Her murderer was later found to be the bouncer of the bar, and he was tried and sentenced a few years later - too long a wait, in my opinion, and his sentence I totally disagree with. He should have been given the death penalty! There comes a point where enough is enough, and I am not only referring to the evil that he did, but also to outright evil behavior. We recently had a murder case where a young jewish boy named Leiby Kletzky was murdered. Perhaps in this case the murderer is suffering from some mental disorder, but when I think of how he murdered the boy, then I have to ask: Didn't he have any conscience? Apparently not! He became too seduced by Evil, in my opinion, so in a sense, he "murdered" his own conscience. He'll still have to face Jesus on Judgment Day to account for his murder of this little boy.
Evil! That word strikes some people as unusual; a word that shouldn't be used. I remember the movie "Basic Instinct", where the actor playing the police psychologist simply used the word "sick" in describing the murderer in that story and the murderer's reasons for doing so. It was as if the writers of this movie couldn't tolerate the word "Evil". However, Evil DOES exist! It exists in the minds and hearts of every human being. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you know this to be true. Just look within yourself! What I want to describe in this article, however, is the evil of daily life here in New York City. Evil, which I see practically every day; unless I decide to stay home or else drive somewhere else in my car.
WALKING THE STREETS IN NEW YORK
You would think that simply walking on the sidewalk would be an easy task with no problems - not true! We have people in New York
who don't know that they should be walking on their right side. Do they even KNOW their right from their left? I doubt it! Why walk on the right side of the sidewalk? Because all of the traffic in this nation involves vehicles operating in the right lane; and it should appear logical for anyone to adopt this pattern for simple street walking. I wouldn't be surprised if Emily Post had something to say regarding this same thing. So why am I making a big deal about walking, you ask? Because some people in New York City walk with an attitude! Worse, some people are even deadly. You may be walking on your right, but they are walking on their left, ergo they have to walk into you. Either you get out of their way or else. You're wrong in their eyes! Sometimes you decide to walk to the other side but they move over too! It's an evil game to see if you're assertive or just a victim! In many cases, I have had to walk between people walking three or more abreast on a sidewalk. Their attitude is that I should probably walk in the street and hopefully get hit by a car or something!
USING PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
The people in NYC are always impatient for a bus or a train to arrive; especially for a train. Now the headway for NYC Transit Subways is pretty good during rush hours. A train is arriving every one to two minutes. The problem here, of course, is that the people are simply greedy. They don't WANT to wait a minute or two for the next train; they want the train that right in front of them; even if they have to squeeze themselves into it like fish into a sardine can. I have heard Subway Conductors warn the passengers that if they can't board the train that they should wait for the next arriving train. In a number of cases, there is another train directly behind the train in the station, but this doesn't matter to these impatient, rush-spirited people. They have to board THIS TRAIN!
Then, there are those passengers who have to hold the doors on a train when the doors are closing. This slows down not only the train in question, but also the trains behind! Many people do not understand that trains run on tracks; not on a road, unlike cars and buses, where these vehicles can simply go around a stopped vehicle or other obstruction. Trains cannot do this!
We have had cases also, where people have committed suicide by jumping in front of the train. Now I can understand depression, and I sympathize - and even empathize with those who suffer from depression. However, jumping in front of the train - any train - is incredibly stupid and a horrible way to die. People in general here in New York City do not know how big these trains are; the reason being that they're waiting for the train on an elevated platform which is 4 to 4 1/2 feet above the ground where the rails are. In the NYC Subway System, there is no way to survive if you're caught on the tracks when a train is coming into the station. Again, the train can't move to either side because of a platform on one side and a wall on the other, so the Train Operator is forced to brake his/her Train. Understand that the wheels of the train have flanges which keep the train wheels on the track. It is the flanges which act like a meat grinder and will sever a person's body into pieces! A horrible way to die!
Some of the above discussion is also true for the buses and their operators. I have a Bus Driver friend who is Christian and he has to put up with stupid, evil behavior every day that he is doing his job. People who don't have a MetroCard; people who refuse to pay; people who have to ask stupid questions which could have easily been answered had they planned their trip in advance. Transit has a telephone number that you can dial, with representatives who will help you to plan your trip. We recently had an incident here in NYC whereby a female bus driver was attacked by a customer. The customer became enraged at the Bus Driver and attacked her. To make a long story short, the woman who attacked the Bus Driver was excused by the Judge! The Union President representing the Bus Driver was furious; as well he should be, because the Judge himself did not provide justice for the victim, who is also a public servant!
Here in NYC, we have had a number of incidents involving attacks on Bus Drivers, Conductors and others who provide the Public with a legitimate service. Bus Drivers, Conductors and Train Operators are not respected anymore in New York City, and this is a difficult job to be in. Bus Drivers have to deal every day with impatient taxis and other vehicle drivers who want to pass and go in front of the Bus, many times forcing the Bus Driver to apply the brakes, sometimes to the detriment of the passengers in that bus. There are also incidents of bicycle riders and even kids on skateboards "hitching" a free ride by holding onto the Bus, which is an extremely stupid and dangerous thing to do.
Transit people are trained not only how to operate the Buses, Trains, and other conveyances, but they also have to know emergency procedures. There was heightened security during the month of September and all of this was because of the 10 year memorial of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade
Center. FYI, I worked in 1 WTC in 2001, so this was a very sensitive year and time for me!
Perhaps among the most stupid behaviors that I have seen is that too many people are now "plugged" into their iPhone, Android Phone, and other personal stereo device, listing to loud music while being oblivious to what is transpiring around them. They will cross the street without looking, instead being more interested in checking their e-mail, or selecting the right song on their device, never hearing the car horn of the vehicle approaching them until it's too late!
DRIVING A CAR OR OTHER VEHICLE
You've parked your car on the street of New York City. Question: DId you read all of the signs for parking on that street. You had better, or else you'll get a ticket or worse, get your vehicle towed. Some of the NO PARKING signs would challenge anyone, even a native New Yorker like myself, in how to interpret them. Let's just say that this is the City's way of making money! Gotcha!
So, you survived not getting a ticket and you DO know how to park and drive in New York City? Good for you! Now try leaving the parking spot that you've found on the street. Chances are, there's an impatient rude driver who just pulled next to you and asked, "Are You Leaving"? Understand: you've just gotten into your car. He isn't even polite about it; worse, he's pulled in front of you, either to the right or to the left, depending upon which side of the street you've parked on. So how are you supposed to get out with him in front of you blocking your way? Well, here's my solution. Shut off your car and simply wait it out. There's no point in reasoning with him because he probably doesn't even know what reason is! Why leave your car and possibly get killed! Wait it out, shut off your engine and car lights and have your cell phone ready. If he comes over to you, say you're on the phone talking to your brother in the 17th Precinct or something of this nature. If he's a felon, he should be driving away!
Now, since you escaped that situation you decide to travel onto an Interstate Highway. You can legally do 55 or 60 mph on the highway, so your car is positioned on the service road and you're ready to merge, you're accelerating your vehicle to highway speed, say on the right merge, about to go into the first right lane on the highway, which has three lanes. It doesn't matter that you've activated your left directional signal because the drivers in the right lane all have a greedy attitude and won't let you in unless you're skillful enough - or crazy enough. Take your pick! Okay, you survived this, and you proceeded to drive in the center lane. Guess what can happen here? A driver comes behind you and is traveling one car length or less behind you. He's too stupid or lazy to move to the left lane, which is the legal way to pass you; and he will not get into the right lane to pass you either. If you don't leave a big enough space cushion in front of you, then you're setting yourself up for a three car accident! You can simply take your foot off of the accelerator and let your vehicle gradually slow down to 40 or even a slower speed, but I had a situation where the driver behind me didn't even move when I did that!
You also have drivers who use their cell phones while driving! In my book, as well as many legal books, that's simply dangerous and such a driver should be ticketed, or even arrested! Of course, we also have some drivers who drink AND use their cell phone while driving so how smart is that? It's just deliberate stupidity!
Another kind of problem - stalker drivers. If you frequently check your rear view mirror and notice a car that's made the same three turns that you've made, understand that he may be following you! Did you tick him off somehow? Maybe he likes your car and is hoping to steal it or worse! Better to not drive home until you lose him!
Many people here love the night life of New York City. They will go to restaurants, movies, bars, clubs, a Broadway Show, maybe get tickets to see David Letterman's "The Late Show" or some other television show. We have the lighting of the Christmas Tree coming very soon at
Rockefeller Center, and I know many people will want to see that. Jesus Christ, however, will not be named or mentioned in any of these entertainment proceedings. Who will be there, in addition to families and their children, you may say? Well, we have a number of unsavory types: pickpockets, sexual perverts who want to feel and touch you, people asking for money because they are homeless; people who have some cause that they need money for or they're selling bootleg DVD's. In the case of the people asking for money - what are they really using the money for? If they're homeless, are they really using the money for food, or is it for drugs and alcohol? As for bootleg DVD's well, who's getting the money here? Could it be a front for a terrorist group? We also have some religious cults asking or begging for money. Begging or panhandling is done on the streets and also in the Subway system. I have personally been asked for money while I'm eating in a restaurant, which I personally dislike. The people doing this want you to feel guilty or afraid, simply because you're sitting down in a chair!
Okay, you want to meet someone. Maybe you're a male who wants to meet a female. Well, is she a Christian? If she asks you: "What's your sign?" - then you know she's into Astrology! My hatred for this ancient pagan religion knows no limit. The vast majority of New Yorkers have no idea how distractive Astrology is. Say you tolerate this woman whom you've just met. Where do you think this is going to lead you. Well, again she's into Astrology so she thinks you're predictable! If you made the mistake of telling her your birthday (you shouldn't!) then she will simply use her charts, etc. to figure out every myth connected with your Astro-sign. You lack individuality when you get involved with Astrology! In this situation, I simply say that my sign is the Cross! I'm a Born-Again Christian. Trust me; even after you say THIS, they will still ask you what day and date you were born on!
Here's another situation, and this one is useful for those of you who are looking for employment. You have a Job Interview. You have considerable experience. You're dressed perfectly - shoes shined, tasteful suit and tie (or dress if you're a woman); your resume is perfectly typed, and you have references and a salary history. You're sitting down in an office in front of a hiring manager who is questioning you. He or she, sees that you have a lot of experience (you have, don't you?) but in their mind, they are only focusing on one thing - that you're born on such and such a day; in such and such a year. They're concentrating on your Astro-sign - not you and your abilities! So maybe they learn what your birthday is and they decide NOT to hire you. Why? Because your Astro-sign conflicts with their Astro-Sign! Discrimination against the Day and Date that you are born on! What do you call this? "Astrologism"? I don't know if even the Lexicographers would accept that word but this is EXACTLY what Astrology is - and it is rampant up here in New York City! I'll discuss meeting people in churches below.
Four-letter words are used in some - perhaps many, occupations up here in New York City and rather regularly. My experience was that my parents never spoke these words and I never heard them in any appreciable quantity from anyone else - until I was in my twenties and I worked in an office where almost everyone used foul language. Believe me - unless you are very strong-minded, you are NOT immune! Sooner or later, if you're in this situation, you will get angry, frustrated or other, and eventually start using these words. Try to stop using them! That is simply one of many problems with being a Christian in New York City.
So you've decided NOT to go to the Bar, or the Club, or even the Job. You're going to get your mate in a Church. Before I discuss my experiences in some of the churches up here, let me share something about myself. My path to faith in Christ is very different from other people's experience. When I had learned about the Inquisition, about when I was Nineteen Years of Age, I became disillusioned with the Catholic Church. I had some faith in Christ but for a time, I became like an Agnostic. One thing that I did know - nowhere in the Bible did Christ or any of the Apostles command anyone to torture and kill others. I knew this even though I didn't quite know the Bible as I do now. So for the next few years, I drifted through my life until, after one job that I had became too much of a burden and I quit same, did I find the spare time at home to look at some booklets that had been collecting because of my curiosity. The books came from the Armstrong Cult, with very curious titles such as "Why Were You Born?"; "The Book of Revelation: Unveiled At Last" and "The Key to the Book of Revelation". Understand that Herbert W. Armstrong was not a Dispensationalist as I now am, but in a sense he started me on the road to studying the Bible. From my experience with that cult, I tried to expose every cult: the Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, the Adventist and Mormon religions. It wasn't until I was passing a church on 57th Street; a Baptist Church that I had passed many times and never noticed that it was a Church! They had a decent bookstore and even had books on Eschatology. I purchased "Things to Come" by J. Dwight Pentecost and spent many hours and days reading and re-reading it!
So, enough of me. What is Church Life like up here. Well the Baptist Church
mentioned above became verbally abusive towards me, even though I was helping people. Another friend of mine was also gossiped and slandered out of this Church. His "Sin"? He Stuttered! They didn't have any patience with waiting to let him finish talking. Interestingly, we've been friends for years and he almost never stutters around me; probably because he knows I'll let him take all the time that he needs to say what is on his mind! By the way, the bookstore is long gone!
To keep my social life active, I started going to another church that was and still is Calvinist. A friend of mine who was also Dispensationalist in his beliefs wanted to be an Elder in this Church but the Church Leaders simply wouldn't allow it! Another bad mark for this Church is that they have this strange custom of putting adhesive tape on the back row seats, forcing any visitor or church-goer to walk forward to a Church Usher who is holding the Church Bulletin and Program, and then you are allowed to sit down in the front rows. Well, if you're like me, you may have a condition whereby at a moment's notice, you have to leave; I have a stomach problem which can act up at any time, and I don't want to disrupt any service. In one case, I said to one Usher who appeared to be a Steroid Weight Lifter that I needed to sit in the back row. Guess what his response was? He said to me in a threatening tone "Do you want to go outside and discuss this!" Yes - he DID say it that way! He did this again the following week with another person; a new believer in Christ who just happened to attend that day. She was a young black girl and I went up to her to talk with her casually and she related her situation with the Steroid Usher. We both went looking for him after this conversation but we couldn't find him. She then said to me that "The Lord probably doesn't want me to attend this Church!" and I had to agree with that!
One other thing which I found egregious about this church - the murdered girl - Imette St. Guillen - she lived just a few city blocks away from one of these church's locations. I was surprised that there wasn't any outreach at all to the girl's family. Worse, none of them even knew about the murder until I informed them.
Let's try a Catholic Church. Think that choice will be easy because they have to be Christian, right? Wrong! Ask a Catholic what he or she is and they will use the word "Christian". Well, I came from a Catholic background and, since I came to Jesus Christ, I know that catholicism isn't Christian. You can read Dave Hunt's book, "A Woman Rides the Beast" to verify that.
Okay. You accept this information that I've provided so you then decide you're going into a Pentecostal Church; they're biblical, right? Well, maybe! I lived one block from one and this particular church was too much into Benny Hinn. They also believed too much in the so-called "Gift of Tongues". Here is one scripture that I used with a Pentecostal Christian:
1 Corinthians 13:8
King James Version (KJV)
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
His response was "See, Tongues is in the Bible!" My response was simple. I focused on the word "cease" which means to end. There is too much so-called "tongues" speaking in Pentecostal Churches and it is nothing more than Glossolalia. I did not find the love of Christ within this church either. Still another Pentecostal
Church that I had attended was just one city block away from a Catholic Church. I suspect that there were a number of "church-hoppers" in this fold who simply adopted the evangelical language - but did not accept Christ or become Born Again!
Indeed, there are very few, if any churches in New York City
which possess what I would call "the Love of Christ". If they don't have this quality, then my pointed question is "Why support them?"
My friend, Terry James, says that I'm "living on the front lines". In a sense, maybe this is true. However, I think of the Coptic Christians who are being tortured and killed in Muslim Countries; others in Africa, South America, Russia, China, Indonesia. I wouldn't even think of comparing myself to them. Could I experience what they are experiencing? I don't know, and I doubt it! I've deliberately kept away from reading a certain Christian Classic - "Foxes Book of Martyrs". I'm afraid of what I'll find!
I've heard at least one new Christian, saying in a mock voice that he wouldn't betray Jesus as Peter did. Well, let us discuss Peter. He DID follow Jesus - and the Roman Soldiers after Jesus' arrest - from a distance! That alone, takes some courage! Did the Apostles witness anyone else crucified before Jesus Himself was on the Cross? Well, they certainly had to KNOW about crucification! It was Rome's way of making an example to its enemies!
Returning to the subject of Evil - I sometimes think of Lot in the Old Testament, who was vexed with the Evil around him, as 2 Peter 2:6-10 tells us:
"And turning the cities of Sodom
and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities."
So, how should I sum up all the thoughts that I have typed here? My question about New York City - and maybe America in general - would be based on this Scripture:
Genesis 15:16 King James Version
"But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full."
When is Evil "Full"? It was certainly "Full" in Sodom
and Gomorrah! I don't know God's Timing; nevertheless, when I see this behavior in New York City - Evil, Endtime Behavior that is especially increasing, then I know that this situation cannot continue. Jesus must judge Sin - or else we will destroy ourselves.