Saturday, October 2, 2004
In 1944, Richard, a Lutheran pastor, attended a meeting in Romania with more than 4,000 pastors, priests, and ministers from many denominations. They elected Joseph Stalin as the honorary president and began to proclaim that Christianity and Communism essentially embraced the same ideology. The common message was one of mutual co-existence: "We can all get along side by side!"
In his heart Richard knew what consequences there would be if he publicly disagreed with the party. He knew these people were spitting on the face of Jesus and had to wash the shame off his face. He challenged the party to resist the rising tide of accommodation that in essence would mean disregarding the Great Commission. This act proved costly. On that day the pastor took his first step toward unthinkable torture and a total of 14 years in prison. He knew he had no option. When godless men make the rules, the rules are made to be broken. When righteousness is held hostage behind enemy lines, you do whatever is necessary to set it free.
The words obedience and obey stand out when reading Scripture.
Deuteronomy 11:13: "And it shall be that if you diligently obey my commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and with all your soul." And in Verse 16. "Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them."
Today we face other gods. Remember, anything you consider more important than obedience to God's Word is a false god. Is the most important thing the economy, social programs, or "what can our country [politicians] do for us"? It seems that the party turned John F. Kennedy's quote around. It no longer says, "What can I do for my country" or my God.
Sermons on the Internet say, "Some liberal religions have watered down the moral requirements of Christianity." Having abandoned biblical morality these groups have followed a policy of permissiveness such as supporting partial birth abortion rights, homosexual marriage rights, lower standards of personal conduct, etc.
True Christianity demands emotional involvement and does not exist in a vacuum.
1 John 2:4, 5: "He who says, 'I know him,' and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in him."
Knowing the truth
Knowledge of the truth is vitally important to enable us to discern the best course along life's path. Therefore, we should diligently study God's word (2 Tim. 2:15). How can we call ourselves Christians and not be obedient to the basic commission he gives us?
Matthew 28:18,19: "Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." In Verse 20, "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
True religion demands our all, and God will accept nothing less than full and unconditional surrender to his cause. The Laodicean Church of the Bible was halfhearted in serving God. In Rev. 3:15, 16 Jesus said, "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth."
If we remain silent and let the politicians continue to dictate laws that the people are against, we will not have the great country that our founders intended us to have. These founders of our Constitution knew that the morality taught in the Bible was necessary for the Constitution to survive. They started public schools so the children would learn how to read this most important book.
What have they done to hurt and change our great country? The Supreme Court ruled, against the will of the people, that we no longer need the Bible in our schools. Let's not forget that enough of these judges were former ACLU lawyers. These liberals have been hard at work for years while the Christian church has been asleep. I believe it is time to wake up and take our country back to the originally ideology and morality that made it great.
With God's help, we will do the right thing.
2 Chronicles 14 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land."
XThe Rev. Richard A. Canacci is pastor of House of God in Youngstown.