CAVEMEN & ZOMBIES (THE NEW HUNTERS & GATHERERS)

We are becoming cavemen and zombies in my community.  Those who “do their part” and “are in it together” and are smart about it, STAY HOME as much as possible.  But even a caveman gotta eat.  So sooner or later, we all get zombified.  But right now, the zombies are made up mostly of stupid college kids on Spring Break or the homeless with no where to be.  Yet, we are in a melting pot now – like never before.

Is there a lesson for us in this?

(Seems like we are always learning some “lesson”…)

I recently read a blog post by a person who shared a “lesson” learned when giving to a bum on the street.  What was the lesson?

(Glad you asked.)

Some people who beg have standards.

That was the lesson.  (My wording, not the author’s.)  People who beg have standards.

Hey.  make of that what you want.  I verified this with the author to make sure I was getting this right.  Check your standards with the Bible, was the take away, as I understand it.

That was the lesson.

Okay…

Well, I certainly do my best to seek guidance for life from the Bible.  Anyone reading here long, surely knows that.  You may think I have a terrible misunderstanding of the Bible and the lessons it teaches, but you really can’t fault me for not going there.

What lessons are there in the Bible for us today, as our standards of living come crumbling down around us on all sides?

Well, I don’t know.  I struggle to see the lessons.  Maybe you can help me.

I have standards of good health, and I am learning to be a caveman just as fast as I can.  Civilization in reverse at hyper speed as a way of moving forward.  Ironic, to say the least.  But is that biblical?  Hear me out…

I have a high-fence backyard, and I take my kids out there to play most days for at least a couple of hours, but I have a child with “underlying” respiratory issues which are affected by pollen and dust blowing on the West Texas wind, whether a virus threatens the public or not.  So we don’t get out everyday.  In fact, I notice I might go as much as three days in a row without setting foot outside my door at all!

I am a caveman of the new millennium.

Woulda never guessed it.

I went to the grocery store a couple of days ago.  First time in more than two weeks.  The culture outside my house is changing too.  I saw people with gloves, with masks, signs promoting social distancing on doors and floors, plexiglass shields at cash registers, AND I saw many people NOT observing precautions too.

Biblical standards

God made humans to bear his image.  He made us male and female, naked, and vulnerable in order to do this, AND HELD JUDGMENT on it offering the verdict “It WAS VERY GOOD.”  How can we bear God’s image full of fear and wearing masks so that we can’t even see the friendly smile of our fellow humans?

Jesus goes to Golgotha where they strip him completely naked (you wouldn’t know this from looking at a Catholic crucifix), and where he lays down his life in love and forgiveness AND takes a bride (the church) in this coronation which has all the right elements, yet looks completely different to the dominion and rule bestowed on the first Adam and his wife (look at John 19:31-37 and consider the deep sleep and rib surgery as you LOOK at Jesus on the cross).  But then Jesus makes all things new, and he rules over New Creation in the Age of Resurrection, which we will celebrate as cavemen (rather than sheep flocked together) next Sunday while the zombies roam the streets.

But I digress.  

Back to the grocery store…

On aisle 9, I, the caveman of the new millennium, had to pass through a small crowd of five or six people clogging up the lane with their congregation.

Why???

Yeah.  I thought that too, as I passed through.

As I moved beyond, I turned back again to consider the zombies I just encountered, and I suddenly soaked it in finally.  This was a mother and her children.  After the last four decades of post-sexual revolution (and all the happiness left in its wake), it dawned on me that she is a single mama.  She can’t leave these kids at home or in the car.  They gotta all go TOGETHER as a group to the store spreading the infection.

Hey, a zombie gotta eat too!

And so does a caveman.  We are FORCED to mix it up, at least a little – or else die of other problems.

Our way of “life” is NOT what God created in the beginning, nor is it what he makes in the New Creation.  Our “way of life” was on artificial life support all along.  The Adam and his wife of Genesis were not made to “hunt and gather” whether in the hunting grounds or the supermarket.

Cavemen and zombies.  We are all busted down a notch – all of us, all over the world.  

“We are in this together” – another lesson the news media is trying to teach us.

We were always vulnerable, just didn’t know it.  Your ADT home security system isn’t equipped for this.  But I find that just as we glove up and mask up, we are more vulnerable with and to each other NOW than we ever realized.

Is there a “lesson” in this?

Let me hear from you.  What do you think?

 

13 comments

  1. Tim McGee · April 6

    I dunno. I don’t. I’m trying to make this a time, for me, to trust God and to be contrite for my sins. It feels like I’m studying for the final, however. I want it to be sincere. But I don’t know. If there’s a societal lesson, I’m missing it. If there’s a theological lesson, I’m missing it (or ignoring that in any way this is God’s “punishment” for our sins–doesn’t work if we believe in the salvation of Christ). God’s promises are still with us. We trust Him. But so did Jesus–even while naked and hanging from the cross.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agent X · April 6

      Thanx for responding, Tim.

      Of course I appreciate your prayers and Psalm 51.

      No doubt Ps 51 teaches a lesson about what God wants from us – broken and contrite hearts. I hope mine is broken and contrite and pleasing to God. Gotta be humble with God.

      We also know we gotta have LOVE.

      We been saying this stuff where I go to church a long time. I even think that in some sense we meant it too. Wanted to mean it, sincerely. Wanted to at least, and I would think God can work with that.

      But noted somewhere back around 2008-09 that for all our lofty talk, even in a “Christian” town like Lubbock, Texas, that didn’t translate into love for the homeless – the kind Jesus shows to lepers, beggars, sick and marginalized people. At our VERY BEST we insisted on buffering them at arms length by deploying the 501c3s and professionals to do our “love” for us. All the while we kept rushing headlong into the American Dream without so much as a hesitation.

      I don’t think our hearts were really that broken or contrite, and the more I look carefully, I don’t see LOVE in a locked up church house door.

      Now our world is totally turned upside down in a most powerful way that no one could see coming – well maybe Bill Gates and a few weirdos did, but even they didn’t see clearly what is happening now. We were not, and for the most part still aren’t, seeing clearly the carnage and levels of sheer change of life overwhelming us.

      Afraid to call it JUDGMENT?

      Okay. And I am not committed to that term either, but I find it short-changes God to use any terms which might suggest he didn’t see this coming, that he has no stake in it, that he isn’t involved in important ways. What word do you have for that?

      More importantly, what words do the Bible use for it? In what ways are the Bible instructive for us now?

      No doubt you have hit on a central point. God wants broken and contrite hearts. The Just will live by faith and will be justified in the final court scene. Those in Christ surely are that.

      Meanwhile there is that other word APOCALYPSE which goes with words like JUDGMENT and ESCHATON frequently, and I sense things are being revealed right now. The emperor has no clothes.

      What lesson might we learn in this? I think there is more here for us that we have yet learned.

      I could be wrong about that, but I have a strong sense of it. So in the meantime, I am looking, thinking, and asking…

      God bless…

      X

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tim McGee · April 6

        The homily by our priest yesterday (as seen on TV, well YouTube) was that we need to “be attentive to grace in times of suffering.” He was using the theme that, like the Cross, God can make something ugly into something beautiful.
        So in not going to Mass and in dutifully saying my Spiritual Communion prayer and, yesterday, having a “drive-in” Adoration and Benediction, I know my yearning for Christ in this most holy sacrament. I have been emotion-filled (very unlike me) at every turn with this. So there’s that.
        Regarding the homeless and the poor, we are fortunate to have a living saint here in Minneapolis, Mary Jo Copeland, who runs a ministry called Sharing and Caring Hands. She is well supported by our archdiocese and our priest is a friend of hers. So even this week my parish is helping out by making sandwiches for those daytime visitors to her center and for the residents there. There is also a program here called Families Moving Forward, where homeless families seeking long term housing are hosted by various churches for a week at a time. My church participates in that also. Not bragging here, just know how fortunate we are to have this. I know these are not comprehensive efforts and perhaps we should, we could, do more.
        It seems like lessons in times like this are more apparent after they have run their course. But the lessons of faith should be at the top of our list. And yes, JUDGEMENT will come to us and we will be judged on our love for others. What did we do, what will we do, what must we do for the “least of these”?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Tim McGee · April 6

        I was enjoying time with my wife and daughter and wondered to myself if that should be so. Then the verse “the joy of the Lord is my strength” popped into my head (Nehemiah 8:10). So I looked it up in its context. What I found is relevant, I think, to what you’ve written, to what might be a lesson in all of this. Ezra had read the Law out loud to the people. They wept as the heard the Law, in part because of the gravity of their own sins. But Nehemiah extolled them to find joy in their hearing and understanding the Law. But what was that joy? Well, eating and drinking (of course) but also the joy was in the allotting of portions to those who did not have enough! That is the joy of our Lord. Love in action. Serving others serves Him. We will have joy when we understand our call and share what we have with others.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Steven · April 6

        In the past couple of days I’ve begun reading Augustine’s “City of God” (and there’s a good chance I won’t finish it), but I started reading it because it begins with a discussion about why bad stuff happens to Christian and pagan alike, and where God’s hand plays in all of it. Essentially, what I gleaned from Augustine’s thought is that bad stuff (plagues, natural disasters, wars, etc) afflict us indiscriminately as a consequence of original sin. Augustine’s language leaves it entirely permissible to refer to such evils as “punishments” which humanity suffers on account of original sin. There’s also negative consequences built into the created order of things, which people by design suffer when they violate the parameters set forth in nature (pollute the environment, drink contaminated water). This too can be considered a “punishment”, though not in the sense that God has intervened in a special way. The punishment is built into the created order as a logical consequence of sin/stupidity. Augustine caveats all of this by reminding us that while we all must undergo suffering in this life as a consequence of original sin, God nonetheless lessens the severity of our “punishments” according to His mercy. I guess this is a theological way of saying, “it could always be worse.” The purpose of God’s temporal punishments on us is not to inflict raw purposeless revenge, but to purify believers for purposes God only knows and to call nonbelievers to repentance. Either way you cut it, Augustine maintains that our sufferings in this life are grievous and can be called “evils” because of the harm they inflict, but ultimately God uses them for the greater good. I think this is an important distinction to maintain because of the tendency for some people to declare this or that disaster is God’s punishment for (fill in your favorite sin). I don’t think we can know anything other than saying this is a consequence of original sin, though we can certainly point out things this crisis brings to attention such as economic inequality and a lack of thorough financial safety net under our current system.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Agent X · April 6

        Steven! So glad to have you…

        Thanx for your input.

        I am dealing with little crises just now, but your comment has me thinking of Prov. 3:12 and Hebrews 26:6 and following.

        God disciplines those he loves.

        Hmmm…

        This goes for Jesus too, according to Hebrews. A very painful discipline, AND he takes away the judgment against me.

        Hmmm…

        Yes, I am thinking on these things, and I hope you will continue to consider AND maybe join this again.

        I will be back. This is just off the fly, as I am busy…

        Later…

        Liked by 3 people

      • Agent X · April 6

        I’m back. Sorry. It’s been hectic lately. I tried to read Tim’s comment and got pulled away twice, and then was just getting into responding to yours when… well little sister got her hair pulled and brother’s toy car got thrown over the fence. Anyway, I had to twist off…

        Let me correct my typo earlier. That wasn’t supposed to say Heb. 25, but Heb 12:6.

        At any rate, I am not prepared, with Hebrew and Greek word studies to parse the differences and similarities in words like JUDGMENT and DISCIPLINE, but there seems to be some sense of comparability there.

        I don’t know what to say and what not to say. Where is the rub with this? I don’t see it. We have not been living right, certainly not society wide, and likely each of us as individuals have some troubled places in our lives too. IF we had lived like God directs and has designed, there would be no death, no fear, no worries, curses, punishments, accidents and so forth. But we sinned and we sin, and we live in a world which though beautiful and wonderful is also full of pain and troubles.

        We need to make changes. Repent! I am sure I read this stuff somewhere.

        Is this a matter of semantics? Am I just using the wrong words for it? Or am I wrong?

        I should tell you, I did not study church history. My son did, and he finds great value in it, and those who study it report the same. I did not. And the faith heritage I come from found no value in it.

        I am not hostile to it, but I still prefer biblical evidence and precedent to that of church fathers and even people like Augustine. I have some familiarity with Augustine, especially his free will theodicy, but I figure he read the same Bible I do, and I prefer Gods word to his.

        This is more complex than I am letting on, actually, because it could be that Augustine teaches me what Gods Word is saying. I have teachers I admire greatly who do that, and so…

        I only point this out because I personally will not be satisfied until I can locate answers in the Bible.

        And of course there are exceptions to that too, but they are very rare.

        Anyway, I am sorting this stuff out, and I deeply appreciate your feedback, and Tims. Any thoughtful feedback helps, and is appreciated. I will consider it for sure.

        God bless…

        X

        Liked by 1 person

      • Steven · April 6

        In regards to the issue of whether we call the current pandemic situation a “judgment”, “discipline”, “chastisement” or whatever else, I think to an extent we are just playing games with semantics, if what we’re ultimately talking about is suffering the consequences of living in a fallen world. But I launched into that discussion about Augustine…and I myself am rather cautious to use the specific word “judgment” in this case…because I fear that in our specific cultural context the word “judgment” invokes rather inaccurate ideas of God intervening into the natural realm extraordinarily to smite us for something we did here and now. That I think, is inaccurate and gives ammunition for unscrupulous televangelist types to capitalize on their favorite culture war causes and claim that the pandemic is a validation of all their warnings against x,y, or z. I think we’re entirely correct to call this pandemic God’s judgment, if what we mean is that this event (like all the other evils that afflict us) is a natural consequence of original sin. But I think such things must be said carefully, lest we get misunderstood and taken to belief that God is smiting us specifically for something that He otherwise wouldn’t have started smiting us for. That is something we have no knowledge of, and speculation into that realm is dangerous and unwarranted in my opinion.

        As for Augustine and the church fathers, I can’t say I’m all that well-versed; I just know a little bit here and there, maybe enough to get me in trouble. I think they’re good for helping us understand the scriptures, but in no wise do I think we should approach the church fathers as if everything they ever wrote or said were absolutely correct and on par with God’s word. But they are an invaluable source of commentary.

        As to your post’s original question, whether or not there’s a lesson to be learned in all of this, made me think of a selection from Augustine I read earlier. Regarding the Romans of his time complaining about the calamities afflicting Rome he wrote:

        “Depraved by good fortune, and not chastened by adversity, what you desire in the restoration of a peaceful and secure state is not the tranquility of the commonwealth, but the impunity of your own vicious luxury.”

        I think that well could describe us Americans and our eagerness to get back to the way things were. Not castigating legitimate concerns about economic hardship, I suspect there’s a great deal of blame to be passed around that we’re eager to return to our comfortable consumerist lives.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agent X · April 6

        Steven,

        For me, this is not semantics. But I wonder if that is not confusing things anyway. I think, and I stated something to this effect in a recent post, people today have a visceral reaction to the word JUDGMENT. You bring up the TV preachers, and I think of them too. I recall Falwell calling 9/11 a JUDGMENT of God against America for all the drunken promiscuity (or whatever sins he saw) and I remember at the time thinking he was a jerk for saying that. And YES that language is ripe for misunderstanding, which I think is happening as I discuss these things too.

        But for me, it is important to get BEHIND all that. Is the idea biblical? Yes it is. The Bible deals with JUDGMENT and it often accompanies bad behavior of people. And the prophets particularly warn of it.

        But just because it is biblical does not settle whether that is what we are seeing now. Two separate elements of this over all lesson we might be learning.

        Yet, if it is biblical, and I think it undeniably is, then we can and should feel free to talk about it. We should hold to a biblical understanding of it whether its easy for the general public to understand, stomach, or not. Whether we want to or not. Judgment has become a distasteful idea to modern people, probably for lots of reasons, but it wasn’t for the ancient Jews who longed for it. I wasn’t for God the Judge either.

        I am actually becoming concerned that we are like those strange creatures in C.S Lewis’s The Great Divorce who argued whether the light on the horizon which always stayed the same at Grey Town was either coming up to dawn a new day or going down to finish the old one.

        I am not sure JUDGMENT applies to our current situation, but I am not going to be satisfied saying its not simply because it is distasteful. Falwell was distasteful, but was he wrong? He waffled and changed his mind a few days later, and to my mind I think, still think, he was a jerk to say it to begin with because he hoped it would be politically expedient and he could leverage some influence with it, and then when he saw he could not, he walked it back so that he could mitigate the damage it had cost him to say it. His case might have actually been right, as far as Im concerned, but he was not invested in it for God but for himself, and his waffling on it was the proof of that in the end.

        But perhaps he was wrong to begin with. Even if he was, I am not convinced he changed his tune due to getting it straight, but to save face.

        Now I am making a judgment. Perhaps I don’t know the man like I think. But I sure sense this depiction stands for his political movement at least.

        But then the word JUDGMENT often carries the weight of eschaton in many people’s ears. I am not claiming this is the end of the world. God Judged Israel, but it was not the end of the world. If THAT is what someone is hearing when I say this, let me set the record straight.

        In my post above, I demonstrate that God has passed JUDGMENT on occasion when the verdict was GOOD too. So it is not always a matter of discipline or punishment either. IN fact when God says, THIS IS MY SON IN WHoM I AM WELL PLEASED, we might see a judgment there too.

        Sorry. I gotta twist off again… Will try to pick this up later…

        Like

  2. Debi · April 7

    I’d like to step outside of theology if I may, and say that regardless of anything else, one lesson to be learned is that America is not the end-all, be-all best and most important country on the globe, and that nationalism is dangerous. We should be looking out for everyone (all countries, all people) because, as this and other pandemics have proven, we are all connected.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · April 7

      Thumbs up!

      (sorry, I don’t know how to do that emoji in my computer. I have it on my phone, but I am a bit tech challenged, so if you can read the long-hand… which I know you can… consider this very wordy response a thumbs up)

      Like

  3. Agent X · April 7

    Oh, man…

    I suddenly find blogging (esp the comments, but producing posts too) to be like balancing a check book. Challenging enough under simple circumstances. Even harder when your spouse is writing checks at the same time you are balancing… even worse if you spouse doesn’t write one or two checks down (or if it was you and you were just blaming your spouse), and in this case it’s just me… casting aspersions.

    I never learned to juggle. But I did come to realize first hand that those people who are successful in law enforcement are successful MOSTLY because they can multitask.

    I will be back. I posted on this stuff a second time BECAUSE I find it important to me (at least) and I am trying to sort things out. This post definitely invites your feedback. I will not necessarily agree with it, but I will listen carefully and consider it.

    Thanx

    X

    Like

    • Agent X · April 7

      Okay… will try this again. I hope I haven’t lost you…

      Anyway, summing up the point above. We cant allow the popular opinions or confusions to dictate our lesson.

      Now, if I can get my train of thought back…

      Getting back to the Augustine approach, your analysis, if I am understanding you, is that there is a built in judgment IN ADDITION to any Divine Intervention Judgments, and that we may be dealing with the built in kind which is related to the doctrine of Original Sin.

      I must say, that idea is worth exploring. Augustine and many great thinkers after him have mapped a lot of that out for us, and we are fools to dismiss great teachers willynilly.

      That said, in my view, the idea of built in – autopilot type – judgment and discipline is logical, alright. However, it makes the sense it does, I suspect, in a deist theology.

      True life is to KNOW God (John 17:3). I have to get into some deep epistemology to explain this, and I am not sure I can, but I have accepted a view that there is not really some disinterested, scientific knowledge of anything. God is truth, but to know him is relative. You gotta relate to REALLY KNOW him. God is LOVE, and to know LOVE is to be in love with love.

      There are other kinds of knowledge, but THIS is the kind of God.

      Anyway, due to these a priori views, I am not really into the built in/automatic judgment view.

      Could I be wrong about that? Yes, absolutely I could be wrong, but at this point I am persuaded by this thinking, and it drives a lot of the thinking I am doing on this LESSON.

      There is more, but I have been interrupted so much just typing this much, I need another hiatus. Also, I need to write another short post. A special request from Mrs. Agent X…

      Will come back to this later. I hope for MORE engagement, not less. But it’s all AT WILL so if you are feeling burned out, I will drop it too.

      God bless…

      X

      Like

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