Echoes From the Campfire

There wasn’t all this worry about who was right and who was wrong. You just knew.”
–Elmer Kelton (The Far Canyon)

“You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”
–Genesis 4:7 (NLT)
“Silver wings upon their chest
These are men, America’s best
One hundred men we’ll test today,
But only three win the Green Beret.”
–Barry Sadler

“I searched for a man among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land so that I might not destroy it, but I found no one.”
–Ezekiel 22:30 (HCSB)

There is much ado today about standards. What is right, what is wrong, what can I do, what can I not do. Who makes the standards, why I must adhere to them, and on, and on, and on. What I have noticed in my almost four decades of teaching that instead of standards rising they tend to drop. Now there are a myriad of reasons for that, but the fact is still there. One of the problems is that individuals want their own standards; it’s that autonomous thing again. They want to be in charge, even at the expense of their employer and maybe other people.
I know of a student, quite brilliant, but who has been out of college for quite some time and cannot get the job of his choosing. The reason why is that he will not subject himself to their dress standards. When I look at the above lyrics by Sgt. Sadler I look at the standard. How many pass the test and are able to uphold the standard? –three percent. It surely makes me wonder if that standard is being maintained. I know that the Green Beret, Special Forces, don’t want to get too mercenary here, have individuals known as “Gatekeepers” to make sure the standards are maintained. Hopefully, there are, but what happens if only one can pass up to standard? Will the standard change? A little thing, and I know today’s military personnel do not have to shine boots, but it was easy to tell what a person thought of the standard by glancing at his boots. Spit shine or…well, there just wasn’t anything else acceptable.
I was stationed at the USAF Academy when they allowed women to enter that institution. I watched on the obstacle course to see if the standard had changed. Sorry to say, it had. I don’t care what report you read, I saw it change. I haven’t been there in years, and I wonder if on the front of the terrazzo there is still the sign, “Bring Me Men”? Men to meet the standard, and women too, if they can reach it.
Many people come to Christ, but read the parable of the sower; only a small percentage of them stay the course. Some of the seed falls on hard ground and doesn’t take good root, others are choked out by the world. When Christ calls, He calls us to a standard and the first step in that standard is obedience. He has certain standards; He will never drop or minimize His standards. When I was in the service I would be given an order and it was expected that it would be carried out. There wasn’t always the complete understanding of the order, but there was the understanding of obedience. Take a glance at Abraham: “Get up and move.” He did!
A statement was made in church last Sunday and it is true. “It is not being religious to live blameless, it is an honor.” (Rasim Hasan) We do not come to Christ and remain the same. If we love Him we obey His commandments. That is not legalism! Want to know a cause of the problems in America (and I know the liberals want to blame guns)? The cause is that we have lost the standards that we set up. Evil is being called good. Moral standards, ha, where are they? Righteousness is mocked, and this is true in the church as well. Faith is synonymous with obedience, and the words of Jesus when He rewards those who follow Him will be, “well done, good, and faithful.”
Are you, am I, maintaining the standard? If the Gatekeeper looks for someone to stand in the gap, have I maintained the standard well enough that I can step in and fulfill the duty to which He has called me? Listen, it is not always easy to maintain the standard of the high calling of Jesus Christ. Watching others let down the standard it is easy to let mine drop as well. That cannot happen. In lieu of all this JUNK about not standing for the National Anthem and other stupid stuff, even in the church, it makes me realize that I have to maintain.
I might mention, the sermon where I attended last Sunday was by a converted Muslim, who now is a missionary to the Muslims in the D.C. area.
“Sin is nothing, because it cleaves to and joys in creatures and opposes them and prefers them to the Creator.” –Albert Barnes