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‘For What It’s Worth’

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 3:22 p.m. CDT

American rock band Buffalo Springfield became very popular in the late 1960s. The 1967 released song “For What It’s Worth” became a big hit and was played a lot in Vietnam War protest time.

The first line of the song contained these words:

“There’s something happening here

But what it is ain’t exactly clear.”

The second verse began with these words:

“There’s battle lines being drawn

Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong

Young people speaking’ their minds

Getting so much resistance from behind”

Chorus

“It’s time we stop

Hey, what’s that sound?

Everybody look — what’s going down?”

I heard this song a few weeks ago. It has gone round and round in my head. Maybe one reason is that I think there is “something is happening here” and frankly, it’s just not clear what to think now.

Battle lines have been drawn. No matter the subject today; there are lines being drawn. America and the world today is torn apart by a host of issues.

You can name the issues as much as I can type them. The issues are international ones. The issues are national ones. The issues can be discovered in churches, communities and many, many organizations that are standing for one main issue.

Often, we have been encouraged to look at all sides of the issues. We want to have discussions. All parts of our society have been influenced including the church/religion.

There is! Are there any rights or wrongs? In the discussions, we may have become like umpires in baseball. Some umpires seem to have “their strike zone” and the rulebook has a written strike zone. Yet players, coaches, and fans know that some umpires have their strike zone.

The teaching of Jesus seems to say there is “one way right.” Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke all have the same verse. I will share with you four different translations of the Bible with the words of Jesus.

New International Version

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

New Living Translation

“Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.”

English Standard Version

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

New American Standard Bible

“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.”

The words of Jesus seems to upset the thinking. “The maybe’s,” “the perhaps,” “let’s think about it,” or whatever words you want to use to dodge the lesson Jesus makes here. I invite you to take a look around you and ask you to measure the words of Jesus to the words of the 1967 song.

“There’s something happening here

But what it is ain’t exactly clear.”

I ask you: “Everybody look — what’s going down?”

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