Point of View: America: Are you committing suicide?
by LARRY STRACENER
Special to Florida Baptist Witness

Article Date: Feb 4, 2014

STRACENER
Sadly, the answer seems to be, “Yes,” I see no real sign that our pulpits and denominations-at-large are waging any consistent opposition to the state-sponsored decline of the nation’s morality. What we—and most cultures—held as abominations have become law of the land.

We are in the same freefall to oblivion that sank our predecessor, the old Roman empire—and for much the same reasons:

The constant failure of our legislature to act in behalf of our people has led to government by presidential fiat with disastrous results.

Like Rome, we hire mercenary nations to fight with and for us and call it a weakly disguised coalition.

Photo by Joni B. Hannigan

Human life in the womb has long been discarded in favor of “convenience.” We have become the world’s greatest murderers.  Greater even than Khan, Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot combined.  Good people  have done virtually nothing to stop it.

Our easy acceptance of deviant sexual behavior is now enshrined in law with openly presidential favor.

Our deliberate policy of encouraging our sometime former enemies to become part of our society will come back to haunt us with fearful and predictable consequences.

Our utter failure to teach our youth—at home, in school, and yes, even in our churches—the moral values that have been the mainstay of our society is leading to sustained violence and crime.

Our personal and private debt leaves us teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and in thrall to foreign powers.

Perhaps worst of all, too many of our pulpits are feeding pablum to our congregations rather than the principles of our faith. We trade the exhortations of Christian life for a soft gospel and a “feel good” hour that passes for worship. No wonder people are leaving our churches in great numbers. They want something better.

Our youth, whom we tend to think of as being “liberal” and “progressive,” are being attracted in droves to the strictures and heresy of Islam because we fail to teach them the loving disciplines and doctrines of our own faith.

►Liberty, which began with the heartbeat of Christ, should be sustained to the fullest by the church, for it leads to the larger freedom of the world. Yet we have begun to curtail our cherished freedom in both church and state.  It is an outrage that we should even have to warn against this within the walls of the church itself.

The list of our shortcomings seems endless. The failures of our churches must be honestly and openly considered by all of us if we have any chance of reversing the trends of our larger society. Will we have the courage to do so before it is too late?

“The answer, my friend, is (may be already?) written on the wind.”

Larry Stracener is a retired public relations executive who has written extensively on the condition of the church-at-large for almost 40 years. Stracener is a 50-year member of First Baptist Church of Winter Park. He is the son of Dr. W.G. Stracener, a pastor and a past editor of the Witness.           

 

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