October 24, 2014

Be Prepared to Rebel to do what is Right

I got a bit torqued off about a local news story where A ninth-grader says she has frostbite after standing outside for 10 minutes in a wet bathing suit during a fire alarm. According to the student, teachers refused to let her get her clothes before forcing her to go outside in the freezing cold, where she waiting for ten or so minutes before a teacher “received administrative permission” to let the student sit in their car. They waited to get permission to do the right thing! Well, sort of. If I had been the teacher, I hope I would have had the common sense and guts to make sure there was no danger and to let the girl quickly get her clothes.

The term “sheeple” is thrown about as a descriptive term for people who follow along blindly. There are some people who take offense, because as believers, we’re referred to as sheep, and God as our shepherd. To those people, this is not the same term. It’s like using the term “truck” to refer to a Chevy S10 and an 18 wheeler. Both are called “trucks”, but are clearly two different things.

Society has molded us to be sheeple; to follow what is expected of us. From kindergarten on, we’re taught to be quiet, to color in between the lines, to raise our hands and to wait to be called on. To some extent, it continues on through adulthood in the work place; show up at a certain time, you’re allowed to take a certain amount of time for a break, and you can leave at a certain time. Please don’t think I am saying we shouldn’t have rules. In fairness, society has to have a certain level of “sheepleness” to function.

Jesus was a rebel. He rebelled against Jewish leaders who had put Jewish tradition above their relationship with God. He saw people in need and hurting on the Sabbath and rebelled against cultural traditions to heal them. The New Testament is filled with examples of righteous rebellion!

So where should one draw the line? The line belongs on doing what is right!

It is a part of my ethos, my personal philosophy, that I will always try to do what I feel is right, consequences be damned. Sometimes it is easier than others. Sometimes there is a price to pay. But not compromising my integrity and being able to look at myself in a mirror is worth it.

Sometimes following rules is needed. Other times those rules need to be tossed like temple tables!

 
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Comments

  1. Totally agree with your philosophy. I put it this way – “Do the right thing and leave the results up to God.” And I find I use it frequently! Because doing the right thing is often doing the hard thing or the thing that causes disruption in your life or the lives of others. It is also the thing that helps people and protects people and serves people.

    Blessings, Sandy

  2. Dare Tuitt says:

    I too was surprised and annoyed when I read about the high school bathingsuit girl and the fire alarm and how no one seemed to use common sense to protect her from the elements. This story speaks to “the love of many will wax cold” because the teacher in immediate authority decided it was more important to be seen as following procedure, rather than care about the effect of the cold weather on the girl. Maybe they thought that in a real fire, it wouldn’t matter and that the most important thing was to get her out of the building. That part is understandable. But once outside, no one bothered to cover her with their own jacket or coat. Apparently no one offered to do that. So, with all those teachers, administrators, emergency personnel and fellow students standing around outside – not ONE had a jacket they could have offered? Fire alarms are usually monitored by local fire chiefs. What about the emergency provisions fire chiefs are supposed to have in their official work cars – like a first aid kit or a blanket? Apparently, the teacher who knew there was a wet student in a bathingsuit standing in the icy cold, didn’t bother to follow-up and find something to help her. The whole incident speaks to me of how self-centered people have become and how they just aren’t cognizant of the sufferings of others. So, I’m not sure I agree with you that this was like the Pharisees and their legalism. They chose their traditions over God and were very much aware of that and justified it, in effect placing themselves above God. They especially resented anyone pointing it out! So I am not so sure the two incidents compare.

    I am always wary when Jesus is called a “rebel” because that means something different in our day than what it meant in His day. Today it’s used to justify all sorts of evil in the name of “social justice.” Jesus said He came to fulfill God’s law and not abolish it. Did He “rebel” against the Pharisees or did He know the Truth, and living within the Truth then spoke that truth to people in parables to get them to see and live for God rather than for the Pharisees. Jesus would have simply given the girl his coat, and if He didn’t have one, He’d get one.

    • Chris Ray says:

      I wasn’t asking WWJD in the situation, I was simply saying He rebelled to do what is right. Yes He knew the truth, He was the truth. But He also healed on the Sabbath, drove out money changers from the temple courtyard and did several other things rebelling against the powers that be.

      • Was it rebellion or was it righteous anger that drove out the moneychangers from the temple? Was Jesus rebelling against the Pharisees or was He living with integrity in His perfect life by telling and living the Truth? To be rebellious is a sin. Jesus was perfect, our sacrificial lamb of God. He was sinless. Jesus did render to Caesar what was his and to God, what was His. He was not rebellious nor did He encourage rebellion.

        • Chris Ray says:

          Being rebellious is not a sin, if what you’re rebelling against IS sin or wrong.

          • I think the real question is who is doing the labeling of who is a “rebel.”

            Jesus’ teachings were considered controversial by His enemies. He stood for the truth despite the fact that it may have offended the majority – especially the majority of the Pharisees who thought they alone could interpret the Torah. So it was His enemies that defined Him as a rebel, when in fact he was acting with integrity, truth and perfection.

            Many within the Church today like to characterize Jesus as a “rebel” because it’s a way to reach young people, or advance an agenda. He was certainly seen as a rebel by the Pharisees because He told the truth instead of kow-tow to them. Their man-made institutions were corrupt and Jesus’ life and teachings made that glaringly obvious.

            As Christians we are to follow Jesus’ example. But His example proves He was in fact NOT a rebel or “rebellious.” He did not encourage rebellion against the Romans, the oppressors of the Jewish people in His day. He taught to render to Caesar what was Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. He quoted scripture accurately and was a living example on how to live out God’s plan for humanity. He taught openly where all could hear and see Him. Indeed, when the Sanhedrin guards came with Judas into the Garden to arrest Him, He complied with their requests and didn’t hide His identity. When He was arrested and taken before the Tribunals, He never denied He was God.

            We are to tell the truth and behave within the law, so long as that law does not contradict God’s law or compel us to deny God. Romans 13:1-7 makes it very clear we are to obey the government because they are in authority over us BECAUSE God has placed them over us. In this light, we obey authority not because they are who they are, but because we honor God. To not obey them is in fact showing disrespect towards God.

            However, there is a point at which we must resist evil and that is when man-made law seeks to compel us to deny God and disobey God’s law. At this point, the same pattern happens to us that happened to Jesus. His enemies defined Him as a rebel – and His followers were also defined as rebels. When we are forced to chose between God or bad law, we, too are defined as “rebels.” And they are doing just that, as Homeland Security claims in their characterizations of “domestic terrorists”.

            Acts 5: 27-29 describes when the Disciples had to make the same choice. In Acts 5: 40-42 we see Peter and the other apostles say: ‘We must obey God rather than men!’ From this, it is clear that as long as the law of the land does not contradict the law of God, we are bound to obey the law of the land. As soon as the law of the land contradicts God’s command, we are to disobey the law of the land and obey God’s law. Yet – even in that instance, we are to accept the government’s authority over us. This is demonstrated by the fact that Peter and John did not protest being flogged, but instead rejoiced that they suffered for obeying God. (hat tip to http://www.gotquestions.org).

            I maintain it is not “rebellion” when we have to choose between God or Mammon/the World System/bad law. Telling the truth in the end times is considered rebellion by the world’s system. Our enemies seek to define us as “rebels” when in fact we are not. This is consistent with scripture.

            God DOES consider rebellion as sin. 1 Samuel 15:23: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft ….”
            There is no scripture allowing for a broader definition of “rebellion” to include disobeying bad law, therefore making rebellion NOT a sin.

            However, there is provision to disobey bad law in obedience to God’s law, but it is never characterized as “rebellion.”

            I don’t consider this a simple disagreement over definition of the term “rebel” or “rebellion.” The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and I believe God’s Word on the sin of rebellion. And since I believe Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ (the Word made flesh) is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” then I must believe God considers rebellion a sin.

            Obeying God is the act you describe when you label it “rebellion.” I think it’s dangerous to accept how one’s enemies define them instead of focusing on how God sees us and wants us to behave. Characterizing any act I might do in obedience to God as “rebellion” is something I won’t claim for myself.

          • Chris Ray says:

            I think you’re twisting my words and intent and am done with the conversation.

          • Dare, I think how u & Chris are using the word “rebel” or “rebellion” is just a matter of semantics, & your views are closer than u realize. The Scripture (I Sam 15:23) is referring to rebellion AGAINST GOD. & Chris is NOT suggesting that we or anyone rebel against God.

          • Chris Ray says:

            correct, thanks Red.

  3. Rosemary says:

    My first thought was “Why just one girl in a wet bathing suit?” I think there must have been a class and maybe she is the only one speaking out?

    • That’s what I though too Rosemary. Also I thought it would take longer than 10 minutes to get real frostbite. Poor kid must have been shivering uncontrollably.

  4. There were many instances of Jesus not following the artificial rules of what was “right” in his day. Personally I am frequently frustrated by all the people who don’t think for themselves, they will jump off a cliff if someone in authority tells them to. It is a conditioning that starts from the day they are born when they are afraid to question, taught to comply. I believe it is an intentional conditioning so the people in general will not cause problems for those who put themselves in a position of authority.

  5. I think we’re going to face harder questions about rebellion in the future. For ex, as we see reports of govt agencies like Homeland Security, Social Sec, etc, buying weapons & ammo, & more LEs using military gear & SWAT units (remember when it was rare of hear of a sherriff’s dept using swat teams; now it seems like every US county has a swat team), will some militias secretly start consider scenerios where they may need to fight govt agents/troops? (None are going to do that openly.)
    If ur loved one spoke about joining a militia, would u encourage or DIScourage him/her from joining? If u heard that a fed govt agency was considering coming into your local community, would u pass that info along to someone u know in a militia? If u saw any signs of tension between militia & govt leaders/rep’s, would u consider supporting the militia with food, water, finances?

    • Chris Ray says:

      If memory serves only 3% of the colonists fought against England, with more supporting them. I’m not saying I think we should take up arms against the federal government, I’m just pointing out that history has shown that most people will remain silent.

  6. Here’s an old ethics ex: Say u’re living in the Netherlands during WW II, when the nazis occupied that small country. & u’re hiding a couple jews in your home. When German soldiers come to ur door & ask if there are any Jews in your home, do u tell them the TRUTH & let them take away the Jews (that u care about) to be hauled to a German prison camp & possibly executed? Or do u LIE & tell them there are no Jews in ur house, to protect the Jews, even tho u risk getting arrested & questioned?

    The residents of E Ukraine are facing hard questions like that, in recent months. Sometimes situations force one to take sides, even tho some of ur replies will seek ways out of such ethical issues.

    Living in a long time super-power nation, it may be hard to imagine foreign troops occupying your area. But historically, every empire & super power has eventually become weakened to the pt where foreign troops have occupied or conquered parts of that empire.

    • In response to Red – thanks for sharing (re: troops & take overs). You’re right. Interesting that is brought up now when there is so much forecasting and speculation going on toward our own questionable future.
      They hope most will be “sheeple” but you would think that many Americans will come to miss their rights, the fat living style, etc. Prepare!

    • “Tomorrow, When the War Began” by John Marsden is s fictional series set in Australia. One interesting thing is that this group of teens decide to undermine & disrupt the foreign troops that invaded & occupied Australia, get into some dangerous situations. If ur group wants to go under ground & become subversive, u may learn from this series. Not recommending anything illegal, but they say that all’s fair in love & war…

  7. Another related case: Chris’ article mentioned that society teaches us from a young age to follow rules, color in the lines, & fit in like sheeple. There have been cases where history texts/curriculum used in public schools in US, have “rewritten” history to make it more politically correct. If u found repeated ex’s of that kind of “sheeple training” in your child’s or g-child’s school, would u consider moving ur child or g-child, to a private school or homeschool? Or providing some private advice/tutoring to ur child on how the school is misleading them or not telling the whole story?

    Our children were young adults when i started prepping a couple yrs ago. But if we had children or g-children, I’d be more concerned about what my child’s school was teaching about US govt & history & social studies. My wife home-schooled our kids for 4 yrs; so I know what that was like & the financial sacrifice. At this pt, I can’t imagine a public school teaching a child to question govt & probably nothing positive about survivalists (unless from an undercover prepper teacher).

    In this time of 1984-style govt-paid NSA, do u really want ur child’s school encouraging ur young sheeple in training? Can u imagine ur child’s teacher saying anything about some military leaders being forced out b/c they refused to go along w/ the idea of “fighting” & possibly shooting Americans? Is your child learning anything about oath-keepers, the Convention of States (state’s rights vs fed govt authority), etc?

  8. As schools have gradually moved to more smart-boards & online curriculum, textbooks are gradually being replaced. So it may be harder to find out what ur child is actually being taught. One way would be to just ask ur child’s teachers; if it was me, I probably wouldn’t say my opinion unless asked by a teacher I knew & trusted. But many teachers would tell a parent/g-parent what the curriculum covers or doesn’t cover.

  9. Rev. Dr. Michael E Harris says:

    This example of our society and the reasonable comments about it upset me. I have seen this stupidity in action–something similar happened to my daughter when she was in high school (a swimmer). I had to talk to the district superintendent and face the bus driver, the bus driver’s manager, the union rep, and a half dozen miscellaneous bus drivers brought in for ‘moral’ support. I refused to talk with a decidedly hostile audience.

    I am not in a good mood, as I just finished reading about the “Lost 13th Amendment” http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/essays/general/the-missing-13th-amendment/. You can make up your own mind about this, but I think it gives a decent picture of lawyers and bankers.

  10. Carl Rooker says:

    It is not just that rules seem to be over riding comon sense, but peoples ideas of what the rules mean often conflict with common sense and what the rules actually say. Then they use the false excuse that I was just following proceedure or the rules.

    Not only has the love of many grown cold, their brain has also gone dead.

  11. God bless you Chris for what great topics you bring to our forethought.
    I look forward to each new subject in my e-mail.
    Please keep up the great work!

  12. I’m a former school supt and public school educator for over 30 years.
    This incident is not only a misuse of power and guidelines, but also could be interupted as abusive. If it was a fire drill, then all adults know in advance, and are to be ready in evacuating. For science teachers, that means do not get chemicals out for experiements. For gym teachers, then don’t have the kids dress out if they are going outside in winter.
    If it was an actual fire, then there should have been procedures in place to take care of those in any potentially involved, difficult classroom situations like the locker rooms science labs, home ec, welding, ag and the swimming pool.
    I speak from experience. I’ve been through bomb threats, fires, tornadoes, intruder alerts – the whole gamut. We had a disaster plan which we practices in case of any alarm: fire, tornado, bomb, intruder, earthquake . . .
    Always, it was about the well-being of every child in every situation.

    Teachers are required to grab their attendence books, and at the very least, swimmers should have been able to grab towels and/or gym bags on the way out the door.

    I encouraged teachers and parents to talk to the students about what ifs – not to encourage fear, but rather to encourage thinking and self-empowerment.

    I am appalled, and as one who was the educational leader of my public school district for years, I can say that without prejudice.

    In the interest of “safety drills” children, should never be put in harm’s way.
    Jesus clearly portrayed that people are more important than man-made procedures.

    • Chris Ray says:

      Thank you for adding your insight. I don’t think the incident is the normal way of handling things, but it is the 1 off things that test peoples response and ability to think on their own and use their own judgment. These teachers failed that student.

  13. You should be ticked, Chris. As a teacher in a public middle school, I see the constant mind-numbing of children and adults to common sense.

    Make no mistake, schooling as we know it today IS intentionally dumbing down the population into a homogenized lump to be useful for the puppet masters pulling the strings.

    I’ve been rebelling against institutional religion and schooling for years since I woke up. Yes, I’m still a teacher but I stretch the limits of what is ‘allowed’ in school. Common sense is a very rare commodity these days.

    Keep doing the stuff, Chris! Really enjoyed this piece!!

  14. After a bit more reflection on this, the term that comes to mind is “CIVIC DISOBEDIENCE” or “CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.” It’s an ethics question or debate – when is right for an individual or group to disobey or reject the authority’s directions/rules/laws? -not b/c one is acting like a rebellious teenager, but b/c one believes that one’s ethics (or Scripture or God for believers) require one to stop following the rules & do something differently.

    At what pt does a situation require that one disregard what an authority says, & either publicly or in a low-key way, say the right way is a different way? I don’t have the answer at this pt, & it seems like most or all of us are unsure. We’re here on this site b/c we’re not comfortable or don’t think our lifestyles are always going to be like this. At some pt, we’re going to be facing a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, flood, drought, etc) or serious economic consequences in our nation. & we’re all taking steps to prepare for such situations. But not knowing the specifics of situations that we’ll face, it’s hard to know specifically -what circumstances or situation would have to happen for u or me to stop following the sheeple & go against the grain.

    Remember in Acts, when the sanhedrin told Peter & John to stop preaching Jesus, & Peter said, “We must obey God rather than man.” As our society gradually moves away from Christian values, we as individual believers & churches are going to face less priviledges & more opposition. For ex, as I recall, some states are now questioning the property tax exemption for religious buildings, such as churches. I believe that in some places, churches & religious groups are going to be forced to pay property taxes (& perhaps even income taxes, similar to business income tax). It’s not unusual to work in places where religious symbols (such as cross necklaces) or a Bible verse plague in ur cubicle are not tolerated; there was just recently a story of a female TV newscaster who was asked or told to remove her cross necklace b/4 they went on the air.

    One obvious ex is -what if ur boss tells u to do something illegal or unethical -perhaps misleading a customer or some kind of fraud? or lie or tell a half-truth to another employee or client?
    I’ve worked for nonprofits most of my life, & when I was in my early 30s & just starting in one nonprofit, in a board mtg, one officer suggesting paying a job benefit in cash “under the table.” I responded by saying, I wasn’t comfortable doing it that way, & asked, Why would we need to hide it? & that lead other officers to reply the same way, & the majority agreed w/ me. & the matter was handled properly, & recorded in the financial records. What I learned was some ethical issues can be handled by saying I’m not comfortable w/ that… & questioning why. Such situations may or may not become confrontational.

    • Chris Ray says:

      I touched on where should Christians draw the line in this article. http://preparedchristian.net/gods-law-vs-mans-law/
      I think this is an important topic that we need to be thinking now.

    • When in doubt about where the line should be drawn, one should look to what Jesus would do. It’s always instructive to consider what Jesus would do, whether asked for expressly or not.

      Another question to ask yourself – what have you done lately to be more like Jesus? So many seem so quick to “take up arms” in their heart when they have not done everything to resist evil, in patience and humility.

      There’s a great temptation – especially for us here in the USA with our history as a nation – to force issues in a winner take all approach, when there are so many creative ways to resist evil that are not so violently provocative.

      For example, we know they use the IRS to enforce the payment of taxes and they use the IRS to intimidate and harm their enemies. What would Jesus do? He would say “pay your taxes.” I’m not saying we shouldn’t pay taxes. But we can barter. They can listen in on our telephone conversations and read what we write on the Internet, but they can’t listen to every business conversation away from the phone and the Internet. The tyrannical state needs our tax money to advance their agendas. The control of money is the life blood of tyranny. What if we used barter more and more – so MUCH so, that it it dramatically reduced what the government got in taxes? If we did this, it could undermine tyranny.

      Each of us needs to assess what we can realistically do to resist evil. I’m getting older and do not have the physical stamina I once had, so I doubt I’m militia material. But I have resources and intelligence and can do a lot of supporting activities, not the least of which is prayer. In fact, what would happen if every Christian in America focused on prayer – I mean REALLY PRAYED DAILY for an end to the tyranny and a restoration of the nation to God’s will? Do we really pray for our enemies or do we pray they ______?

  15. I saw this and was just as angry as others and we took this as an opportunity to talk to our kids about rules and when breaking them is the right thing to do. As parents we are concerned about the world our kids are growing up in and the insanity around them. We prepare them and our family in many different ways like you. I would ask others to take this and other events around us as chances to talk to our kids about when common sense and compassion need to be more important than rules. Our kids know where we stand and they know that we will back them when they do the right thing even if others don’t.

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