Tag Archives: animal

REVIEWING PAST ASSESSMENTS


William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

IT’S A COLLECTIVE ANIMAL WORLD

The English language has some wonderfully anthropomorphic collective nouns for the various groups of animals. We are all familiar with a Herd of cattle; a Flock of chickens; a School of fish, and a Gaggle of geese. However, less widely known is a Pride of lions; a Murder of crows (as well as their cousins the rooks and ravens); an Exaltation of doves, and, presumably because they look so wise, a Parliament of owls. Now consider a group of Baboons. They are the loudest, most dangerous, most obnoxious, most viciously aggressive, and least intelligent of all primates. And what is the proper collective noun for a group of baboons? Believe it or not ……. a Congress! Is it not weird how their descriptions parallel? I guess that pretty much explains a lot of the things that come out of Washington! It seems more prominent today than it did years ago.

IT’S A FRUITCAKE WORLD

Well, as the clock struck the midnight hour, officially ending the day, it was much as other days except a few times in recent years those days were supposed to be the end of the world, the return of Jesus, etc. Of course those things did not occur, nor were there many who thought they would, but in retrospect I just need to say: so much for the fruitcakes that know more than Jesus knows (according to them). The world has not ended…..the age is not over…..the rapture has not occurred. Did I think it would? Certainly not on the day designated. Has this sort of thing happened before? Yep! Will it happen again? Yep! Why anyone would pay any attention to it at all underscores biblical ignorance. Well, at least the fruitcakes are proving themselves to be false prophets according to Deut. 18:18-22. Maybe that alone is a good thing.

IT’S AN EDUCATED-BEYOND-INTELLIGENCE WORLD

An intellectual scholar was once described in homespun wisdom as being “educated beyond his intelligence.” Of course, there is humor in the description, but beyond that, it seems there is also some sobering truth. It occasionally appears that the more a few folks are educated, the more they appear to be ignorant of what is truly important in life.
On the other hand, those hearing the words of the truly wise man, Solomon, will have their feet firmly established in true wisdom. He said, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7. Doubtless, the wise man had encountered a few fools in his day, but it is also obvious that he had listened well to his father, King David, who described those who deny their maker in favor of preposterous theories in these words, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God…” Psalm 14:1. The practicality of truth over theory shines so brightly that those who turn from it really do give cause to wonder if they have not been educated beyond their intelligence!

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Greater Love Hath No Man Than This


Greater Love Hath No Man Than This

By Marcus Brotherton on Mar 25, 2016 10:16 am

wwii

Editor’s note: This article first appeared at www.marcusbrotherton.com

As a prisoner of the Imperial Japanese Army in the jungles of Thailand during WWII, Ernest Gordon, a commander in a Scottish infantry battalion, saw firsthand the depths of depravity that can happen when man sinks to his lowest.

At age 24, Gordon was captured while escaping from Sumatra after the fall of Singapore. With other prisoners he was marched into the jungle to build the notorious bridge on the River Kwai.

Starvation, beatings, disease, and dawn-to-dusk slave labor were hallmarks of the death camp. The Scottish and British soldiers, normally bastions of composure, good cheer, and self-discipline, were slowly influenced by death’s destructive grip. Morale broke down, along with concern for one’s fellow man.

Over time, “nothing mattered except to survive,” wrote Gordon. “We lived by the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest. It was a case of ‘I look out for myself and to hell with everyone else.’ The weak were trampled underfoot, the sick ignored or resented, the dead forgotten. All restraints of morality [were] gone.”

Then, slowly, something remarkable began to emerge in the camp.

  • Selflessness. A few officers began to pool their meager resources. They sent food to the sick prisoners holed up in the makeshift dispensary.
  • Compassion. Gordon himself became gravely ill, and two fellow soldiers, Dusty and Dinty, volunteered to come by every day and wash his wounds.

“Several men,” Gordon wrote, “in the midst of widespread degradation and despair, kept their integrity inviolate and their faith whole.”

The supreme example of a different way of living came to a climax one horrific evening after a long day of hard labor.

That night, when the tools were counted, a Japanese guard announced that one shovel was missing. One of the prisoners had stolen the shovel to sell on the black market, it was assumed. The crime was heinous, the guard railed. The perpetrator had maligned the Emperor himself, an act punishable by death.

The guard lined up the men in the work party and demanded that whoever took the shovel confess. No one did. The guard ranted and screamed, denouncing the men for their wickedness. His rage reached a new level.

“All die! All die!” the guard shrieked. He pointed his rifle at the crowd and set his finger on the trigger. The prisoners knew he was serious.

Calmly, quietly, from the back of the work party, one solitary man stepped forward.

“I did it,” the man said.

The guard unleashed his fury on the man. In front of the rest of the prisoners, a contingent of armed guards standing by, he beat the man bloody with the butt of his rifle, crushing the man’s skull.

When the tools were counted again, it was found that all the shovels were there.

The guard had miscounted.

One man died in the dust and dirt of the death camp by the River Kwai.

One man died so that others might live.

“It was dawning on us all,” Gordon wrote, “that the law of the jungle is not the law for man:”

“We were seeing for ourselves the sharp contrast between the forces that made for life, and those that made for death.

Selfishness, hatred, envy, jealousy, greed, self-indulgence, laziness, and pride were all anti-life.

Love, heroism, self-sacrifice, sympathy, mercy, integrity, and creative faith, on the other hand, were the essence of life, turning mere existence into living in its truest sense.

These were the gifts of God to men.”

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