“Let the word go forth, from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans-born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.” January 20, 1961 Inaugural Address John F. Kennedy
This blog is not about personalities or even politics, for that matter. It’s not about whether you are A Democrat or a Republican or even who you voted for or what axe you have to grind. But it is about taking a long hard look in the mirror and asking the question- whatever happened to decency and free debate; even more so, just what are we allowing ourselves to become morally?
Benjamin Franklin, upon leaving the Constitutional Convention, in Philadelphia, in September 1787, was asked by a lady standing outside,” Mr. Franklin, what sort of document have you given us?” He replied, ” A Document that will stand the test of time, if you ascribe to two principles- First of all, as a nation and government, retaining a strong belief in God, and secondly and concurrently, retaining a strong moral foundation; without either, this document cannot stand.”
Whatever happened to Kennedy’s Torch passed down to our generation? Is it on the verge of being extinguished? What has happened to our integrity and character-both personally and politically? Where has respect for authority and the common good gone? We live in a time where arrogance has replaced humility, civility has been replaced by rebellion and anger, and truth with a lie. Seems like I read about this scenario in the Bible some place before, but that’s for the next blog.
We have practical examples all around us; For example, the movie industry has made it illegal to have actors or actresses smoking during any scenes. Just recently, a high school football coach was fired for kneeling in a moment of silence, at the end of a football game. In unbelievable comparison, a play in New York City, is allowed to continue night after night, depicting the President of the United States, playing Julius Caesar, being assassinated while the crowd cheers. A so-called entertainer, trying to gain ratings, holds up a bloodied severed head of the President of the United States and thinks it’s cute. Sadly, many on the left agreed with her in print and commentary. Save for the Grace of God, just several weeks ago, 20 Congressmen could have been massacred at a softball practice to raise money for charity. The gunman had a mind that had been poisoned by the media. Do you remember even five years ago, speakers being shouted down, buildings being burned, and college presidents surrendering their authority to ruthless thugs bent on not allowing free speech to Conservatives because well-they are conservative in their political views. The double standards are unparalleled in our nation’s history. In John Kennedy’s America, coaches would have been praying and those espousing hate filled speech and actions would have been locked up! Granted, John Kennedy, like all of us had issues, and America, during those years faced racial inequality and political turmoil about to be unleashed with the Vietnam War. But his America and the message he delivered, brought hope that together, we could make it. It seemed like Americans believed in America and our destiny as leaders of the Free World. Today, I wonder how many millennial’s even care to pick up that torch again. I was stunned when over Memorial Day Weekend, a talk show host walked the beaches of Southern Florida, as well as some major college campuses, asking question related to our heritage and history. One college sophomore, at a California college, was asked what year we declared our independence? He responded,”1984?” A young lady on the beach was asked who we fought in the Revolutionary War, and she responded,”China?” I could share many more enlightening facts concerning the state of affairs on American College campuses, but you can see my concern.
So what must we do as counter-cultural Christians to bring decency and spiritual order back into our culture and government? What role must the church play in that change in strengthening Benjamin Franklin’s two points of reference for a sound and functioning society? I want to address those issues in my next blog but want to leave you with several thoughts that will form the thesis and basis for that blog. First of all, we must realize that we are not dealing with political parties as much as principalities and wickedness in high places. While our government has many Godly men and women in office, the level of spiritual warfare has attained to new heights never seen before. Jesus warned us about these days. Secondly, we cannot wring our hands in despair, but fall on our knees, cursing the darkness and rejoicing in the Light of the One whose Kingdom is coming and even now dwells in us.
Finally, don’t surrender to a spirit of fear. The mayor of London recently proclaimed that we must learn to co-exist with terrorism as a fact of life. Wow! Realize that Jesus spoke of these times and false prophets and purveyors of lies and sent a remedy- His Holy Spirit that we might wave the banner of Righteousness and silence our enemies. This is going to be the Church’s finest hour!
As a nation, we must become unified again. We must pray for revival of enormous proportions, because that is what it will take to free our country of the evil besetting us. We cannot stand divided as a nation. President Lincoln , himself a Spiritual man, coined these words before his death.” At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us in a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined , with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.
At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it will ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be it’s author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” Kennedy would have agreed!