|THE PARISH REGISTER
St. Andrews-Cheney Memorial Church
Exaltation or Reproach?
As Americans we love our nation and feel that it has been and is the greatest nation on earth; a nation blessed by God. However, nations rise and fall at God's bidding and if our nation is to continue to be a great nation we must abide by the principles laid down in God's Word.
In Proverbs we read, "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." (Prov. 14:34 RSV) Herein is contained a principle that applies to every nation of every era.
Righteousness exalts a nation. What is righteousness? To be righteous is to be in a right relationship with God and His moral law.
When we speak of the righteousness of a nation we are speaking of the individual lives of the people who comprise that nation. The proverb doesn't talk about a righteous nation, for there is no such thing, but righteousness within a nation. The righteous citizens of a nation exalt that nation. It is they who bring it honor and make it great.
Sin is a reproach to any people. This is the reverse or negative side of the proverb. Sin is increasingly bringing reproach and dishonor upon the United States of America. For example our national divorce rate is approximately 50%, even among professing Christians. Abortion, child abuse and pornography are a national disgrace. Venereal diseases of every type are at epidemic proportions. Drug trafficking and use is horrendous. Scandals at the highest levels of government have become common place. Businesses exploit their employees and the public, while employees steal from their employers and refuse to do an honest day's work. All of these and much more are sins which are a reproach and a disgrace to our beloved nation.
What can be done? How may we move away from the reproach of sin to the exaltation of righteousness?
Are new laws the answer? Law is necessary. Our God is a God of law. In certain cases laws need to be changed and new laws enacted. Christians should not be isolationists, living out our lives in our own little subculture. Christians should be actively involved in promoting legislation that would uphold godly moral standards.
There is however, something much more basic than civil law. A nation is a group made up of many individual people. That means that the nation is you and me. As George Kufeldt put it, "This verse will have it's intended meaning only when it is seen not as referring to 'them,' or 'the nation' but as pointing to 'us,' or 'me.' My righteousness helps to make my nation what it ought to be, or my sinfulness adds to the reproach that my people must experience!"
What then is the best thing I can do for my nation? Wave a flag? Stir up nationalistic fervor? Vote in every election? No. The very best thing I can do for my nation is to be righteous and turn from sin. That of course is possible only through Christ and His grace.
Righteousness exalts and brings honor to a nation. That means that spiritual renewal is what America needs more than anything else. Such renewal must start with the individual; with you and with me.
Frank M. Levi
The annual Rummage Sale sponsored by the Woman's Guild was held on June 7, 1997. Thank you to all who donated items and worked to make this sale a success.
Monday evening, June 9, was "Ladies Night Out." The ladies had an enjoyable evening of dinner and conversation at the Orient Restaurant.
Friday, August 22, 1997. This parish will host the Council. Everyone is invited to the Council and the banquet, Friday night. Call the church office to make reservations for the banquet.
Congratulations to Bill & Nancy Toomey on the birth of their son Shane William Toomey, born on May 15, 1997. The proud grandmother is Nancy Toomey.
Congratulations to Diane Stultz, daughter of Jeff & Lorie Stultz, who graduated on June 1, 1997 from Columbia College Chicago, earning a degree in Marketing Communications.
Congratulations to Debra Novak, daughter of Rev. & Mrs. Robert Novak, who graduated on May 17, 1997 from Trinity Christian College, earning a degree in Elementary Education.
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