That today is Winston Churchill’s birthday, that I posted one of his quips on Facebook, and that others responded in kind prompted this piece, for the subject here (one that Kasse Foster actually put up on said FB account) is one I had considered earlier in the day, even to the extent that, only this morning, I had noted the subject in emails to each of my sons. Frankly, the thought of loyalty to one’s convictions, to concerns of what is morally right, and certainly the thinking of adherence to scriptural principles is never far from my mind. I suspect the reason for my frequent contemplation of the subject may be that I am surrounded by a society that seems to have abandoned such principles–not all, certainly–but a thunderous flood of secularism and barbarism, to my mind, threatens humankind. Consequently, seeing I am of a different inclination and am striving to be godly and to possess the mind of Christ, this glaring lack of decency and the lowered standards of conduct are alarming to me.
“Never give up,” the prime minister has said, and of buildings, of earthen borders, of human government, of the prospect of defeat, of victory, of ships at sea and of weapons in hand, of resilience, and endurance did he speak. Well said, has been the judgment. Wisdom and courage were his sense.
Consider it not strange that if from my huddle in this vast universe I chant Sir Winston’s words, and yet presume to turn them toward a more gallant goal than that to which his words were first directed. I charge for righteousness and for holiness. I plead that we who are God’s people will have the grit, the courage, the understanding to resolve that we will never give up, that we will press on, that we will not be deterred. We must be true despite the threat of compromise. What is compromise is a significant question, and on such consideration may we long think. Our spirits must be sterling and generous; our motives pure.
To be acknowledged is that each generation faces its own challenges, yet it is well within the mark to say we face issues as has no other people. God’s wisdom must be employed for the charting of our roads.
Ground lost is rarely reclaimed. Standards lowered are seldom restored.
Dishonesty is prevalent in our society, from the lowly to those in high places, so that jokes of lawyers and politicians abound. Of fallen priests and football coaches we whisper. Within my lifetime I have witnessed a deplorable decline in modesty, both in dress and in conversation. Women and men alike speak loosely, and bodies exposed in an unseemly fashion are no exception. Suggestive dress is common, especially among women. Most astonishing is that many of these traits are now seen in churches of nearly every denomination. Gradually has this occurred. Inches have become feet; feet have become yards; yards have become acres.
Never give up! My small, but steady, voice is directed to all of us, but especially to us who are leaders, to us who are parents, especially to you who are fathers. Why fathers? For you are the head of your home . . . and the children will become as you. Never give up. Do not be pushed aside. Do not be deterred. Do what is right. Never give up!
My ninth great-grandchild was born a few days ago. Today she and her mother and father went home from the hospital. Gabrielle cannot fight for herself. Totally dependent on others, someone must fight for her. I hope you will join the battle for you are part of her and she is part of you. John Donne, also an Englishman, spoke so:
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as a manor of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.