Billy Ray Parrish
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
—2 Chronicles 7:14
The older I get, the more changes that I witness around me especially in this great country of ours. Although the United States is the freest country on Earth, it has undergone a lot of changes that many that came before would not recognize. While I understand that need for change as all things change, there are certain changes that have occurred that cannot be called a success. One of the biggest changes is the fact that God is not a big part of our everyday lives.
One of the factors that separated America from the rest of the world for so long had to do with God’s involvement in our country. This is evident when you look at some of the fundamental writings and documents from our founding and while the founders knew and understood the importance of not forcing any particular belief system upon their people, they meant for God to be involved in the very fabric of our country. For so long, despite what times saw for America, God always shined His light upon us but things seem different, today.
Going all the way back to the Civil War, many felt that this wrath came upon this nation because of our turning away from God and this had nothing to do with Confederate states against the Union Army. The Union Army was more industrialized and moved away from the traditional way of doing things while the Confederate states, while still holding on to traditional ways of life, had also gone away from God as they were focused on different aspects of business and profit rather than God Himself.
Sadly, today, many things appear eerily similar. This time, however, rather than armies formed to establish a nation or to keep the old one, the battle we witness is between cultures. No, not between where people come from but differing sets of beliefs that are on a clash course for disaster and rather than North versus South, this battle rages between individuals of traditional beliefs and values and a more progressive belief system that attempts to rewrite everything about our great country including the involvement of God.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
While this is not a new battle as it has been raging for several decades, it has only grown in intensity over the last few decades. One of the biggest changes that I have noticed is the growing arrogance and narcissism of those from the progressive side. While many Christians have remained silent and quiet as they go about their day to day lives as they typically would, the other side has really stolen the microphone and changed the narrative.
Think about the way things are done inside the political arena. Many scoff at those politicians that proclaim themselves as Christians and stand up for a traditional set of beliefs. These men and women have been labeled as racists, bigots, xenophobes, homophobes, and any other label that may seek to ruin a person’s character and reputation. While there are bad things that happen on the traditional side, it fails in comparison with some of the actions and rhetoric that comes from the progressive side.
The same is true for the world of sports as the loudest athletes are put on a pedestal while the most humble of stars are put beneath those who scream loudest. LeBron James is made out to be a role model and hero to millions of people as he shouts and pumps his chest to bring attention to himself after scoring a big basket or Colin Kaepernick is made out to be a global icon for defying to stand for his country’s flag; the same one that gave him a platform to begin with, and is praised when he wears clothing of evil dictators like Fidel Castro which goes against his “cause” but an athlete like Tim Tebow who prays before the game and takes a knee to pray after a big play is told to go home.
There are many other examples that can be cited from all across the country but perhaps the saddest and most influential ones come from inside our homes. Rather than parents teaching their children to be thankful for everything they have, parents are working more hours to buy their children the newest of something. Many of our homes do not have two parents in them so the attention needed and the lessons taught are not present.
Truly, as the Good Book points out, if we spare the rod and spoil the child, we are not helping them but only enabling them for bad potential and bad behavior and the absence of respect and humility in our country, today, is just one example of how times have changed since I was a child.
“Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life.”