Friday, February 8, 2013


“Speak the truth in love”- Eph. 4:15 I'm an adjunct professor at College of the Ozarks, a nearby Christian college in Branson area. Though my schedule only permits me a few hours a week to teach there, I love teaching the students at C of O. This semester I'm teaching a course on Social Problems and we're studying some pretty intense subjects. As we review the many "problems" in our society today, the word "tolerance" is often used in our class discussions. I think tolerance is a wonderful thing. We learn from Jesus that accepting those different from ourselves is absolutely at the heart of God’s grace and love. But sometimes, in our quest to be tolerant, we can ourselves become “intolerant” of those men and women that correctly teach of God’s intolerance for sin. I know, kind of confusing. Not really. It simply means that if no one speaks up against anything, then everything is okay. One great man who chooses to speak up is Billy Graham. Billy Graham's Prayer For Our Nation: “Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!” Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, 'The Rest of the Story”' and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired. The phrase “silent majority” has been used over the years to describe the majority of Americans that do and say nothing about national affairs. The worst thing we can do as Jesus-followers is nothing. I’m not suggesting we are all called to move to Washington D.C. and lobby over the issues, but I am suggesting that we all can do something. As parents, teachers and coaches, we should all be trying to teach the balance between loving everyone and standing up for truth and values. It’s a tough balance. Billy Graham was once asked whether America should be held accountable for the abortion issue. He simply shared the story about the allied troops forcing the citizens in the village surrounding Auschwitz and other villages to come and witness the corpses and bury the bodies. I think Graham’s point was that, though those citizens hadn't been involved in the genocide, they were passively responsible because they’d done nothing to prevent the slaughter. So, what are we doing? I’m afraid most of us Christians are doing nothing. Let’s accept the challenge today to pray for our nation. Earnest, fervent prayer is doing something. Let’s share with our children and friends and neighbors about the truth and freedom that comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ. That is doing something. Let’s stand up and speak out for the principles of truth and life. That is doing something. And, if God so leads, let’s go and actively lobby for these issues. Most of all, let’s love. It is, after all, the “greatest of these.” By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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