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Memorial Day is when we honor the men and women of our Armed Services who have made “the supreme sacrifice;” who gave their lives for their country.
Especially these days, when Memorial Day seems nothing more than a time for cookouts and swim parties, we cannot be reminded often enough about how great a debt we owe our war dead.
They gave up their hopes and dreams, families and friends. They submitted themselves to rigorous discipline—something I understand as a former Marine—24-hour a day duty, and placed their lives in great peril. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Their sacrifice should inspire in us a profound sense of gratitude. Gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy, bought with a price. And that gratitude should compel us to lives of service as well. Serving Christ, our neighbor, and yes, our nation.
I can’t help but recall the brilliant film Saving Private Ryan. James Ryan, now in his seventies, has returned with his family to the military cemetery in Normandy. He visits the grave of Captain John Miller, the man who, a half a century before, led the mission to retrieve—to save—Private Ryan. At the end of the mission, Miller was fatally wounded. As he lay dying, his final words to Private Ryan were, “James. Earn this…earn it.”
We then see Ryan kneeling at Captain Miller’s grave, marked by a cross. Ryan, his voice trembling with emotion, says, “Every day I think about what you said to me that day on the bridge. I tried to live my life the best that I could. I hope that was enough. I hope that, at least in your eyes, I’ve earned what all of you have done for me.”
Red-eyed, Ryan turns to his wife and says, “Tell me I’ve led a good life…tell me I am a good man.”
With great dignity, she says, “You are.”
With that, James Ryan salutes the grave of Captain Miller.
I tell this story in greater detail in my book The Good Life, which you can purchase at ColsonCenter.org.
You see, Private Ryan, out of gratitude for Captain Miller’s sacrifice, did all in his power to live a good life.
And Memorial Day is a great time for each of us to look into the mirror…to examine our own lives. Are we living good lives in gratitude for all those who have sacrificed for us—including our men and women in the military, our families, our friends, and most of all Christ?
Are we, like Ryan, kneeling before the cross—Spielberg, a master cinematographer had to realize the power of this imagery. Are we, out of gratitude, doing our duty for Christ, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, ministering to those in prison, in whatever harvest field to which the Lord has called us?
Examine your life.
And this Memorial Day, at the very least, thank those who have sacrificed for you and those you know who have served in our nation’s armed forces. Maybe you’ll do what I do when you see a guy or gal in uniform…at the airport, at the store, wherever…walk up to them and thank them for their service.
And then go and remember Whom it is you serve.
There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.
|We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children’s League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.
Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.
There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50’s on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.
To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”
The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.
But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: “Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.”
On January 19, 1999 Senator Inouye introduced bill S 189 to the Senate which proposes to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30th instead of “the last Monday in May”. On April 19, 1999 Representative Gibbons introduced the bill to the House (H.R. 1474). The bills were referred the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Government Reform.
Restore The Traditional Day Of Observance For Memorial Day
Click here to read this petition.
Newest 20 of 14,702 signatures
To date, there has been no further developments on the bill. Please write your Representative and your Senators, urging them to support these bills. You can also contact Mr. Inouye to let him know of your support.
Visit our Help Restore the Traditional Day of Observance page for more information on this issue, and for more ways you can help.
To see what day Memorial Day falls on for the next 10 years, visit the Memorial Day Calendar page.
Sources and related links:
- Boalsburg, Pa., Birthplace of Memorial Day
- DC City Pages: History of Memorial Day
- General Logan Biography
- General Logan’s General Order 11
- Help Restore the Traditional Day of Observance of Memorial Day
- Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920 from Duke University)
- How to Observe Memorial Day
- Luminaria Program
- Memorial Day Events – Dept of Veterans Affairs
“The Office of Public Affairs provides this page of items that may be of special interest to veterans and customers.”
- The Origins of Memorial Day
- Roy, Nuhn. Portfolio: To Honor The Memory of the Departed. American History Illustrated 1982 17: 20-25.
- S 189 and H.R. 1474, bills to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day.
- “S. Con. Res. 100“, resolution for a National Moment of Remembrance.
- Statement on Signing the National Moment of Remembrance Act
- Taps Information
- Today in History: May 30
American Memory project, The Library of Congress
- VFW’s “Buddy” Poppy program
- Waterloo, Official Birthplace of Memorial Day
By Dr. Alvin L. Reid
I believe the world is upon the threshold of a great religious revival, and I pray that I may be allowed to help bring this about. I beseech all those who confess Christ to ask Him today, upon their knees, if He has not some work for them to do now. He will lead them all as He has led us. He will make them pillars of smoke by day and pillars of fire by night to guide all men to Him.” –Evan Roberts
One of the first revival movements I ever heard of was the Welsh Revival of 1904-05. Wales has duly been called the “Land of Revival” and the “Land of Song.” Griffith Jones, Howell Harris, Daniel Rowlands, William Williams, and Christmas Evans led earlier awakenings. The 1859 awakening was reported around the world. The land was set ablaze by the Moody-Sankey meetings in the late 19th Century.
In 1904 God again visited this small but significant locale. One of the earliest signs of a growing awakening came in the ministry of pastor Joseph Jenkins at New Quay, Cardiganshire. In November, 1903, he began a Young People’s Meeting to battle their growing worldliness. Jenkins was visited by a shy young girl following an evening service in January, 1904. The following week, the first Sunday in February, Jenkins asked for testimonies during the Young People’s Meeting following the morning service. Then, he asked for responses to the question, “What does Jesus mean to you?”
Her sincere, earnest confession had the effect of a lightning strike of the Spirit in the congregation. Person after person arose and made full surrender to Christ. An early eyewitness of the revival said: “It was the beginning of the visible manifestation of the Spirit breaking out in life-streams which afterwards would touch thousands of souls.”(2) The news of the service spread throughout the area as young people testified in other churches.
Evan Roberts (1878-1951) was the person most recognized in the Welsh Revival. He came from a humble, religious family. As a child, the devout lad took a Bible with him everywhere. Early in his life, he dreamed of revival. While a young coal miner, a page of the Bible was scorched, the page at II Chronicles 6 where Solomon prayed for revival. Perhaps Evan saw this as prophetic, for when he became world-known, the Bible was displayed in photographs around the world.
Roberts heard an evangelist named Seth Joshua speak at Blaednnannerch. The Thursday morning service closed with Joshua praying, “Lord…Bend us.” Roberts went to the front, knelt, and with great anguish cried, “Lord, bend me.” Reflecting on that prayer, he later said that the impact of his commitment had this effect: “I felt ablaze with a desire to go through the length and breadth of Wales to tell of my Savior; and had that been possible, I was willing to pay God for doing so.”(3)
Roberts began to go to various towns to speak of his changed life. “Oh, Syd,” he said to his best friend, Sydney Evans, in late 1904, “We are going to see the mightiest revival that Wales has ever known – the Holy Spirit is coming just now.” In great anticipation, he added, “We must get ready. We must get a little band and go all over the country preaching.” Suddenly Roberts stopped, looked at Sydney, and said, “Do you believe that God can give us 100,000 now?”(4)
Within six months, 100,000 souls were converted in Wales.
Social impact was similarly reported. Judges were presented with white gloves signifying no cases to be tried. Alcoholism was halved. At times hundreds of people would stand to declare their surrender to Christ as Lord. Restitution was made, gamblers and others normally untouched by the ministry of the church came to Christ. In fact, esteemed G. Campbell Morgan recalled a conversation with a mine manager about profanity. The manager told him, “The haulers are some of the very lowest. They have driven their horses by obscenity and kicks. Now they can hardly persuade their horses to start working, because they have no obscenity and kicks.”(5)
Do you long to see God move like that in our day? What if, one hundred years later, God so moved in our nation that hundreds of thousands of people, even millions, flooded the churches? If so, remember there is never great, widespread revival without personal revival. Do you seek a personal, deep, Spirit-led movement of God in your life? Then consider these aspects of personal revival taught by Evan Roberts, known as the Four Points:
- You must put away any unconfessed sin.
- You must put away any doubtful habit.
- You must obey the Holy Spirit promptly.
- You must confess Christ publicly.
- May God raise up a generation of people with this passion.
“Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to say to us, ‘I am here because of you. It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.’ Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.”
TRUE REVIVAL (Wales) – P. Fredrick Fogle
When a true revival, initiated by God occurs in the hearts of Christians, the Holy Spirit will help them to understand that it is real. For many people, the word “true” is hard to define. What is true, and what is not true is thought of as debatable. The proper understanding of what REVIVAL really is has become illusive for many. One of the best ways to define TRUE REVIVAL is to cite a positive and powerful example. The example chosen for our purposes is a brief account the story of the revival in Wales in 1904-05:
EVAN ROBERTS: SPARK OF GOD
Wales has periodically been a land of revivals. It experienced spiritual renewal in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Welsh revival of 1904-05 was a divine intervention that drastically changed life in churches, homes, mines, factories, schools and even places of leisure and entertainment.
God used young Evan Roberts to spark the new fires of revival. He was not the human leader of the revival, however. In fact, no one human leader directed it. Evan was extremely conscious of divine leadership during the momentous events of the Welsh revival. He said, “This movement is not of me, it is of God. I would not dare direct it…It is the Spirit alone which is leading us” (Ellis, Living Echoes, Delyn Press).
Some have said that God chose Roberts because he lacked all the usual characteristics often found in human leaders. God secured the victory through Evan’s simplicity and spiritual power. After the early phases of the revival, six men became major overseers along with less- active people, including men and women. Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis, a noted Christian author, strongly supported the endeavor, along with her husband.
Evan Roberts was one of fourteen children born to Henry and Hannah Roberts. He spent his childhood in an atmosphere in which the chapel and home were one. Intellectual and spiritual development in children were carried on simultaneously in many homes in Wales during the early 20th century. Roberts responded well to the spiritual atmosphere of his home background. As he matured, he grew in spirituality and gained a broad knowledge of literature and music. He enjoyed the interaction of intelligent conversation. One of his motives as he grew to manhood was to bring each of his endeavors in life into subservience to Christ. In Evan, “prayer and poetry became a beautiful blend, communion with God and music became practically synonymous” (Ellis)
As a young minister, Roberts brought to his pulpit a disciplined knowledge of the Scriptures as well as an unusual level of spiritual dedication. These attributes, coupled with literature, enabled him to deliver powerful and polished sermons that greatly amazed his hearers.
The year 1904 proved to be crucial. Prayer meetings for world revival were being held in many places throughout Great Britain. Young Roberts already had prayed for thirteen years for the Holy Spirit to control him. He determined to read and speak often about revival. His personal prayer effort culminated early that year when he felt the need to spend seven hours with God in prayer and Bible study each day. By October 1904 the Lord’s Spirit had communicated to Roberts that he was the preacher of revival. Seth Joshua, a leading Bible teacher, had prayed for four years, asking God to select some able person to present revival truths. The Lord answered by calling Evan Roberts. After the Word of God had accomplished its work in his own life, Roberts intensified his praying in travail of soul for a great spiritual awakening in his beloved Wales. His spiritual thirst to see people saved was evident. He was not interested in mere intellectual renaissance.
Roberts went to his hometown of Loughor with the desire to share his burden with his Christian friends. A service was announced, and many young people attended. With great liberty, Roberts spoke of the deep things of God. Because of the clear manifestation of the conviction of sin and the need for cleansing by the Saviour, that first meeting was continued until midnight. The next day many comments were made in the village about the event. The people were agog. With the special work of God clearly visible, it was decided to keep the chapel open day and night so that worshipers could go there to pray and to praise God.
“Everything sprang into new life. Former blasphemers were the most eloquent, both in prayer and praise…Drunkards forgot the way to saloons…they were busy worshiping… It was the young people who responded with the greatest alacrity to the challenge of absolute surrender and consecrated to the service of the Lord…With ever increasing momentum, the movement advanced, creating unprecedented excitement among the churches and the secular institutions outside” (Matthews, I Saw the Welsh Revival, Moody).
What happened in South Wales was heard around the world. From many nations went people of all ranks of life to the country to personally witness the phenomenon. Some criticized and others scoffed, but such voices were answered by the throngs of people who filled the church sanctuaries to capacity for months on end.
The Welsh revival was not an orgy of emotion but a “mighty outpouring of religious fervor, bringing a whole nation to its knees at the foot of the cross in adoration and praise” (Matthews). In the midst of the events at Loughor, Roberts was asked to share his message with neighboring churches in South Wales and eventually in North Wales as well. Marvelous results were very apparent wherever he taught the Word of God.
During Robert’s work in North Wales, he suffered a serious physical collapse. Though very strong of body, having been a miner, the spiritual burden and intensity of the work had a telling effect. Evan Roberts spent much of the rest of his life in seclusion under the care of the Penn-Lewises. He went to his eternal reward in 1951. After Roberts withdrew from revival work, other people of God carried on with great success. Many joined local churches; industrial production spiraled, and criminal court activity was reduced to a minimum.
What God did in Wales through Evan Roberts should be an object lesson to the world. We desperately need revival today in order to see God glorified and to stem the tide of godlessness. A heaven-sent burden is needed concerning the sins of our world and of our churches. Sustained prayer must be the norm if we are to experience the birth pangs of a new spiritual era.
by P. Fredrick Fogle, Ph.D. Published by Union Gospel Press
Gospel Herald and Sunday School Times Spring Quarter 1996 Vol 14 Number 2
During the spring of 1904 a young Welshman named Evan Roberts was repeatedly awakened at 1:00 a.m. He met with God until 5:00 a.m. The Welsh revival followed. Churches were packed for prayer meetings. In a prayer meeting for young people, Pastor Joseph Jenkins asked for testimonies. A young girl named Florrie Evans, who had only been a believer a few days, rose and with a trembling voice said simply, “I love Jesus with all my heart.” The other young people’s hearts were melted. A powerful spiritual awakening that brought 100,000 people to Christ was under way.
On November 7th, 1904 Moraih Chapel was filled to capacity for a prayer meeting that lasted until 3:00 a.m. Soul winning spread through the coalmines. Profane swearing stopped. Even the miners’ horses were puzzled when their masters stopped cursing. Orders to the Bible Society “for Scriptures from Wales during November and December, were over three times the amount for the corresponding months of 1903…” The Times said this resulted from the Welsh revival, adding that this demand showed no sign of falling off.
“The mighty and unseen breath of the Spirit was doing in a month more than centuries of legislation could accomplish” the pastor of Saint John’s-Wood Presbyterian Church declared on Sunday, January 1st, 1905 according to the London Times.The Welsh revival “had a great effect” in healing spiritual carelessness among Christians and “the growing bitterness which has accentuated our unhappy divisions”, the Bishop of Bangor declared on January 2nd, 1905. He called “congregations to meet together often for united prayer.”
The Times added that “the religious revival in Wales continues…with unabated zeal.” Huge crowds were attending the meetings. Bible verses covered the doors down in the coalmines. “At Swansea the Poor Law guardians…dealt with revival cases in which people…have taken their parents from the workhouse. The Welsh revival movement has shown no sign of flagging…”, The Times pointed out on January 10th. Entire congregations were on their knees in fervent prayer and “for the first time there was not a single case of drunkenness at the Swansea Petty Sessions.”
On January 11th The Times noted that David Lloyd-George, who later became the British Prime Minister, said the Welsh revival gave hope “that at the next election Wales would declare with no uncertain sound against the corruption in high places which handed over the destiny of the people to the horrible brewing interest…” Lloyd-George even saw one of his political rallies taken over by the Welsh revival. He was impressed as a young girl prayed in the presence of 2,000 people. He said in one town the tavern sold only 9 cents worth of liquor drinks on Saturday night!
The Times observed that “The whole population had been suddenly stirred by a common impulse. Religion had become the absorbing interest of their lives. They had gathered at crowded services for six and eight hours at a time. Political meetings and even football matches were postponed…quarrels between trade-union workmen and non-unionists had been made up… At Glyn-Neath a feud had existed for the past 10 or 12 years between the two Independent chapels, but during the past week united services have been held in both chapels, and the ministers have shaken hands before the congregations.”
The Salvation Army set apart January 19th, 1905 for a day of confession, humiliation, and prayer throughout England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. All day prayer meetings were held in many of the principal cities of the British Isles, according to the London Times. The meeting was marked by “fervent prayer and any one who felt called upon to pray.” Fires of spiritual revival and moral recovery were spreading.
Coal miners crowed into prayer meetings that lasted till 3:00 a.m. and then washed, ate breakfast and returned to work. Many drunkards confessed their sins and received Christ. According to the London Times of February 2nd, 1905 due to the Welsh revival many men abandoned dens of iniquity. Employers noticed a great improvement in the work produced by their employees. A judge named Sir Marchant Williams said that his work was much lighter especially regarding drunkenness and related offenses.
The revival fires burning in Wales in 1904-05 spread through England, Ireland and Scotland. Prayer meetings multiplied. As many as 2,000 attended a prayer meeting in the city of Bradford. In the City of Leeds, Samuel Chadwick reported that his church was never empty all day. An amazing work of grace transformed life in a factory.
In 1905 a week of united prayer meetings in an English town called Nuneaton led to a “glorious revival”. The Prince’s Theatre was packed each Sunday night after church with 1500 praying believers and many unsaved seekers. In Bulwell, many of the most degraded drunkards were converted. In the Bedfordshire villages, whole nights devoted to prayer prepared for powerful evangelism.
Joseph Kemp, pastor of Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh, visited God’s mighty work of revival in Wales in 1904. Back in his home church on New Year’s Eve, 1905, an unusually fervent prayer meeting led to conviction of sin. A powerful revival that continued for over two years was under way. A strong work of evangelism began. 1,000 inquirers received counseling.
The Irish Presbyterians issued a Call to Prayer. Noonday and evening prayer meetings multiplied. The Irish Methodists and other denominations experienced an unusual spirit of grace and supplications. In Lurgan, revival meetings packed both the First Presbyterian and the Methodist churches. The taverns were emptied while people who had not attended church before come in record numbers and received Christ.
Revival fires spread through Bangor University resulting in “only a third or fourth of the students attending some of the classes… Beginning with a spontaneous outburst of praise and prayer among the men students, the movement spread…at a united prayer meeting…some…broke down sobbing.”
In 1905 when Fred C. Gibson became pastor of 1st Presbyterian Church in Tobormore, County Londonderry, Ireland the little town was morally and spiritually dead. So he signed a covenant with God to seek revival by his preaching and his prayers. In spite of strong resistance, God moved in special meetings that changed the Christians and resulted in remarkable conversions of hardened sinners.
God can do it again. Join with others all over the world in praying for spiritual awakening. Gather a group to pray on the first Monday of each month.
A few years ago, a teenager named Chris attended a worldview training program run by Summit Ministries. He learned a great deal and had a great time. But by the end of the intensive, two-week program, he was exhausted.
As Chris wrote to John Stonestreet, executive director of Summit, “I had never had to think so hard…before in my life! So I decided I was just going to veg out for the next few days.”
When some friends invited Chris to a movie, he thought it would be a good way to relax and recover from all that hard thinking. They went to see the latest version of War of the Worlds.
But the film wasn’t the mental vacation Chris expected it to be. As he explained in his letter, “Mr. Stonestreet, I tried to veg out during the movie, but I just couldn’t. I am watching it and thinking, ‘Wait a minute, that’s secular humanism, and wait a minute, that’s not true. And, what do they mean by that, and how do they know that’s true!'”
Chris then joked, “I just wanted you to know that you ruined my movie!”
After the film ended, Chris and his friends went out for food and talked about the themes in the movie. His friends were astonished at how much Chris had gotten out of the film. As he told Stonestreet, “They kept asking me, ‘How did you see that? How do you know all that stuff?’ It was a great conversation. And I [learned] I can’t just turn this worldview thing off!”
Good! What a wonderful testimony to the power of worldview training. It’s the kind of training all young people need to undergo, but so often don’t.
That’s why you ought to consider sending your older teenager or college student to a Summit Ministries worldview conference this summer. Summit gives high school and college students a two-week crash course in worldview analysis. They’ll learn about the major worldviews battling Christianity for the hearts and minds of people—worldviews like secular humanism, Marxism, postmodernism, and Islam.
Students will learn how Christianity differs from these false philosophies. They will also study the big cultural questions—like God’s design for marriage, abortion—and how to respond from a biblical worldview. The idea is to teach kids to place these battles in the larger context of the war of worldviews rather than thinking about them on an issue-by-issue basis.
Now if they can’t get to Summit this summer, go to ColsonCenter.org and we’ll list you some materials that you can get to teach your own kids. They need to be able to know how to walk into a college classroom and know how to defend their faith, no matter what the professor throws at them. They will know how to make the case that only the biblical worldview fits the structure of reality and enables them to live in harmony with that reality.
And if kids don’t get this? The statistics tell a chilling story. Up to 80 percent of young adult Christians disengage from their faith after high school.
So come to BreakPoint.org, and we’ll show you how you can get more information on Summit Ministries or other materials we have. When these kids study, they will discover, as Chris did, that they just can’t turn this worldview thing off.
Chuck Colson’s daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.
By: Jonathan Parnell
We hear sirens all the time. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the day, at some point, we hear the sound of an ambulance or fire truck or police car. What do you think when you hear them?
We have become so accustomed to the sound that we typically ignore it. We go about our activities uninterrupted. But wait, that sound means something! It means that there is an emergency. Someone is in need, and that’s not something to ignore.
Sirens come into our day loaded with significance. Whether they are heard faintly in the distance or close enough to disturb our ears, they come into our day as an invitation to get out of our bubble of self and remember that there are 6.8 billion people in the world. They invite us to remember that the world is in need and that opportunities are emerging everywhere for God to glorify his name and make his goodness known.
Next time there is the sound of a siren, we don’t want to waste it. Would you consider a simple prayer for the person in need? Would you pray for the driver and team who are rushing to help? Would you pray that Jesus be embraced and that God be glorified, somehow at some point? And would you pray that the day be hastened when the sound of sirens will be no more?
May our heavenly Father send revival to His people!
Come Lord Jesus Come!
…declared again and again that true revival is a revival; of holiness and that holiness is more desirable than happiness.
One man, converted under the preaching of Campbell, claimed that his conversion cost him $10,000.00;* he had to return to America and work for a year ‘to make restitution for things I had done as a sinner’ (121).
*this took place in 1949