A call to return to the old ways

Pastor Gary Smith, - Liberty Life Center Church

Pastor Gary Smith,

Liberty Life Center Church

Through the years my wife and I have ministered to hundreds of individuals that have been broken and traumatized by past events in life, most often events of childhood. When those events are addressed spiritually, as well as psychologically and emotionally, we have witnessed with time, many who gain freedom and healing.

Today, so many issues confront our society and our own community. An endless array of task forces are being formed to deal with issues such as homelessness, drugs and drug distribution, gangs, suicide, sex trafficking, and abuse of all kinds including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. One only needs to pick up the paper each day and see the numbers and we see those numbers increasing. We also see these things as a blight on our city. And it is a blight.

Be not deceived, our city is infested, like pretty much every city across our nation. And year after year, innocent children are found caught in the middle of it all. And from generation to generation this evil blight is programmed into and reproduced in their lives, and so the cycle continues.

What is even more tragic is that much of it is yet hidden and unreported. What we see in the news is only that tip of the iceberg that is exposed. The underbelly of our culture is truly dark. The jails and the prisons only hold a small percentage of those who are regularly engaged in such activities of darkness.

Everyone needs to just spend a day and go to the court house on court days and experience the flow of cases and observe the cycles, the systems, and the protocols that try as best they can to control the speed of the downward spiral of humanity in our own neighborhood.

And that is why like never before our nation is being called to repentance and prayers for mercy to the God who gave us life and who alone sustains us. Unless this nation recognizes her need for Lord, repents and returns to his ways and His instruction for life, our fate has been sealed. Even now the hand of the Lord is being lifted and evil is rushing in and judgment is upon us. We are a nation in need of great mercy.

In those courts you will over and over again hear the record. You will hear the charges, the past convictions, the past failures and violations of individuals in trouble. But what you won’t hear is their story. Because to the courts their personal story is irrelevant. But it is those stories that are most often the major factor or reason behind the crime. And unless there is an effective response to that story, the record will continue to grow.

Space does not allow me to share the multitude of stories we have listened to and often confirmed from the childhood of individuals now involved as adults in serious crimes and behaviors of destruction to themselves and others. How can a child molested from ages 3 -9 by a family member, or a child with parents who cooked meth, influencing the child to become an addict by age 9, or a child continually physically beaten and verbally abused by an alcoholic parent, or children trapped in other such horrendous environments for most of their early years ever be able to function in life?

I am not here to condemn the efforts made by secular programs and government sponsored actions. If I am critical of anyone it would be to the church. We, as the church in general, have failed to step up and be what we are called to be as the 24/7, on the streets, in the community hands and feet of Jesus on the earth. The only answer to our woes in this day and age is the grace and power flowing from the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Nothing other can truly heal the brokenhearted and tormented of mind except the one who came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

And such freedom most often will come not by a quick prayer but by a continual washing of the Word, ongoing love, and abundance of personal prayer ministry and much discipleship to renew the mind in accordance with God’s ways and not ours. Unless we become much more concerned about being Biblically correct instead of politically correct, we will continue in our moral, economical, and social decline.

May we not be as the people of Jeremiah’s day when the Lord spoke to the nation. Thus says the LORD: “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.” Jeremiah 6:16.

Bottom line, unless our task forces and committees acknowledge the absolute necessity of the involvement of the faith based community and affirm our need for the Lord and a return to His ways of dealing with the blight of evil, our efforts will be in vain. All you have to do is read history! And unless we the church step up and become more than isolated moral agencies within the walls of buildings we cannot expect transformation for good in society.

Sedalia Democrat
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