Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011 - The Twilight’s Last Gleaming

We received a surprise gift for this Memorial Day. Our son and two other US marines decided to take a last-minute road trip home. One was dropped off with his family in Lubbock while the other two continued to their homes in the Dallas area for the holiday.

On this Memorial Day, we remember and honor those who have paid the ultimate price to preserve our freedoms. Yet, as we look around at what our country is becoming in the last few decades, we have to ask, “Is this what they died for?” Several years ago, Dr D James Kennedy preached a sermon entitled The Twilight’s Last Gleaming in which he stated:

Memorial Day is a day when we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, who have given their lives that we might enjoy the life and the freedom we have in America today. How prone we are to forget—to forget the terror that filled the hearts of young eighteen- and nineteen-year-old men when they landed on the beaches of strange islands that until a few weeks before they had never even heard of; to forget the anguish and blood of those who lay wounded in foxholes. All of that is forgotten in the midst of our modern pleasures.

One person wrote a striking Memorial Day letter-to-the-editor of a newspaper. The person asked: “What would the veterans who died in World War I, World War II, Vietnam and Korea—by the hundreds of thousands—say if they could see the lifestyle in the United States today? Would they say, ‘Is this what I gave my life for? Was it worth this?’”

In the decades since these died in battle, much has changed in America. Never in the history of the world, one writer said, has any nation so quickly jettisoned its system of belief. We have forgotten or rejected our nation’s Christian foundation and, as such, we are witnessing the demise of Christianity in America.

In less than fifty years, we have seen our Christian principles sift through our fingers like sand. The United States Supreme Court has banned from public schools prayer and Bible reading. We have removed the Ten Commandments from courthouses and pulled the plug on prayers at graduations and football games—each step has stripped our culture of the Christian roots of this nation.

A recent survey reveals that only 13 percent of Americans believe in all of the Ten Commandment… Morality is in steep decline and traditional values have become passĂ©. The country many servicemen died to defend so that faith, family, and freedom would be upheld is quickly vanishing. “Is this what they gave their life for?” the letter-to-the-editor asked. Is this the America for which soldiers sacrificed?

Much of the blame for where our nation stands morally falls at the feet of Christians. America is in a moral crisis, and yet some Christians are “playing” church. The soul of our nation is at stake, and yet some of us have turned a blind eye to the moral decay gripping our culture.

The day may come when our grandchildren ask, “Whatever happened to Christianity in America?” It is sure to happen, unless we get down on our knees and earnestly pray. As we remember the great sacrifice made by so many hundreds of thousands, may we rededicate our lives to this nation and to those spiritual truths that made it great.

We may not give our lives on some bloody field or trench or rice paddy, but may God make us heroes of the faith who will be faithful to Jesus Christ, who will return our country to Christian values, who will be living heroes as brave as those who died for our country—those whose footsteps we follow in battle, those we remember.

There's not much that we'd like to add to Dr Kennedy's words at this time, but we'll briefly comment on a couple of related topics. First, the election season must be beginning. Mr Obama actually laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier earlier today instead of sending a representative as in previous years. Once that was out of the way, he then headed out to the Fort Belvoir golf course for his ninth golfing weekend in a row. We wonder, where are the media members who constantly denigrated President Bush for his occasional golf outings before he gave up the game early in his presidency out of respect for the families of those killed in Iraq?

Next, we got some good news this year when federal District Judge Lynn Hughes granted a restraining order inhibiting Veteran Affairs officials’ attempt to prevent the Rev Scott Rainey from mentioning Jesus’ name during Memorial Day prayers at Houston National Cemetery. After a warning from the judge, Assistant US Attorney Fred Hindrichs informed the court that VA would drop their demands

Finally for Christians, as we are honoring the brave soldiers that gave their lives for our country’s freedoms, let us not forget our Lord Jesus Christ who sacrificed His life so that we might enjoy freedom from the bondage of sin the second death (eternal separation from God). Instead, we have the gift of eternal life. Thank you Jesus, and God Bless our Troops.

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