Change—Is It Good?
By Allie Dart*
Have you recently taken a good look at the world you live in? Did you like what you saw? Did you see change? Were the changes good or bad? Did you approve of the changes you saw?
There’s never been a time in history when a nation has experienced such prosperity as ours. But at a time of great affluency, we’re a poorly dressed nation. Never in my lifetime have I seen people so rich, and at the same time, so poorly and inappropriately dressed.
I was born in the Great Depression. Even though many people went hungry, they still had a sense of propriety—they knew what was appropriate to wear to church, to work, to funerals, to weddings, and on the streets. They did the best they could. If a farmer was seen in town with holes in the knees of his jeans or overalls, it was because he had worn them out. He certainly didn’t buy his overalls with holes in the knees. He wasn’t trying to rebel against society, nor make some sort of fashion statement. He did it because he couldn’t afford to buy new ones.
But clothes—our inappropriately dressed people—are only a symptom of a greater problem in our society.
We’ve seen enormous changes in our government and our society in the past year. Yes, even frightening changes. Our president ran on a platform of “Change!” Unfortunately, it was rarely mentioned that there are two sides to this change issue. Change can be good, and change can be bad. I’m afraid many changes we’re seeing today are simply not good.
Many are asking Mr. Dart:“Do you think we’re entering the end times?” His answer is “I don’t know.” Then he generally adds that he’s afraid that things could get very bad in a hurry. Only time will tell. But I also fear, and I fear greatly that we entering very difficult times. The recent changes in our government and society give plenty of reasons for Christians to be concerned.
You may have heard about a teacher who asked the blessing over a meal, and if found guilty, whatever that means, he could be sent to prison for as much as 30 years.
There’s an increasing amount of chatter about our government closing down talk radio and controlling the Internet. Recently, we heard a person explain on television how our government has a plan to stop talk radio. And that plan includes religious broadcasting. Dear friends, have you not read in the Bible about a coming famine of the hearing of the Word? Our world is going crazy in a hurry. So what then should we do as concerned parents, teachers, and Christians?
I can’t get a story I read out of my mind. It was about the Soviet Union invading Poland 70 years ago and taking it into communism. When the Soviets did this, the communists took away the Poles Bibles, their hymnals, and their liturgy—every thing that smacked of religion or God was taken from them. They sent the women and children one direction and the men the other direction, into captivity. Yes, this was change, but do you think those families looked upon this as a positive change? The women realized they would loose their religion—their faith in God— if they didn’t do everything they could to hold on to it.
Being good Lutherans, these ladies had memorized many Bible verses, religious songs, and their liturgy. So each one sat down and wrote out all the Bible verses, songs, and liturgy they had memorized. Thankfully, they had committed many of these things to memory and by writing them down, they and others could read and sing them to insured their preservation. Because they did these things, when these Poles came out of communism, the Lutheran church was still in tact.
Why am I telling you this? Teachers, there are important lessons for us in what happened to the Polish people. Right now! Today! It may have never crossed your mind that we could go into captivity, or that our nation could be occupied by a foreign power, or that a rogue power from within could take away our freedom. In no way am I predicting this will happen. But a nation going into captivity or being occupied by a foreign power is far from unprecedented. So these events should give us food for thought and we should not take them lightly.
Since the beginning of nations forming, there have been wars, and nations have fallen. People have been taken into captivity. Foreign governments have occupied other countries. You will recall that Israel of old was held captive more than once. But have you ever wondered why?
We’re much more likely to think the USA is too powerful and immune to being taken into captivity, or being occupied by a foreign power, or a rogue power from within? At a time of prosperity that our nation is still experiencing, it’s difficult for us to think in those terms. But let’s consider just one chapter in the Bible, Deuteronomy 28 which lays out actions of a people that lead to two different conclusions. If the nation obeys God, it will be blessed beyond its wildest dreams. If the people turn their backs on God, refuses to obey Him, this nation will live under the most horrible curse and be taken captive. The picture isn’t pretty. Notice, the reason it gives for this is: “Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity?
Look around you. Do you see a nation that is serving God joyfully and gladly. We’re trying to get rid of God as fast as we can. We’re removing Him from our classrooms, from our public life, and in every other way as fast as we can. As I said, there has never been a more prosperous and affluent society than what our country has experienced. During this period of great prosperity, have you seen our nation turn to God?
My question is, “Since our nation has turned its back on God, taken Him out of our schools, been teaching evolution to our young and tender minds, and killed 50 million babies through abortion, how can we hope to escape, without at some point, incurring the wrath of God?
What if God is fed up with us and decides we need to learn some lessons—yes, even people in God’s church. What if He allows a foreign nation to either take us captive or occupy our country, or a rogue power from within take away our freedoms, and take away our Bibles, our Born to Win CDs and materials, our hymnals, our YEA books, our computers, so our kids can no longer down load YEA! Let’s REACH activities from the Internet? And we cannot listen to the Friday Night Bible study? What if God says, “So many people, who are called by My name haven’t considered these things to be important. They haven’t valued teaching the YEA lessons to their children and grandchildren, they haven’t started YEA classes in their churches, so I’ll let them learn what it’s like not to have any of these tools to use in teaching their children.”
What about our children who attend the Feast? What will happen to us, to them, and to our faith if our nation goes into captivity. What if another nation occupies the good ole USA and that government, from without or within, holds us captive in our own country. Are we prepared, or will we, the people in God’s church be prepared? Yes, we could have change, and that change could be much worse than we’re prepared to face. Our Bibles, YEA books, Born to Win broadcasts, CDs and DVDs of sermons, song books, CEM’s website with the Weekly Bible study and YEA! Let’s REACH activities could be taken from us.
Yes, times are changing and it’s time for Christians, parents, and teachers to take these changes seriously enough to be highly motivated to insure every kid and teen we know is taught the Word of God—that we promote the YEA books to our students, their parents, and to our church.
The most encouraging thing about all of this are those dedicated YEA teachers who believe in the YEA program, promote it, and teach it to God’s children. The reason you are doing this is because you have the love of God in your heart and you are dedicated to anchoring every student in your class to Christ. I pray that you, like the women in the Lutheran church, will do what it takes to preserve our faith in the lives of each student you teach; that you’ll walk the extra mile and start YEA classes in your church, if you don’t already have them; that you’ll encourage your students to go to borntowin.net and do the YEA! Let’s! REACH activities and; that you’ll do your best to see to it that your students learn their memory verses, read their lessons and daily devotionals so they will be grounded in the faith, should they ever have to face captivity. Start today promoting the YEA lessons to your students and parents so they will use this systematic way to study the Bible. It includes being able to recite the Ten Commandments, knowing the holy days in order, and giving the meaning of each one. Teach kids to hold sacred the doctrine of clean and unclean meats. Insure they understand the blessings that come from tithing and that they will return to God the first tenth of their increase. Thank God for people like you! I pray that you will give this serious prayer—that the changes you make will be in the right direction.
Christ said in John 9:4 “As long as it is day, we must do Christ’s work.” Friends, it’s still day. But He continues: “night is coming, when no man can work.” It’s time to get to work!
*This speech, written by Allie, was given by Paula Hughes at the YEA Feast Orientation Meeting in her absence.