Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cream Cheese: Ruining America

When I was growing up, on occasion, about six or seven times a year, we had a rich dessert. I'm not talking the occasional blackberry pie but chocolate! Sometimes at Christmastime Mom even made candy. Most of the time the sweets were sorghum molasses or honey. However, most of the time our food was vegetables and fruit, normally stewed apples. We were quite satisfied with an occasional rich food.

Now it seems that even our richest foods need to be made more rich. I bought a church recipe book, and twenty nine of the thirty initial recipes called for either cream cheese or mayonnaise. I will acknowledge my bias - I hate both of them more than anything. I threw the recipe book away because throughout it all the food was doctored up with rich ingredients.

As Americans, and even the West, we have become accustomed to delicacies. Of course, health wise we pay for it, but heart trouble and obesity is not the real and present danger! My "cream cheese" is the very fattening pizza with mozzarella piled high on top. Indeed, at least once a week, I must have my pizza. Not just ordinary Little Caesars, but the best of the best! Of course, it is of my own bias that I address America's problem: cream cheese represents the fall of America, and even the western world!

Cream cheese by regulation must have at least 33% milk fat, and be a moist concoction of not more than 55%. (U.S. Code of Federal Regulations). Hence, cream cheese is the cream of the crop. It is akin to the firstborn and most perfect lamb one could find if it was a meat! In fact, it must be eaten fresh, thus in my mind is symbolic of the blood of the lamb which must be sacrificed immediately.

What is the problem with cream cheese? People aren't satisfied with the ordinary. It must be the richest of the richest for our own enjoyment. I'm not immune; my "cream cheese" has been acknowledged! We all our accustomed to the fine things in life. Even poor people in the West expect and get cream cheese. It has infiltrated the lives of most Americans!
Genesis 1:29 "And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food."
Milk was there, but Adam and Eve got no cream cheese. They didn't even get the milk it seems! They were given sustenance but not delights. They were tempted toward delightful food for it was available. It was the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. That fruit was the "cream cheese" of the Garden of Eden. They saw it, were tempted, and it had to be theirs.
Genesis 3:8  "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate."
Adam and Eve already had nourishment but Eve wanted Epicurean food! She looked on the fruit of the tree with lust and desired it greatly, even though to eat thereof she would surely die! Now, I'm not saying that cream cheese will kill a person, at least not quickly, but neither did the fruit of the tree. It took 930 years for Adam to die, but his death was the outcome of eating Epicurean food. Before he ate, God intended him to be immortal, and would live an eternal physical life. His "cream cheese" ruined all that! He had to have the finest of the finest to appease his own god - himself. Adam and Eve were the first Epicureans.

Epicurean is not only a philosophy but a lifestyle. Epicureanism, named after the philosopher Epicurus, taught that pleasure is the greatest good; that material things were to live for and divine intervention was nothing more than superstition. To be summarized briefly, living for pleasure is what life is all about. We think of an Epicurean appetite as one with rich foods. Indeed, cream cheese is Epicurean because even in years past, it was not an "essential" ingredient in foods. Now, it seems, that people must have their cream cheese, although even my own "cream cheese" can speed up my death.  As we eat our cream cheese, we think: I won't surely die. Pleasure killed Adam, and it will kill us. Pleasure is ruining America. It has ruined civilizations before.

The "cream cheese" of many is the pleasure of sex. For others, it may be wealth, prestige, or power. The fruit of the tree is anything that we put before God. Those things are ruining America because God comes last among most Christians, and not at all for most people. Indeed, as the western world eats their cream cheese, whatever it is, we are in decline. We will be so until it is as it was in the days of Noah. (Luke 17:26).

Pleasure is of the "unknown god". Paul, in Athens heard the Stoic and Epicurean philosophers discussing life. He said this about that:
Acts 17:23 "...for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you..."
Admittedly, Stoics were worshiping their unknown God by frugality and self-denial. They didn't eat cream cheese of any sort, but they put the abstention of cream cheese before God. They worshiped the unknown god who didn't need to be appeased by pleasurable things. Each group was doing what was right in their own eyes. (Deut. 12:8). Both groups were eating their cream cheese because what they both were doing that which pleased them, not God.

Paul proclaimed to them who their unknown god truly is. Of course he is embodied to Christians as Jesus. However, their god was not Jesus. Without worshiping the One True God, the world goes down the tubes. America goes with it.

It seems right now America is as its most ruinous stage because most people live for their "cream cheese". God has no place in the lives of most Americans. We try to have our Cream Cheese and eat it too. Of course, I'm referring to the dualism of claiming Jesus, but eating still of the forbidden fruit. His true children are on a healthy diet void of extremes. His true children do all things in moderation, and for their own spiritual betterment. The "cream cheese" of pleasure and entertainment is ruinous to the souls of Americans. Unless we place God first, we shall surely die - a spiritual death.

Of course, I used the symbolism of "cream cheese" as an attention grabber but unfortunately, America is the land of milk and honey. God has provided great things for us, but we merely want the cream. Americans even disregard the source of our prosperity - God! He made an everlasting promise to Abraham years ago:  to make of Abraham a great nation and bless Abraham and make his name great so that he will be a blessing.

Part of that blessing is the promise of Jesus. America is indeed blessed. Some say that this covenant is unconditional, because it is for all the seed of Abraham, both the righteous and the wicked. Albeit, we're blessed by Jesus, we still suffer the consequences of disobedience. Israel was destroyed because of pleasure - their "cream cheese" was the same as ours; they had other gods before god. Their god too was an unknown god. The serpent told Adam and Eve that they will be like God. (Gen. 3-5). The unknown god is each of ourselves. We must appease our gods of selves with Epicurean delights. We all eat our cream cheese in the face of eternal death. Like the Romans who partied and pleasured as the empire was slowly sinking, so do Americans. "Cream cheese" is ruining America!

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