I'm not defending, or criticizing, I don't have enough information to truly speak to the issues on either side, but I want to remind all of us that Christians are fallible and make mistakes. We should consider the total portrait of one's life, character, and ministry and evaluate on that basis.
The pendulum often swings when following truth (biblical principles). At one extreme is legalism. Legalists have self-righteous attitudes that rate spirituality by how well a person follows rules. The compromiser, sometimes referred to as a "Las Vegas Christian," is at the other extreme, and compromises God's word by their lifestyle.
To understand the core values of a nation, one must simply look to the beliefs set forth during its conception. Judge for yourself how far we have drifted from the original intent of early Americans.
In the same way that the DMV offers a certificate of non-operation when a vehicle is not working properly, wandering from God makes us ineffective, unproductive, negative, angry, depressed, disgruntled, discouraged, critical, and lifeless. It's clear from Scripture that the wanderer within must be restrained.
Although the history of America is marked with disappointments, tragedies, mistakes, and failures, my intent is not to write about the history of America, but to unapologetically proclaim the truth behind her success.
Recently, I shared with our congregation that one of the most difficult challenges associated with pastoring is not sermon preparation or taxing counseling appointments, but witnessing the tragic results of spiritual dehydration— people dying spiritually with living water just steps away.
The present condition of the church leaves one to wonder if the lack of the fear of the Lord is contributing to her spiritually dead condition.
We are in desperate need of genuine leadership—broken, humble men—men who are not afraid to admit that they need God; men who are more worried about prayer than about status and recognition; men who petition God rather than position themselves. The state of the family today is disheartening. Men have largely forsaken their God-given role as spiritual leaders in their homes…that, no one can deny.
It's no surprise that the church, and our nation, desperately need to hear 'the voice of one crying in the wilderness' to awaken, convict, and restore. It was not so long ago that we were concerned about 'the fall of America.'
There is a cost to speaking the truth. This realization came nearly 10 years ago when I was asked to speak at the annual conference for the American Baptist, unaware that they were about to divide over ordaining those who embrace the homosexual lifestyle.
Those who strongly believe in the Bible and God's will regarding sexual behavior also strongly believe in unconditional love and forgiveness. To say that authentic Christians hate or fear those trapped in the homosexual lifestyle demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the Christian faith.
Over the last few decades, Americans have seen the destruction of the institution of marriage between a man and a woman, the removal of God's Word in several areas, and the aborting of millions of babies. Ironically, many of the men and women who died for our freedoms did not die for what we are becoming today. Many gave their lives in order that we would be 'one nation under God,' not above God.
With rapid fire changes within a culture saturated by political correctness and relativism, we are inclined to ask if there is any hope for America. If we continue down this slippery slope, there is little hope. Apart from a national spiritual awakening, it will be difficult to turn the Titanic around—the vessel has been struck; what's inside is spilling out.
True freedom in Christ allows for personal freedoms, but most freedoms are intended to work within a framework of social responsibility (cf. Galatians 5:13). Food and beverage, for example, are good, but we are warned against extremes such as gluttony and drunkenness. Most anyone who has lived with these abuses understands why.