by Dr. Mark Foley
Let's take this thought a bit farther. The army that must engage a battle for the soul of America is the Church: every individual citizen calling themselves a follower of Christ on his terms.
Earlier this week, a friend wrote to express appreciation for the story of the life-saving station. The words that follow emerged in my response to him...thanks, Harry.
I am reminded of another favorite quote, "Be sure you're right, then go ahead
That insightful phrase is attributed to David Crockett...Davy to the true hearts from the 50's. I cannot remember if I first ran across the quote in Mrs. Anthony's American history class or another source of Texas lore, but it stuck.
It's a great line to live by...unless its late 1835 and you have just decided to travel to a place called San Antonio de Béxar in the Republic of Texas to join a few other like-minded folk who have just seriously kicked a hornet's nest in Mexico's broad north lawn.
At that point in his life, being a former congressman disgruntled with Washington politics in general and with Andrew Jackson in particular, Crockett was looking for a stimulating cause worthy of his attention and resource. He became convinced of the rightness
of the Texas struggle against the dictator of Mexico.
In a moment, on the grounds of a little church called Alamo, in the first week of March 1836, Crockett became willing to die for that cause
. He had not intended to become a martyr...he was a fighter. He intended to win. But, he did believe the purpose was worth the fight...and the cost.
Be it a battle for the liberty of a people or for the soul of a nation, the shift
between being convinced of rightness
to being willing to place your life on the line for rightness
is the point at which the battle changes.
It is a critical shift of will, and it requires the sacrifice of one's life in some form
-- not seeking to die physically, but to be willing to sacrifice all claim to self in favor of the cause.
What is that phrase..."take up your cross and follow me
Matthew 16:24-26: "Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If any of you wants to be my follower
, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?'"
When Jesus said that in Roman occupied ancient Israel, no one mistook his meaning. A cross was something upon which one died. And, with that phrase, he set the terms for rightness: sacrifice of all claim to self in favor of the cause
Our nation is dying spiritually. That need not be the case.
It depends upon the Church...every individual citizen calling themselves a follower of Christ on his terms. The shift between being convinced of rightness to being willing to place your life on the line for rightness is the point at which the battle for the soul of America changes.
Be sure you're right, then go ahead.
Part 6...coming up.
Hold on tight,