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Each of these is society’s attempt to


put a Band-Aid on what is, at heart, a spiritual crisis. To these examples add the “hook-


up generation.” If you don’t know what that means, ask a high school or college student. Education’s an- swer? Condom machines on campus- es! Then there is the well-organized, well-funded LGBTQ+ craziness that has taken a serious toll on every mainline denomination. Consider the rapid rise of Islam and the disgust- ing stories of clergy sex abuse. For a growing number of people, the Inter- net is the convenient at home Red- Light district. It goes on and on! The world around us is increasingly com- plex and that is because it has drifted from God. We have lost our mooring and where there is no mooring the people cast off all restraints. All


across North America, reli-


gion, especially Christianity, is under increasing attack both by govern- ment and society as a whole. Make no mistake, they come with a world- view that is antithetical to historical Christianity. Just last month, Pew re- search released a study showing that Americans who do not identify with any religion—identified as “nones”— now make up more than a quarter of the U.S. population! We live in a con- fused world and it is becoming more muddled with every passing day. The United States are no longer “United.” The government is


bit-


terly divided. The church is divided. People are divided. Tolerant civility is a thing of the past. Jesus warned us, “Every kingdom divided against it- self is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand” (Matthew 12:25). Everything I have written so far is


bigger than mere societal statistics. All these things are spiritual signals— warning signs, if you will—that tell of a continent without a moral com- pass. We must take them seriously or our children and grandchildren shall relive the Dark Ages. They are a cry for a new spiritual awakening. Short of that, I see no bright future for either of our countries. This why I plead with you to join me in pray- ing for a new Great Awakening in this land of my heart and to join me in “Building Healthy Churches and Birthing Healthy Christians!” Such an Awakening will not happen in a government or parliament house, or even the school house. It can hap- pen only in the church house and at your house. How can I say that with such certainty? Because God says so: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Did you get it? “…my people…


called by my name.” That is us! Paul, the apostle, speaks in tones that echo the message when he calls us “the church of the living God, the pillar and buttress of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).


There is hope and it is entrusted to


us! Paul describes the healthy church as the “pillar” and the “buttress” of the truth. The primary reason for the church’s


existence, especially in a


time like ours, is to reintroduce truth back into a society that follows “ev- ery wind of doctrine” and shallow idea exalted as though the acme of knowledge and wisdom. The church is the “pillar” and the “buttress” of truth. The church recovers lost truth.


Building Healthy Churches! Birthing Healthy Christians! January/February 2020 5


It happened before through the Prot- estant Reformation and in each Great Awakening. All moral recovery in any society begins with the people of God.


Everywhere I go, from Canada to


the deep South USA and all across North America, I find the cry of our world is “Who am I? Why am I here?” The answer to that poignant cry is that the church, even our Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, can tell a muddled society who we are and why we are here. It can happen in your church houses and in your home. Any hope that we, as a society, have for recovering from this down- hill moral slide into degradation and despair lies in the message of the church. And the church is us! God can do it again! I believe this


is His will for us. Open your heart, your congregation, and your home to the possibility. Who knows what God might do


in and through us in 2020 if we heed His word?? Leslie Holmes, D.Min., Ph.D., is


the Moderator of the Associate Re- formed Presbyterian Church. You can reach him at lholmes@arp.org.


CHURCH PEW CUSHIONS Padded seats or reversible cushions


DON GREEN UPHOLSTERY Call collect (864) 277-3795


Write: 1401 Piedmont Hwy., Piedmont, SC 29673


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