Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief

A few hundred years ago in New England, there happened what came to be known as the Salem witch trials, spurred on by the infamous Cotton Mather. People were seeing witches everywhere and many false accusations were made.


For a while they had a real hysteria going on. And it’s not really the same thing, separated by time, geography, context and sins, but there seems to be a real hysteria going on in the entertainment industry right now, and it all started with Weinstein. Now there’s Spacey, and Dustin Hoffman, even the extremely aged George H.W. Bush who is being publicly pilloried for patting the rear ends of at last count 3 young ladies.


When the dust settles, it may be for the best because Hollywood has no moral authority and they’ve been pretending they do…one might say, ‘acting’.


Not only have they been extremely hypocritical in bashing Trump (no angel is he) for bragging about grabbing women by the ‘meow’ and feigning outrage, all of this abuse by fellow actors and movie producers was going on under their noses. Even Roman Polanski who fled the country after abusing an underage girl received a standing ovation at the Oscars.


The secret we’re being let in on just now was an open one in the industry. Now that it’s public, they’re shocked, shocked I say. Some of the worst acting I’ve seen.


Once the worst offenders have left the scene, I’m not sure Hollywood’s product is going to improve any time soon. You’d think they would get their house in order considering that people aren’t watching movies in the numbers they used to.


What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas they say. But I think the public genuinely doesn’t know what happened in Vegas. In a case of extreme irony, in a week when thousands of files related to the Kennedy assassination were released, the flow of information about the Vegas shooting has taken a few steps backward. It feels like we know more about the mysterious Kennedy assassination than a far more public shooting incident in a city replete with CCTV cameras in an internet age.


Recently, media outlets had to compel the Las Vegas police department and FBI to release information that they’re sitting on.


Reasonable people can conclude that something is off with the whole story. So, we can’t trust Hollywood, and we can’t trust the FBI it seems. Everybody’s got an agenda.


One of the groups that are open about their agenda is Islamists. The latest New York Islamist framed his act of terror by pledging allegiance to ISIS, shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ as he mowed down innocent civilians and after he was shot wanted to put up the ISIS flag in his hospital room. This is what you would call a slam dunk. No mystery here.


But the talking heads on CNN and the like tried to assure the public that the phrase ‘Allahu akbar’ is really beautiful, the act of Islamic terror was in fact anti-Islamic, and that the real victims were Muslims who expect a backlash from intolerant Americans.


The mainstream media clearly have an agenda too. You can’t trust them.


You can’t trust the Sharks either. A 2017 Currie Cup season where the pool stages yielded 10 wins in a row, a home semi and home final and they still bottle it. And then an article which says that fans shouldn’t measure the success of the season by the loss in the final. As excuses go, it’s not original, nor is it remotely true. The only measure of success is winning.


So, where does that leave us? Well, apart from the odd gem here and there, entertainment was better in the past. There’s nothing wrong with old classic movies and classic songs. You could do a lot worse than Listening to Frank Sinatra or the compositions of Hoagy Charmichael.


And of course, when it all goes pear shaped, we come back to the One who will never leave us or forsake us. He has an agenda, but it genuinely is His prerogative and it is for our good and His glory.

Prime Directive VS Great Commission

Cultural anthropologists are not a group of people that I think about regularly, or at all really.


Now that I consider them, I remember a humorous look at the field of study, a Touchstone Pictures release from 1998 called ‘Krippendorf’s Tribe’, a farce that pulled in little more than $7 million domestically while poking fun at liberal elites who gushed effusively about the peculiarities of the Shelmikedmu.


It’s only worth a look if you have nothing else to watch and you stop on it while channel surfing.


On Sunday just past there was a visitor from the great state of Ohio at church and he said a lot, and truth be told I forgot most of it, but what I remembered was an account of an uncle of his who was killed as a missionary in Ecuador while ministering to a raw tribe.


And as he pointed out, cultural anthropologists just hated those Christians disturbing the untouched state of this people group in the jungle. And though there may be many fine cultural anthropologists, I disliked them in that moment. The prevailing attitude of many cultural elites is that us in the city are corrupt and how dare we export that corruption into remote human communities untouched by the squabbles that so define us urbanites.


Except there is no such thing as a ‘noble savage’ in loin cloths who is morally superior some city boy in some smart duds with a smart phone. Whether savage or sophisticated, we are all in the same human, sinful predicament.


Cultural anthropologists are like Starfleet, rigorously upholding the prime directive of non-interference in cultures, especially ones that have not traversed through an industrial revolution.

Kirk getting chewed out for breaking the prime directive

The worldly sort doesn’t really adhere to the notion of an eternal destination based on judgement. That’s just antiquated and hateful, you see. We’ve got to leave those tribes in the jungle to themselves, lest we corrupt them. Prime directive, just like Star Trek.


What’s really important though, is the Great Commission as it’s called. Scripture says we are Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), representing the Kingdom to those who don’t know, don’t know yet, or won’t know until they need to know.


16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16 – 20, NIV)


The Church – Believers – are called to interfere, if I can use that word. According to Matthew 28, we have a mandate and express authorisation to get involved in people’s lives. We are to make disciples and not merely converts. It occurs to me that this is not a short process: getting involved in people’s lives and discipling them takes years and takes place simultaneously with living life.


Making First Contact

This goes against type for cave-dwellers like me and I suppose we all have our own hang ups for not engaging with people (you will be persecuted), but we all need to find our own way to initiate ‘First Contact’ with the ungodly.