Word of the Day
I know, and fully confess, that I have been rather harsh in my criticism of the current state of the New Testament Church in America and about America herself. But I want to assure everyone that honors me by reading this page that I dearly love God’s Church and I dearly love His saints. I have given over fifty years of my life serving Him and His people, and would give another fifty years if I even thought I would have them.
Have I not seen serious problems through those years? Of course I have, and still do. But I fully understand that God populates His Church with folks just like me, warts and all. We are fallible people who are going to have, and cause problems, simply by our being there. We all make more than our share of mistakes, are laden with sins that plague and hinder our walk with God and problems seeing beyond the end of our nose.
With that said, what grieves me about God’s people today is that we are lacking so much in the area of convictions. When Cassius Clay(Muhamed Ali) was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam conflict, he didn’t want to serve in the military and interrupt his boxing career and therefore he wanted an exemption from military service. So he suddenly decided to become a Muslim and claimed to be an Imam in Islam, and because he was one of their “preachers” he deserved a to receive a religious exemption from the draft.
Being wealthy because he was a successful prize-fighter, he was able to fight the draft board in the courts. It went all the way to the Supreme Court. I will never forget what they said in their decision. They said something like this…an opinion about something is what we hold until, and unless, we get more information. A conviction is something we would die before we even consider changing. They said that what he held at the time was a real conviction, and they ruled in his favor.
But, in today’s church, about the only convictions we have concerns homosexuality and its agenda, but we are slowly changing in this. Sin is what you do, not what I do. So I am right before Holy God, even though I am laden down with blatant and chosen sinful practices. God overlooks mine, but He holds you guilty of yours.
We don’t hear calls from our pulpits about clean living, righteousness, holiness, walking with God or purity. We don’t hear demands from our pulpits that we be faithful to our spouses and family. We don’t hear anything about “loving the world”, worldliness and compromise. We don’t hear anything about complacency, about staying true to our spiritual heritage.
I even heard of one person who, when confronted with Scripture about a certain issue, responded by declaring that ours is a different time and those old words don’t apply anymore. We just don’t have any serious convictions anymore, we have no “hills upon which we are willing to die”. We have surrendered the causes that many of our forefathers chose to die over rather than abandon.
I cannot say emphatically enough how much I love God’s Church, but what I long to see is a return to the “old paths”(Jer. 6:16; 18:15). Jeremiah says that these are “…the good way…”. that it is in these paths that we will “…find rest for your souls…”. But it is also in these paths that the people declared that “…we will NOT walk therein.”
And from where I sit, it seems that this is where the modern church is. And all the while lost souls are dying and going to an eternal hell, and not one tear is shed over this.
I love my country. Like so many of my generation, I was, and still am, willing to lay my life down for my country. As old and decrepid as I am, I would still take up arms to defend my beloved country. Graves dot the landscape of countries around the world, denoting where so many of our forefathers fought and died to give us the liberty that only this country has ever enjoyed.
But, sadly, I have seen an apathy set in that horrifies me. No one cares for anything except their “own little half-acre” in life. As long as I can bring home a paycheck, can invest in an IRA, have some savings and look forward to a retirement of comfort and luxury, why should I be concerned about what happens to you and yours? And, being so engrossed in my own world, I have no time nor inclination about what happens in Washington. I don’t know who my legislator is, nor do I care. Just get out of my face and let me live MY life.
And, again, from where I sit, I see this once-great country falling apart simply because no one cares, nor pays any attention. As long as everything lasts throughout my life, why should I be concerned about my kids and grand-kids. I am worrying about mine, let them worry about theirs.
Again, no convictions about anything that is not green and folds. No concern about the future of the nation. O, we will complain, but then most born-again believers do not take the time to register and vote. Let the ungodly ones take care of that.
So, I see a church and a nation that is filled with folks who are just whiling away the days, going through motions, making lovely speeches, praying popular prayers and then simply going home to dinner.
What is the hope of a nation so filled with uncaring and detached people? How can we believers even hope to fulfill the Great Commission(Mark 16:15), obey the Great Command(Matt.22:35-40) and allow our lights to shine in a darkened world(Matt.5:13-16)?
How can we even hope to pass on to our heritage a nation which boasts of being the “land of the free and home of the brave”? How can we even dare to have any hope for church or nation when we don’t care ourselves?