Though usually thought of as separate, these three are joined together, by the will of God, into one mighty stream to be a blessing to all.
It is said in my family, that my grandfather Abraham was a great American. This despite the fact that he spoke Yiddish and barely spoke English. He had fled from the czar in the late 1800s and through Ellis Island in New York, he entered into Brooklyn and that was his new home. Why a great American? Because he knew in his bones what freedom was afforded him here in America and what he had fled from in the Europe of his day.
America, at one time, was deeply penetrated by the Biblical faith of its founders and its refugees to its shores, by its many churches themselves imbued with spirit of Christ, with personal faith, and when this was dissipated through the passing of time, with the lingering force and presence of the spirit of Jesus – so strong was His presence. This was the source of America’s tolerance, its generosity, its righteousness, its eventual overturning of its own prejudice, its own greed. America has been the home of a great deal of goodness. We should never forget that.
That same American faith cherished such foundational familiarities such as the other Abraham, and his sons and their offspring – Issac, Jacob, the 12 tribes, and Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the others, forming a panoply of inspiring acts and promises and hope for the future. Part of that future was the promise of God that one day, His people would be brought back to the Land He had promised them “He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.”
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Jeremiah 31:10 says “Goodness would be spread on the heart, as far as the east was from the west. That His holy name would be praised and his righteous and good and holy and compassionate Kingdom would be established here and now on this earth, and that we would be part of it, and that we would live eternally with Him in Heaven.”
Men believed these things and their lives meant something.
Should we in America care that the Taliban in Pakistan just murdered more than 100 school children, or that the Boko Haram has slain hundreds and even thousands of innocents whose crime is that they do not believe as they do, or that that a terrorist group, the Hamas, sends more than 2,000 rockets on the cities and towns of Israel, and then complains because God has given protection to their intended victims, or that the Islamic State kills by beheading and other ways the Yazidis, Christians, and even other Muslims who disagree with them – men, women, and children, lining their parks with little heads on spiked fences.
Should it matter to us?
And what about America? Will America go the way of parts of Europe now, that even the police are afraid to enter the districts where the Sharia police and courts hold sway?
The answer must lay with the way of our forefathers, by the return to the God of our forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Bishop Bert Schlossber is resident of Fort Mill and the pastor of St. Thomas Church. He can be reached at email@example.com.