I went to a circus once. The traveling extravaganza brought their big tent to our small town of about 2,500 and afforded me several priceless first-time experiences, like animals I had never seen. Our little family farm had been home to a variety of commonplace livestock – cows, pigs, chickens, and a couple of horses. We had a goose once, but it bit my grandma on the tender part of the back of her leg so she cooked it for Sunday dinner. Anyhow, in spite of my time around a barn, I had never seen anything like an elephant, much less be close enough to smell it. Smelling a live elephant is a pretty big deal for a small town guy who’s about to become a teenager. I couldn’t wait to tell my friend, Dinks, what it was like to smell something that big. He’d be overcome with envy, of course, and probably want to know whether the girls who rode on the elephants smelled like that, too. Dinks was weird like that. All in all, it was a fascinating experience and the elephant smell was memorable, but my major interest in the circus left town along with the cotton candy machine.
A Different Kind of Circus ~
I never went to another circus performance after that, but the three-ring extravaganza that goes on in Washington, DC these days brings back memories of that first circus. Like the one I attended as a kid, one of the first things that hits me about the political circus unfolding currently is the distinctive, repulsive smell of it all. At least those who attended the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey productions knew that the whole thing was just a performance. The circus performers didn’t pretend to have any connection to normal behavior or the real lives their audiences lived. They knew that people don’t normally engage in dangerous gyrations in skimpy costumes on elevated swings or stretch cables between high objects and try to walk on them, and elephants aren’t really prone to parading around in a circle with their trunks wrapped around the tail of the one in front of them. Those circuses were entertainment, nothing more, and they had no power to impact our lives beyond that.
The circus playing out in Washington and across the land isn’t so benign. Their performances are designed to do more than simply entertain. Their objective is to draw the spectators out of the bleachers, as it were, and get them involved as part of the act. The acrobatics performed in the Barnum & Bailey extravaganzas made complex physical contortions look almost natural and performers seemed able to defy gravity. The acrobatics displayed in the political and ideological circus are different. Instead of physical contortions that defy gravity, the “DC” acrobatics are verbal and defy wisdom, logic, and common sense. Destructive ideas, vain philosophies, immoral lifestyles, and irrational worldviews are made to look appealing, natural, and easily applied by everyone. Extended involvement with these philosophical acrobatics can have a negative impact on life outside the arena. That risk precipitated a warning from God and a protective admonition.
Gold Gets More Attention ~
First, let’s put it in a context we might recognize. Someone gave me a little “stick” type ballpoint pen some time ago. I don’t recall the person’s name, and I have no idea now where it ended up. But suppose it had it been a gold pen encrusted with diamonds? Suppose it was a personal gift given to me by the President, who had used it to sign important legislation. In that case, I’d know exactly where that pen would be all the time. It wouldn’t be thrown in a junk drawer with a bunch of other nondescript pens that I’ve collected over the years, that’s for sure. We treat things of significant value differently, don’t we?
But what if I began to think of that rare gift as something common, easily replaced, and not very practical? Suppose I began to treat it like it was just gold-colored plastic and the diamonds were just cut glass? And what if thieves who knew its real value were watching my careless handling of it? I’d soon find myself involved in a vulnerable situation where they could get to it. A scenario something like that prompts the warning God directed, through Paul, to Timothy and to the rest of us.
O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge–by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:20-21 (NKJV)
Treasure at Risk ~
We may fail at times to be conscious of the immeasurable value and power inherent in the gifts and calling that came along with our faith in Jesus Christ, but be assured that the devil never does. God committed priceless things to us at incredible cost, and He says that we’re to “guard” them. We have a tendency to naively wander into spiritually dangerous territory and put our potential effectiveness for Him at risk. Those danger zones can be anything from a college classroom to a political town hall meeting to a music concert, or even a Hollywood movie. The problem is that profane and idle babblings aren’t always clearly identified. For instance, we don’t hear the TV announcer say, “Breaking news–Professor Ichabod Dimnoodle is here to babble on about his latest profane and idiotic scientific assumption.” In the absence of such clarity, we are left to evaluate them another way.
When policies or potential behaviors are advocated that are opposed to God’s principles, they represent a potential attack on our faith. Proposals that contradict and/or violate God’s clearly revealed standards are fundamentally “profane” and God says to avoid them. The danger is that extensive exposure and involvement with them can result in an unconscious absorption of them. It happens on college campuses every day.
The lure of exposure to the most advanced theories, the latest knowledge, and the most scientific approach can be a Trojan Horse that opens a door for the enemy. Paul’s warning to Timothy pointed out that some had begun to join in and begin to “express” those profane ideas, right along with those they had been listening to. The result was that their faith became pockmarked with errors and they strayed away from the truth.
So . . . , when the ideological circus performers come to your house, listen carefully. If what they’re babbling about contradicts God’s word, turn them off — or take a hike. It’ll not only safeguard what Jesus invested in you, but it will definitely smell better somewhere else.
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- “Proposals that contradict and/or violate God’s clearly revealed standards are fundamentally “profane” and God says to avoid them. The danger is that extensive exposure and involvement with them can result in an unconscious absorption of them.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
- “The lure of exposure to the most advanced theories, the latest knowledge, and the most scientific approach can be a Trojan Horse that opens a door for the enemy.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
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- “When the ideological circus performers come to your house, listen carefully. If what they’re babbling about contradicts God’s word, turn them off . . . or take a hike.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)
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© 2019 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S. All rights reserved.
D.C. has certainly become a circus, Ron, I heartily agree. Unfortunately, theirs isn’t the kind of show we were hoping for when we bought tickets with our votes. It is so obvious how one party in particular wants nothing to do with the Godly values on which this country was founded. Maybe 2020 will secure us another venue where the show is worth seeing – and no more stink!
One of these days I’m going to catch up, Martha–at least that’s the fantasy I keep chasing. We’ve been traveling and involved in things that wreck my routine–‘course being behind has sort of become my new routine. Thank you for your insightful comments and for your forgiving spirit and, as always, for your courageous stand for Jesus Christ.
Well said Mr. Ron, the circus in D.C. has multiple rings and competing ringmasters (who remind me more of carnival barkers than a ringmaster who demands your attention through his words and actions). Instead, we have far too many pundits, on all sides, who desire to push their particular agenda upon people rather than serve them. In the end, we can only blame ourselves. Our action, or inaction/complacency is what keeps putting them there.
Thanks again, J.D. and please pray for us. We forward our posts to a large number of followers by email and Google has begun to block most of them–indicating that the content is “Dangerous.” It’s the attack on our freedom of speech that is dangerous, and if they go after even a tiny voice like mine, nobody is safe from them. We are devastated, enraged, and exasperated–no avenue to even discuss it with Google is available–unbelievable!