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The Rightness of The Righteous Brothers

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I was feeling a bit anxious about all the Orwellian absurdities going on in our country. Randomly, I began listening to The Righteous Brothers and suddenly everything seemed a little more ordered and honest.

Apparently, for me, there’s something about a couple of crooners singing Unchained Melody and other hits and using terms of endearment like “baby’ and “honey” and unabashedly embracing the glorious differences between men and women that’s surprisingly refreshing.

Until recently, artists like The Righteous Brothers felt no inhibition about writing and singing songs that celebrate love and attraction between genders. There were no pronoun police, no anti-machismo militants, no shame and no efforts to emasculate men and weaponize women. Refreshing?

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If some think our pseudo-infatuation with many genders and desire-over-biology transitions are good for us as a people—or are good for ANY people—I don’t see any shred of common good in elevating desire over basic biology. I think they’re stiff-arming reality and open-arming fantasy.

If others think The Righteous Brothers should be renamed, “The Righteous Persons” or that they celebrated what is now considered sexist, rather than natural, I disagree. If those who hold this view don’t value tradition and institution created through loving design, I think they’re either fooling themselves or are being fooled, or both.

In their defense, The Righteous Brothers ask their love interests, “Without you baby, what good am I?” At first blush, these words seem to be about worth or utility. I think they’re about more than that; I think they hint at a “lostness” and a completion.

Design and destiny

Speaking of completion, Jesus teaches about men and women fulfilling their design and destiny. In doing so, he describes the union of a man and woman as not merely a joining, but as a becoming. He does this when he defines gender and marriage thusly:

“From the beginning of the world, God made them man and woman. Because of this, a man is to leave his father and mother and is to live with his wife. The two will become one. So they are no longer two, but one.”

According to God, this becoming, this state of oneness happens between members of opposite (and equal) genders. It does so because it’s based on a built-in and glorious design. No amount of surgery or hormones can change it. We’re male and female. This biological and spiritual reality doesn’t lie, and neither does God.

In terms of gender, who we are is fixed because we’re permanently and perfectly designed. It’s also glorious because as men and women we’re made to reflect God’s image in all his glory.

In truth, most of us know this is so, and those who say otherwise likely know deep down that they’re pretending. It’s quite an irony. They want something to be true, yet they’ve convinced themselves that truth is relative. They’ve chained themselves with inescapable logic.

If one accepts that we’re made in God’s image and that he made us male and female, one is free to embrace reality and his or her destiny. This truth brings light and clarity in the midst of the chaos and cacophony of our loud and silly mixed-up culture. Loving design becomes an unchained and beautiful melody.

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Patrick is a journalist and writer with degrees in English and journalism. He served six years in the Navy where his life was changed forever by the Lord Jesus Christ. He lives in the Sierra Nevada of Northern California with his wife, dog and two cats. He enjoys hiking and cycling, taking pictures and blogging at https://luscri.com/



 
 
 

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Life

The Elusive Nature of Integrity

Integrity is the summation of the decisions we’ve made and actually yields an easier, joyful, and more powerful life

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In the operating room of a great hospital a young nurse had her first day of full responsibility. “You’ve removed eleven sponges, Doctor,” she said to the surgeon. “We used twelve.”

“I’ve removed them all,” the doctor declared. “We’ll close the incision now.”

“No,” the nurse objected. “We used twelve.”

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“I’ll take the responsibility,” the surgeon said grimly. “Suture!”

“You can’t do that!” blazed the nurse. “Think of the patient!”

The doctor smiled, lifted his foot, and showed the nurse the twelfth sponge. “You’ll do,” he said. He had been testing her for integrity – and she had it.

This story, related decades ago by noted editor and author Arthur Gordon, illustrates a key component of integrity: having the courage of your convictions – sticking to your guns, doing what you believe is right, and not fearing to speak out. Such actions are needed in the world today where looking good, showing up well, and garnering favorable press predominate. At the root of our existence is the need for the re-emergence of integrity as a common element in the collective character of humankind.

No Paragons

No one lives a life of absolute integrity. Rather, it is an ideal for which to strive. Even those who consistently display integrity can be overwhelmed by what is left over – what wasn’t acted upon and what wasn’t met with integrity.

Integrity is difficult to define. Eleven dictionaries carry eleven different definitions. We know integrity when we see it, but we have trouble explaining it. There is an illusive nature to integrity. It cannot be self-proclaimed, only observed in others. Yet most acts of integrity are performed in private and not subject to public review.

Those who have integrity in large measure have discovered something that the rest of the world must know – that integrity, which many look upon as being comprised of sacrifice, struggle and non-advantageous decision making, actually makes life easier, joyful and powerful.

After the fall youth soccer season, the head coach of  the second grade team resigned. To ensure continuity, the assistant coach was asked to take over as head coach for the spring season. He accepted the position.
Less than a month before the season started, the new  coach changed jobs. His new job was a high-pressure executive position requiring longer hours and more travel. There would be conflicts between the demands of the new job and the needs of the soccer team. But the new coach stuck to his commitment to the players and their parents.
He was rewarded for toughing it out. The soccer team, playing in a more difficult division, had a good season. But the best part of the story is what happened on the job: he earned a bonus for outstanding performance!

Historian Arnold Toynbee observed that of 21 notable civilizations, 19 perished “not from external conquest but from the evaporation of belief within.”  In his address to the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, Charles H. Brower remarked that “today our country still has a choice. I believe it has always begun to make that choice. I believe it is going back to its old beliefs – such things as ideas, pride, patriotism, loyalty, devotion and even hard work.” Though those words were spoken over three decades ago, their ring of truth is now being heard.

Curiously, we discount acts of integrity practiced by others, not believing that they can have done what they’ve done simply because they thought it to be right. Paradoxically, we’re quick to condemn others who vividly display a lack of integrity, all the while overlooking or forgetting our own lapses.

Emily Carruthers was a teacher in an elementary school in Spokane. A dispute between the school administration and the teacher’s union surfaced. At a union meeting the teachers discussed striking. After the vote to strike, Carruthers got up and voiced her opinion. She knew her opinion would be unpopular and she knew that she would alienate people because of it. Nevertheless she told the teachers that she would cross the picket line as she deplores strikes.

What is Integrity?

Many things, really. Perhaps it is the pivotal concept of what it means to be human and involves fully accepting one’s humanity. Integrity has many synonyms however no single synonym is sufficient;  trustworthiness, loyalty, virtue, sincerity, candor, uprightness, honesty. Integrity is also the avoidance of deception and the avoidance of expediency. It is being complete and undivided.

During a bitter cold snap, quick action by concerned neighbors stopped flooding from a burst pipe in an unoccupied house. Early one morning, water was spotted gushing from under the back door of the house. Two neighbors, who had no key, got inside by dismantling a window frame.
They found the entire lower level of the house flooded with two feet of frigid water. The two men ignored the icy geyser spraying from the ruptured pipe and shut off the water line. Using push brooms, they swept the water out the back door. They moved furnishings upstairs to dry out. Then they reassembled the window frame.
Another challenge was notifying the homeowners of the situation. Neighbors knew only that they were visiting relatives in the Miami area. Long distance directory assistance provided a list of a half dozen people with the same Iranian surname. On the second call, the residents were located. Because of the early notification, they were able to expedite the insurance claim. Neighborly resourcefulness and persistence had averted a major household disaster.

All that We Are

Integrity is an achievement, not a gift. It is not the characteristic that determines decisions. It is the summation of the decisions we’ve made. Integrity communicates to others immediately. It is being the same person to everyone. It’s not noble; it’s not altruistic; it is a practical vehicle for living effectively, for having life work. It is maintaining values steadfastly and focusing on what you believe is right.

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Faith

Here’s What Life Would Look Like if Revival Broke Out

Imagine churches overflowing with people eager to worship and learn more about God.

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What would life look like for society if God brought revival? Probably something like this:

Imagine a society where every morning begins with families gathered together, reading the Bible and praying for guidance, wisdom, and strength to live according to God’s will. As the sun rises, neighborhoods come alive with the sounds of worship music, and the aroma of shared breakfasts where neighbors regularly meet to encourage one another in their faith and discuss the Scriptures. Schools and workplaces start the day with prayer and a short devotional, setting a tone of humility, gratitude, and purpose for the day ahead.

Imagine a community where businesses operate with integrity and transparency, prioritizing ethical practices over profit. Employers and employees treat each other with respect and kindness, creating a workplace culture that reflects Christ’s love. Decision-making processes are guided by biblical principles, and customer service goes beyond transactions, aiming to serve and bless others. Financial success is seen as an opportunity to give generously and invest in community projects, ensuring that no one goes without their basic needs met.

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Imagine a government that seeks to uphold justice and righteousness, drawing from biblical teachings to enact laws that protect the vulnerable and promote the common good. Leaders at every level are chosen for their godly character and wisdom, dedicating their service to God and the people they represent. Public policies are crafted with compassion and a commitment to fairness, addressing issues like poverty, healthcare, and education with a heart for restoration and hope. National days of prayer and fasting bring the country together, uniting citizens in their desire for God’s guidance and blessing.

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Imagine churches overflowing with people eager to worship and learn more about God. Congregations are vibrant and active, with members participating in various ministries and outreach programs, sharing the gospel and meeting the needs of their communities. Sunday services are a time of joyous celebration and deep reflection, and the love among believers is palpable. Discipleship and mentorship flourish, with seasoned Christians guiding new believers in their spiritual growth. The church acts as a refuge and a beacon of hope, drawing people from all walks of life into a transformative relationship with Jesus Christ.

Imagine a culture where the arts, media, and entertainment reflect biblical values and the beauty of God’s creation. Music, films, and literature inspire and uplift, conveying messages of truth, redemption, and love. Social media platforms are used to spread positivity, encouragement, and the gospel, fostering a virtual community of believers who support and pray for each other. Public discourse is marked by grace and respect, even in disagreements, as people strive to see and treat others as image-bearers of God.

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Imagine individuals living with a profound sense of purpose and identity rooted in Christ. Personal relationships are characterized by selflessness, forgiveness, and a genuine desire to honor God in every interaction. Families are strong and united, with parents diligently teaching their children the ways of the Lord and setting an example of faith and obedience. People find joy and fulfillment in serving others, seeing their daily activities—whether mundane or extraordinary—as acts of worship. In this revival of biblical Christianity, life is lived abundantly, to the glory of God, and the love of Christ transforms hearts, homes, and nations.

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