God’s chosen people” as described in the Bible.

Governments may start out with good intentions, but eventually become corrupted. That is the beginning of their woes which lead to the end of their domination or place in the world.

Over the long haul, no large group of people truly has ever taken God at His word. Self-serving leaders take charge and lead people astray, manipulating them with fear tactics. And when the masses become fearful of the unknown or of change, they cling even more strongly to “tradition” for emotional security. They also look around for an acceptable target to abuse and scapegoat. Traditions that are of the “world,” and opposed to the teachings of Christ, may very well be described as “anti-Christ.” Such traditions can easily become idols. And let’s not forget how “drastic” the break with tradition of the early Christians must have seemed in the eyes of their families and neighbors.

It is easy to see why the Bible says that the human heart is evil (Genesis 6:5-7 and Genesis 8:21):

Genesis 6:5-7

5. Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man [humankind] was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

6. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

7. And the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them."

Genesis 8:21

21 …and the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's [humankind’s] heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.

New American Standard Bible

People have a choice. As Christians are fond of saying, God did not make us as robots; He gave us free will. Most fail to choose God’s pathway. Mark Twain has been quoted as saying that Christianity has never been tried. However, I think that the early Church Fathers lived their Christian Faith, just as a remnant still does today.  

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