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FIRST-PERSON: Greatest need of hour is renewed faith

OKLAHOMA CITY (BP)–Media manipulators give the President’s State of the Union address mixed reviews. Many citizens are nauseated at the media’s rating system and focus on peripheral issues rather than the substance of the address. Of course, the major networks are troubled these days that the bulk of the voting populace is at odds with the their worldview.

There has been a constant patter via the major networks and talk radio stations about the economy and the specific proof needed to justify a war against a rogue nation. The challenge with much of the diatribe is that no matter what this President does the secular media does not deem him as newsworthy as his predecessor.

On the issue of the national economy, Americans love our prosperity. Because of the faith and industriousness of our founding fathers, our nation has prospered. What did our founding fathers do that other nations have failed to do? They obeyed the Word of God and consequently, their progeny continues to be the most blessed nation on the planet. What verses did they obey? Consider these passages:

— Psalm 128:1-2, “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.”

— Proverbs 21:21, “He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”

These verses do not teach people to make their primary pursuit wealth or the accumulation of stuff. Instead, the Word of God focuses on a life of obedience before God and the pursuit of moral righteousness and compassion toward people as the highest priorities. Plenty of people would say that is a noble endeavor but since it involves God, you must keep faith separate and private. However, when the evangelical church closes its faith inside the walls of the church house, we surrender the culture to the wolves that terrorize our most cherished treasures — children.

Our forefathers never dreamed that we would be a nation with so many fatherless children and wounded hearts. We may have the riches of the world at our doorstep but we are a pauper nation when it comes to relationships and moral values. According to some sources, one third of American children do not live with their fathers.

The President’s solution?

His address proposed funding for mentoring and drug treatment programs. That’s good but money doesn’t fix a broken heart. Don’t you wish, just for one moment, a national leader would look straight into the camera and say, “Men, take responsibility for your children and families. Get off your duff and take them to Sunday School. Worship every week with your wife and kids. Put away the childish things and pray for God’s mercy on our land.”

Wouldn’t the ACLU go nuts? But it is about time church leaders, political leaders, educational leaders and economic leaders quit treating the politically correct symptoms of our nation’s problems and focus on the cancer that is destroying the heart of our culture.

And just what is destroying our nation?

Bottom line? We’ve abandoned God. Many people have relegated him to insignificance. At least two generations have stripped our educational systems and government of the godly values and biblical principles our forefathers spilled their blood to establish in our land.

9-11 changed a lot of things.

We aren’t really sure who our national enemies are. We think we can point the finger of blame at some fanatics and link them to a rogue nation or two. Our military and intelligence community knows we can no longer afford to find a “smoking gun.” We now live in a time when our nation must find the “cocked gun” before its full fury is released on a myriad of innocent citizens.

I dare say that national media will not say a word about President Bush’s closing remarks, but they are the most profound I have heard a sitting President utter in my lifetime. “The liberty we prize is not an American gift to the world, it is God’s gift to humanity . . . We do not claim to know all the ways of Providence, yet we can trust in them, placing our confidence in the loving God behind all of life, and all of history.”

Unless there is a major diplomatic breakthrough, this nation will soon embark on a new level of military conflict. The greatest need of the hour is for our nation to discover renewed faith in our God and his only savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray like you have never prayed before for our nation, and for our young men and women in the military. Pray for our President and Congress to have wisdom and prudence. Pray and seek God’s face.
Yeats is editor of the Baptist Messenger.

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  • John Yeats