Nothing New 8/21/2020

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by Parker J. Cole

Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 

There is a universal truthpeople don’t change.  

When the pandemic started, those of us living today thought a pandemic was something new. After all, we had never seen a situation where the world was affected by a virulent disease.  

Then came the examples from history – the Spanish flu with people wearing masks, the Bubonic Plague, smallpox, and many other diseases that have wiped out mass numbers of people. This isn’t to suggest that their deaths didn’t mean anything. Quite the contrary! What families were blotted from history? What bloodline that could have turned the tide in war or peace was eradicated? What new discoveries were lost from the death of those who went on before us? 

Stories litter the news every day – financial collapse, countries on the brink of war, every day people doing crazy things, propaganda mixes with truth and lies, agendas all over the place. We may be tempted to think that this is something new. We’ve never seen it like this before.  

Then, we travel back through history –  the Great Depression in the U. S., the Fall of Rome, the Heaven’s Gate cult, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the killing of female children in both China and India, the disappearing population of Japan, North Korea’s propaganda machine – these are more recent examples but imagine if we were to go down through history – we’d see many examples of the same.  

Same problems, different people. 

There’s a Japanese horror manga writer name Junji Ito who wrote a manga back in the late ‘90’s called Uzumaki which translates to ‘Spiral’. A wonderful example of Lovecraftian horror, he uses a well-loved element of Japanese culture (spirals) and flips it on its head, making it quite terrifying. In his manga, the town is plagued by an attack of spirals, culminating to a chilling ending where the same thing that happened before, will happen again, in a never-ending spiral.  

If you can see the connection, we are aware that we as people don’t really change much. We’re in an endless spiral of human depravity. To be fair, that’s the horror of it all. That people don’t change. That no matter what we do, we can’t control the human heart.  

On Netflix, a movie entitled, The Last Days of American Crime, recently debuted. I tried to watch it but I got bored about twenty minutes in and never finished it but the premise is that there’s some sort of tech that will prohibit people from ever being able to commit crime. I’ve no idea if they were successful or not in the film. Transhumanists would just love the idea of ‘programming goodness’ in people and totally neglecting free will but hey! It’s all for the greater good, right? Turn the dial to good and keep it there.  

It begs the question: why don’t people change? 

The simple answer is sin. Doesn’t matter if one likes the answer or not.  From Adam to Parker, sin reigns in us.  

King David in Psalms 51 said it best: “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” In this passage, David is crying out to God after that whole mess with Bathsheba. He recognized his sinful state and a few times he asks for God to make him clean, to purge him.  

Sin stains us. You ever wash a shirt four thousand times and can’t get rid of that pesky stain that refuses to go anyway? Matter of fact, the more you try to wash it, the dingier it gets. Your efforts only make it worse. The color leaches away and then you have to decide, do I still even want that shirt?  

In Genesis 6:5 it says, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Sound familiar? Thousands of years ago, people were doing the exact same thing we’re doing today.  

It’s nothing new.  

It can be quite depressing when you consider it. People have fallen into despair because of it. Why can’t we just stop hurting each other? Why can’t we just agree to disagree? Why can’t we just stop killing each other and just love one another? 

Why can’t we be any different? 

If everyone is stained in sin, how can we do something new? There’s not a perfect person on the planet. We freely and fully admit that. Since we know this is true, then a sinful person cannot create perfect harmony. We may have good intentions and we may see some success but eventually, it degrades. 

Thankfully, the spiral, the circle, the loop stops with Christ.  After all, He’s not stained with sin. He’s perfect. Thus, as the apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 

To be a new person, and to make new choices, and to do new things, you have to be in Christ. When Nicodemus, a learned and well-educated man snuck about at night to see Jesus, the Lord told him, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 

Sure, a person who isn’t a believer can do good things. But, according to God’s standards, you must be perfect to enter His presence. Good people are still sinners. Bad people are still sinners. What’s new about that?  

Christ is perfectHis perfect blood has ability to make us new creatures. He’s better than bleach to clear out that pesky stain. He makes us, the old sin-filled creature, into a new being that will one day not even remember the same old mistakes, sins, troubles, and problems we once had. As it states in Revelations 21: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new...

About the Author:

Parker J ColeParker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.

Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com

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