Has anyone ever called you a Fundamentalist or a Right Winger and meant it as an insult? Chances are if you are bold about your faith that sooner or later you will run into this type of politically correct persecution. It seems that “diversity” or “tolerance” is only to be enjoyed by liberal ideologues.
According to Chuck Swindoll,
Fear of ridicule can result in conformity. We must be balanced and not fanatical; positive and not negative; and victorious not deleted.
I agree with Swindoll wholeheartedly.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a pastor, theologian and author during the Nazi reign in Germany. He was one of the few voices that spoke up against the inhumanity of Hitler and his cohorts. Bonhoeffer would have also agreed wholeheartedly with Swindoll. This bold man of God was hung by the Nazis in April 1945, one month before the Americans freed those in the concentration camps in May of 1945. Before meeting his demise, he had something to say about speaking up boldly in the face of tyranny. He said,
Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.
Bonhoeffer’s was a life well-lived.
Nehemiah was a man who also endured much persecution when he was called by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Sanballat, his nemesis, mocked him, conspired against him, threatened him BUT DID NOT PREVAIL AGAINST HIM! And the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt in a remarkable 52 days!
The Light and the Glory
Today many Christians have become apathetic and allow evil to continue through their silence – unwittingly, they are conforming. We must understand that conformity to anything but Scripture will separate us from God. But how do we guard against conformity in today’s hostile political environment? We must realize that we are not the first generation to experience this type of psychological persecution. We can, after all, learn valuable lessons from history. The course of our future and our children’s future will be determined by how we react to the tactics of scoundrels and tyrants. This is why I have elected to begin this study of The Light and the Glory by Peter Marshall, Jr. and David Manuel. The book consists of 25 chapters, and it is my intention to cover one chapter per week, which will be posted weekly, beginning July 10th in order to allow anyone interested in the study to purchase the book.
To prepare for the study, I ask that you read Nehemiah, chapters 1 through 6 and compare the parallels between the Jewish state in Nehemiah’s day and our country today – especially since we have a significant amount of wallbuilding to do ourselves. Today many Christians look at the hostile world around them and either retreat into the safe havens of their homes and churches or cringe with fear. However, we should know that God did not give us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).
So how do we overcome? Obviously, we need to turn to God, or more precisely for our nation, turn BACK to God. In order to do this effectively, we must keep our eyes on the Light and claim the Glory that we once enjoyed as a nation by giving all “Glory” to God. Although this is a study of America’s spiritual heritage – it is also a study that offers great promise. The glory that God blessed us with centuries ago can still be enjoyed by us today. But…we must understand that God’s covenant with us in contingent upon our standing firm for His principles and precepts.
We will learn that this is the only country in history, besides ancient Israel, that built its civil government on the 10 Commandments. We will learn inspiring stories to pass down to our children, such as “The Bulletproof George Washington.” But most of all, we will learn that God did and does have a plan for America.
Return to the old paths
In conclusion, I would like to state that we must get back to our old paths. Just before ancient Israel was laid siege by the Babylonians, the prophet Jeremiah encouraged them to: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.” (Jer. 6:16) Ancient Israel refused and they went through a horrific period recorded in the Book of Lamentations, after which Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians and the Jews were taken into captivity.
There was a time in the history of America when our paths were straight and true and led directly to God. Today those paths have become so overgrown with weeds and tares that they are almost lost to our eyes – but not to God’s eyes. We can trust Him to do what we cannot – restore our nation. However, it will require our diligence and our repentance. 2 Chronicles 7:14 reads:
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.
Today many people believe that there is no hope for America. I believe that there is always hope with God and that America can turn back to her ancient paths. It is in light of that hope that I have elected to make this study available so that Americans can learn to appreciate our Christian roots and rediscover that biblical truth that if God is for us, who can be against us? I would like to invite you to join me in this study and be part of the revival movement back to God.
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