Get Off the Bus! :: By Ronda Lane

The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round… or so the song goes. Please allow me to tell you a somewhat silly story with a (hopefully) more significant ending.

As a child (as many of us did back in that era), my two sisters and I were limited by the selection of toys on the market and/or the availability to the region unless our parents ordered from the mail order Sears + Roebuck or Montgomery Ward catalogs. Apparently, our parents didn’t; and we received (with thankfulness) gifts that were of the common variety.

Of that bygone era, Fisher-Price produced a school bus toy with wooden figurines with various facial expressions. Each ‘seat’ was a carved round space for the characters to ‘sit’ in. Whether or not these wooden ‘students’ managed to stay in their seats and/or survived a wreck was contingent upon which of the three of us sisters was ‘driving’ the bus.

Decades later, when my own children were young, we bought them the Fisher-Price school bus set also. But the quality of the items had declined. Gone were the finely honed, smooth wooden characters. Instead plastic characters were the modern version to replace the wooden ones of old. Rather disappointing (even more so today, or so I hear).

If any of you remember the wooden toys, you’ll remember that one such character had a scowl painted on his face, and his baseball cap affixed sideways. It was clear he was meant to represent the rebellious and grumpy troublemaker on the bus.

Another figure in the set (a girl figure with ponytails) must have been overly played with in our family. If you turned her head back and forth (as you could with the older wooden types), you’d hear a shrill shriek of wood against wood, which could be made to either sound like she was whistling or screaming. Maybe a tiny piece of dirt had gotten in between the parts? I’m not sure the reason why. But it seemed fitting that this girl would represent (depending on mood) either the happy whistling girl or the loud-mouthed complainer shrieking shrilly on the bus. (Yes, children used their imaginations back then.)

Yet another figure had been painted with a facial expression that seemed to be in perpetual amazement. An ‘O’ of surprise represented his mouth, and eyebrows painted on just a bit too high above where they should be gave the perception of continuously astonished wonderment.

While there may have been other facial expressions, most of the other figures wore the same typical mindless smiles that one would expect a children’s toy set would contain.

Many years later, my oldest sister and I both took a part-time job (to supplement our full-time jobs) in a retail establishment which also served food during the festival season. Every year in this region, a local festival in the late summer drew in many people from across the nation. While some folks who visited had ties to the area, others didn’t. Back then, there was a motel in town, and some of these folks came in on the bus.

My sister and I (and most of our co-workers) called these out-of-towners (privately, of course) “the bus people,” whether they came in on a bus or not. I don’t suppose the co-workers even understood the private joke between my sister and me. But they did understand there was a difference in attitude among the tourists as compared to the locals.

We wondered what it was about those tourist types that caused them to act as though every slight imperfection was a personal affront to them. Did they act that way at home? Or had they saved it up for us?

Some of the typical complaints were:

“You call that GRAVY? Down south is where REAL gravy is made, not this slop. You Yankees can’t do anything right!”

“I said I wanted Heinz ketchup, not this… whatever this excuse for ketchup is!”

“This food is too spicy, not spicy enough, too cold, too hot, too sweet, not sweet enough,” etc. Along with the complaints, invariably the claim was added that, wherever these folks resided, only they knew the “right way” to make any given certain dish.

Nine times out of ten, those who complained about the food and also wanted a refund were those who asked for such (conveniently) only after eating 90% or more of it! Most often these same folks made huge messes and left a very small tip or never left a tip at all. (I’m sure those who waitress for a living can relate.)

If the weather wasn’t a perfect 75 degrees with sunshine, these folks were sure it was our fault it rained, was too warm, too cold, or too windy. But it wasn’t just us they blamed. We actually heard a couple claim they were going to demand a refund from the bus charter agency because of the inclement weather!

Many of their children had apparently had the misfortune of riding on the festival rides, and also as unfortunate (for us) was that they were much every bit the complainers as their parents were. “That ride was too scary, not fast enough, too fast, not high enough, too high, the line too long,” etc. And of course they lamented that they had better ride choices wherever it is they came from.

I’ve left out the numerous expletives that perpetually sprinkled their impossible demands and berating rants. But it’s clear there was a spirit behind the evil (Eph. 2:2-3, 6:12; 1 Cor. 6:9-12, et al).

Some folks (obviously not those who rode the buses) demanded that they bring their pets inside the restaurant area of the store even though we explained to them that only service animals for disabled folks were permitted by law, and not any others – even though we also explained to them that the state board of health would shut us down if we let them bring their pets in. None of this seemed to matter to these proud pooch lovers as their pet was much more ‘special’ than anyone else’s. In fact, the rules shouldn’t even apply to them, as they were much more ‘special’ than us common folks also. Or so they seemed to believe.

One of those animal-loving folks brought his pet python in the doors and screamed obscenities when the manager told him that both he and his pet snake had to go.

So too went the ‘special privilege’ parking demands. Some wanted to park in handicap spots without handicap permits. “But you don’t understand; Tiffany is so tired from walking!” Once again we’d have to explain to them that the law (which is standard across the US, no matter what ‘special’ region they came from) clearly states they must have either handicap plates or handicap parking permits to park in a handicap zone.

More than a few times, some of these folks left their ‘special’ vehicles there anyway, and found out that our ‘special’ policemen weren’t impressed with their ‘special’ excuses, and promptly wrote them a ticket. I’m pretty sure that, if they argued with these overworked policemen during festival season, they would soon find that the cost of the ticket would increase to an even higher ‘special’ rate!

And if there happened to be a full moon that week, they were then known as the “full-moon bus people.” Anyone who works with the public will know exactly what I mean.

When told that we’d be closed on Sundays (as many places were back then due to many of us going to church), those same touristy ‘bus people’ were shocked, literally shocked that such a quaint segment of society still existed. They even looked upon us with pitying faces as if mortified that we weren’t as embarrassed by our church-going as they were for us. Church? How could anyone go to church? How could that possibly take precedence over what the world had to offer? (Or so their shocked faces conveyed.)

I don’t know if folks really did act that way in their home cities and states also, or if they just let loose here since they didn’t know anyone in the area. But regardless, it seemed that we all heaved a collective sigh of relief once “bus people week” was over. I was also glad that job was only part-time and that festival season only occurred once a year. My sister, co-workers, and I would sit down after cleaning up the huge messes left behind on the last day; we were young adults then and would be downright giddy that ‘bus week’ was over! At least back then.

I also don’t know if these trends struck other regions of the US before they arrived at our somewhat remote neck of the woods or not. But I do know it wasn’t much long afterwards when those same characteristics became prevalent amongst local folks here. And not just during festival week, but all year long. Every day of the year. Every hour of the day.

Gone were many of the friendly and courteous folks who held doors for each other, their elders, and especially for the disabled. To be fair, there are still a few remaining today. But they are rarer each passing year. Even each passing month.

Now there are so many rude and mean-spirited folks who are so ‘special’ that they don’t think twice about parking in the handicap zones illegally. When trying to wrangle the wheelchair up a hill on the snowy sidewalks to get into the doctor’s office, invariably it will be a young healthy person who proclaims: “Oh hey, I was only using it for a minute!” (with a sneer on his or her face). That is if they even bother to respond or note your existence on the planet at all.  Most won’t. At least not today.

There are so many people today who think they are entitled to things they aren’t entitled to. They really do think they are so ‘special’ that the rules don’t apply to them. And the biggest change in society today is the hatred of laws. The word ‘illegal’ seems to be their banner. They thumb their noses at every law in society. And it’s not just here; it’s all across the nation. I believe we’ve been seeing a rapid acceleration of lawlessness in the US, especially over the last 2-3 years.

Some of us miss those bygone eras when neighbors were friendly and church was the hub of family activity. But we wouldn’t want to live through those years again only to arrive in this era of lawlessness. Witnessing these perilous last days is grievous to us.

Believers are yearning for the rapture, looking up with anticipation and great eagerness. Not back (as Lot’s wife did). So please don’t think I’d ever want to return to those days, even if they were better days. I simply want to show the contrast, especially for younger readers who (sadly) never experienced a time when God’s word was in society and school, and was revered – not mocked, ridiculed, and excluded from every public place as it is today. What a huge difference!

So it was back then in the ‘bus people’ era. We got our first taste of the ungodly world permeating our small town only once a year. We were thankful it was only once a year, but it wasn’t long before every business was open on Sundays and even Thanksgiving and other holidays that folks typically spent with family and at church events. Even such stores as Walgreens or Rite-aid felt the need to be open during those times (even though the pharmacy was closed and they didn’t sell any Thanksgiving items such as turkey or cranberry sauce, etc.). Pure greed and godlessness has overcome society.

In fact, most employers today (around the nation, not just locally) would laugh at anyone interviewing for a job who asked to have Sundays off to go to church. They’d be the last person hired and wouldn’t be given any exemptions about church-going, on the slim chance that they were hired in the first place. “It’s not fair to other employees who have to work the weekends,” most would claim. Of course, they’d never dream of closing the doors on Sundays now because there just aren’t that many church-goers as compared to godless folks in the US today.

For those under the mistaken assumption that Christians are the majority in the US, it’s time for a wakeup call. It’s simply no longer true.

Even within the portion of US citizens who claim to be Christians, many aren’t. They don’t believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father, even though scripture clearly states He is (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; John 3:15-18; 1 Tim. 2:5 and numerous others). They don’t believe that Jesus literally died for our sins, was buried, and rose the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-4). In fact, most of them don’t believe scripture whatsoever. They’ve been taught the lie that scripture is ‘all an allegory,’ and that truth is supposedly subjective.

Sadly, even among those Christians who claim to believe the gospel, many don’t spend any time themselves studying God’s word. They don’t know (and don’t care to find out) if their pastor is teaching them false doctrine or not. And we need to be sure, as we were forewarned that false doctrine would be prevalent in these last days (1 Tim. 4:1-2; 2 Tim. 3:5 and 4:3-4; among others).

The only way to be sure a believer isn’t being taught false doctrine is for that believer to know scripture themselves. They would then be able to immediately recognize unsound and unscriptural doctrine.

So too is the prevalence of folks who think they are so ‘special’ that the rules don’t apply to them. Some truly think they are so ‘special’ that they are also above the law.

For the last several years, so many things have gotten exponentially worse. There have been many secular folks opining as to why that is. They still opine today with their worldly ‘special’ wisdom. But they are grievously wrong about the cause.

Bible believers know the answer. It’s so very clear. These trends began to take place locally when God was kicked out of society and school. When all discipline was cast to the wind. When children started talking back to both teachers and parents, and were never reprimanded for not just disrespecting others, but even for being violent.

When every Biblical principle was removed from public schools, what did they expect? They kicked God to the curb and seemed shocked that the devil strolled right in and took over.

It used to be that the worldly folks claimed they merely wanted ‘tolerance’ for their Marxist and Darwinist theories to be presented in public schools.

At first they claimed they only wanted them taught alongside the US Constitution and Biblical creationism as ‘alternative theories.’ But just as we always suspected, tolerance was not what they had in mind whatsoever. They wanted every Biblical concept removed from society, especially from public schools.

Now they teach that the Constitution is supposedly a “living document” which can be changed with the times. The first thing they’d like to do is remove all reverence to our Creator God within our founding documents. The next would be to remove the First and Second Amendments. We’re already seeing so much censorship as well as anti-gun propaganda. Both are ratcheting up exponentially since the midterm elections.

There is a large portion of our society that has been indoctrinated into the globalist fantasy of Socialism and even Communism for all – never once understanding that, in order for there to be ‘free stuff’ for all people, it will come at the theft of someone else’s hard work and legally gained property and wealth. That doesn’t seem to bother them as they have little desire to work to earn their own way, but would rather rely on a nanny state to take care of them.

They also don’t have a clue that ‘free stuff’ very quickly runs out once they’ve raided everything owned by those who worked for it.

There’s no reasoning with most of these folks. You can point out the historical and current failures of Socialism and Communism to these people, yet they still don’t get the picture.

Romans 1:18-32 explains why, as does 2 Tim. 3 verses 7 and 13. Most of us are familiar with those scriptures; but if not, please take a moment to read them. You’ll be surprised at the stunning accuracy of God’s word foretelling and describing today’s world.

Today they won’t tolerate creationism taught in schools whatsoever. Now they demand that no children (including violent teens with criminal records) ever be spanked or even made to sit in a ‘time-out.’ If the children are given detention, they wear it as a badge of honor. It’s no punishment. They aren’t even forced to write “I will not strike my teacher or fellow students” a hundred times. Instead, they sit there playing on their phones and tablets just as they would if they weren’t sitting in detention. That’s no punishment or deterrent.

If they are expelled (which seems to be the only recourse still available), then the parents must have a way to either be with them to supervise them, or leave the child on their own to find even more creative ways to get into trouble. Many parents even demand that no one dare raise their voice to these children.

It used to be that parents would be upset with their children when they were disorderly or violent in schools. Now it seems that many parents demand that their children be coddled even more so at school than they are at home – with no recourse for violent actions whatsoever. It’s never little Timmy’s fault, even if he stabbed another child with a pencil. Why? Because little Timmy’s parents are so sure he is ‘special.’

Yet, since most of the teachers are themselves both godless and far-leftist in theology, they can’t fathom why the parents and children are treating them that way—even if they are the ones responsible for indoctrinating young minds into the victimhood mentality. Everything is someone else’s fault (or so they believe). No one is accountable or responsible for themselves. The teacher is the victim, the child is the victim, and the parent is the victim. Or so they all think. Perpetual victimhood is part and parcel of the leftist mentality today. And it all stems from the desire to portray others as the perpetrator of their own sins. But they can’t see that. (Again, Rom. 1:18-32 and 2 Tim. 3:1-7 explain why.)

And children’s services? As great as they have been in helping children who are truly in peril of violent or sexual abuse, all the same they’ve gone entirely overboard in usurping the parental rights of good parents. They’ve been weaponized by the left to be used against good parents.

For example, I personally know parents who were threatened by children’s services for merely telling their child that they must clean their room before supper! Children’s services claimed it was ‘withholding food’ from children. How ridiculous! No parent had starving their children in mind by simply telling their kids to pick up the toys off the floor before supper.

We saw much of this coming with comments from leftist politicians in years past. Hillary Clinton’s “it takes a village” statements didn’t go unnoticed by those of us who see what’s really happening.

The left wants complete control over your children. Some leftist-indoctrinated teachers are especially vile to known Christian parents. I’m also aware of different occurrences where such teachers have targeted children of Christian parents by encouraging the kids to report them to CPS if they “feel compelled of their parents to pray before meals.”

As if praying is now a crime? They won’t admit that they think it should be (even though that’s exactly where it’s headed). But instead they claim it’s the “compelling the child to pray” that’s supposedly the issue.

What next? Scripture tells us what’s next (Micah 7:2-6; Mark 13:12; Luke 21:16; et al). But I believe those events will occur during the (soon coming) tribulation. Nevertheless, we don’t know how authoritarian governments will become prior to the rapture, should the Lord tarry for even a short time.

I’m sure we can think of a thousand more ways leftist-run public schools are attempting to indoctrinate children into every wicked and vile atrocity that goes against God’s word – some of which are so evil and loathsome I can’t even repeat them here. Every day there’s another news article reporting more of the vile filth children are subjected to. They fill children’s heads with these gender-bending lies every day. They even want to teach this disgusting filth to preschoolers.

Folks, if at all possible, get your children and grandchildren out of public schools. Homeschool them or send them to a good Christian school, if one is available in your area. Yes, it will mean sacrifice on your part. Sacrifice of your time and/or finances also. But our children and grandchildren are worth it!

As much as some of us would like to believe that America will be ‘great again,’ it’s not in scripture. I’ve heard some otherwise sound pastors claim that 2 Chron. 7:14 is for the church, but read the entire chapter. Or at least read that scripture in context! It’s talking to and about Israel, not the US.

It sure isn’t going to happen while our public schools are promoting far-leftist, God-hating and Christ-rejecting propaganda. I hate to say it, but we’ve lost our public schools altogether to the ungodly.

We won’t be ‘great again’ with the blood of 60+ million abortions—and counting—continuing unabated, and with the mockery of God’s word pertaining to male and female, marriage, and basic scriptural concepts thrown out the window in this nation (and most other nations as well). We can’t expect God to bless this mess when children are being indoctrinated into the devil’s lies from a tender age, and when children are being harmed by pedophiles and stolen by human traffickers at unprecedented rates.

If anything, God has been far more merciful to the US (and many other nations) than we deserve (as a whole). We believers pray that the rapture is very near – and from all scriptural indications, it looks to be. But in the meanwhile, as we wait, we mustn’t bury our heads in the sand and pretend our children will get through public schools unscathed. It’s not just the majority of their peers pressuring them into worldly ways. But the majority of teachers and faculty today are also unbelievers with far-leftist ideology.

The indoctrination into demonically inspired evil doesn’t end with grade school and high school either. Most colleges today (even those who formerly claimed to be Christian colleges) are now propagandizing young adults with even more hardcore globalist and antichrist agendas. Parents pay 5-6 figures a year to send their adult children to college today. And what do they get in return? Many of the majors aren’t even useful in today’s job market. They are then saddled with debt (or their parents are) for decades; and not only do they have no marketable skills, but they also have a corrupt world view— the antichrist globalist view. (See also: 2 Pet. 2:17-19.)

Sadly, even many seminaries who are training young men to be pastors have succumbed to teaching the devil’s lies. Some very devoted young believers find that they are quickly taught to doubt the veracity of the Bible! These professors (not believers themselves, even if they call themselves ‘Christians’) think they know more than God’s word. They think they are intellectually superior to God themselves! They teach the Oprah Winfrey-type, ecumenicist lie that there are supposedly ‘many paths to God.’ What evil lies! Also teaching them to doubt God’s word altogether. That sneaky serpent sure hasn’t changed tactics much since Genesis 3:1, has he? (See also: 2 Pet. 2:1-3, 20-22.)

So many folks now believe they are superior, ‘special,’ and know better than God does. They mock His word and tout human reasoning above scripture. Yet, isn’t that what God’s word told us to expect? Isn’t that same pridefulness the same thing that brought the devil down? The desire to usurp God? How foolish that a created being would ever entertain the thought of usurping the place of the One who created him! The Lord rebuke thee, devil! It’s no wonder that unsaved mankind falls into the same trap.

The folks my sister and I used to jokingly call ‘the bus people’ aren’t just out-of-town tourists today. This same culture has infiltrated every segment of society now. Just as scripture warned, these characteristics would be prevalent in these perilous last days (2 Tim. 3:1-5).

And where is this ‘bus’ full of Christ-rejecting and God-hating people headed? Down the broad and wide path to destruction.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).

Several decades ago there was a secular song called “Highway to Hell.” How sad that the unsaved world (even today) thinks that hell is a party and that their friends are going to be there laughing it up and having a good time with them in hell? Nothing could be further from the truth. Hell is a joke to them. But it’s no laughing matter. The devil has blinded their eyes.

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Cor. 4:4).

Are you on that ‘bus’ spiraling towards the tribulation and towards hell itself? On the “highway to hell”? If so, GET OFF THE BUS! Come to Christ now for salvation. None of us are promised tomorrow on this earth. (James 4:13-15; Psalm 103:14-16; 1 Pet. 1:24-25; Prov. 27:1; Ecc. 2:11-16; Isaiah 40:17, et al.)

Jesus has already paid your sin debt when He died for our sins, was buried, and rose the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-4). But this free gift of eternal salvation requires your belief in Jesus’ finished work (Rom. 10:9-10; John 3:15-18; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9; many others). Not our own works.

The unsaved world laughs, scoffs, and mocks not only Jesus but His soon return! (Jude 1:18; 2 Pet. 3:3-4). Ironically, they don’t even recognize that they are themselves fulfilling Bible prophecy by doing so!

How sad that they will one day stand before their maker and realize that they too could have had eternal salvation, that their sins were already paid for, but that they said “NO!” (John 3:18) and rejected Christ. That decision will haunt them for eternity. What regret and remorse they will have! But it will be too late then. God gave us free will in this lifetime to choose whether to accept Jesus’ offer of eternal salvation or not. None of us knows for certain when we will take our last breath on this earth. Once you do, it will be too late to change your mind.

For those who’ve trusted Christ for salvation, we are promised deliverance from the wrath to come (1 Thes. 1:10; Rom. 5:9; 1 Thes. 5:9). God’s word even tells us how Jesus will deliver us believers (1 Cor. 15:49-53; 1 Thes. 4:16-18). The rapture!

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).