Kitty and I returned home June 28, 2012, from the North American Convention of the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana. We met people from college days and international travel.
The next evening, Friday, June 29, I glanced out the window and it looked like it might be 9:30 or later. Checked my watch. It was 7:00. No beautiful sunset.
A devastating storm was wrecking havoc in 53 of our state’s 55 counties. Followed by dangerously high temperatures and a landscape that looked like it had been bombed by a tornado.
Reports indicated that 85% of the people in West Virginia were without electricity. There was no air conditioning, limited water and food supplies.
Teays Valley Church of God continued to have electricity and became a “place of refuge.” People were sleeping in the church at night, meals were served three times each day, plenty of water was available, a place to cool off on the hottest days of the year. Pastor Melissa Pratt organized the care of others to perfection.
This summer season has been marked by tumult – fires, floods, extreme heat, wars, rebellions and people are asking, “Is the end close at hand?” On radio, television, in newspapers and magazines, serious questions are being asked, “Has America Lost Her Way?” “What has happened to global leadership?” “What makes a leader?”
Will competent leaders show up in time? Our worst enemies now reside in our nation. Hard to imagine, but probably true.
Joseph Stalin, despiser of freedom, said, “If we can effectively kill the national pride and patriotism of just one generation, we will have won that country. Therefore, there must be continued propaganda abroad to undermine the loyalty of the citizens in general and the teenagers in particular.”
Norman Mattoon Thomas, (1884-1968), American Socialist leader, wrote, “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”
Where does the United States and the rest of the free world stand in the cycle of nations? Someone wrote about the stages of that cycle and stated that nations have moved from:
“Bondage to spiritual faith, Spiritual faith to courage,
From courage to freedom and from Freedom to abundance,
From abundance to complacency, Complacency to apathy,
Apathy to fear, Fear to despondency, then again to bondage.
At what state are we?”
Early American patriot, “Edmund Burke, spoke great truth when he said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Add the words of Edward Everett Hale, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I should do and, with the help of God, I will do.” That needs to be our total response.
What about the United States? Abraham Lincoln, one of the most Christian of Presidents, said, “We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God … We have become … too proud to pray to the God that made us.”
In Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, we read of blessings and curses for obedience and disobedience to God. Also, read I Corinthians 6:1-11. No congress of lawmakers, Supreme Court, kings or presidents dare encourage others to disobey these words without bringing God’s judgment upon the nation.
Never forget this word of God, “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). The time for reaping a gigantic crop for civil and spiritual disobedience may be near.
Dr. William “Bill” Ellis of Scott Depot is a weekly syndicated columnist who writes on a wide variety of subjects. Ellis has spent 25 years as a radio and television broadcaster and as a guest speaker and teacher on college campuses.