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Editor's journey


Are you meek or militant?

DALLAS – Speaking before Britain’s Parliament in 1775 to propose resolutions of conciliation with the colonies in America, Sir Edmund Burke said, "Religion, always a principle of energy, in this new people is in no way worn out or impaired; and their mode of professing [their faith] is also one main cause of this free spirit. The people are Protestants … adverse to all implicit submission of mind and opinion. This is persuasion not only favorable to liberty, but built upon it."

Compared to colonial Protestants we’re not as outspoken about our faith and convictions today. Our moral voice has waned with each decade. As a result, liberty and traditional values are eroding.

Why have believers chosen a path of quiet dissent? Some claim it’s because we prefer labels such as "merciful" and "meek" to "militant" and "intolerant." But there’s a deeper reason for our silence: We feel we haven’t earned the right to be heard on social and moral issues.

Perhaps that was true decades ago when many evangelicals abdicated their responsibility to help the poor and suffering. But that is not the case today. Assemblies of God congregations and missionaries are actively combating AIDS, hunger, abuse, racism, addiction and more.

Our efforts – guided by the Spirit and based on God’s Word – have given our voices credibility. We can protest laws advocating the legalization of drugs because we support Teen Challenge. We can defend the poor because our churches have food pantries. We can speak out against abortion because we have homes for unwed mothers. We can advocate equality in education because our churches have afterschool tutoring programs. No longer are we waving Bibles without offering a helping hand.

We have a right to be heard … and a biblical obligation to speak out in love against the moral and social decay in our nation.

Should we be meek or militant? Simply, we should be Christlike. We should love Christ enough to be meek … and love our country enough to share with conviction the principles of God’s Word.

Patriotism today, as in 1775, requires more than flag waving; it mandates that we profess our faith in God and defend the values that made this nation great.

– Hal Donaldson

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