I am so sad this morning. This past week has been hard on my soul. This issue with Obama and the Catholic Church has broken my heart. It's because to me, we've crossed some line in our country now. A line where good is still clearly defined and where good still MATTERS. Where the average citizen has a working knowledge of civics and of what the Constitution actually says and where that is still held dear. It's where we still stand at the National Anthem and maybe get a tear in our eye. It's where we see injustice...REAL injustice not something that is painted as injustice because we need a victim to get behind so we can milk the system.
Am I already that old? Could it be that in my short lifetime (I'm 48) we have moved from a land where patriotism and right living was the expected norm, to a society where patriotism is mocked, and ignorance of all that made us great is the status quo? I knew what a Bicameral legislative branch was by the time I was in SIXTH grade! Ask a sixth grader this now and you get a blank stare. Ask his parents...probably the same thing.
I grew up in church. Church was where your sense of right and wrong was molded. Preachers preached about sin. Sometimes they went too far and they made EVERYTHING a sin...like the church I grew up in. But they meant well and they did, at least, provide me with some very visible boundaries. You don't hear that anymore. You have Mark Driscoll bastardizing Song of Solomon into pornography but you don't have a Leonard Ravenhill. You have Ed Young Jr. preaching from a bed...the John Lennon of our time! But you don't have a Dr. Jerry Falwell...a personal hero of mine...who would be on national TV week after week pronouncing the sin in our land and the need for God's folk to start being salty about it. Salt and light.
This morning in NYC, there are dozens of churches with no place to meet because Mayor Bloomberg has stopped letting them use school buildings for services. In America! See this is what happens when preachers get famous for writing bastardizations of Song of Solomon and not for standing up for something that matters. This is what happens when we harvest-out our field and don't look for another field to go to. This is the end result of playing nice and letting the world dictate our behavior because we want to be loved and highly thought of and accepted. Dr. Falwell faced death threats DAILY in the 80's. Now we have pastors clamoring to be invited to someones inauguration or to throw out the first pitch at the ball game. We have nationally recognized preachers whose biggest goal is to be re-tweeted and invited to be a guest on Sean Hannity. We have pastors who preach from a bed because their topic is sex. But we don't have one clear, clarion call above the noise that says "Stand for what is RIGHT!" We are a nation of preachers with not a PROPHET amongst us.
I'm a young man...too young to be this curmudgeonly already. But we need something that we haven't seen in about 20 years. I don't think it's revival amongst our sheep...I think it's revival amongst our shepherds.