Becky Gerritson, a demure but courageous woman, spoke to the U.S. Congress a few days ago and with unflinching conviction placed on the table the truth of America’s present and dangerous situation, referred to presently as the IRS scandal.
Our leaders appear to be sitting idly by while ignoring the massive surveillance being conducted by our government against many individual people and organizations who have committed no crimes but are having their private correspondence and even reading material monitored and tracked only because they are suspected of opposing liberal political views—which is not a crime but a right. This egregious disregard of the law and violation against the clear rights of the American people are shaking the foundation of our country. Adding insult to injury, the culpability of these acts lies in the hands of many of America’s top political leaders. Clearly, the trust of the American people has been violated and their right to privacy and liberty trampled.
Ms. Gerritson is founder and president of the Wetumpka Tea Party, and she lives in Wetumpka, Alabama (a town of 6,600 people). Her testimony included these words:
“I’m not here as a serf or a vassal. I’m not begging my lords for mercy. I’m a born-free American woman — wife, mother, and citizen — and I’m telling MY government that you’ve forgotten your place…What the government did to our little group in Wetumpka, Alabama is un-American. This isn’t a matter of firing or arresting a few individuals. The individuals who sought to intimidate us were acting as they thought they should, in a government culture that has little respect for its citizens. Many of the agents and agencies of the federal government do not understand that they are servants of the people. They think they are our masters. And they are mistaken. I’m not interested in scoring political points. I want to protect and preserve the America I grew up in, the America that people cross oceans and risk their lives to become a part of. And I’m terrified that it’s slipping away.”
I’m not trying to mix politics and religion here, but these words should be inspiring and challenging to us all. Not only as citizens of this country who are seeing their liberties being destroyed and our constitutional values being corrupted, but as Christians who are witnessing a similar loss of values in the church. There is a striking parallel here between what is happening in the secular world around us and the spiritual battle we are facing in our churches and in our homes. We know that society has turned its face toward Sodom with their bold dismissal of morals and flippant, if not vulgar, mockery of righteousness that has become acceptable. However, even more grievous to me is that more and more Christians are taking reckless liberties with their lifestyle choices, while forsaking their Bibles as the source of Truth. Is the Apostolic church that people sacrificed their lives to build slipping away? Let’s speak boldly here, how long do we remain muted while the influences of pop culture, anti-holiness attitudes and lifestyles become commonplace in our churches?
I was flipping through my calendar, writing in a few dates and events and for a moment I began thinking about the future. Not the short-range so much, but rather the next few years. What will our country look like? What will our Apostolic churches look like? What will my attitude be? What will my involvement be? How will I spend my energy and my assets? What will I be writing down in my calendar? Who am I? What will I say when this world demands I declare my point of view? Ms. Gerritson boldy declared her position, “I’m a born-free American woman, wife, mother and citizen. And I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place.” Should we as defenders of Apostolic faith have less courage, less conviction?
I plan to ask our church to stay in the fight. We cannot afford to forget our place, our roots, core beliefs, who we are, or the story of our personal redemption. I want my family to stay in the fight – to preach the Gospel until the Lord comes, to win souls. I want to continue to teach the disciplines of Christian life so that the glory of Christ will shine in the faces of those who believe, and the cry of their souls will plead for the power of the Holy Spirit to move in every church service.
I want to preach the Word of faith with such boldness that each thought penetrates the consciousness and commands greatness of every listener. I desire to see each church service more inviting, more powerful, more meaningful, more important, more inspiring, and more sought after than any worldly thing including power, entertainment, money and sin. I want to help lead souls to the beam of light that will illuminate the way to a fresh outpouring of Pentecostal power. It is my prayer that America and American Apostolics will play a role in the great revival promised to us in the endtime.
If we fail to take action against the spirit of the world, the alternative will read like Psalms 78 with no happy ending. “The children of Ephraim, [being] armed, [and] carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.” The psalmist teaches us that these people of promise gave up at the crucial time to become, “a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God” (Psalms 78:8). America still remains a nation of potential, but there are no guarantees. She must embrace righteousness and resist worldly lusts and rebellion lest she become a nation that refuses to set her heart aright. She must be against evildoers and the workers of iniquity (Psalms 94:16).
I’d like to close by sharing with you an old entry from my notes journal. Shakespeare in The Tragedy of King Richard the ii illustrates a moment of truth so eloquently. The weakened King Richard is pondering retreat and compromise with the enemy, cowardly hoping for peace, at the cost of honor. The queen speaks these words of warning to Richard as she exposes the influences that he has allowed to shape his thinking about compromising for assumed peace while challenging him to keep fighting against his enemy.
What, is my Richard both in shape and mind Transform’d and weaken’d? hath Bolingbroke deposed Thine intellect? hath he been in thy heart? The lion dying thrusteth forth his paw, And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage To be o’erpower’d; and wilt thou, pupil-like, Take thy correction mildly, kiss the rod, And fawn on rage with base humility, Which art a lion and a king of beasts?
Who hath been in our heart? It has always been the voices that we allow to influence us that ultimately shape our thinking who determine our destiny. Are they voices of compromise or of conviction?