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Real Answers™
gjr68
Copyright: © 2004 Gregory J. Rummo
655 words

IS GOD TRYING TO “GET OUR ATTENTION”?

By: Gregory J. Rummo

 

As residents of Florida turned a weary eye eastward towards Jeanne, the next hurricane after Ivan with the potential to threaten their state, a Jacksonville, Fla., pastor reminded his congregation that “God may be trying to get our attention.”

Speaking from the pulpit of the 3000-plus member Trinity Baptist Church on a Sunday morning in September, Rev. Tom Messer said, “Any discerning child of God has to realize that things today are different as it relates to our country having an appetite for the things of God. And the stark reality is this: We as a nation and a people are not moving closer to God and the historic truths about God but further away from God. …If you believe that to be true it at least has to raise in your mind the possibility that God is trying to get our attention.”

The statistics bear out Rev. Messer’s observations. According to The Barna Group, an organization that tracks cultural trends in Christianity, only half of Protestant pastors have a biblical world view. Perhaps this explains why the number of unchurched adults has nearly doubled since 1991. Why bother attending church if the pastor’s faith is not real?

The results of this flaccidity are predictable: more and more, the Christian faith is having a limited impact on people’s behavior. George Barna, the Directing Leader of The Barna Group, notes that many Christians have become hard-pressed to convert their beliefs into action. “The ultimate aim of belief in Jesus is not simply to possess divergent theological ideas but to become a transformed person. These statistics highlight the fact that millions of people who rely on Jesus Christ for their eternal destiny have problems translating their religious beliefs into action beyond Sunday mornings.”

If Christianity’s influence to change individual behavior has been weakened by uncertain pastors in the pulpit, this necessarily translates into a weaker influence in neighborhoods, communities and on a national level.

The shock waves are spreading throughout American culture like a storm surge.

In just this past year, the movement to secularize society by attempts to remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance and remove the Ten Commandments from public view seems to have taken on a life of its own.

Three federal judges recently ruled that the law President Bush signed banning partial birth abortion—a wordy construct for a practice that amounts to infanticide—is unconstitutional.

The homosexual community has managed to elevate the debate over the millennia’s-old definition of marriage to a feverish pitch.

Two centuries ago, Americans had a keener awareness of God’s displeasure over national sin. This sensitivity so permeated the culture, it actually steeped the political process in a Christian-based morality that extended from State Houses to the White House. Congress reminded Americans to give thanks and praise to God “through the merits of Jesus Christ, to forgive our sins.”

In 1795, then governor of Massachusetts, Samuel Adams issued a proclamation in which he stated: “With true repentance and contrition of Heart, we may unitedly implore the forgiveness of our Sins, through the merits of Jesus Christ, and humbly supplicate our Heavenly Father, to grant us the aids of his Grace…”

And in 1807, then governor of Connecticut Jonathan Trumbell reminded the citizenry in a proclamation of a day of prayer and fasting: “It will become us humbly to reflect upon and seriously to consider the Judgments of the Lord, which in various ways, at this time, seem peculiarly abroad in the Earth; and endeavor to search out the procuring causes of God's singular Displeasure.”

The Old Testament prophet Nahum wrote: “The Lord has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm.” As Americans looks sympathetically towards Florida and the disaster that has befallen a large part of that state, we would do well to ask ourselves the question: Will we as a nation “reflect upon and seriously consider the Judgments of the Lord?”

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091; amyfoundtn@aol.com

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