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Do Caterpillars Go To Heaven?
Caterpillars undergo a fascinating process known as metamorphosis (taken from a Greek word meaning transformation). They hatch from an egg, and spend their entire youth gorging themselves with plant leaves, sometimes much to our chagrin. Then it forms into a chrysalis inside a cocoon, and comes out completely transformed into a beautiful moth or butterfly, with totally different organs, eating habits and lifestyle.
We are instructed in Romans 12:1-2a,”Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed (metamorphosis) by the renewing of your mind.”
God has been merciful to us by not allowing us to die in our unacceptable, sinful (caterpillar) stage. Because of Adam’s sin (1 Corinthians 15:22) all of us are born with an orientation that is completely repulsive to God. And I don’t mean just sexually. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” Is there anyone out there who doesn’t see yourself fitting into any of these categories? If so, you don’t comprehend the depth of your own depravity. Romans 3:10-12 says, “there is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away; they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. This description of us from God’s perspective helps us to realize that we need a transformation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone (caterpillar), the new has come (butterfly). I’m glad 1 Corinthians 6 doesn’t stop at verse 10. Verse 11 says, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed (in the blood of Christ), you were sanctified (made holy through a life-long process), you were justified (made just as if I’d never sinned) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
The kingdom of God is described in Revelation 21:1-7. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”… To him who is thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”
We can’t take our sin with us into God’s kingdom. There is a “great, high wall” around that city, so no one gets in illegally. But if your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life (verse 27b), you will be granted legal status, and citizenship.
This chorus by Stanton Gavitt sums up well:
Things are different now, something happened to me
When I gave my heart to Jesus
Things are different now, I was changed it must be
When I gave my heart to Him
Things I loved before have passed away
Things I loved far more have come to stay
Things are different now, something happened that day
When I gave my heart to Him
No. Caterpillars don’t go to heaven. But butterflies do. Have you been transformed?
Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.
Town should retain ownership of The Mound
We’ve already gone through several highly publicized controversies over ill-advised efforts to deed away the Nikwasi Mound, and the overwhelming public sentiment has always been for the Town of Franklin to retain the deed. Why does this matter continue to erupt?
The Creek Indians populated the Little Tennessee River Valley prior to Cherokee and European immigrants, and Creek descendants might want to have a say in any proposed disposition of the Nikwasi Mound. In fact, the Creek Nation named numerous locations throughout the watershed with Creek names still used here today.
Furthermore, non-profits come and go and are notoriously unregulated, while governments are far more stable. The Town of Franklin should honor the intent of their deed and retain ownership of the mound in perpetuity, which of course would not preclude allowing other interested entities in jointly taking care of it.
Betty Cloer Wallace – Franklin, N.C.
Promoting acceptance one of America’s challenges
In America today we are experiencing tremendous growing pains/challenges to the way things have been coupled with certainty that the future will not be like the past. These two factors promote fear: (1) when the order one has known begins to break down and/or (2) when one does not know what the future order will be. Donald Trump is playing people’s fears masterfully. His slogan, “Make America Great Again”, reminds his base that they used to have a certain order that they preferred over what is coming at them. Strangely enough, he has manipulated evangelical Christians into tolerating his many flaws in exchange for the appointment of “evangelical” Supreme Court Justices. This is supposed to result in enacting their political/religious beliefs into laws or striking down laws that are against their rigid beliefs. Evangelicals would do well to ask themselves why today’s young people are increasingly expressing their preference for no religious affiliation. They would also be wise to remind themselves that America is a nation that has provided religious freedom in a way that few societies have ever done (the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States).
Early Christians were persecuted for their beliefs. That is not happening in America. But, are evangelicals not getting dangerously close to persecuting those who believe differently from them? Are they not being intolerant of others’ beliefs? Could they continue toward persecution of others because of their beliefs? Or will the influence of those who prefer no particular religious doctrine offset their political/religious extremes?
America is rapidly becoming the “melting pot” of the world. She has long been the bastion of individual rights and freedoms. A writer (currently unknown to this writer) once remarked that “Tolerance of the intolerable may be wiser than meeting rage with rage.” This appears to be one of America’s great challenges: To promote acceptance of different races, mixed races and religions. That is referred to as tolerance. Donald Trump turns people against others with his “religion” of intolerance.
I am not an expert on the Bible, the Koran or the Torah. Neither do I profess to know the Wiccan belief or any other with great depth. But, I do know I will not follow a god that allows people to exclude others because of their race or their beliefs.
Here are the lines of a great pop song titled “Superman” written by a famous singer from Mount Airy, N.C., named Donna Fargo: “Now, let’s go through this one more time. You do your thing and I’ll do mine. But, honey baby, we got to draw the line if your hang-up starts messin’ with mine. All I can do is the best I can to change the ways that you can’t stand. If it ain’t good enough for Superman he ain’t good enough for me.”
Our Constitution provides religious freedom to all, much like Donna Fargo sings about in “Superman.” But, our Constitution does not, and should not, provide the room for one religious group to dominate another politically. Tolerance is necessary. Evangelicals might want to re-consider their legislative agenda. Evangelicals must be willing to bend rather than break. Young people are not migrating to their camp. Young people want tolerance. Change. Change. Change.
Dave Waldrop – Webster, N.C.
Socialist politicians buying votes with false promises
Buying votes, as has been the custom in places like Chicago and other cities, always was and is still illegal. Politicians who resort to buying votes violate the law and it is considered a felony. Yet, in this day and age, the Socialist politicians are indeed, buying votes.
Promising to pay everyone $500 a month has tremendous appeal to millions of Americans which is a way of saying “here’s $500 if you will vote for me.”
Supporting millions of illegal immigrants is yet another way of buying votes in the hope they will be able to make them legal citizens and return the favor by voting for them.
Note that the cost of supporting Illegals and their kids cost about 20 times a border wall would cost. In short, America is for sale.
Free college, free medical care, all for votes. What suckers we are. All in all, a cost of $93 trillion which will bankrupt America.
It is shocking to see how easily people are led by the nose, sort of like lemmings being led off a cliff, much of it led by people who are essentially conspiracy theorists or simply ignorant of how economics works.
Keep in mind that China is spending millions to infiltrate our schools and universities with what they call “Confucius Classes” and at this point accounts for a lot of dissention in our young people.
We have the Trump haters who will stop at nothing to take him out of office.
Mueller’s investigation of Trump has been an expensive waste of taxpayers’ money. President Trump has accomplished more in just two years than our prior three presidents ever came close to. And all his work has been for the good of this country.
All of this hatred is driven by the Socialists and China who are intent on turning us into a Marxist style Socialist country. While we look the other way, our schools and universities have been indoctrinating our kids with Communist and Socialist ideologies.
If we want to investigate someone, let’s start with Bernie Sanders.
This is the guy who went to the Communist Soviet Union for his honeymoon and became enthralled with Communism and even said The Soviet Union was a great nation. He recently asked what’s “wrong with having to stand in line when the government hands out food.” A couple of years ago, he said that several Europeans countries, including Denmark and Sweden were Socialist countries. This was an outright lie and the president of Denmark was furious. All of the countries he named are indeed Capitalist free market countries.
He has also been lying about Medicare for All. So far, all of us on Medicare have been paying for over 40 years and it was not free. We have been paying into Social Security since 1935 and it has no connection to Socialism and it was not free either. We paid for both.
Sort of makes you wonder about Sanders being a Russian agent, especially after he was complimenting dictator Maduro in Venezuela?
Of course if we slide into Socialism you can expect the government to disarm us, collapse the economy and bring us to a dictatorship. That’s the way it always worked.
Bob Wilson – Franklin, N.C.