Patsy Shelton
Sep 12, 2003

Richard Shelton
Setember 12, 2003

Some of us remember the old song, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” in which Leroy is described as the “badest” man in the whole downtown. I couldn’t say for sure but perhaps that was the beginning of the times when men thought it good to be bad. Somewhere along the line people began to associate being bad with being manly. Therefore, it was good to be bad. This was especially true among men but today, as more and more women assume what was traditionally masculine roles the “bad is good” philosophy is evenly spread over both genders.

The popular TV series, Charlie’s Angels, attempted to balance the roles of “leather and lace.” The angels were at tough as leather when circumstances called for it but as feminine as lace when they were not in a threatening situation. Eventually, subsequent series’ which starred women as heroines just dropped the lace altogether and portrayed women as just as tough, hard and yes, bad as men. So the women came to be just as bad as the men and many of the women considered this to be good but since being bad was the mark of manhood the men were forced to seek new levels of bad. They became wicked and unconscionable. Corruption became fashionable and violence the order of the day. This level of “bad” was portrayed in the Dirty Harry movies but in real life men began murdering their wives and children. Young men would kill their parents. Younger men would murder their classmates and teachers. It was only a short time ago that we, as a society, sentenced a thirteen-year-old to life in prison for shooting a man in the head outside a convenience store. He was eleven years old when he pulled the trigger.

Shooting someone is bad but the boy who fired the shot apparently thought it was, at least, permissible, if not good. For a society to certify a thirteen-year-old to be an adult so they can administer a more severe sentence is unconscionable. I was not an adult at age thirteen and I suspect that you were not either. Now, I am reminded of the words of Isaiah, the prophet: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

Maybe it is a good idea if, from time to time, we, as a society, step back and take a close look at those things we consider good and a closer look at those things that are really bad. Does it really depend on what the definition of “is” is? Is corruption acceptable when the nation is prosperous and reprehensible only when the stock market is down?

Let’s take a look at what something that is good really is. Webster defines “good” as being pure, moral, conscientious, meritorious, virtuous, righteous, worthy, exemplary, upright, faithful, commendable, admirable, honorable, benevolent, humane, gracious, obliging, profitable, useful, serviceable, beneficial, genuine, efficient, proficient, capable, able, suitable and adroit.

Bad, on the other hand, is defined as being not good, wicked, evil, reprehensible, defective, inadequate, unsatisfactory, faulty, unsound, unfit, harmful, spoiled, disreputable, dishonorable, unfavorable, unsuitable, untrue, rotten, offensive, depraved, corrupt, inferior, deficient, immoral, sorry, disgusting and degenerate.

It is easy to see why Jesus wants us to be GOOD and faithful servants, to do GOOD works and speak GOOD things. It is not good to be bad.

Richard L. Shelton

Warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Colossians 1:28