Week of July 12th

                It’s early in the evening out here on Bambi Circle and my mind is full of so many thoughts about the “current situation” in my world that I feel compelled to put some of those thoughts in writing.

            If you continue to read these comments; you must understand that these are my thoughts.  I am not speaking as a preacher, a member of the male gender, or a part of any particular political party.  These thoughts are not my wife’s thoughts, conclusions that I’ve reached from reading a book from the best seller list, or the thoughts of my neighbors.  These thoughts are not the thoughts of a great intellect or the thoughts of a extremely wise person. 

            These are my thoughts.

            If you’re not interested in what those thoughts are; you may quit reading now.

            I warn you that you might not agree with any part of anything I am thinking.  You could very well use them to prove to others that I’ve lost my mind.  You might use them to be convinced I’ve reached those senile and confused years.

            I also want you to know that you are not being called upon to agree or disagree with these thoughts.  I also want you to know that I will not spend one minute in trying to prove anything I say.  I am not asking for your comments, questions, or deductions.

            These are my thoughts and I have them without requiring your permission or blessing!

            I realize what I will say might cause some of you to have thoughts about me that are not all that complementary.  I know that there are some who might use these thoughts to form opinions about me that may or may not be true.

            Now, on to what I’m thinking…

            Folks, we are living in some very troubling and trying times.  They are not the worst of times but they are certainly not the best of times.  There are situations that exist, words being said, and actions that are being taken by some that I would never have chosen.  That’s why it’s easy for me to say that I’m not in charge of the “current situation.”  If I were, things would be different and I hope better!

            The degree of division, conflict, discord, disagreement, estrangement, and alienation in our nation and world is something I have never seen or even imagined.

            The lack of reason, common sense, logic, and intelligence has created a black hole in our personal universe.

            The hatred, resentment, hostility, and contempt exercised and spoken in our society has reached a point that hardly any of us thought was possible.

            The value of human life has been reduced to a mere pittance!  Murder, killing, maiming, bloodshed, homicide, and massacre are daily events.  We have heard of them so much that our hearts have grown cold to any kind of suffering that is a part of all our lives!

            Kindness, compassion, civility, gentleness, consideration, and patience were once valued characteristics of acceptable character.  Today, they are held up to ridicule, laughter, and even scorn.

            We are being told that “normal” will never return to our lives and our nation.  We’re told that all we can hope to have is a “new normal.”  Even those who advocate such a thing don’t really know what that “new normal” will be and who will determine what it will be.

            In recent years we’ve lost what it means to be a neighbor, a friend, or even an acquaintance!  We’ve built our own little world and have drawn a circle around us that enables us to exclude anyone for any reason.  The “common good” has been replaced with a sense of entitlement, license, and privilege.  We want what we “deserve.”  We look for the words “it’s free” before we take the time to pay attention to what is available to us.             Children are turning against their parents on a scale most of us have never seen.  Brother against brother is the reality of the day.  Those precious concepts and principles of “family” are long gone! 

            AND—here it comes!

            This is what disturbs me so much about our “current situation.”

            Government authority is dissolving before our very eyes.  The family has suffered so much.  Free enterprise and capitalism are the worst dirty words imaginable.  Private property rights are being challenged.  Wealth has become anathema.  I heard today that if you had a good family when you were growing up is because your parents were racists.   

            AND—one of the next things on the agenda of our disturbed and hell-bent world IS THE CHURCH and THE PRACTICE OF CHRISTIANITY.

            Folks, they’re coming after us!

            I don’t base that prediction on the fact that I’m a preacher.  That conclusion has nothing to with what I believe about the Bible, the so-called rapture, the millennium, right or wrong, good or bad.  It’s not based on my understanding of the history of religion.

            I’ve reached that conclusion because of what I am witnessing in our “current situation.”

            Everybody seems to be looking for something or someone they can blame for what is happening.              Some have tried to blame our way of government and are now doing all they can to destroy “law and order.”  Attempts have been made to desecrate our history.  The final resting places of the dead heroes of this nation are being demolished.  To hear some, you would think we live in a police state controlled by corrupt cops.  Signs that advocate the abolishment of law enforcement.  The rich people need to be relieved of any wealth they might have and given to those who “deserve” it and are “entitled to it.”  Our institutions of learning need to revise their curriculum to conform to the “new normal.” 

            They have to find someone or something to blame.

            That’s why a part of our society are setting they eyes on the church and religion, especially Christianity.  And, why not?  After all it is the Bible and Christian principles that are the backbone of our laws.  Our laws mandate that murder is illegal, stealing is against the law, lying is not to be tolerated, human life is sacred, justice is to be pursued.  Working for a living is honorable.  Caring for the elderly and compassion toward the orphan is to be practiced.  Greed is to be avoided and good character is to  be sought.  All these are part of what the church has been teaching for centuries.

            But, some seem to believe these principles are to blame for all the injustice, racism, hatred, and division that exists in the world they want to have.

            An ever increasing group of misguided people are already going in the direction of attacking the church and Christianity in our nation.  Christians are guilty of teaching something other than creation.  Church people are the ones who lead the battle against abortion and free love. 

            And, they don’t like it!

            In time, they will become more vocal.  In time they will persuade “church people” to see the “error” of their ways and abandon the principles they once held.

            Six months ago I would have debated with anyone while asserting the conviction that the churches of America would never be “closed down” by government or popular opinion.  I have been proven wrong.  For all intent and purpose, the church was “closed down.” 

            It will happen again!  I don’t know what the “reason” might be next time, but, a next time will come!

            They are coming after the church and the practice of Christianity.

            We probably won’t be able to stop it but we must be prepared for it.

            I’m not a prophet nor the son of a prophet and my thoughts here do not claim that kind of authority.  This is what I think.  I could be terribly wrong and I hope I am.

            The Lord’s church will not be destroyed by these forces.  It might stumble, falter, and fail but it will not be destroyed!

            Please, consider now what you will do if these thoughts become reality for the church.  What are you going to do if it happens?

            Don’t wait till then to look for an answer.  Begin to develop a personal plan of action.  Work on developing your faith and your determination.  Strengthen yourself for a possible onslaught of opposition, ridicule, and attack.

            Get ready.

            Be ready.

            Stay ready.