In the wake of yesterday’s commemorations of the events of 911, I’ve been reflecting. We can all recall where we were when we heard the news. We remember our raw emotions vividly, and the sense of patriotism, unity, and resolve that was so tangible. There was even a sense that hearts were “turning to God” as our nation struggled through the devastation and recovery from such loss. In some ways it seems like only yesterday. In other ways that patriotism, unity, resolve, and seeming resurgence of faith, seem to be in a far more distant past than the twelve years gone by.
We live in a different time now, and dare I say, in a different America? Some of the changes are to be expected. We live enveloped in suspicion. “Could that be a terrorist?” “What are you carrying in that bag?” Increased security is one of those expected and reasonable changes. But the unity that once held us together appears to have loosened its grip, as our nation seems to struggle to determine who we are. We used to know. We were “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” It’s what united us. We were respected for it.
But things are different now. Now socialism doesn’t even try to creep in, but stands to its feet and strolls on through, like that friendly camel, as if to say, obnoxiously, “Do you know what day it is?” Well, according to the “powers that be,” it’s a new day with “a new vision of an America in which prosperity is shared.” The act of taking from the rich to give to the poor sounds really altruistic, in a Robin Hood sort of way, and to some, maybe even “godly.” Proponents will even quote scripture in its defense. But when they do, they put their ignorance of scripture on display. Oh, it is certainly a godly thing to share what we have with the poor. The early church pooled their resources and shared so that everyone’s needs were met. But did you notice, they chose to do it? (Acts 2:42-47) They weren’t forced by the government. You can’t legislate love and kindness, nor are we supposed to. It comes from a heart that’s been born of Christ. “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.” (Acts 4:32)
Things are different now. As lies and deception of government officials continue to be revealed, disappointment and mistrust builds. Unity is not to be found, even within the nation’s party divisions. We learn that if we’re on the “wrong side of the tracks,” politically speaking, our phone calls, donations, and who knows what else, apparently now can and have been secretly monitored, for the purpose of determining if we are a “threat” to the current administration or their plans, or if indeed, we should be branded a “terrorist.” Corruption and deception equal a confused and untrusting society, hardly a place where patriotism and unity thrive.
Things are different now. As marriage has been “redefined,” it seems “tolerance” has taken on new meaning. Schools must have “Holiday” concerts and parties. Clerks are told not to say Merry Christmas! Merry Mas! It kinda loses its ring without Christ doesn’t it? So Happy Holidays, it is, if you want your job! We’re even told, “You can’t end that public prayer in Jesus’ name. It might be offensive to some.”
If you are a Christian, be aware . . . The exclusive claims of Christ are being negated every day in the name of tolerance. Jesus says, “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33)
Christians, this is about life, and whether we like it or not, politics is a part of it. Many believers prefer the docile, “peaceful” route of burying their heads in the sand and saying, “Oooh, I just don’t like to talk about that. Don’t want to go down that road – might offend someone.”
And the enemy applauds . . . .
Jesus said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn “a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)
Knowing Jesus brings to our hearts a peace that passes all understanding, but Jesus knew full well that standing for His message would stir people up! He expects us to stand anyway! These issues affect our life, as representatives of Christ, and we have a responsibility to respond to them as such.
On that day in September, 12 years ago, as Americans stood together, resolved to bring justice to those responsible for the murder of of almost 3000 innocent American citizens, could you ever have imagined being told that it was in our best interests to help Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria? Could you have imagined our government turning their backs on multiple pleas for help from our own military personnel under attack in Benghazi?
We’re living in a different America. Yes, things are very different now, and troubling as it is, it shouldn’t take us by surprise. We’ve been warned.
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
We’re seeing this prophesy fulfilled today as the Christian values that were the foundation of our nation are ridiculed, and those who dare to uphold them are branded as intolerant fundamentalists. We stand by and watch as our society sinks deeper into the godless pit of deception and depravity.
Our government rightfully decries the chemical weapons use by Assad on innocent men, women, and children, but self-righteously legalizes the right to murder our own precious babies with forceps and medical implements before they are allowed to leave their mother’s womb. God help this nation’s self-righteous, misguided soul.
Things are different now. But they don’t have to stay this way. I want my America back! You know the one. “The land of the free and the home of the brave!” Where people are free to speak the truth, and brave enough to stand for what is right and honorable!
There is a way. I believe it with all my heart. But it will need His people more than ever, to make it happen. We share in the responsibility of where we’re at as a nation. Whether we have just accepted with resignation, this “state of the Union” as being “our lot,” or whether we have neglected to pray as we should. Interestingly, 2 Chronicles 7:14 is addressed to God’s people. That’s you and I, believer! He says,
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” It begins and ends with us. If WE will turn from OUR wicked way . . . Let’s not forget that James says, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” His church needs to keep watch over what is going on, stop using the “politics” excuse, and take a stand for what is right. She needs to pray for our leaders and citizens, for our children and babies, for those who are lost and need a Savior. His church needs to STAND. Can we do that? Or have we forgotten that we are His Bride?
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”( Joshua 1:9) “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
God could have chosen for you to be born in any generation, in any land. By His providence He chose for you to be born in this nation at this particular time in history. “…Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
That’s the view from here . . .