published Monday, December 24th, 2012

Robin Smith: Seasons and reasons

By Robin Smith
  • photo
    Robin Smith, former Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and congressional candidate.
    File Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Whether it's Happy Hanukkah for those of the Jewish faith who celebrate supernatural provision, or Merry Christmas for the Christian faith that honors the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, or Happy Holidays for those who reject both of the aforementioned, this time on the calendar allows a bit of introspection.

By the way, the word "holiday" originates from the Old English word which means Holy Day. So, Happy Holy Days to all!

Back to the introspection: Regardless of faith, there's either a simple belief or rejection of a creator whose desire in our creation is to fellowship, love and grow with Him and with each other. While belief in the Judeo-Christian God, Yahweh, acknowledges His love, benevolence, grace, mercy and forgiveness, many want to reject the aspects of His justice, righteousness and judgment.

The Christian faith embraces the ultimate Redemption born from the price required for our sin, Jesus -- born of a virgin, who lived as a man, yet defeated death, sin, and the grave as the wages for our sins through His crucifixion and resurrection.

But let's admit what our culture has truly become, regardless of faith or lack thereof: a secular, rotting society.

The more intellectual and advanced we've become, the greater criticism has been targeted toward any of faith and the more high-tech and global our evil has become. The dramatic increased role of all levels of government has displaced a benevolent God who works through His creation as a neighbor, friend or concerned citizen. The greater the opportunities for affluence, the more people reject the unseen hand of providence and an exertion of individual will, pride, and self-praise. The more educated and reasoned our citizenry, the more intense the mockery and disdain toward those who pursue a daily walk with our Lord seeking His favor and blessing.

Where are we on this Dec. 24, 2012? About where Paul, the Jewish-Christian, scholar, and apostle said we would be: "... Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man.... Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchange the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator."

I challenge any of you to read Romans 1, written around A.D. 56, and miss the words painting the portrait of our world today. It is as if a digital, high-resolution photograph was available to St. Paul in his writing to the church at Rome.

Our intellect and free will have yielded tremendous "progress" but an honest look at the evil perpetrated at the Sandy Hook School and other tragic events offers evidence to the contrary. It's really not about the weaponry, the technologies, the legislative environment, the politics or any other influence. Our culture today, on the third planet from the sun spinning about 93 million miles away from our source of heat and light, reflects the hearts of each us. Our individual core is collectively creating the world in which we now live.

Laugh; chortle; sniff. But the fact is our willful rejection of that which is good has ensured the evidence of that which is evil.

My prayer is that each person will find the true reason for not just this season but for existence. Our world depends on it.

Robin Smith is a wife and mother living in Hixson. She served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party from 2007 to 2009.

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daytonsdarwin said...

When a position fails because it can't hold to science and reason, the political scalawags resort to God and superstitions.

Want violence, mass murder of innocents, cruelty, theft, incest, supported and encouraged by a war-god? Read the Bible. Want suppression of humanity through divinely approved slavery of others and suppression of women? Read the Bible. Want rules, regulations, and sacrifices of humanity to a god whose anger, jealously, and rage is responsible for untold millions of deaths of innocent people? Read the Bible.

Think women should be captured, held and raped at sword-point by the conquering armies? Read the Bible. Believe that disrespectful children should be killed? Read the Bible. Think good Christians should hate their parents? Read the Bible. Believe that a father who claims to love you would kill your family, destroy your business, give you disease, make you suffer, and do it as a test? Read the Bible.

Believe that people will wrap themselves in the flag, ask you to believe that imaginary gods, devils, and demons are real, abhor free thinking, reason and scientific explanations for a natural universe, and do so for political purposes? Read and believe this column.

December 24, 2012 at 9:05 a.m.
MyGen said...

I'm thankful I was raised by parents who taught me how to think & work on my own but have enough humilty to see there's a God that loves and disciplines.

And to the "commenter", I'm at a loss for words when someone willingly declares such hate toward a belief in goodness. But it's your choice to have you, yourself, and your circumstances to believe in.

I'm starting my own business as a twenty-something-year-old. I'll be looking to work with folks who have vision and hope. This opinion piece reminds me it really does matter who you choose to hang out and associate with in life.

December 24, 2012 at 9:34 a.m.
librul said...

Well, while Robin thinks the Sandy Hook massacre is the fault of the disintegration of "our individual core" and our rejection of a desire to "grow" with her god; sadly, she cannot bring herself to admit that we are tailspinning to national death DIRECTLY as a result of the "the weaponry, the technologies, the legislative environment, the politics and other influences" - most of them coddled by the craven Republican war hawks in our government. To see them saying "the solution is MORE guns" seems almost biblical in its imagery. The relief of one American, expressed below, in no longer supporting our global butchery through payment of taxes would indicate that she has a lot more reading to do.

"I Quit Murdering People on November 17, 2012. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33412.htm

By Pawnstorm December 22, 2012 "Daily Paul"

I lost my job (outsourced) on November 16th.

Since I no longer pay taxes (since I'm unemployed - and no I'm not collecting unemployment), my tax dollars are no longer going to a government intent on killing people who look (or think) a little different than us.

That is the one thing I take comfort in since losing my job of 27 years.

I'm no longer drone bombing wedding parties in Pakistan.

I'm no longer killing the Afghani people.

I quit pointing guns at Iran.

I no longer give out $55 billion in foreign aid which goes to rogue governments who torture, imprison and murder their people.

I no longer sell or give military weapons to foreign nations who in turn suppress their people for U.S. weapons manufacturer's financial gain.

I have quit sanctioning Iran and causing untold harm to innocent Iranians who never did a thing to me.

I no longer send Israel 3.2 billion dollars to kill Palestinians.

The killing no longer has my name on it.

I'm sorry I killed so many people with the money I sent this government all the decades I did.

I apologize to the countries of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lybia etc.

I may end up killing again when I get another job.

But for now I can sleep soundly knowing I quit killing people through the actions of the immoral representatives in my immoral government.

For now."

December 24, 2012 at 9:54 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

My Gen wrote : And to the "commenter", I'm at a loss for words when someone willingly declares such hate toward a belief in goodness."

Who hates goodness? I believe in goodness, but God isn't good. Who else has caused more famine, disease, war, pestilence, and condemns his "loved ones" to an eternal burning hell of suffering, torture, and pain?

The imaginary tribal deity Jehovah is as far from goodness and love and unworthy of worship as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. They too claimed to love their people while millions died at their blood-drenched hands.

Goodness of God? No loving father would treat his children as God has treated humanity. It's time to put such religious superstitions into the historical graveyard of beliefs as wrong as flat earths, an earth-centered universe, talking serpents and burning bushes.

For the Holidays, we'll gather around the Festivus pole, watch George Carlin specials, enjoy foods and drinks from the hands of humanity, laugh, watch the stars and planets, build a bonfire and tell stories — all without religious superstitions, preachers, and politicians demanding sacrifices to gods and flags.

December 24, 2012 at 10:14 a.m.
MyGen said...

In a sad but real way, you all are proving the point of the article.

Again, I'm so glad my friends, family and those I'm choosing to work with don't live in anger and insult the dreams of others.

Merry Christmas. I do hope God saves your soul.

December 24, 2012 at 10:24 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Happy Holidays. I hope you put aside childish superstitions and realize there is no Biblical God, Santa, Tooth-fairy, and Humpty-Dumpty.

December 24, 2012 at 10:37 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

But let's admit what our culture has truly become, regardless of faith or lack thereof: a secular, rotting society.

Our society is far from rotting, and has always been pretty secular, in spite of the majority of Americans believing in some Creator (most of them the God of Abraham).

The more intellectual and advanced we've become, the greater criticism has been targeted toward any of faith and the more high-tech and global our evil has become.

High tech, yes. Evil? Hardly. Technology brings more goods and services to more of the people. It is hardly evil, but anything can be USED for evil.

The dramatic increased role of all levels of government has displaced a benevolent God who works through His creation as a neighbor, friend or concerned citizen.

Here your white-bread middle class memory is showing. The country has always been good for married middle class employed white people with no problems. People of color, non-Christians, those suffering from mental health issues and/or drug and alcohol addiction, homosexuals, single parents, all of these have at one time or other been failed by society. Even women-if you were happily married and wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, things were great. If not, well, not so much.

The greater the opportunities for affluence, the more people reject the unseen hand of providence and an exertion of individual will, pride, and self-praise.

Not sure that this wasn't already happening to these that were successful all along (white affluent heterosexual men)

The more educated and reasoned our citizenry, the more intense the mockery and disdain toward those who pursue a daily walk with our Lord seeking His favor and blessing.

Actually this is not true. It seems the case because the message is more widely heard due to the internet and other forms of media. Just like it SEEMS that the world is more dangerous, more disfunctional, more violent, more uncaring. It's not. Acts of violence and hatred have always been there. But now, we know about it almost instantaneously. Child abduction, child sexual abuse, rape, murder, war, coupes, genocide, these have always happened. With 1-4 channels of TV, a few radio stations, and local newspapers no one saw fit to make sure that everyone knew about every event. If anything, events receive better response, as the generosity of the American people shows every time there is a crisis at home or abroad.

There is no such thing as the "good old days", unless the past was actually good for you. For most, things are better now in the US than they have ever been. The "deterioration" of our society is an illusion, created by increased information, more open discussion of things that used to be kept quiet, better understanding of human society, human biology and global issues, better medicine, better food distribution, more affordable goods, better access to those with disabilities, relatively cheap energy, and all have a place at the table now.

December 24, 2012 at 1:14 p.m.
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