Thursday, August 25, 2016
Gmail is freaking me out lately.
Today I was reading an email about some meeting dates and times, and I noticed that gmail put in a prompt called, "Add to Calendar." I clicked it, and it did add the date to my calendar. Then I added the location to the calendar item, and gmail automatically mapped it for me on google maps. This is convenient but invasive. I've also received notifications on my phone telling me that I am late for an appointment or need to get on the road to an airport to make my flight. These have been based solely on emails I've received, and not even calendar items.
Shawn says we don't have to worry about whether Hillary or Trump becomes the next president, because Google--having total access to our "privacy"--will be the government before anybody knows it. Shawn (although he might have been joking) is generally right about these things. He said that the whole Y2K thing was ridiculous and would amount to nothing, way back from the very beginning, when everyone was panicking (and even his own wife bought a few furtive gallons of water to hold in reserve).
We watched a documentary on George H. Bush last night, and I teared up remembering what a dignified president he was, motivated for the good of our country and the good of the world, making decisions based on sound reason rather than personal gain or party politics. Unfortunately, that seemed to be the undoing of the Republican party. I guess the Republican party didn't appreciate being disregarded in favor of sound reason. Newt Gingrich saw his chance and leapt upon it. I think GHB's biggest mistakes were in trusting his party to support him, and in granting too much credit to the masses, believing that they would be able to understand what was best and vote accordingly. He was a good person (as far as people go--we're all fatally flawed), and he mistakenly assumed that the majority of people are motivated by morality and reason, as he was. He didn't realize that people are selfish, lazy and greedy. They are. We are. This is the problem with every political system. The sinful nature of man wrecks every social system from socialism to capitalism.
Capitalism works a little better than the other systems for awhile, because it is actually based on the premise that man is greedy and will be driven to attain for himself. So it starts out realistically. But then it implodes, because the reality is sordid. In a vicious Darwinian pattern, the strong gain power over the weak, the weak become bitter and hostile, and class wars ensue. This becomes a pathological situation when democratic voting is supposed to make the decisions. Factions are pitted against one another, resulting in anger, hatred and violence.
Democracy is also flawed by the fact that, in a voting environment, the people who promote themselves as politicians are never the solid, quiet, humble people who would be best qualified to serve. This played out in living color in the Republican primaries, where a host of arrogant, aggrandizing adversaries all competed for the nomination, and none would back down for the good of the nation, or even the party. The end result has been disastrous. It was already broken anyway, but just like President Obama did with healthcare, the Republicans took the broken machine of their party, dropped it into a pit, and ran a tank back and forth over it a few times until it became an unrecognizable heap of rubble.
I guess the good point about a monarchy is that, being born to the position, a king doesn't have to campaign for his office, and therefore doesn't necessarily need to be brash and boastful. You could get a humble and wise king, once in awhile. Maybe.
Socialism and communism are doomed to fail before they begin. You just can't realistically throw a bunch of unredeemed people together and expect that they will all cooperate and share for one another's best. Even in churches, which are supposed to function this way (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-31), where the bulk of the people are supposed to have been redeemed and to have begun the process of being sanctified, where they are supposed to esteem sacrificial love above all else, selfishness still rears up and wrecks things.
When I was a girl, washing dishes in the kitchen sink, my mother used to come up behind me and say, "Don't waste water. There will be a day when you will wish for clean water from a faucet. Mark my words, the persecution is coming."
Seems she might have been righter than we'd hoped. But the Bible does tell us there will be tribulation, and the forces of evil will conquer the saints on earth (Revelation 11:7, 13:7). Of course, this is only on the current, fallen earth. There is still our sure hope in the new world to come, the new, redeemed creation of God, the eternal kingdom where we will enjoy everlasting life.
Thus, with Google tracking everything, here is my manifesto:
I am a Christian. I believe the Bible, and I worship the God who created the Universe and revealed Himself through the Bible.
I believe that there will be no other remedy for the sickness of sin in the world than the remedy of Jesus Christ's redeeming death and resurrection.
I believe that the cleansing forgiveness of Christ enables us to receive new, God-infused hearts, placed in us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I believe that our hope is in the coming of a New Heaven and a New Earth where God Himself will care for His people and reign in incorruptible righteousness and power, forever.
My hope is in the unfailing love of God and His promises of full redemption, salvation and glorification for those who put their faith in Him.
Hard times will come, but for those who persevere, the end will bring deliverance and joy.