Growing up as a young man there were a couple of things that were instilled deep within me.  One was the fear of God and the other was the fear of my parents!  Before someone assume that my beliefs in God were simply forced on me by parents, I wonder how they would account for the love I had for God at the early age of seven and eight years old.  I recall in detail a conversation I had with God back then.  It was like an epiphany.  I found myself upset with God for the very first time.  I had reached the “age of accountability” or the “age of understanding” when I said to God, “Why did you allow me to be born?”  Continuing on in my rant and rave … I said, “At least I would be in heaven and not have to deal with this struggle of right and wrong and the option of heaven or hell”.  Somehow even in the early stages of my life, I knew a real struggle would come with my flesh.

Like many of you, church was a religious experience to me too but I appreciate the fact that even though my father was a Baptist preacher, he and my mom had a heart for what we called a good sanctified, Holy Ghost filled service. Those services would be filled with everything from people speaking in tongues, to people being slain in the spirit, to demons being cast out, to a barefooted prophet literally running on top of each row of benches!  What an amazing time we had.   The mothers of those churches would be dressed with covers over their heads and stockings that you couldn’t see through.  We were taught to tarry and wait on the Lord even if it took half the night. Certainly, they weren’t in a rush.  We were told to reverence, respect and honor the presence of God.   In fact, there wasn’t a Sunday morning that our entire house wasn’t in the same room on our knees having morning prayer.  The principles of the kingdom were taught.  Even now, I can hear those words ringing in my ear from my mom – “Love your enemies, Do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and Pray for them which despitefully use you.” The foundation was laid.

During that time in the South, in place was what was called a “Blue Law” that enforced our religious standards for Sunday being a day of rest and worship.  While driving to church on Sunday mornings, we may have seen at the most one or two people walking.  Whatever you couldn’t get from the convenient store, you didn’t get until after church was over because the stores were closed folks.  Yes, times have changed and greed and convenience has taken its toll on America.  However, for Christians – the foundation of Christ must remain.

Today, I am troubled by the foundation we are laying for our young people.  Secularism and religious tolerance are dominating our society.  Any and almost everything goes as a rule of acceptance  –  even in many of our churches.  I personally believe that its time, as the people said about the early fathers of the faith – “to turn the world upside down again”.  In so doing, I believe it will be “right-side up”.

The bible is emphatically clear that if the foundation be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?  If the foundation, which is Christ and his principles of the Bible are removed, what happens to our children?  What happens to our communities?  What will happen to our nation?  What happens to the next generation of leaders?  You want a glimpse … Tell me what happened when prayer was removed from the schools and when children were allowed to call 911 and divorced their parents.

The truth is the enemy has been doing his best to eat away at the foundation for years – It’s time for the people of God to re-lay the foundation.

Agape!

Rickey E. Macklin  

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