Our experiences help form the type of person we are. At least that is what I have come to believe. Everything that comes our way through our young lives teaches us how to cope with the circumstances we will face in adulthood. This process does not end when we reach the arbitrary year of 18. Nor would I say that it ends in your mid-twenties, mid-thirties, so on and so forth.
(I’d add the mid-forties, but I haven’t reached that time frame yet. Lord willing, I will, but if I don’t my physical demise will do nothing to curb the truth so far spoken).
Contrary to popular opinion—I assume its popular because it sure does get shoved down my throat no matter where I turn and look—is that adversity, struggle, persecution and the like are good. I’m not saying that they are good to go through—neither does Scripture at least in the sense of finding them enjoyable—but they are good tutors for learning. Those negative experiences shape, mold, dull and even sharpen our various edges as creatures. The one I am currently thinking about is bullying.
Bullies in our Midst…
Being a frequent flyer in the new kid class I became very acquainted with bullies at an early age. Mind you, no two bullies are exactly alike. As with many things in life, they come in all shapes and sizes, varying in techniques and strategies. Regardless of their individual make up, bullies of all stripes have the same goal in mind…to drive fear into the hearts of their victims.
Like terminators you cannot beg or plead with them, or even pay them off for they have their own agenda in mind. Despite what may seem reasonable, you cannot reason with a bully. Say that you do beg, plead or even offer monetary compensation to such persons, will they then leave you alone? Maybe in fantasy, but not in the real world. Give them quarter and they will only demand more later. Show weakness to a bully and the only thing you guarantee is future appointments that will not go well for you.
The intellectual eggheads in our society have identified bullying as a bad thing and have gone to great lengths to stifle it. I’ve seen this in the public education system that has adopted a “zero tolerance” policy. And we see it in the arena of civil government, where there is a surging desire to extinguish all forms of “hate” crimes.[i]
While I applaud their ability to identify certain human behaviors as wrong, a large sector of our society does not know how to deal with them. The best way to handle a bully is not to pander to them, but to oppose them. Bullies, like mass-shooters, enjoy easy targets. However, they do not appreciate strong willed opposition. If you are willing to stand against their oppression and fight back, then they will eventually stop. I say “eventually” because it will require a real effort on your part to make them stop. Weak efforts lead to weak results.
I was reminded of these things recently when Mario Lopez came under attack for daring to speak out on the Candace Owens Show (watch here) against the child abuse that goes on in allowing little children to determine their gender. Kids are malleable creatures. They know little to nothing, and they will never learn anything if the people over them do not rule properly.
Children Must be Taught to Make Correct Choices…
If you give a child the option of choosing to go to school or staying home to play video games, what do you suppose the result will be? If you lay out on a table delectable sweet’s (cookies, cakes, pastries, ice cream, chocolates, hard/soft candies, etc.) versus meats, potatoes, breads, vegetables and fruits, what do you suppose the result will be? If you make brushing teeth, taking a bath, brushing hair, wearing deodorant optional, what do you suppose the result will be?
A few years back I was witnessing to a man who was very left-leaning in his ideology. Eventually the discussion came around to his niece. He’d been raised in church, but he and his sister were adamantly opposed to “forcing” that on the child in question. (The dad of the little girl was evidently in support of his wife’s decision; the man’s sister I was speaking to.) So, I asked if he thought it was wrong for his niece to be raised in a Christian church—to be exposed to biblical teachings and the gospel of Jesus Christ? He response was that if she decided to do it when she was older that was fine. It was her decision, but to make her do it now didn’t seem right.
I changed the subject and asked if they were excited about trick or treating, since Halloween was right around the corner. He told me that his sister didn’t let his niece eat candy, so it wasn’t something they really did. “So, you guys don’t give your niece candy? Of any kind? Ever?” He said, “nope. She eats mainly fruits and vegetables, too much sugar isn’t good for a kid’s diet you know. That way when she’s older she won’t have poor eating habits and eat that junk.”
That was an interesting admission on his part. On the one hand he didn’t want to “force” his niece to do something she didn’t want to, but on the other hand he was willing to “force” her to do something he and his sister wanted. In both cases, the “choices” of the child were eliminated by refusing to put them on the table. The only thing I am attempting to draw from this scenario at present is that parents are the final arbiters of a child’s decision-making ability.
Unlike the man in the scenario above, I bring my children to church with me. It is not a decision that I leave up to them. I also limit their diet, their choices of entertainment, their style of dress, their education, their treatment of others, etc., etc. As a parent my responsibility is to govern my children in such a way that when they leave home, they are able to govern themselves.
- “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov 22.6).
What Mario Lopez was truly arguing…
Essentially, this was the argument Mario Lopez was making. Children are not capable of making the type of decisions that those who support transgender issues claim. Parents like Charlize Theron should not be letting their children make life altering decisions at the age of 3 (or older).
In a blissfully ignorant light, we might call that sloppy parenting. If we are just brutally honest, it is child abuse, plain and simple. If an adult wants to screw with their hormones and mangle their body parts, then so be it, but that sort of decision should not be left up to a little child. Unfortunately, that sort of critical thinking is lacking in many popular sects of our culture.
What he found out was that there are bullies in our midst. They threatened him and he caved under the pressure. Lopez, attempting to be saved by making an about face (too late to be saved by the bell since the bullies on social media rang it loud and clear: “shut up! Repent or else!”), offered the following apology:
- “The comments I made were ignorant and insensitive, and I now have a deeper understanding of how hurtful they were,” he said in the Wednesday statement. “I have been and always will be an ardent supporter of the LGBTQ community, and I am going to use this opportunity to better educate myself. Moving forward I will be more informed and thoughtful.”[ii]
I truly doubt that Lopez believes what he just said here, but this was preferable to the risk of standing up to the bullies in our midst. Sadly, many professing Christians take a similar approach in our culture. How long do you suppose you can maintain that stance?
I realize silence buys you some temporary peace, but eventually totalitarians will demand allegiance; which is essentially what all bullies are anyway. Personal experience has taught me this, a purvey of history has revealed this, and Holy Scripture speaks loud and clearly about this. Eventually you will learn this truth whether you wish it or not. Neutrality is a fanciful myth…nothing more.
[i] Actually, I find hate crimes an interesting label since all crimes committed against another individual is an act of hate towards that member of society. Stealing, raping, committing adultery—well it was a crime in previous generations—murder, etc., etc. are all various forms of hate crimes. Hateful speech and thoughts are not crimes, no matter how much our foolish governing officials led by mob mentality believe them to be. They can be downright nasty and mean, but they do not find themselves in the category of criminal activity. Rather, just jerkish humanity.
[ii] Ellie Bufkin, “Mario Lopez under fire for comments made about gender and #believewomen,” Washington Examiner, July 31, 2019, accessed Aug 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/mario-lopez-under-fire-for-comments-made-about-gender-and-believewomen.