Dr. Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Sun Lakes
Henry Ford famously said, “History is bunk.” I suspect that a great number of people (myself included) would strongly disagree with such sentiment. In fact, it can be argued that Ford’s statement is bunk! After all, it should be very clear to us that history provides crucial lessons to learn and reveals perilous mistakes to avoid. For example, consider the following:
In the movie and stage versions of The Sound of Music, Captain Georg Ludwig von Trapp and his family sang “Edelweiss,” in defiance of the rising tide of Nazism. The edelweiss flower is a symbol of Austria, and the singing of the song was supposed to be a strong statement of Austrian patriotism. It is certainly a memorable scene in the movie. However, it is a fictional one, since the song “Edelweiss” wasn’t written until 1959 by Rogers and Hammerstein.
Furthermore, Adolph Hitler (who was born in Austria, not Germany) actually did not invade Austria; the people welcomed him. In fact, the year Hitler’s forces moved into Austria there were more deaths caused by traffic accidents than by the German occupation. Yes, the Austrians wanted Hitler to rule their country, his homeland. We’re told that in 1945, there were more Nazis in Austria than in Germany! However, after Hitler eventually showed his true colors and everything changed, the Austrians began portraying themselves as the first victims of Hitler. But, of course, they were not victims. They had welcomed the rule of a man who brought deception and seduction to the nation. And it was many years before the Austrian people began to acknowledge that fact.
What about us? Is it possible that our nation, like Austria, can be deceived? Has such deception, by and large, already taken place? It is certainly true that there is a growing opposition to Christian virtues in our own country as marriage, family, sexual identity and religious freedom are all being redefined. The reality that we have moved far away from our original foundation is not arguable. It is a fact. Consequently, it is only a matter of time before America goes the way of the Roman Empire (and a host of other empires) unless there is a sweeping, spiritual awakening in our land. Such an awakening occurs only when there is a wholehearted return to God and the very principles of Scripture that forged our great country in its founding days.
Thus, Christians must increasingly cherish the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and share it with love and boldness. In the words of Os Guinness: “When the gospel is lived out in practice, it is the most powerful force in history, both for individuals and for entire societies.”
Yes, God has the final word on the rise and fall of nations. Our task is to share biblical truth in love and pray fervently for spiritual awakening. v