I love America. I really do. I served our country almost 4 complete years. I still sing the National Anthem. I still place my hand over my heart when I say the pledge. I get misty-eyed at the sound of taps and the sight of the missing man formation when fighter jets fly over. I would not hesitate to answer "the call" even today.
Today I salute the thousands of men and women serving our country. Too often they get a bad rap by the media. In fact, if you listen closely, the media often insult the intelligence of those brave warriors. But I laud their prowess. I honor them.
This place called America has other warriors, too. They should be honored. I am speaking of men who are faithful preachers of the truth of God's word. Pastors are in the news lately, largely because of the most recent attention given by one of America's Senators.
I know there are some bad apples in the barrel. But folks, preachers too often get a bum rap. The average pastor, once respected as a leader in the community, now ranks down at the bottom with those particular lawyers who advertise big payoffs if you only use them to sue others. When that doesn't happen, he has to compete with those popular men who can afford to buy television time.
Yet on they plug, week in and week out; on they go, sharing the word of God, ministering to their flocks, and trying to encourage the downtrodden.
In the place called America these warriors are still able to preach and minister. So far. There is a subtle and dangerous move to eliminate those who are faithful to the word. There are attempts on the part of the perverted to make a hate crime of any speech against certain kinds of immorality. There is a theological move to lower Christianity to the level of false religions. Over half of evangelicals already believe that there is more than one way to be born again (but they are mistaken). More and more want us to denigrate the exclusive claims of the gospel.
I was reminded of that tonight. I was also reminded that there is one name whereby we must be saved: Jesus Christ. It does not matter your ethnic background, or your religious background. If you don't turn to Jesus Christ, you won't be saved.
In this place called America, I can say that. In some places around the world, I would be in jail for telling you that--if I lived. But if we do not repent, we may live to see the day that we cannot share that good news.
So, America, I have one word for you: