***warning, the following is the 2nd half of a long word document ramble that i have been writing for over 2 weeks...part I was posted before this one...it is unedited and not at all *tidied up*, but i do hope you will join in conversation with me in the comments...
"america is deathly sick..."
our country celebrates a culture that embraces promiscuity, convenient divorces and remarriages, children outside of marriage, cohabitation, and sexual promiscuity. television, movies and even music are filled with images/imagery that contain language and /or images that would have caused outrage just twenty years ago (that would be 1988- not quite ozzie and harriet territory).
whether one thinks of these as positive, negative, or neutral indicators of our society, it cannot be denied that the rate at which our culture changes and becomes comfortable with those changes is remarkably fast. it has taken roughly two generations for our country to embrace what once repulsed it.
then there is the spiritual element. last month a report came out that included the following information:
** the number of people who say they are unaffiliated
with any particular faith today (16.1%) is more than
double the number who say they were not affiliated with
any particular religion as children
**Among Americans ages 18-29, one-in-four say they are
not currently affiliated with any particular religion.
**the United States is on the verge of becoming a minority
**one-quarter of [those calling themselves unaffiliated with
any religion] consists of those who describe themselves as
either atheist or agnostic
(1.6% and 2.4% of the adult population overall, respectively)
**the majority of the unaffiliated population (12.1% of
the adult population overall) is made up of people who
simply describe their religion as "nothing in particular."
even by our own admission, within southern baptist churches,
less than 40% of those on the church roll actually attend that church
where they are listed as a "member".
this is the "state of the union".
jeremiah wright's recent comments sparked a still raging outcry due to their anti-american and racially charged content- yet where is the outrage that the gospel was virtually absent from these sermons?
wright is by far not the only one. when we have "christian" preachers preaching everything else but the gospel, then we should spend little time wondering why the country is in such moral and spiritual decline.
"... and we are spreading the germs"
lest we, lest * i * place all of the blame at the feet of others... lets look inwardly...
how often do we spend even five minutes a day contemplating the state of our
own souls? (per 2 cor. 13:5; philippians 2:12;1 tim. 6:20-21)
how often do we take inventory of our lives and evaluate how our lives stand
up to what scriptures says a genuine believer looks like.
(see rom. 12, gal. 5, col. 3, james, etc.)
how much of what we knowingly do or don't do is contrary to the lord's will?
how often do we wait for someone in public office, on the school board, or at church to address those things that are wrong with other people - all the while being perfectly comfortable with our own hypocrisy? how much stock and emotional zeal do we exert convincing ourselves and others that candidate _______ or if only certain legislation would pass - that will restore america?
the only hope for america is jesus christ. and he is not on the ballot. but he is available to change and save lives if we would show less excitement for who won what ball game and more zeal for seeing our relatives care more about christ and holiness than seeing the next "must see" televison show or movie.
if you are sick of the direction america is taking... make a stand. don't be the friend or family member that excuses the spiritual laziness of the believers in your life. do not be the one who would rather feel accepted than plead with your friends or family to embrace christ every day of the week, not just those sundays that they make it to church. join with me in refusing to laugh at the inappropriate jokes and remarks made at family or friend gatherings and instead initiating conversations about those things of the lord.
and when the objections come- and they will... simply remind yourself and your hearers that one day, unless the lord comes first, we will die. our bodies will fail and we will stop breathing be but into a box and placed into a hole in the ground. and our souls -and the souls of those we care about - will go to either to heaven or hell.
if we , or they are believers, our souls will enter into the presence of the one true holy and mighty god... and he will not want to talk about last night's ball game or the scene in the movie that was pretty bad, but you just "had to laugh".
if we, or they, are not believers, there will be an eternity of deserved wrath, which may include an eternal replaying of all of the times we chose to amuse ourselves with finite mindless drivel rather than have a conversation about god or the gospel.