As my friend Dwight Whitsett says, “A difficult question indeed.  One makes you sweat, the other is very moving.”

As I reflected on this cartoon, I thought about this that I wrote some years ago:

How does the world get into such a state? Who is to blame? Can we ever reverse the tide? Is there any hope for us as a culture? Here are some particularly outrageous examples of where we are as a people:

  • A mugger sued a San Francisco taxi driver who heroically broke up a mugging and captured the crook by pinning him against a building with his cab. The mugger bounced back from his conviction by suing the cab driver for $24,000 and winning!
  • Disneyland was hit with a lawsuit for the emotional distress incurred by several children who observed some of the park’s Disney cartoon characters taking off their costumes and discovering that they were, in fact, make-believe!
  • The City of Simi Valley was stunned by a lawsuit accusing it of maintaining its property in a dangerous condition after an 11-year-old boy ran over his own finger while skateboarding on a city sidewalk.
  • A failing law student sued Western State University College of Law for not adequately warning her that students with admission exam scores as low as hers have a minimal chance of becoming lawyers!

Who is really to blame for these outrageous situations? Greedy people who bring bogus lawsuits? Unethical lawyers who represent plaintiffs in frivolous actions? A “blind system” that refuses to punish those who plague the dockets with nuisance cases? Juries that award money in some worthless cases thereby giving hope and incentive to greedy people and starving lawyers? Who is to blame for a system run amok?

The biblical story of the man swallowed by the great fish is NOT entitled Pinocchio; however, if the direction of our biblical education doesn’t change, there may arise a generation that thinks so. Preachers have been known to “preach” from a business bestseller and thereby enthrall the church while earning the epitaph of “Great Orator.”

My question is, “Who is to blame?” The preacher who no longer finds the time nor exercises the self-discipline to do the hard work of exegesis? Or the congregation of God’s people who no longer knows the difference between a “good talk” and an expository sermon (and keeps signing the man’s paycheck who doesn’t demonstrate the difference each and every Lord’s Day!)