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Philosophy Lite: Church has great responsibility

July 8, 2010 at 2:08 a.m.
Updated July 9, 2010 at 2:09 a.m.

Raymond Smith

In olden days, the trumpet was the line of communication to the troops. There were many trumpet calls, which the troops had to memorize concerning when to advance, retreat or otherwise maneuver.

These calls were critical to winning the battle.

In this age of the weakening of the church, we need to sound a clear message to the people. I Corinthians 14:8 reads, "If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?"

I fear we are not sounding the right trumpet calls and the people are in disarray.

Three things have contributed to our apostasy, our gross materialism, a church of habit rather than a church of heart and the onslaught of the secular left, which is trying to destroy the foundations of our spiritual heritage.

There is not the slightest doubt that our great nation was grounded on the faith and morality of the Bible.

David Barton brings this out forcefully in his book "America's God and Country."

Thousands of sermons preached every Sunday have little or no impact on the people, some messages inspire some people to live better lives, but only one message will change people's lives forever.

Most churches set no standard of expectations for their members.

The hope for today is that a great awakening might take place across our land as it did in 1730.

From Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia: "In the late colonial period, most pastors read their sermons, which were theologically dense and advanced a particular theological argument or interpretation. Leaders of the Awakening, such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, had little interest in merely engaging parishioners' minds; they wanted far more to elicit an emotional response from their audience, one which might yield the workings and evidence of saving grace.

Joseph Tracy, the minister and historian who gave this religious phenomenon its name in his influential 1842 book, "The Great Awakening," saw the First Great Awakening as a precursor to the American Revolution. The evangelical movement of the 1740s played a key role in the development of democratic concepts in the period of the American Revolution."

The need today is to get back to basics: The reality of God, the authority of the Bible, salvation through faith in Jesus the Savior, holiness and evangelism.

If our Holy Faith is true, as we believe it is, it is a subject of compelling importance.

When matters of eternal life and the judgment are at stake, how can we treat these issue so lightly?

Charles Stanley likens the church to a lighthouse which directs struggling ships to a safe harbor. If our light is dim many thousands will be lost. The church has a tremendous responsibility as a lighthouse.

In Old Testament days when God's people obeyed, the country was at peace, but when they sinned, God brought judgment.

While God is longsuffering, we must not presume upon His patience. Pray for a great awakening throughout our country while there is yet time.

Raymond F. Smith is a deacon at Fellowship Bible Church in Victoria and President of Strong Families of Victoria.

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