Folks don’t care to hear how much you know
Until they know how much you care…
Folks don’t care to hear how much you know
Until they know how much you care…
This is a persuasive speech my daughter wrote as an assignment in Jr. High school.
There are many evidences that America is in trouble. A close look at threats to our national security, the dumbing down of our education system, and the constant erosion of our freedoms will reveal the dangerous path our country is on.
There are many things in today’s world that pose a threat to our national security. The worst threats are caused by our own irresponsibility. At the present time our economy is on a down hill spiral. The runaway spending by our government is creating debt of historic proportions. To find examples of this overspending one needs to look no further than the 89 percent increase in expenses in running capitol hill. They have spent $51 million of taxpayer’s money on electricity, $3.27 million for office supplies, and over $4.6 million on sewer and water. To top it off, over $200 thousand dollars was spent on bottled water in just the first quarter of this year alone!
Another example of government funding irresponsibility involves a study called “Malt Liquor and Marijuana: Factors in their Concurrent versus Separate Use”. This study pays people to drink beer and smoke marijuana, all at taxpayer’s expense!
And, these are just a few of many examples of the government’s out of control spending. Run away spending has caused America’s debt to soar over the last few years. In 2007, the debt was $8.67 trillion. As of Tuesday, October 26th, it was over $13.6 trillion. This amounts to every citizen owing a debt of $43 thousand dollars – yes, every student in this classroom currently owes $43 thousand dollars, and we don’t even have jobs yet!
Currently, our economic system is being kept afloat by other countries funding our debts. For example, China has bought over $867 billion of our debt and is the biggest foreign holder of U.S. Treasuries. On August 9th, a Chinese general implied economic retaliation against America over a U.S. Carrier in the Yellow Sea when he said: “Imagine what the consequence will be if China’s biggest debtor nation challenges its creditor nation.” As the proverb goes: “the borrower is slave to the lender”. With most of our manufacturing jobs going overseas and our liabilities being controlled by other countries, we are finding ourselves more and more at their mercy. This poses a clear and present threat to our national security.
An area that has also become a part of America’s downfall is the education system. The history that is being taught today isn’t always the whole story. Many of the founding fathers have become just a bunch of names on some document whose identities, ideas, and beliefs have been lost. Many people are never taught the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. An example of this is that many people are taught and believe that the only reason the 13 colonies separated from England was because of taxation without representation. However, the real reason they separated from England was due to England’s abuse of governmental powers. In fact, in the Declaration of Independence, abuse of governmental powers was mentioned 11 times more often that taxation without representation, which was only mentioned once out of 27 reasons.
Kids nowadays are taught more about political correctness and environmental stuff than they are taught reading, writing, and math. Now these kids are growing up and becoming teachers, and principals. So now we have people who don’t even know how to write, read, and do math teaching kids how to write, read, and do math. An example of this has to do with a principal of a middle school. He does not think that the kids in his school need textbooks. So he writes and sends out a memo defending his policy of not providing textbooks for his students. What is so bad is that in his memo he made a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes and he could not even even support his topic. Because of America’s declining education system, there are kids in junior high and even in high school, that still do not know how to read or write. Kids that do not know reading, writing, and math are at a disadvantage in today’s world.
A final example of how America is going the wrong way is that U.S. Citizens are loosing more and more of their freedoms – and often giving them up willingly. Every day our freedoms are being challenged. For example, we have increasingly intrusive firearm registration and restrictions on ownership, all in violation of our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Similarly, our freedom of speech is being silenced because of the fear that someone might be offended by what we have to say.
A clear demonstration of how our freedoms are being legislated away was with healthcare reform. Most everyone agreed that we needed changes made to the healthcare system. However, what they stuck into the bill that was passed does little to truly address the problem. For example, the bill forces people, just because they are a member of society, to buy a service that is regulated by the government. Additionally, in section 9,006 of the healthcare bill there is a policy that has credit card companies sending credit card transaction records to the IRS. This begs the question: What business does the IRS have in knowing what we buy with credit cards? And, what exactly does this have to do with healthcare?!? We all wanted healthcare reform, but we ended up giving up our freedom and still not getting the reform we needed.
Benjamin Franklin wisely said: “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
Our irresponsibility threatens our national security. The dumbing down of our education system handicaps future generations. And, the constant erosion of our freedoms will lead to tyranny. Any reasonable person, when presented with these facts, should come to the conclusion that America is indeed in trouble.
Main areas in which the church is under attack from within…
1. Liberation Theology / Social Gospel / Green Gospel
2. Dominion Theology / Kingdom Now / Latter Rain / Manifest Sons of God
3. Emerging Church / Pagan Spirituality / New Age / Mysticism
4. Universalism / Ecumenicalism / Syncretism / “Chrislam”
5. Happiness Gospel / “Seed Faith” – Give to Get – Greedy Gospel
We are indeed born into sin and the flesh…
However, God does not leave us that way.
He made a way for us to be born again of the spirit.
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”
I was surprised when my daughter showed me a survey she got from her Sunday school class concerning a program called “S.H.A.P.E.”
I recognized it immediately as while I was in the Air Force we went through a program in the mid-1990’s that was then called “Total Quality Management” (TQM) that used a very similar survey. Over the years, the same TQM program has undergone many name changes (currently called AFSO21), even though the methods and materials are the same.
This program is geared toward “evolutionary” changes to business processes to promote “continuous improvement”. One aspect of this program is for organizational members to take personality surveys and teaches them a psychological system to promote “self-knowledge” so they know where they fit within the organization and then “self-improvement” by knowing and overcoming their weaknesses.
Part of this psychological system uses personality profiles that goes under many names and forms including Myers-Briggs, Ned Herrmann’s Whole Brain, DiSC assessment, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, and Galen’s four temperaments.
I did some digging, and It turns out this program is currently being employed at many Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) churches and is based on a book available at Lifeway by Erik E. Rees called SHAPE
While the program I went through did not have the “friendly” animal names, the handout my daughter recieved would categorize the participants personality as one of “four temperaments” as follows:
Empedocles (495-425 B.C.) taught concerning the four elements and how they related to cosmology and personalities of the gods and goddesses. Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.) expanded on Empedocles and taught on the four humors and he is generally credited with the “humoural temperament theory of personality”, since he connected the types with both mental and physical states. While Hippocrates focused on applying these concepts to treatment of physical ailments, Plato (427-347 B.C.) would begin applying the concepts of the four humors to treatment of mental ailments.
Plato’s student Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) would continue in this vein, but it was Claudius Galen of Pergamum (A.D. 130-200) who wrote more fully on the relationship between humors and temperaments. He sought to explain emotional and behavioral differences between people and to develop treatments that would be suitable to those of varying temperaments. It is Galen’s work from which we get “Galen’s four temperaments” described earlier.
According to R. W. Coan’s entry “Personality Types” in the Encyclopedia of Psychology (Volume 3, 1984, p. 24):
Central to astrological views of personality is a system of 12 patterns or types that correspond to the 12 signs of the zodiac. The 12 types may be viewed as including three modes of expression of each of the four elements noted by Empedocles, as there are said to be three air signs, three earth signs, three fire signs, and three water signs. This typology has enjoyed some popularity for over 2000 years.
And K.J. Shapiro’s entry “Temperaments” in the Encyclopedia of Psychology (Volume 3, 1984, p. 410):
Synthesizing ideas from classical Greek medicine and astronomy, a theory of temperaments prevailing well into medieval times held that, for example, a sanguine disposition reflected a particular combination of humors in the body and that, in turn, this combination had been fixed by a certain configuration of the stars at the time of an individual’s birth.
In his book Psychological Types (Princeton University Press, 1971, p. 531.), Carl G. Jung, clearly notes the relationship between astrology and the four temperaments. He says:
From the earliest times attempts have been made to classify individuals according to types, and so to bring order into the chaos. The oldest attempts known to us were made by oriental astrologers who devised the so-called trigons of the four elements-air, water, earth, and fire. The air trigon in the horoscope consists of the three aerial signs of the zodiac, Aquarius, Gemini, Libra; the fire trigon is made up of Aries, Leo, Sagittarius. According to this age-old view, whoever is born in these trigons shares in their aerial or fiery nature and will have a corresponding temperament and fate. Closely connected with this ancient cosmological scheme is the physiological typology of antiquity, the division into four temperaments corresponding to the four humours.
What was first represented by the signs of the zodiac was later expressed in the physiological language of Greek medicine, giving us the classification into the phlegmatic, sanguine, choleric, and melancholic. These are simply designations for the secretions of the body.
As is well known, this typology lasted at least seventeen hundred years. As for the astrological type theory, to the astonishment of the enlightened it still remains intact today, and is even enjoying a new vogue.
The signs of the zodiac further refine and break down each of the four elements into “trigons” or “triplicities” as follows:
|Air||Blood||Sanguine||Gemini, Libra, Aquarius|
|Fire||Yellow Bile||Choleric||Aries, Leo, Sagittariu|
|Earth||Black Bile||Melancholy||Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn|
|Water||Phlegm||Phlegmatic||Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces|
For a greater detailed description of the link between the four temperaments and astrology, see the e-book by Martin and Deidre Bobgan at this link:
It is interesting to note that Erik Rees is a pastor and leader of the Ministry S.H.A.P.E. Discovery Teams at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church. (http://www.shapediscovery.com/author.php)
It is evident that Rees has relabeled TQM with christian-ese terminology and made it palatable for the church. It is also a book recommended to be used in conjunction with a Purpose Driven Life.
This program is a very subtle way to introduce astrology, psychology, Rick Warren’s program, and Total Quality Management into mainline evangelical churches.
Turns out there are many variations of this program all using the same features, just repackaged under different names.
After speaking with my in-laws who live in another state, their church (also a SBC church) is doing a program called P.L.A.C.E. which follows the same purpose-driven, TQM model and uses the same personality assessment with the 4 DISC personality types (Choleric, Melancholy, Sanguine, Phlegmatic) as the S.H.A.P.E. program.
It is great to encourage people to particpate in the ministry. However, considering that these programs are targeted to new believers and new church members, it is taking these folks and using psychological profiling (which can only measure attributes of the “flesh”) and tries to involve them in the ministry of the church so they are more likely to continue attendance (translate: church growth). This, combined with slogans such as “if you can read, you can lead”, is how we end up with “carnal christians” leading other “carnal christians” in feel good cliques (er, I mean “life groups”).
I don’t find where this is based on anything in the Bible. What happened to discipleship, Bible training, and concepts such as sanctification? I thought that we needed to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and the washing of the word (Eph 5:26; Rom 12:2)? While God can use us at all stages of development, everything I find in the Bible talks of finding leaders who are of good reputation, full of the Spirit, and wisdom (Acts 6:3). Programs such as S.H.A.P.E. and P.L.A.C.E. do none of that.
Discard the DiSC