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Archive for March, 2013

If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.

—C. S. Lewis

Many Christians have the mistaken notion that we are okay the way we are, regardless of how we act, how we treat others, or what the state of our mind may be. We want to believe that being wishy-washy is acceptable to God and to everybody else. We want to be strong believers, while at the same time making certain we don’t offend anyone with our beliefs. In this way, we are more culturally Christian than committed believers.

If this was as bad as it was, it would be one thing; but it’s actually worse. Over the years, in a very subtle, insidious way, we have become unwilling to stand firmly in the face of a culture that has grown increasingly hostile toward Christianity, choosing instead to wring our hands in despair. Wanting to appear enlightened by accepting the beliefs of others—regardless of what they might be—we have allowed our convictions to be trumped by the political correctness of our culture.

As men, we’ve lost our gumption and, as women, we’ve lost our focus. We blame the liberals for the decline in our society, while never taking a good, hard, penetrating look at ourselves. We share emails, Tweets, and Facebook posts by the thousands, reminding us about the “good old days,” while never considering that we are more responsible for the societal decline we lament rather than the liberals we repeatedly castigate.

Perhaps we should look back to the behavior of our Founding Fathers. During the Colonial and Revolutionary era, they routinely held days of fasting and prayer to try and determine the leading of Almighty God. That really happened, and there were also days of repentance, which would never be acceptable to today’s lukewarm Christians, who have convinced themselves they are fine just the way they are. Although repentance might offend the politically correct crowd and some weak-willed Christians, it never offends the Lord, and it is definitely what He desires from us.

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the Last Days that you have stored up your treasure! (James 5:1-3)

Jack Watts   We Believe: 30 Days to Understanding Our Heritage

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Here’s an idea: on Good Saturday, why don’t one million people, along with their children, show up on the White House lawn, demanding that President Obama open it up so the kids can learn about our proud heritage? After all, it belongs to us—not him.

That’s something the President would understand. It’s time for us to stand up for ourselves and resist his tyranny.

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Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

—Helen Keller

In 1776, at the time of the American Revolution, how many people do you think were church members? Was it?

  • 5 percent
  • 25 percent
  • 35 percent
  • 55 percent
  • 75 percent
  • 95 percent

Before you answer, think about that generation of Christians for a moment. These early Christians influenced the founding of our nation and the Constitution that established the laws of the land. In many ways, we still live in the flow of their blessing many generations later. Their influence has been that powerful.

Currently, more than 50 percent of Americans are church members, but our influence is pitifully weak—not just politically, but in service to our nation and to the world. If 50 percent can’t get the job done today, it must have taken 75 percent or more to get the job done in the late-18th century, right?

Well, not exactly.

If you guessed 5 percent were church members, you were correct. That’s right, just one out of twenty, but being a church member in that era was far different than it is today. Those early Americans were strong, resilient men and women, whose faith impacted every aspect of their lives. In their era, making strong followers of Christ was the emphasis—not evangelism.

In our generation, the emphasis is getting thousands of marginal believers to say they are members. Not wishing to offend anyone, there is practically no emphasis on making them strong men and women, filled with knowledge and estimable character qualities. This shift in balance has weakened our impact upon society dramatically, and not for the good.

Christians in our generation love to blame liberals and their politically correct worldview for our decline, without taking a hard look at what we have become. What has changed is the quality of Christians. We have dumbed down, while telling ourselves we are knowledgeable. Worst of all, we believe it.

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end if the age (Matthew 28:18b-20).

Jack Watts    We Believe: 30 Days to Understanding Our Heritage

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Father,

As I watch Christians across the land

Point critical fingers at the “liberals,”

Criticizing them for all the woes

And terrible consequences America now faces,

While never taking an honest look

At our role in our nation’s deterioration,

Which has been far greater than we care to acknowledge.

We fail to disclose how uncaring we have become,

Never admitting we have embraced a judgmental spirit,

Rather than steadfastly holding to Your desire for us

To remain the loving people You have called us to be.

We have failed by demanding materialism be Your will

And that we be the rightful beneficiaries of Your bounty.

We have fattened our wallets, disregarding Your mandate

To serve the poor and to encourage the less fortunate.

In our self-righteousness, while constantly blaming others,

We have ceased to be the salt of the earth.

Our light, which should shine brightly, has dimmed.

As we embrace indifference, waiting to be Raptured—

To be bailed out of our societal responsibilities by You—

We refuse to accept any sense of accountability.

We have failed and are to blame—nobody but us.

Like those we gleefully criticize, we have become expert

At faulting everybody other than ourselves.

Our character has atrophied; none of us are free from guilt.

We are all responsible, Father, each of us.

Although we refuse to admit the truth,

Preferring to live in denial, eagerly embracing a lie,

We have precipitated our own decline

And have endangered the future of all Americans.

Forgive us, Father, and restore our nation to wholeness.

Jack Watts   Real Prayers for Real People with Real Problems

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