Sunday, January 1, 2012

Are you tolerating idleness in your life?

If I've been convicted of anything in the last year, it's the presence of idleness in my life.  It can take many forms, whether it's excessive video gaming, mindless internet surfing, or procrastinating in lieu of taking on important projects.

This makes me question what exactly the American Christian church was doing nearly a half-century ago in 1962 when the Supreme Court, in Engel v. Vitale, deemed that school prayer was unconstitutional and had to go under the premise of "separation of church and state."  Interestingly enough, it took several decades for the courts to inaccurately interpret the words of Thomas Jefferson in an 1802 letter to believers in Danbury, Connecticut, which stated that he, as president, would ensure that "a wall of separation" would be placed between church and state.  In the context of the rest of that particular letter, Jefferson clearly meant that our government, in dealing with religion, was meant to protect public religious expression, not prohibit it.

In 1962, 97% of Americans claimed belief in God; unfortunately, the courts appealed to the 3% and struck down prayer in school.  Ensuing cases placed further sanctions on religious expression in schools and other public venues, and we now know what has happened since.  Teen pregnancies, violent crimes, fatherless homes, and a belief that absolute truth is unknowable are all prevalent in today's America, but were few and far between fifty years ago.

Not to harp on the church, but from my observation, Christians today are more concerned with "tending their own back yards" instead of being involved in "all the world", which includes perceived grime such as political office and collegiate teaching positions.  Christ gives us a direct order in Matthew 28 with what is known as "the great commission."  In it, Christians are instructed to go out to all the nations (all the world and everything in it) and make disciples.  Politics, government, and other conspicuous positions are also part of this world, and when Christians no longer have a say-so in these areas, society pays the price with misguided policy from the halls of government and misled youth that come from our so-called "institutions of higher learning."

To reclaim our American heritage and status as a light in the world, it is essential that what Christ calls "salt of the earth", Christians, get involved in all aspects of society and make our position known.  Such influence ended the slave trade in America and in England, has impacted the practice of abortion in many states, and set the framework for our Constitution.  It is again needed to defend unborn life, protect the definition of marriage, and drive corruption from the government of this nation.

Are you sharing your solutions?  Or are you hoping that someone else will take up the slack?  When I played football in high school, we offensive linemen would drive the blocking sled.  When we were fresh, the sled slid freely as we drove it from one end of the practice field to another.  Compare that to everyday life.  When the economy is good, when things are going well, frustration is usually kept quiet.  Eventually we would tire of pushing the sled, often loaded with coaches, and a couple of us would rely on others to push while we caught our breath.  Almost instantly, the sled would come to a screeching halt.  Similary, when real life impacts and the economy goes south, morality decays, and our political parties are in a bitter power struggle, are we to stand on the sidelines and hope that another picks up our slack?

The moral of the story: be involved in all aspects of American life.  This doesn't mean that you need to start organizing your U.S. Senate campaign tonight; however, you can volunteer to coach a little league baseball team or a youth football team.  You can volunteer in church groups.  Local schools are run by a committee of parents and local adults who influence school policy.  Congressmen and senators receive e-mail and actually will write you back (I have had success in this realm and my opinion positively impacted the results of a presidential attempt to hack military retirement).

This is all part of my worldview, which I will expand upon later.  If you are interested more in the Christian past of this nation or the true meaning of "separation of church and state", I encourage you to acquire a copy of David Barton's DVD, America's Godly Heritage.

Until next time, be blessed and start out on your journey to both a happy and productive 2012.

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