Welcome to a new weekly offering entitled,
“I Might Be Wrong, But I Doubt It.”
It’s pretty simple. Every Thursday, I would like you to join me in a common sense discussion, and I’d love to hear from you as you tolerate my assumptions and studies that range from politics to faith, psychology to sports, and much more. Thanks for coming on board!
Now that I am considered in many places as a Sr. Adult (oh dear Lord), I have found that you can say almost anything and people just roll their eyes at you. As a result, I am highly motivated to say them! I went to a store the other day and was asked if “do you qualify for our senior discount?” My answer seemed polite enough, “how much is said discount?” And immediately, the eyes rolled. Her answer was relatively brief, with a dash of angst mixed with southern sweet tea kindness, “10% suga.” Are you kidding me? On a $28 purchase, I admitted to being 62 years of age and was happy to save that $2.80. And then, the gut punch, “Suga, you have to be 65 to receive the senior discount, I just thought you might be there.” Well, bless her heart. I’ll be back in three years, Suga.
Having gotten that off my chest, here are a few things that I am confident in.
I might be wrong about them, but I doubt it.
- PICK YOUR POISON – BUT THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A “NEWS SHOW”
In a recent Gallup Poll, the following was no shock:
-36% of the U.S. have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in mass media.
-68% of Democrats, 31% of independents, and 11% of Republicans trust the media.
-Democrats’ and Independents’ trust is down five points since 2020, and the GOP’s flat.
These aren’t exactly shocking, but what is shocking is that the singular reason for this shift is that the business model for these outlets is designed to capture like-minded viewers and feed them what they want to hear. It is NOT to share the news. It would seem to me that if there were a new model that was designed to share the news, minus the biased commentary, people would actually watch and support that service. But then, I doubt it. We seem to enjoy getting all exacerbated about what the far left or far right have to think, as opposed to thinking for ourselves. I might be wrong, but I doubt it. The cure – STOP WATCHING BIASED-BASED COMMENTARY THAT ONLY BOILS YOU TO THE POINT OF ANGST, ANGER, and FEAR! Don’t take the bait!
- AMERICA DOESN’T TRUST HER LEADERS
In a recent Washington Post article (not exactly a right-leaning outlet), their data shows that about two-thirds of adults, “including nearly identical shares in both parties,” said most people seeking elected office at all levels “do so to serve their own personal interests.” That data was reported by Pew Research. The article continues by saying that “the public has much more confidence in career federal employees than political appointees, but that is declining. The 52 percent confidence rating in career feds dropped nine points since 2018. That’s still significantly higher than the 39 percent rating for appointees.”
I might be wrong, but I feel strongly that we need more than the standardized two-party system. We somehow seem to continue being directed toward leaders (and I use that term liberally) who represent the 15% margins on the right or the left. I know folks that are on those fringes, and most of them are obsessed with their news outlet of choice. But let’s face it, most of us are somewhere in the other 70% of the middle. We have left ourselves in a continually binary thought process that causes us to elect people with sketchy character, but somewhat favorable platforms when we should have the ability to elect leaders we trust. Trust is about at least two things – character and competency. We have women and men that have both, but as long as we sustain and tolerate a two-party, media-sizzling system, these folks are locked out. I might be wrong, but I doubt it!
- MOST OF AMERICA IS TIRED OF CHURCH, AND I DO NOT BLAME THEM
In 1937, says Gallup, when they first measured formal membership in houses of worship, some 70% of Americans had formal church membership, and that measure remained steady for the next 60 years until it began a steady decline in 1998. In 2020, formal membership in houses of worship stood at 49%. Yikes! I would argue that in our post-COVID reality that the 49% number is low! Even prior to COVID, the church was in a steep decline and I would offer the following three reasons which just touch the surface of the problem:
1. The church tried to copy the mainstream entertainment industry in its style of worship. They did so without understanding that Bride of Jesus was not another concert venue. The old adage that “what you reach them with, you keep them with” has never been more true. For the vast majority of churches attempting to mimic their Saturday night concert-going crowd, they just couldn’t pull it off!
The church was designed to help people, of all colors, races, religions, backgrounds, identifications, pronouns, and political affiliations know God and discover their purpose in this life. The job wasn’t to be the coolest, hippest place in town. It wasn’t even designed to be the biggest church in town. The church that Jesus launched was to have the biggest heart in town.
2. If you have the truth, speak it in love! Stop trying to scream down to folks that need hope. Stop, talk with them and encourage them. But by all means, stop screaming out all the ways in which they are wrong. Love folks, especially folks that seem to be most unlovely. Sounds so easy, doesn’t it? And yet, I know it is not. But the church must stop being known for all that it dislikes or even hates. The church must become known for Jesus and the cause, way, and life of Jesus – Period! When we act and react like Jesus, it will not be a result of which church or denomination we attend, but rather, that we attend church because of Jesus, not the music, preacher, or facility, or cool factor.
3. Jesus cared about serving people and introducing them to the Kingdom of God. Both/And. Jesus taught us to love one another, with no condition. Jesus taught us to serve one another, with no condition. Jesus taught us to pray for one another, with no condition. Do you see the pattern? No condition. When Jesus says that the world will know us Christians by how we love each other, we should not be surprised when they yawn and roll over for a bit longer rather than joining in the worship in which our lives do not match up.
I might be wrong on these, but I doubt it. What do you think?
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Go in Peace, Chuck