Refusing to Relent

     It has become commonplace for some to attack the United States of America. This is nothing new. The problem is that many attacking this nation were born and raised here and have never stepped foot in another country. They bemoan everything from the founding of this nation to the freedom that is subsequent to the founding. This is interesting because these that hate this land use the very law that allows them to spew their hatred while at the same time calling it vile.

Perhaps they do not have a clear understanding of Amendment I of the United States Constitution. It says, in part, that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…” This basically means the Government cannot impose itself upon the freedoms of the people. Additionally, it means that the individual has the right to live how he deems without consequence imposed by the Government particularly in his speech and worship of God.

With this, I have to say that I am tired of people attacking this nation merely because they do not understand a thing or because they do not like certain aspects of this country. Well, I refuse relent to the vitriolic verbiage of those who see no good in this nation while they rest easy by reason of the protection provided them even as they attack the protectors. You see, I voluntarily donned the uniform of the United States Marine Corps. In doing so, I vowed to defend this nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I also vowed to defend the Constitution of the United States of America. That vow has yet to be vacated.

I also find it interesting that many of those that spew hatred have no idea as to the reasoning of the founding of this nation. This is a nation founded upon Judeo-Christian principles. The main of those principles is freedom. Freedom is a principle not born of the thinking of the founding fathers. It is a principle put forth by the Almighty. Galatians 5:1 points to that freedom with the words, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” This freedom means the followers of Christ need not succumb to the slavery of sin. This freedom is indicative of the fact that we have choices and those choices can lead to absolute freedom or absolute bondage.

Well, I also refuse to relent to those who attack Christianity as though Christianity brings woes to the world. Christianity lifts from the depravity of the world and brings about freedom that cannot be enjoyed while being covered by the bounds of sin. I refuse to relent to those seeking to make Christianity an ideology of hatred rather than the institution of love that it is. The fact is, God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world, through Him, might be saved. Salvation is freedom. Salvation means never having to be bound by the very things that pretend to love you. Salvation is freedom at its best and I refuse to let those that hate freedom stand between me and the Source of freedom provided for me.

Yes, it is true that I took a second vow. Yet, it is the most important vow that I have made. I made a vow to the Lord years ago that I would serve Him until I die. That is another vow that has no end and I intend to hold to my words just as the Word came and set me free. I will not; I refuse to relent to those that hate my God for no other reason than to hate.

I can think of no other country as great as the United States of America. It is the only country I know of wherein one can be born in poverty and work himself out of it. It is a country wherein one can speak freely and live as he chooses. Yes, these United States upholds our freedom to worship and serve the Almighty without governmental interference. It is true that there have been ills and wrongs in this country. Still, it does little good to continue to live in the sins of some of our fathers. I refuse to relent to the lies that all about this country is bad and evil.

More important than being a patriot I am a child of the Most High God. If this country fails, I will stand with God. If this country upholds the bonds that pull at the freedom of Christ, I will stand for and with the Most High. You see, I love God more than I can ever love this country. That does not mean that I need to spew hatred upon this land that upholds the freedom to celebrate Jesus without fear of reprise from the Government.

No, I refuse to relent to the wailing and gnashing of those that hate this country and abhor the God I love. No, I will not relent. Instead, I will stand for Old Glory and will bow to the Most High whilst I uphold the blood-stained banner that was stained by the blood of Christ Jesus. I refuse to relent.

Enough Divisiveness

I admit, in my lifetime I have not seen this country so divided. I lived through a potion of segregation and saw the end of Jim Crow. I recall when Martin Luther King was assassinated and can remember motorcycle gangs roaring down the streets of Baltimore following the assassination. Yet, somehow this country largely pulled together to stand for right. Petty differences were laid aside in hope of a uniting nation. King, in part, sought to draw people together by reason of a common thread. That thread was that we were, and remain, of the same substance. That substance remains in that we are all human beings made in the image of God. Because of that there is more to bind us than to divide us.

I clearly recall the time this nation was attacked. Our towers in New York were destroyed. The Pentagon was a target and another plane went down in Pennsylvania. All of a sudden there were United States flags everywhere. The people of this land began to stand shoulder-to-shoulder. A return to God began to be the mantra of the hour. We were all United States citizens and there would be no force to break that bond. Unfortunately, this bond of unity would not last. The ugliness of divisiveness would soon rear its ugly head. All of a sudden everyone was to blame except those perpetrating the most horrendous acts.

Now, not long after those tragic events we had an election. The election was legally won and our new President will soon take office. Yet, there are some that see reason to be divisive and call the soon to be Head of State illegitimate. Others have chosen not to attend the presidential inauguration by reason of the false rhetoric of an illegitimate election. These words and actions have only served to divide a nation that is already in the worst state of harmony that I can recall in my lifetime. Well, enough of this divisiveness already!

Frankly, the Church has not acted much better. Perhaps this is why the country is acting so untoward. It is high time the Church began to remove the ridiculous rhetoric of divisiveness and rancor and began to pull together according to the Word of God. There is no room in the House of God for division. There is much room for love. After all, men will know that we are brothers by our love. That love is not merely a purported love for God. No, it is action taken which shows that we love each other. This could mean helping a family in need of help. It may mean lending a shoulder to cry on. That love might also me demonstrated in helping to heal the hurts of the past. No matter how that love is demonstrated it serves not to divide. Instead, true love serves to unite. This is the ministry of those that love; reconciliation.

The example of love demonstrated by the Church is a love that is apt to spill into the world. Even so, the love the Church demonstrates is really a type of love provided by the Godhead. The fact is that God so loved the world that He gave His son. The Son so loved that He gave His life. The Holy Spirit so loves that He dwells in man. Love is a reciprocal matter that has not time to entertain divisiveness. Love is not familiar with rancor. Instead, love seeks to reconcile broken people to those who have been hurt and damaged by the abomination of hate.

King was right. One’s pigmentation is not a matter that should be considered in any instance. Instead, we should look to the heart of man as God does. We live in a strong nation and ought not to be divided by the vitriolic and visceral verbiage of those that choose not love. The divisive nature of some in this country is only causing a divide that could bring about the downfall of this great nation. This is unacceptable and far from Christ-like. Enough of this divisiveness! It is time we broke the bands of this that binds us and remember the part of King’s dream that can and must be more than a dream. He looked forward to the day when we all can join together and not just sing the old Negro spiritual but actually walk in the words – Free at last, free at last. Thank God, almighty, we’re free at last!