How did you learn right from wrong? One of those ways is that my father drove it into me by saying “There’s a right way to do something and a wrong way.” That sums it up doesn’t it? Worldview is understanding right from wrong and doing things that are judged either the right way or the wrong way. “How could I be so judgmental?” As a parent, a boss, a community leader, teacher and preacher I really don’t want to offend you, but if it helps you learn the right way of doing something by your mistakes and pointing out that your mindset is wrong- you can correct it! One of the problems with our culture is the inability to call what is right, right and what is wrong wrong. Another lesson from my childhood was an underestimated little cartoon column that put Biblical values in proportion in the little decisions we make everyday. Goofus and Gallant still appears in Highlights and can be found in a dentist office waiting room near you. So boys and girls take out your pencils and write in your own Goofus and Gallant proverb.
“Some men see things as they are and say why – I dream things that never were and say why not.”
The famous quote from poet George Bernard Shaw was a staple at Democratic rallies years after Senator Robert Francis Kennedy used it in his presidential campaign. In New York and in the District of Columbia it had come up again in the wake of Super Storm Sandy and the reelection of President Barack Obama. What are the things that never were? To answer that question one has piece together the two visions of America and the two worldviews that have either balanced or divided people. There is definitely a new deal worldview, which is part of an aging infrastructure that has fed an overgrown union and legal system that rivals the days of the Pharisees and Sadducee. Then there is the Jude o-Christian Worldview, that ‘sees things the way they are, and the way things shall be.’
Al Gore writes about the “things that never were and ask why not?” he said at a gaming convention in New York 2011,
“One of the things we could do about it is to change the technologies, to put out less of this pollution, to stabilize the population, and one of the principle ways of doing that is to empower and educate girls and women. You have to have ubiquitous availability of fertility management so women can choose how many children have, the spacing of the children.
You have to lift child survival rates so that parents feel comfortable having small families and most important — you have to educate girls and empower women. And that’s the most powerful leveraging factor, and when that happens, then the population begins to stabilize and societies begin to make better choices and more balanced choices.”
“I see things that never were and ask “why not?”
Gore in one of his books paints a dark picture of an unmarried father riding a train directly to his two bedroom apartment. “Imagine no possessions” (John Lennon)
Sand in your eyes
Governor Andrew Cuomo thinks that all of our problems are due to the energy companies not doing their jobs, when no one has been forward thinking. The New Deal way of handling disaster seems to place blame on every one else and using accountability as punishing “faceless companies.” (Direct quote.) The failed policies of the last four years is not being addressed and for a president to say he is “open to any ideas” from the other side of the aisle, President Obama has rejected every new idea. Gridlock goes both ways and a preventing socioeconomic disaster from the Obama administration is the reason why the American people have asked for a balance of a senate and congress who will not rubber stamp a leftist agenda and it is part of a system of checks and balances. Not for political gain (which would be wrong) but for common sense and decency.
The Great American smoke-out
New Deal Vision and Front Range Vision differ in the way disaster’s are handled. Andrew Cuomo used the disaster of Sandy to further political agenda and place blame on his enemies. When the Front Range in Colorado had a summer of forest fires Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper and Republican Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach concentrated on the human toll, protecting and equipping fire fighters and worked side by side. This was a good thing for President Obama to see. “Helpful hope” should be a campaign slogan we all can rally around. After listening and watching Cuomo berate previous and current leaders and utility companies, unscientifically determine the cause of the Hurricane as “Global Warming, Climate change, or whatever you call it,” New Yorker’s witnessed the face of panic and the voice that inspired demonstrations at the power plants in Long Island.” On the other hand in the face of danger and disaster, churches in Colorado kept a prayer vigil as the foothills continued burning. This is a tale of two visions. The New Deal Vision “that sees things the way they are and ask why, and sees the way things should be and asks why not.” Then there is the Front Range vision that “reaches out to people who are going through adversity and feeds them; shelters them, and gives them a purpose and reason for living and prays for them and with them.”
Joe from Con Ed
On the Long Island Railroad last week there was a man named Joe wearing a Con Ed uniform. Joe was standing in the middle of the aisle because the train was packed. It was a train to nowhere and we were all chugging away with the electric rails going in and out. Joe says, “By the time I get home I will shower and get back on the train to work another 12 hour shift.” I asked Joe if he would like my seat and his downward spiral looked up. You would think that I had hive him a hundred dollar bill. I learned that Joe was working 12 hour shifts getting power restored in New York and New Jersey. He was staying with his sister after losing everything in the storm. He said Cuomo’s comments were a moral killer for many who spent hours and days waist deep in water and putting their lives on the line connecting electricity. “Electricity and water are a lethal combination, and this guy (Cuomo) says that 90 percent restoration is a failure?” On this day LIRR commuters were in the midst of a Nor ‘Easter that followed Super Storm Sandy. Meanwhile I was getting texts from worried family of my whereabouts which was somewhere between Jamaica, Queens and Babylon, Long Island.
New Deal and Front Range thinking
When we reached Joe’s station he said to me, “Listen man, when I got on this train I was in a really bad mood, then when you looked at me and offered me your seat it was like a message from God…” I was stunned that a little bit of kindness and affirmation and a smile could change this man’s point of view. Like the Pharisees during Jesus times New Deal Politicos, constantly erode community and the human spirit by adding laws, rules and regulations and keeping people down. During my business trip that included Detroit; Baltimore; DC and New York, I was struck by the heaviness and panic mode of people. I was struck by the amount of homelessness, indebtedness, slavery and the plight of the downtrodden which was exasperated by the loudest voices demanding “Rights!” My business trip quickly became a mission trip that would bring a little Front Range Vision to these scrappy individuals who need a word of encouragement, a vision beyond their plight and present adversity.
The Front Range mission is to guide, give and grow the message of the gospel; and to equip people to see beyond their situations by investing in overcoming the world and to decrease the need for social engineering through invitation into relationship in community.
“Some men see things the way they are and ask “why?” I think of things that never were and ask “why not?” When you filter this precious poetic phrase into a Biblical Worldview it has a different meaning to the preacher and to guys like Joe from Con Ed than to the viewpoint of the New Dealers. The meaning is more on the lines of something even more intellectually balanced: “Be thou my vision!”
Breakthrough 52 asks a breakthrough question of the week regarding evangelism, special needs ministry, media and culture, prayer and community building to provoke thought and common sense management of issues facing our world. To comment e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.