In the past 50 years or so, the United States has moved away from religion in the public square to religion is a private matter and not to be discussed. Discourses on theological matters have been deemed in-polite for genteel conversation or presentation in our entertainment. Our government and our courts continue to tell us that there is a separation of church and state and that any endeavor that is funded or regulated by the government cannot be religiously based. Our moral choices are being mandated more and more from Washington DC and not from the deity that we believe in.
This is becoming so pronounced that it was with some shock this week that I found two examples that went against this conventional wisdom. The first was in the form of a photographic blog that I read on a daily basis. Every now and again, the owner of the blog invites other photographers to post their thoughts and their works. This particular one was written by Bill Fortney who specializes in macro photography. During the course of the blog, he talks about his love of photography, his love of his family and lastly his love of his god. One of his quotes sums up the entire post;
“now know that I’m defined by how much I love others, after all that’s what my Heavenly Father does, and by what kind of partner I am to my wife, father to my children and grandfather to my six grandchildren”
After reading the blog, I realized that he was saying the things I had been thinking and that he was unafraid to share his faith with an audience that had very little clue as to he was. (see the rest of his blog entry here – http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2011/archives/19402 )
The second instance that surprised me happened last evening at the Georgia Dome. Ruth and I had been invited by a close friend Mike Solomon to come down and see some of what he had been working on. Mike works from Primerica as a video editor and creator and last night was a huge gathering of the sales force of Primerica from around the world (some 40,000 strong!). Mike’s video work was displayed on the screen and tied into the overall evenings presentations.
During the course of the evening, as first one of the CEO’s and then the founder of the organization spoke, it became clear that these two men were Christians and were unafraid to speak of their faith to the multitude that was there. During his keynote address, Arthur Williams (the founder) spoke of the importance of keeping your life in balance and you strive for your goals. He summed up with saying that the order of things should be 1) God 2) Family 3) yourself. He also stated that your goals in life should allow you to focus on those three things.
In closing, the more I walk my faith, the more I believe that regardless of what society, the media and the government tell me, my faith needs to be apparent by how I interact with the people around me. I am not to judge people based upon their god or gods or even if they believe in god. I am not to judge people based upon the lifestyle choices, their clothing or their background. I am simply to interact with them at the human level and deal with them as if they have great worth. Just as Jesus did with the Samaritan woman at the well, I am to deal with all whom I come in contact with respect and love. This is not an easy thing, but it is what my belief system tells me I must do. I need to strive everyday to live up to what I say I believe and not how the world tells me I should live!