GPS – Two Deadly Inheritances
by Rick Shrader
One of the blessings of our lives is the inheritance we received from our parents. “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance” (Psa 16:6). “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Prov 13:22). Sometimes there are family heirlooms and other material treasures that we pass from generation to generation. Sometimes there is monetary inheritance left from parents or grandparents. The best kind of inheritance is a godly inheritance. “Our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from our children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done” (Psa 78:3-4). Every Christian parent and grandparent should store up such treasure to leave for the generations to come.
Sometimes the good things we leave behind can be used in wrong ways. Obviously riches or fame can spoil a child and even lead to ruin The lists of the kings of Israel and Judah are filled with fathers and sons (and sometimes mothers) who passed on the throne only to see it ruin the next son in line. Good king Hezekiah’s son was the evil Manasseh. Josiah’s son was the evil Jehoahaz. Samuel’s sons did not serve the Lord, nor all of David’s sons, nor Solomon’s.
One sad story is the son of David named Adonijah in 1 Kings chapter 1. As David was dying, Adonijah (from David’s wife Haggith) proclaimed himself the new king of Judah. We know, however, that Solomon (the son of Bathsheba) was David’s pick to be king. Adonijah’s usurpation didn’t last long as David and Bathsheba quickly anointed Solomon the rightful king. Adonijah had to flee for his life and was eventually killed by Solomon for his rebellion.
I Kings 1:6, in a parenthesis, lists two characteristics about Adonijah, the son of David. “(And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, ‘why have you done so?’ He was also a very good-looking man. His mother had borne him after Absalom).” David succeeded and failed in raising his many children, but here is one in which he failed by giving him two deadly inheritances.
The first was a lack of discipline. David must have been an absentee father to many of his children. It’s obvious that he had too many wives and too many children and there was no way he could bring them all up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He did better with Solomon who would later write that to spare the rod is to spoil the child (Prov 13:24; 22:15; 29:15). Adonijah received no such instruction.
The second deadly inheritance was that he was a handsome man, and who wouldn’t like to be! Yet the Bible writer lists this as one of his downfalls. Many young people find popularity due to their good looks that eventually leads them to trouble. Did you notice that Adonijah’s brother was Absalom who also rebelled against David? 2 Sam 14:25 says, “Now in all Israel there was no one who was praised as much as Absalom for his good looks.”
Too many children love to have a lack of discipline coupled with beauty or good looks (neither of which are their fault). But to these two sons of David they were a deadly inheritance. A handsome son or a beautiful daughter needs special care to not let that lead to sin. Every child needs discipline and should not be left with absentee parents when it comes to godly training. Let them also say, “Yes, I have a good inheritance.”
Post-Christian: a contemporary guide to thought and culture. By Gene Edward Veith, Jr.
I have been reading Gene Veith since the 1990s when I first found his book, Postmodern Times, a topic that was almost unheard-of. This 2020 book expresses the sad truth about our culture—that it is basically “post-Christian” and beyond. Though we still live in a country with a Christian heritage and are surrounded with many Christian symbols and traditions, the general life and actions of Americans (and often Christian Americans) is anything but Christian. Part 1 is on Reality, covering topics of science and technology. Part 2 is on The Body. In this section Veith deals with sexual sins and also with gender, transgender, and transhuman issues. Part 3 is on Society, dealing with education and politics. Part 4 is on Religion. The chapter titles and headings tell the story. Chapter 11: “Spiritual but Not Religious: the religion of the nones.” “Nones” means no religion at all. Chapter 12: “Religious but Not Spiritual.” New religions today are not spiritual at all. Chapter 13: “Post-Christian Christianity.” While secular institutions seek to be “religious,” religious institutions are seeking to be more secular. This is especially true, Veith contends, “when evangelical Christians seek to emulate the world as a technique for evangelism and for growing the church.” The Conclusion: “Toward the Postsecular.” There is a “global religious explosion” because secular people world-wide increasingly have their own “private spiritualities and religious worldviews of their own.” Veith is saying that “secularism” as a descriptive is fading away and is being replaced by anyone’s personal religion. He says, “This has given rise to a new term that is gaining currency among scholars in multiple fields. It is another post– word. Not postmodernism. Not post-Christian. But postsecular. What is emerging or is already upon us is a postsecular culture.” Later in the conclusion he writes, “We need to realize that a postsecular society may still be post-Christian. We may be seeing a reversion to the religiosity that is natural to fallen human beings, that is, to a new pagan order.” Veith’s example of today’s postsecularism is transgenderism. “Rather, it is the gnostic view of the soul, the creation-denying, body-repudiating heresy that teaches the ‘transmigration of souls,’ which is similar to Hindu reincarnation.”
A new poll shows something that has been common for generations. It reminds us that our responsibility to our parents never ends but also that this responsibility is not easy. “Americans in their 40s are the most likely to be sandwiched between their children and an aging parent. More than half in this age group (54%) have a living parent age 65 or older and are either raising a child younger than 18 or have an adult child they helped financially in the past year. By comparison, 36% of those in their 50s, 27% of those in their 30s, and fewer than one-in-ten of those younger than 30 (6%) or 60 and older (7%) are in this situation.” Pew Research Center, 4/8/22, “More than half of Americans in their 40s are ‘sandwiched’ between an aging parent and their own children.” Accessed 6/18/22
A second poll shows that the discipline of our children is changing from one generation to the next. “Parents employ many methods to discipline their children. The most popular is explaining why a child’s behavior is inappropriate: three-quarters say they do this often. About four-in-ten (43%) say they frequently take away privileges, such as time with friends or use of TV or other electronic devices, and a roughly equal share say they give a “timeout” (41% of parents with children younger than 6) as a form of discipline, while about one-in-five (22%) say they often resort to raising their voice or yelling. Spanking is the least commonly used method of discipline – just 4% of parents say they do it often.” Pew Research Center. “Parenting in America.” Accessed 6/30/22.
And Finally, Something I Read
My wife and I took a day to go downtown and wander through some of the local shops. When we came out of the last shop, there was a policeman standing in front of the car writing a ticket for illegal parking. I immediately started to question the officer, and he started filling out another ticket. While he was writing that ticket for harassing a law officer, my wife said she thought it was a stupid law. He flipped his book to another page and wrote out a third ticket. Just as he was attaching all three tickets to the car’s windshield, our bus came and we got on.
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