For it is by grace you have been saved...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

An Absolute Must Read!

It’s so discouraging to walk into the local Christian book store and see shelves upon shelves of pseudo-Christian self-help and pop psychology mumbo jumbo. So much of what passes for “Christian” writing these days is based more on a secular humanism and pragmatism than on Scripture. Which is why it’s so exciting to find someone out there who gets it dead on. Voddie Baucham is one of those.

I first heard Voddie by way of a DVD of a message he gave at an Evangelism Conference in Texas. It was so amazing that I immediately ordered a copy for myself and for the first time in my life, I showed a video sermon during a Sunday Morning Worship Service. Much of what he said during that message is fleshed out more fully in this new book: Family Driven Faith.

Every Christian parent in America ought to read this book. Every church ought to have a copy in their church library and encourage it to be read by parents and staff. We have gotten so far off the Biblical path when it comes to seeing parents as the primary disciplers of their children, and the statistics reveal the utter failure that has resulted. We are loosing over two thirds of our young people by the time they finish their first year of college. The current approach to youth and children’s evangelism and discipleship is not working. This book is a much needed wake up call to the church.

I admit I’m a bit biased. This happens to be the area I’m working on for my doctoral dissertation. And I admit that part of me was a bit frustrated that Voddie came out with this when he did, saying so much of what I wanted to say. But let’s be real. Not too many folks will ever read my dissertation (shoot, the prof’s will only read it because they have to!). And this message is desperately needed.

I know my little blog has a limited (very limited) (very, very limited) reach. But please. Everyone who reads this, buy this book. Read it and then read it again. Give it to other parents. Give it to your pastor and youth leaders. If we truly want to reach the next generation for Christ, we must return to the Biblical pattern of fathers and mothers who teach their children daily in the home. The lives and futures of our children are depending on it.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Has America Lost Her Identity?

It was recently announced that for the first time, a Hindu prayer would open a session of the United States Senate. According to the assigned pray-er, he will even include the mystical “OM” at the beginning and the end of the so-called prayer.

Despite what the liberal PC police would have you believe, this is a major departure from our nation’s foundations, and another step down the slope of futility that has led us to a national identity crisis. Sound extreme?

President Woodrow Wilson said at a Denver rally in 1911 that:
“A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about . . .

“America was born a Christian nation. American was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture.”
America was born a Christian nation, he said; and if we forget who we were, we don’t know who we are. Pretty clear to me.

But perhaps Wilson was too far removed from our nation’s beginnings to have a proper grasp of what the founders intended. So let’s go back a few years to Benjamin Franklin Morris, a well known American historian. Living within the first one hundred years of the nation’s official birth (1810-1867); surely he would have a better grasp of things. He said:
“The state must rest upon the basis of religion, and it must preserve this basis, or itself must fall.”
But wait a minute, that just says “religion.” Surely he would have included Hinduism. Or would he? Morris went on to say:
“This is a Christian nation, first in name, and secondly because of the many and mighty elements of a pure Christianity which have given it character and shaped its destiny from the beginning. It is preeminently the land of the Bible, of the Christian Church, and of the Christian Sabbath…The chief security and glory of the United States of America has been, is now, and will be forever, the prevalence and domination of the Christian faith.”
Hmm… According to Morris’ thought then, having a Hindu open the Senate proceedings would be a blow to the chief security and glory of the United States. But again, he lived almost a hundred years after the founding fathers, right? So let’s go back a bit further.

John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. He was a member of the First and Second Continental Congress and served as President of that group. He aided James Madison and Alexander Hamilton in the writing of the Federalist Papers. He was even involved in the actual negotiations for ending the War for Independence. Surely this guy would know what was behind the founding of this great land.

On October 12, 1816, John Jay wrote:
"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
John Jay, founding father. Arguing that this was intended to be a Christian nation led by Christian leaders. How saddened he would be on July 12, when a Hindu prayer is uttered in the halls of Congress. How sad it would be for those men and women who died for the rally cry of “No King but King Jesus” to know that the freedoms they died for have been used to lead our nation into idolatry.

This is yet one more example of how America has truly lost her way. Our “chief security and glory” has been thrown aside in the name of “tolerance” and “inclusion.” We’ve forgotten what we once were, and as a result we don’t really know who we are and what we’re trying to do. Is it any wonder our national politics are in such turmoil and our electorate is confused?

On the heels of celebrating our nation’s birth, we need to get on our knees and pray that God will lead us back to our foundations. Pray He will lead us back to a proud and faithful identity. Short of that return, our national identity crisis may just be terminal.

Thanks to William Federer’s America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations, (Amerisearch, Inc., 1999) for the historical quotes.