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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

No Writing But Some Heavy Duty Reading

Well, the novel continues to be on hold while God does some work in me. There are several changes at work in my life right now, both spiritual and physical and emotional and I simply have to focus on those for a bit as I begin to make some alterations in my daily life.

One of the things that has had a tremendous impact on me is watching the July 5th broadcast of In Touch, featuring speaker David Barton on the subject "Is America A Christian Nation?" I've since watched that broadcast at least half a dozen times and plan to show it to my youth group some time soon.

I, like any other aware Christian, have seen the decay of our moral values in this country and the too-strong role government has begun to play in the lives of Americans over the last several decades. But I had no idea how brainwashed and misled I've been by our education system, by our courts, our government, and the media. Nor have I ever really stopped to consider the true depths of the damage godless people have done in the nation - a responsibility which is shared by Christians who simply shrug and do nothing.

Watching that broadcast got me to seeking more information and I am presently reading Mr. Barton's Original Intent: The Courts, The Constitution, & Religion. I am not quite half-way through but what an eye opening read it has been thus far. It by turns makes me mad, sad, shamed and hopeful. How far we have strayed from our founding! It has also caused me to learn in a much more meaningful way why it is so critical to carefully choose Supreme Court Justices. Sure, I had a vague idea, but reading this book brings it to the down and dirty of what happens when you choose wrong.

Even before I saw this broadcast or read this book, I wondered why Americans were only religious in spurts - why do we get done with religion and then tuck it away in a pocket and not take it out again till the next Sunday? Why don't we live it at work, at school, in government?

I can tell you I don't want the current youth brainwashed by the sins of commission and ommission - I want them to know the truth of their heritage so they have a fighting chance against all the misleading information out there - Mr. Barton's book carefully examines the facts.

And my rising concern over this issue prompted a discussion with my pastor, who recommended I also read Legislating Morality by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek and Total Truth: Liberating Christianity From Its Cultural Captivity by Nancy Pearcey. I haven't started those yet but look forward to reading them.

Not light reading - quite time consuming to read but necessary. That's what disturbs me about the chaotic nature of our lives today - we are so busy trying to make ends meet and "do" stuff just for the sake of doing that the critically important things fall by the wayside. We think we're doing God a great service by showing up in church on Sunday morning. We utter a few half-hearted prayers. And that's about the extent of exerting our Christian influence.

If we want to remain a strong nation, a great nation, and one blessed by God, we can't continue in that same vein. We've got to transform ourselves into full time, 24/7 Christians. I don't know all the answers. But I do know we should be plenty embarrassed and ashamed that, for the most part, no one can tell the Christian from the non-Christian these days. And it shows in every facet of our lives, both privately and in the public sector.

And I guess right now, the need to learn more about this very serious issue is pressing upon me so deeply that worrying about a novel rewrite seems rather lame in comparison. I will get it done, but at the moment, it seems to be a low priority. If I'm obedient to Him, it will happen according to God's perfect timing.


Nikole Hahn said...

We neglect our youth in favor of putting on "programs" to attract them to church without any "meat and potatoes" to grow them spiritually. Is it any wonder why our country is in trouble when we have evangelism putting more importance on the show on Sunday morning than the message? Especially when you go to these mega churches (have nothing against them except they are huge) and you can't understand the words of the worship songs because it is too loud. How are we to teach through music if you can't understand the words being sung? Another good book to read is Epic Center by Joel Rosenberg. Did you know in India when they preach the Word, families bring in food, and they spend all day listening to the Word while America counts the minutes on Sunday and comments if the pastor speaks too long.

B.K. Jackson said...

Good points. And we can respond to that by immersing ourselves in prayer and also by giving feedback to our church leaders. While it may not always be true, I think many times church members sense that something is not right about the worship and teaching but don't say anything whether due to apathy or insecurity or something else.

I know our focus for the youth where I go to church is to teach them to have a Christian worldview - a good solid biblical foundation with practical application so they can take it forward with them into school, work, and every other aspect of their life. It will take time, but if all churches will do that, we will see a reversal of some of the negative trends in our nation.