Reformation or Revolution?
    June 5 2012 by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor

    America is in trouble.
     
    Dramatic signs of moral decline dominate the headlines daily. Jobs are scarce and money is tight. Government oversight and red tape is oppressive. The emotional climate of the nation is one of fear and anger. The political mood is more heated than I recall in my lifetime. Church membership and attendance are in decline. The nation our parents and grandparents knew no longer exists.
     
    There was a time when Christianity was assumed to be the spiritual and cultural backbone of our nation. Now Christians are considered by many to be enemies of America’s progress. A few years ago the Huffington Post published an article labeling Christians as domestic terrorists. Tolerance is the new religion, liberally applied to everyone except followers of Christ. The religious tone of America is eclectic and confusing.
     
    So rather than talking about how bad things are, when are we going to take responsibility for our problems and do something?
     
    A North Carolina pastor is doing just that. Rit Varriale is the pastor of Elizabeth Baptist Church in Shelby. In March he published a book and launched a companion website which has the potential to revolutionize the way Christians approach the cultural wars we are battling.
     
    The book challenges us to rethink our worldview. We may be more secular than biblical in the way we think. If the practical content of Varrialle’s book is applied to our worldview, we could see a spiritual reformation.
     
    Reformation in Responsibility: A New Ethic for a New Era is a collection of 20 short essays, divided into four major themes.
     
    The book is an easy read, but you’ll likely find yourself stopping to think hard about the material.
    It actually addresses the issues from a biblical worldview in a thought provoking manner.
     
    The first essay begins, “Clearly a majority of Americans are frustrated about the direction our nation is going. Our frustration is understandable. ... A hundred years ago, Christianity was the basis for American cultural values. Now many of our leaders and entertainers push Christian values into the closet while vigorously promoting the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) agenda. ... How did we change so quickly?”
     
    The book paints a picture of what Varriale calls “The perfect philosophical storm.”
     
    Offering a course of correction, he shows us how we must address the issue of individualism and take responsibility.
     
    He says, “To find that new direction, we have to be humble enough to admit that we have failed to fulfill our responsibilities to our families, our society, our environment and our God. ... Change will only come through the actions of the people.”
     
    Pastors and church leaders need to know about this book and read it carefully. It is a powerful resource for your congregation, especially for the next few critical months of our nation’s history. I believe a prime opportunity is staring us in the face.
     
    The 126 days from July 4 through Nov. 6 afford us a window of time to address the spiritual needs of the United States of America in an unprecedented way.
     
    I hope pastors will use this time to speak clearly and biblically on the issues that are destroying our churches, our nation and our world.
     
    I strongly encourage you to order multiple copies of the book and use it in small groups. If we don’t see a reformation in our lives, we might be seeing a revolution in the streets.
     
    Varriale says it this way, “Make no mistake about it, irresponsible individualism is a societal cancer, and it will destroy our country if the majority does not stand against it.”
     
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Visit RinR.org to order copies of the book. It is downloadable for Kindle or Nook. Also, see an interview with Varriale.)
    6/5/2012 1:36:27 PM by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor | with 1 comments




Comments
dr. james willingham
A good response to the Varriale work. The editor has cut to the chase, so to speak. His call ought to sink into the hearts of North Carolina Baptists and arouse a response at once -- vigorous and determined. We need spiritual leadership today that is focused on taking back our nation from the forces of secularism and materialism that have seized it by the throat, Varriale and Blume offer an opportunity to begin a real response.
6/5/2012 11:20:17 PM

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