Ever since I read the Southern Baptist LifeWay Research poll that found seven in ten 18- to 30-year-olds had quit attending church by age 23, LifeWay director Ed Stetzer’s words have stuck in my mind: “Too many youth groups are holding tanks with pizza. There’s no life transformation taking place.”
This morning when I got up and opened my refrigerator, I read the three magnets I have on the door. The first: “With God all things are possible.” It’s my “life verse” found in Matthew 19:26. It’s also the state motto for my home state of Ohio. The second is a question and the theme of the last chapter of my first book, “True to Life”: “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” And the third is from Winston Churchill: “Never, never, never give up,” given to me by my neighbor several months ago when I most wanted to quit.
Churchill was once asked if he believed history would be kind to him. His answer was affirmative, since he “intended to write it.” And he didn’t mean it in the liberal revisionist textbook kind of way. But it seems that kids, like their adult counterparts have given up the idea of making history for round the clock entertainment, distraction and diversion. They quit going to church because they’re at arm’s length from God – not sure He’s real enough to do anything significant through them, anyway.
I recently interviewed Bo Chin of Christians building Unity on my Faith2Action Radio program. He is fasting for 40 days to draw closer to God because, as he put it: “I don’t want to miss destiny.” And he is willing to make sacrifices to make sure of it. I generally fast when I want something from God. My most recent fast includes giving up watching “24” on DVD. No matter how strong my feelings for Jack Bauer, I’m willing to give up the pretend to do something real. A small sacrifice, but I don’t want to be looking the other way and miss my divine destiny, either.
Remember the “American Dream”? About coming to the land of the free with nothing but a dream, working hard, never giving up and seeing it come true? Still true, perhaps for the immigrant, but stolen from the American poor who have become dependant and entrapped by government entitlement programs, trading the American Dream for government cheese. And they’ve given up their values, selling their vote for the candidate who’ll deliver the most cheese. After all, “there’s nothing significant we can do with our lives, anyway.”
See something wrong? Be significant. Take hold of your destiny and step up to fix it. Like Jerome Corsi, who was on my program last week. He’s not satisfied by making history when he co-authored, “Unfit for Command,” with the Swift boat vets; he now sees there’s a move to unite our nation with Canada and Mexico in a “North American Union.” But instead of raising his fist at the television, this guy and a handful of others are raising awareness of a Bush-supported stealth “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America,” to the point that Congress is now starting to take notice.
It took a while, but I’m now ready to put my desire for cheap goods on the shelf and quit buying products from Communist China: the land of lead-filled toys and baby bibs, slave labor and persecuted Christians. I don’t want their toothpaste with anti-freeze and their poisonous fish. You know what I want? I want a “made in America” label so I don’t have to spend 20 minutes trying to find (and rule out) those products made in China.
I don’t want a NAFTA Superhighway (four football fields wide) with truckers from Mexico that don’t do things like read American road signs and meet our safety standards. I don’t want foreign roads breaching our security, taking American jobs and American sovereignty and turning us into a great big warehouse. I join Corsi’s concern about the increased traffic, because now it’s not London’s bridges that are falling down – it’s ours. And that’s just one problem that needs to be addressed.
And you know what else I want? I want a candidate that will make sure our trade policies are fair, that we quit putting American workers at a disadvantage even on our own field.
Want a life of significance? You want to change the world? There’s an idea that could bring a solution to this problem and all the others you care most about … while having fun. I’m suggesting that you throw a party at your home on Monday night, Sept. 17, but it’s not to watch football. While the rest of the world is distracted by a game or a show about fighting terrorists, we can pick a presidential candidate that actually will. You see, Sept. 17 is the night of the Values Voter Presidential Debate. And all the candidates who care about our values will be there.
It begins with powerful prayer and a “party pack” that includes a debate scorecard, voter registration forms and some games to get the discussion going. Find out who cares about the values you hold dear and join with the Values Voters to get the best candidate elected. Then trade in “24” for “four.” Four months. Four of the most important months for our future: October, November, December and January – when the primaries begin. With historic primary voter turnout as low as 7 percent, we can change the president to change the policies that will change the world … not to mention the Supreme Court.
So break free from the entertainment and entitlement traps, step out of the holding tank and into your destiny. With God, all things are possible – including a life of purpose and significance that begins with a party that educates, equips and mobilizes the Values Voters – America’s largest voting block – to transform our nation. And you can still order the pizza.
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