Thursday, July 10, 2014
Border Crises: Feds Reject God and the People
Where will it all end?
Yesterday we learned that our federal government is refusing help from Christians in the border cities where they are processing the migrant kids and placing them in communities across the country.
Local pastors offering blankets, clothing etc., for the kids in the detention facilities are being flatly told "no." Stay away!
The pastors are stunned and so are people across the country as they become aware of our government's position and actions.
The Fed's response not only stands in stark contrast to our national religious tradition of humanitarian expression toward those in need, but it reflects the anti-Christian bias of this present administration.
Please don't tell me this is merely separation of church and state operating as it was intended.
Only last week we learned that a US Representative, elected by the people as their representative, was denied access to these facilities in his own state.
Now local pastors and congregations are being given the same message.
This administration is saying "no" to both God and the people.
This is indeed becoming a "Tale of Two Cities," or in this case "two countries."
Our government's rejection of Christian charity comes at a time when a recent Gallup survey is showing that a growing number of people believe that religion does, indeed, answer the problems in one's life.
And the New York Times has published an article that is suggesting today's teenagers may well grow up conservative as a result of what they are seeing take place in the culture and in this administration.
Kyle Coffin, pastor of Cross Roads Church in Tucson, Arizona says he and other pastors have offered to help out with the kid's crises, but the government has said "no"---a strong "no."
He said yesterday, "It's pretty heartbreaking that they don't let anybody in there---even credentialed pastors."
The pastor had first inquired if they could provide emotional support and encouragement for the children. The fed said "no."
Then they asked if his and other church groups could supply blankets, toys, ping pong sets or soccer balls, etc. Again, "no."
He said, "They flat out said 'no'."
Pastor Coffin describes his church as one with "a huge heart for the poor in the community."
He said, "Back in the day, if you were in trouble and poor, the first thing you thought of was going to the church for help...whether it was for food, clothing, shelter or helping pay the bills...the church was the front line."
"Now," he says, "it's the government who is the front line."
Pastor Coffin said, "We're not anti-government at all. We think the government is equipped to do what they were constitutionally created to do---and not do the church's job."
He says he believes "it's time for the church to take back what the government took away."
This is not only the belief of pastor Coffin and his colleagues, but it's that of a majority of Americans.
A recent Gallup Poll revealed that it is only a small percentage of Americans who would agree with the government's position on Christian charity.
In fact, the majority of Americans believe that religion can actually solve today's world problems.
About 57% of Americans believe God is the answer, while only about 30% believe God and religion is out of date.
Frank Newport, Gallup's editor-in-chief, said after reviewing the results of their survey, "The majority of Americans continue to believe that religion can answer today's problems, another indicator that the nation, by far, remains a religious country."
He also observed that "with the trend leveling off in recent years, it appears this aspect of the secularization of US society may have slowed, if not halted..."
For more than 6 decades, public education, the media and the entertainment industry has waged war on traditional biblical values. In 1957, 82% believed religion could solve most the social and cultural problems.
After 60 years of assault on the impressionable minds of a couple of generations, the consequences of progressive secularism and relativism is clearly evident in our culture.
Gallup is suggesting that it appears the effect of the anti-traditional values campaign has bottomed out.
The New York Times published an article this past week saying that it appears this generation of teenagers may actually grow up to be conservative.
David Leonhardt points out in his NYT article, "Less than a generation after young people were marching for civil rights and against the Vietnam War, they voted for Ronald Reagan."
He says, "The temporary nature of the 1960s should serve as a reminder that politics change...what seems permanent can become fleeting."
Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center is quoted by Leonhardt: "We're in a period in which the federal government is simply not performing."
And because of that failure, today's teens may well become conservatives, rejecting the secular progressive philosophy that is in office today.
There is another element that is not mentioned in all the discussion about a possible change in our culture.
Many of the early Puritans and Pilgrims arrived in America with a fervent faith and vision for establishing a godly nation.
However, within a century or so they had cooled spiritually. The children and grandchildren of the original immigrants were more concerned with acquiring wealth than spiritual maturity. There was by all accounts a spiritual "malaise" through out the colonies.
As more children were able to attend school and more and more of the American teachers traveled to Europe for their continuing education, the philosophical rationalism of the Enlightenment was spreading its influence---particularly among the most educated and the most successful.
Some ministers had settled into a comfortable career in the local churches. People generally attended, but were not moved with enthusiasm or passion about spiritual matters.
Many wrote about the spiritual "dryness" in the churches.
There is neither time nor space to take a comprehensive look at the First Great Awakening in this column, but as Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield and other spiritually motivated preachers began to preach, things began to happen.
While personalities and sermons were different, the message remained the same and passionate.
Each, in their own way, called on the people of the colonies to be certain of their personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the consequences of neglecting to do so. And to accept the responsibilities that come with that relationship.
Thousands of people recommitted themselves to the Lord and His work and Kingdom. Not only were lives changed, but they were energized.
The children, in many respects, became their parents and grandparents in spiritual fervor.
By all accounts, there would not have been a Declaration of Independence, a Revolutionary War, a Constitution or a United States of America had the First Great Awakening not happened.
Two other, later, national Spiritual Awakenings are recorded in the history of our nation.
My friend the late Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, advocated strongly during his life and ministry there would be another Great Awakening in America.
Many today have concluded that we are trapped in a "post modern" or "post Christian" era, and to not focus on how the Christian church must adapt to the culture is simply a state of denial.
If that is so, then I am in denial.
In my own heart, I cannot and will not concede that our nation or our culture has gone beyond God's will and ability to redeem and restore it.
I firmly believe "If my people who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray..." forgiveness and restoration will come.
And it could be that we are beginning to see the birth of something significant.
Thank you for standing with us.
Be Vigilant. Be Encouraged. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.