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Have we lost our faith?
I ask that question because on Sunday mornings our churches have only a small number of worshipers attending and most of them are senior citizens. What has happened to the faithful people that left only standing room in our local churches for Sunday service?
I have been aware of the political push in our country to move religious customs away in favor of material things. This has become more evident to me in the last couple of election cycles where candidates would like to put the population’s faith in government and not religion. Their slogan could say….Vote for me and the government will take care of all your earthly needs.
I have a couple of items that I found about our faith and I would like to publish a short quote from both.
“For the most of the country’s history, white Christian America, the culture and political edifice built primarily by white Protestant Christians set the tone for our national policy and shaped American ideals. But in recent decades new immigration patterns, changing birth rates, and religious disaffiliation have transformed the U.S. The year 1993 was the last in which white Protestants constituted a majority of the population. Today, even when Catholics are included, white Christians comprise less than half of the country.” By Robert T. Jones from his book, The End of White Christian America.
For some reason, we are not attending church and it makes no different what color our skin is. On November 4, 1956, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the follow sermon. It’s called “Paul’s Letter to American Christians.”
“I would like to share with you an imaginary letter from the pen of the Apostle Paul. For many years I have longed to be able to come to see you, I have heard so much of you and of what you are doing. I have heard of the fascinating and astounding advances that you have made in the scientific realm. I have heard of your dashing subways and flashing airplanes. Through your scientific genius you have been able to dwarf distances and place time in chains. You have been able to carve highways through the stratosphere. So in your world you have made it possible to eat breakfast in New York and dinner in Paris, France. I have also heard of your skyscraping buildings with their prodigious towers stepping heavenward. I have heard of your great medical advances, which have resulted in the curing of many dreaded plagues and diseases, and thereby prolonged your lives and made for greater security and physical well-being. All of that is marvelous. You can do so many things in your day that I could not do in the Greco-Roman world of my day. In your age you can travel distances in one day that took me three months to travel. That is wonderful. You have made tremendous strides in the area of scientific and technological development.
“But America, as I look at you from afar, I wonder whether your moral and spiritual progress has been commensurate with your scientific progress. It seems to me that your moral progress lags behind your scientific progress. Your poet Thoreau used to talk about ‘improved means to an unimproved end.’ How often this is true. You have allowed the material means by which you live to outdistance your culture. Through your scientific genius you have made of the world a neighborhood, but through your moral and spiritual genius you have failed to make of it a brotherhood. So America, I would urge you to keep your moral advances abreast with your scientific advances.
“I am impelled to write you concerning the responsibilities laid upon you to live as Christians in the midst of an unchristian world. That is what I had to do. But I understand that there are many Christians in America who give their ultimate allegiance to man-made systems and customs. They are afraid to be different. Their concern is to be accepted socially. They live by some such principle as this: ‘everybody is doing it, so I must be alright.’ For so many of you Morality is merely group consensus. In your modern sociological lingo, the mores are accepted as the right ways. You have unconsciously come to believe that right is discovered by taking a sort of Gallup poll of the majority opinion. How many are giving their ultimate allegiance to this way?”
As we celebrate Dr, Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday it is very interesting to note that he knew that we were turning away from our faith some 65 years ago. Now I am in no position to be preaching about our morality or the lack of, I am just concerned about our church membership and why we are not attending church on Sunday.
Making my point is a Fox News release from last week noting that the Democrats on the House Committee on Natural Resources are planning to remove the final statement used to swearing in witnesses that testify to the committee. During swearing-in the witness is asked to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, “so help me God.” It’s that last “so help me God” that the Democrats are removing from the oath.
Thanks for reading! ~Carlton