Mission of Pastoral Graffiti

Living a Christian life is more than challenging, in our sound-bite driven world.  I hope to toss you some valuable "thought-bites" to challenge and boost your faith.  With God's power & help, we make it work, by making it real.    About Me.

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Crisis in the American Heart & What You Can Do.

I have a clear memory of my junior high History teacher ranting about the problem of ignorance among the American people.  He drove home his point by telling us that ignorance did not mean belching at the dinner table. He meant ignorance, as a lack of knowledge.

The Bible tells us, that God’s people die because of a lack of knowledge. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. (Hosea 4:6)

The post-modern age, in which we live, has brought about a lot of creativity.  New ideas and products constantly pop up as people pull things together from a bottomless well of information.

The problem with all of this random pragmatism is our ability to set many things in motion and make critical decisions with very little knowledge of history.  As many have said in the past, those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

Because George Washington was a man of character and virtue, he did not slip into a position of authoritarian leadership following the American Revolution.  If you know anything about previous revolutions, like the one in France, you would understand how unique America truly is.

Our founding documents were brilliantly created for a free people. However, freedom does not automatically maintain itself.  In his book,  “A Free People’s Suicide,”  author,  Os Guinness describes “the golden triangle of freedom.”

Guinness writes, “freedom requires virtue, which requires faith, which requires freedom, which in turn requires virtue, which requires faith. . .” The trio of virtue, faith, and freedom need to continuously coexist in society, if a society is going to continue to be free.

As the Constitutional Convention of 1787 concluded, a lady asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government we would have. His answer was, “A republic . . . if you can keep it.”

Unfortunately, many of us do not handle power well when we obtain a position of power.  Power is very easy and tempting to abuse, and so is authority.  If we find ourselves in leadership, it can be a cakewalk to make decisions that benefit ourselves,  without considering the impact on others.

Our nation is struggling with many things in this era.  At least part of the problem is a crisis in leadership. That crisis is a crisis of the heart. As we look towards those who lead in various capacities do we see the virtue and faith necessary to sustain our freedom?

On a personal level, what can we do? Realize that leadership is not always top down. Each one of us has an opportunity to lead by example wherever we are. If we identify ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ, our faith and virtuous character should obviously stand out to those around us. Too often, we Christian folks take shortcuts that are less than virtuous.

Take special note,  I am not advocating arrogant, self-righteous piety. That kind of mindset has done a world of damage in recent decades.  Everything we do must be seasoned with grace.

Christians were not called to blend in to society.  We were called to be salt and light, as well as living epistles. So ponder this challenge:  You are being watched 24/7.  Will you be known for making sound ethical decisions, even when those are difficult to make? Will you display Christian faith and virtue?

If enough of us do that, things could change.

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