From: Rich Carlson
Date: December 5, 2019
Subject: It's December 5; Good Morning Union

“Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.”            1 Corinthians 15:33

Whenever I read this text, and others like it, I am reminded to not overreact to undocumented quotes that predate laws prohibiting plagiarism, the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own. Plagiarism is considered academic dishonesty and a breach of journalistic ethics (both of those last two sentences are copied from Wikipedia just so I don’t get accuses of plagerizing!) It’s actually illegal in some countries like India where you can be put in jail for using someone else’s literary or artistic work and claiming it as your own. In the United States you can be fined, but it’s mostly just viewed as ethically inappropriate to use someone else’s work and claim it as your own (and, appropriately so, in school your grade can be significantly affected if you do it, so don’t!!)

Ellen White copied from earlier authors as she described the details of some of the historical background she was writing about. Some are deeply troubled by this. They need to also then be deeply troubled by the fact that it happens multiple times in the Bible as well. I don’t choose to believe that Ellen or the Bible writers were trying to do anything illegal or even unethical; I think they just liked the way something was said and it helped them in what they were trying to say. I’m personally not troubled by this.

My verse for today is an example; Paul’s very wise advice about not being misled by bad company actually comes from a line of poetry by Menander (343-280bc). It has been suggested that this was a common prayer of the day. Written 300 years before Paul wrote, it still contained good advice that Paul wanted to share with the people of Corinth. Written 2300 years after Mr. Menander wrote, I want to share it with my friends at Union College—don’t be misled: bad company STILL can corrupt good character! I still need to be wise and careful about who I hang around with because, even by the laws of physics, it takes less effort to pull something (or someone) down that it does to pull it (or them) up. At this point physics, philosophy, and following the ways of Jesus come together and teach me a valuable lesson, not to shun or isolate myself from sinners, but to be aware and careful that my focus is on being IN the world, but not becoming too much a part OF the world SO THAT its pull is stronger that the gentle urgings of my Savior. It’s easier to fall INTO sin that to get OUT of sin so I need to choose wisely from the get go!

Other good quotes:

“Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” Booker T Washington

“You can’t hang around with negative people and expect to live a positive life.” (don’t know who said it but I like it!)

“Fate chooses your family; you choose your friends”

“Only surround yourself with people who lift you higher.” Oprah Winfrey


It’s still good advice. Thank you Mr Menander (and others)!


Have a great day choosing friends wisely,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the Day:      “By taking revenge, a man is even with his enemy, but by passing it over, he is superior.”        Noah Webster


PS        uGather- 10:35am in the Church. This week we’ll be sharing a Student Life panel addressing the questions you have submitted.


PPS      Campus Christmas Party- TONIGHT- under the Clocktower @ 5:30!!