Monthly Archives: May 2013

NO MORE MEMORIALS

I went to see the Andrew Jackson Memorial in Louisville, Kentucky. In it was a life-size marble stature of Jackson on a horse, rearing in the air. He was holding a sword above his head as if he were leading a charge.

Walking outside that area, I found myself standing in a large military cemetery. White crosses in perfect aligned rows were everywhere. As I walked among them, I read the inscriptions, and calculated how old they were when they were killed. They were young. There were male and female, black and white, Christians and Jews. They were sons and daughters, fathers and mothers; the best that America had to give. As I thought about them and the people they had left behind, my eyes filled with tears and then a constant flow started that I couldn’t hide or hold back.

Jackson’s memorial was not the only one there. Every tombstone is a memorial to the one whose remains lay beneath it. There is no doubt that we should remember and honor our fallen dead. It is a good thing to do.

But I would propose a better thing. If we love our patriotic young men and women, let us stop getting them killed in needless wars. Let’s stop adding memorials and begin protecting the lives of our troops.

We can start by bringing all our people home from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and we can do it now. Then, we can strongly encourage our political and military leaders to find peaceful solutions to world problems and not constantly fall back on military might. Might does not determine who is right, only who is left.

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.people-for-the-christian-way.org

A SOLDIER’S CONFESSION

“Surely this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39)!

Over two thousand years have passed since Jesus was crucified. Since then, millions of people have come to believe in and confess him. Of all the confessions, none is more amazing than that of a Roman soldier who witnessed the event.

It is amazing because he was a centurion. It is likely that he had served in the Roman army many years, had fought in many bloody battles, and had seen or been responsible for many cruel acts and deaths.  He knew almost nothing about Christ. He had never heard of him, read a Bible, seen a church, or met a Christian.

What he saw on Calvary’s hill made his confession even more amazing. He saw a man who had been tried and sentenced to death. Taunting him, calling him a phony, and spitting on him, the crowd was delighted to see Jesus suffer and die.

We may ask, “What did he see or hear that caused him to confess Christ?” He saw a man suffering in agony and pain on a cross who, in the last moments of his life, made arrangements for his mother and one of his disciples to be taken care of. He saw a man with only a short time to live take time to save a convicted criminal. He saw a Christ who had love and forgiveness for everyone, even his crucifiers. He heard Jesus praying, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:40).

Text Box: “If you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and you believe in your heart, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).If a Roman soldier with so little information could confess Christ how much more should we be able to?

 

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life.  drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.people-for-the-christian-way.org

 

 

MEMORIALS OF GOD’S MERCY

One of the first memorials was built by Samuel (2 Sam. 7:12). It was a huge stone that he named “Ebenezer” which meant, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” He built it after God had intervened in a great battle and given Israel the victory. It was to remind them of God’s mercy.
We need to erect memorials ourselves to remind us of the times when God, in His mercy, has intervened for us. In our personal experience, life has not run on an even keel since last year. There have been disappointments, trials, fears, and sufferings-yet God has been with us in them all. Our lives have been spared from death, from disease, and disaster. Every day we spend in good health is a day to thank God for His mercy.
Some of us have seen God’s mercy in our families. Has the family circle been blessed? Have we seen an increase (a little one)? Have we seen our children come to know the Lord and begin to grow in knowledge and grace? Have we had a roof over our heads, shoes on our feet, clothing to wear, and something to eat? Than let us thank God for His mercies.
Economically, it has been a bad year for thousands of people. Money has been tight, and jobs hard to find. In spite of a bad economy, some of us have prospered and we need to thank God for it. Most of us haven’t prospered, but we have held our own—and we thank God for that. Some of us have lost many of the materials things of life which we thought were riches. Now we are discovering true riches, things like God Himself, our families, our friends, and God’s provisions. One tornado victim, being interviewed by a TV reporter while standing before his home which had been turned into a trash pile, said it well. He said, “That’s just stuff. I can replace stuff. My family and I were spared and for that I am thankful!”
As a child of God, we don’t ever have to despair. We have a Father who is rich and very merciful, and He loves each and every one of us. Thank God for His mercy.

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.people-for-the-christian-way.org

GET OVER IT!

 

 

“What’s wrong with America is they have taken prayer out of our schools,” the woman said. Her strong assertion surprised me, although it shouldn’t have. A few vocal advocates blame everything that is wrong in America on the government (villains) taking prayer out of school.

 

Let’s look at the reality of the situation. Prayer has not been taken out of public schools. Any student can pray privately any time they want or need to. As one young student told me, “They’ll never take prayer out of public schools as long as they give finals.”

 

What is not allowed is denomination or undenominational prayer, and reading from the Bible, regardless of whether they are voluntary or not, or done by teachers, coaches, or students.  There are a couple of reasons for these prohibitions. School prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution. It says that government shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion. Because public schools are government funded, prayer led by school officials or incorporated into the school routine equates to government established religion.

 

Public schools are for all children—Protestants, Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim, agnostics, and atheists. All their parents pay taxes; therefore, either they are entitled to attend a school where religion is not promoted (even the Christian one), or their religious prayers and emphasis should have equal rights. No formal school prayer or religious practices could do justice to the beliefs of all the religions in America.

 

The issue of prayer in schools has been raised many times. Each time the Supreme Court has upheld the Constitution and ruled against it. It is a battle that has been fought and lost, and rightfully so. Let the school be the school (educational), and the church be the church (religious).

 

Quit harping about prayer in public schools. Get over it, and get on with your life.

 

HOW TO BE LOVED BY JESUS—PART 3—GROW

 

As she looked upon the small bundle in its mother’s arms, the woman asked, “May I see your baby?” She was saddened by what she saw. “How old is it?” she asked. The mother answered sadly, “He’s five years old.”  There was a long silence, then the woman walked away. It is tragic to see a baby who didn’t grow.

 

Also, it is tragic to see Christians who don’t grow. They have been born into the family of God, but they haven’t grown an inch. God wants all of his children to grow up like Christ in everything. Growing in Christ doesn’t just happen. We must make up our minds to grow. Then, we must pray for Christ’s guidance and help.

 

Growing in Christ involves several things. Participation in church is one of them. The church is God’s body on earth. It has many parts, each with its own function. Every Christian has a place in that body. One who doesn’t go to church is like a severed finger, or a hand.

 

Daily Bible reading and prayer, and keeping a journal will help us grow. But the best thing we can do is practice Christianity. Take it out into the streets. Practice the teachings of Christ, love God, love your neighbor, do good to everyone. When he calls us, answer. When he challenges us, take up the challenge. Doers grow much faster than talkers. In this journey remember, “Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you” (James 4:8).