Surface Cures

By Larry Ray Hafley

Filling a pothole does not fix the road. It is merely a temporary “surface cure.” Make-up does not do away with unwanted lines and wrinkles (sorry, ladies!), it simply hides them from view. A hair-piece will hide my bald spot. It will not restore my hair.

As an example of an attempted “surface cure,” note the following: “A conference of police chiefs and black leaders recommended . . . that President Clinton establish a presidential commission to study the uneasy relationship between blacks and police officers in America.” The president of the National Urban Coalition, said many young black men have very hostile attitudes toward authority and police in particular. ‘I work with young people every day. . . . The alienation and the resistance among the young is devastating. It’s dangerous for them and for the police. We would like to help the (police) chiefs get their departments more in tune with what the young people need, while we work to make sure the young people are not so anti-social and so hostile.’”

Conferences are not the cure. Changing the “tune” of police departments is not the solution. Changing the hearts of “hostile” and “anti-social” people is the only cure. This work cannot be done by a conference, a commission, a coalition, or a police panel. Primarily, it is the work of the home and family.

War in the streets has been preceded by a dismantling of the domestic realm. Sexual promiscuity and the celebration of the termination of marriage have produced a generation of “hostile” and “anti-social” young people. The end is not yet. It will become worse. Why? In part, because we are treating the surface. We are filling pot-holes and applying make-up when only a complete overhaul of the heart will do (Prov. 4:23).

As long as society honors “hostile,” “anti-social” misfits (John Lennon, Dennis Rodman, and Curt Cobain come to mind) as heroes while it seeks to destroy virtue as a virtue, there will be conflict, deadly conflict. When condoms can be passed out in schools where it is forbidden to teach morality from the Bible, there will be blood in the hallways and in the streets. Where abortion and homosexuality are extolled with “charitable broadmindedness,” while a list of the ten commandments cannot be posted in classrooms, there will be drive-by shootings and murder “just to see how it feels to blow someone away.” When students may be led in studies of immoral and porno- graphic material, but are denied the opportunity to present a biography of Jesus from the gospels as a book report, you need not be surprised when rapes and homosexual liaisons occur on campus during school hours.

By rejecting the Bible’s moral standards, by making light of the sacred union of marriage, we have produced a crop of “hostile,” “anti-social” people. So, while the police chiefs and community leaders are having their conference, they had better post guards outside. If they do not, they may return to a car that has either been stripped or stolen. And if one is caught burglarizing a police car, let him not be accused or charged. After all, the kid could not help it. A racist society made him what he is. He is not to blame. To incarcerate him would make him a victim and deprive him of justice. So, let him go — and plan another conference!