By Kelly Boggs, Message Editor
America is in trouble. There is much evidence that suggest we are a nation that is divided politically, racially and demographically. Many observers also believe America is a nation that is in decline with regard to its cultural, economy and long cherished freedoms.
America, it seems, is a nation in distress. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the etymology of distress finds its roots in a Latin word that means to “stretch apart.”
America is being pulled apart by the disparate world-views that now proliferate from sea to shining sea. When you consider it was Jesus who said, “…Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and no city or house divided against itself will stand,” we should be concerned by the condition of our nation.
So, what can we do? What should our response be towards an America in distress?
Christians must pray as we’ve never prayed before. The author of Hebrews wrote, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Is there any doubt that the United States is in the midst of a time of need? We must pray.
I believe the time has come to put prayer back on the front-burner of our churches. Most, if not all, of our programs need to take a back seat to prayer. Jesus said, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer’”…”
When we spend the vast majority of our time singing, sermonizing and instructing, can we really say our church is a house of prayer?
Don’t get me wrong, worship is important and there is no substitute for the preaching of God’s Word, however, prayer is the breath of the Christian life. If a body is not breathing properly it cannot be healthy.
Our churches must make the time to pray.
I am encouraged by the number of prayer meetings that have been called by prominent pastors, but sadly the attendance has been lacking. I even had one individual tell me that he would not attend a particular prayer gathering because a certain person would likely be present.
Brothers and sisters, it is past the time for us to humble ourselves, reconcile with one another and get on our faces before a Holy God and cry out to Him for mercy, grace and revival.
Beyond prayer we can participate in the process of choosing our leaders.
Our form of government is a Republic predicated on a participatory democracy. That is we choose our leaders via an election process. As such, I believe a Christian has the responsibility to be salt and light via the voting booth.
However, as followers of Christ we should not just vote for the sake of voting. We should cast informed ballots.
The Baptist Message is a 501(c)(3) organization and has strict guidelines when it comes to campaigns. As such, The Message is forbidden from advocating for or against a candidate in an election.
The Baptist Message is allowed to provide information about candidates, such as answers to questions posed in a voters’ guide and a candidate’s past voting record, so as to allow our readers to cast informed ballots.
We recently ran a voters’ guide in the Oct. 23 issue of The Message and you will find a voters’ guide to assist you with the runoff on page 7 of this issue.
On Dec. 6, Louisiana will be going to the polls to decide several runoffs. None will have more impact than the one between Senator Mary Landrieu and Congressman Bill Cassidy.
Who you vote for in the senate runoff will have implications for the United States both now and into the future.
According to the Louisiana Right to Life Federation, there is a glaring difference when examining the pro-life voting record of Senator Landrieu with that of Congressman Cassidy.
Since 2009, Senator Landrieu’s voting record in respect to pro-life issues is zero percent, according to LRLF. Landrieu’s complete voting record since she has been in Congress is 27 percent.
Congressman Cassidy’s voting record on pro-life issues since 2009, according to LRLF, is 100 percent. Cassidy’s complete pro-life voting record since he has been in Congress is 100 percent.
As a follower of Christ you should go to the polls on Dec. 6 and you should cast an informed vote that is keeping with your values.
We must pray for our nation. We must also participate in choosing our leaders. However, this something else we can do, we can call attention to America’s distress.
Dick DeBusk, a retired pastor and former prayer coordinator for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, has found a creative way of bringing our nation’s distress to people’s attention. He has begun to wear his American flag lapel pin upside down.
The United States Flag code stipulates: “The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”
DeBusk believes America is on the brink of disaster and wants others to know as well. He told me people will often reach to turn the pin upright, when they do it gives him an opportunity to share that Christ is the only hope, not only for America, but for the individual as well.
America is in distress. We must do all we can to try and avert disaster, so pray, vote and witness all to the glory of God.