“It is impossible to be a part-time Christian”
David Fiorazo, The Cost of our Silence
The very first paragraph of his introduction grabbed me:
America has over 300,000 churches, but few would contest that our Christian influence
is decreasing as the nation becomes more secularized.
Our biblical values are no longer being consistently demonstrated and promoted
and therefore, do not translate out from behind church walls and into culture.
Why are there so few speaking up for Jesus Christ and for righteousness in public anymore?
Hope for revival remains, and a remnant of committed leaders and believers are doing
their part, but because of the posers and pretenders,
American Christianity has almost become a joke.
People in the Middle East look at Hollywood, the Internet, and our government.
They see our education system, media and the people we elect.
They observe our greed, idolatry,
and society as a whole and refer to us as “The Great Satan.”
I mentioned the other day having seen the book The Cost of our Silence by David Fiorazo.
After reading the small snippet regarding the book, I was intrigued…
so much so that I ordered the book…
In part, because here was what I’ve been trying to say, in so many words, in the actual
print of a book…as in, this guy was saying what I’ve
known but have felt almost alone espousing from my small blog’s bully pulpit.
And here’s the odd thing.
As I’m not on social media, my little blog is indeed just that– little.
Not much exposure albeit for here in my small corner of the world of happy WP.
So my readership is not exactly grand in scope.
That is except when I write about certain topics…
topics just like what our friend David Fiorazo is addressing in his book.
I’ve never been much of a numbers person, as math was never my strong suit.
Yet when I was still in the classroom, schools were becoming big hunters of numbers,
percentages and stats…
We were inundated with keeping stats on all sorts of things with our students…
be it testing results, benchmark results, attendance, discipline…you name it.
This numbers notion was born from the thought that “numbers don’t lie”—
Numbers were now being equated with goals…
goals met or goals not yet met.
We were told that the numbers would tell us…
they would be the polestar pointing us in the right direction.
And we knew that a successful school that was meeting its goals and or standards was
seen as exceptional. If students were meeting their goals and standards, that would
in turn mirror the success of the school.
It became a vicious cycle of goals, stats, and results equaling glowing standards which were
being met with huge success…and we all know that if a school wants to be exceptional,
its students must be meeting and exceeding goals and stats.
These numbers became the backing behind the words.
Words such that “we are a school of excellence because our numbers don’t lie”
Schools could claim this or that as long as the numbers backed up the words.
Unfortunately, due to the pressure of meeting certain statewide or national criteria,
school systems found themselves fudging numbers in order to keep up the appearance of
The pressure becomes so great that jobs were hanging in the balance of
student’s measuring up to the standard, goal, criteria numbers game.
It appeared that numbers could lie if the number counters could alter the count.
Atlanta Public Schools was one such system that was “caught” fudging the numbers.
They were inflating the state and national test results of their students…
going so far as to actually changing student’s answers.
The fear being that a failing school would lose federal funding due to
Falling scores and stats would see administrators losing their jobs and teachers would lose
their jobs and in the end who wants their school to lose that precious federal funding?!
It was and continues to be a numbers mess to be sure.
But here in blogland, the stats and numbers aren’t as precarious or crucial.
No one loses a job over low blog stats…rather perhaps one’s sense of worth as a writer,
or of that of a cook, or a photographer, or a creative individual…
We all have on our admin page the stats section.
A chart showing the readership over a day, a week, a month, a year…
a gauge of success, or as some think, popularity.
Yet life does not hang in the balance over blog stats…not unless you’re the type
of person who keeps track of such and in turn stresses over the fluctuation and
the fickleness of blog readers.
My stats, when I write posts that are more benign, more about a grandbaby or just pretty
pictures, typically run relatively low.
Kind of like just idly flipping through a magazine…
just another eyes glazed over page-turner.
But when I write posts from the bully pulpit of Christian Apologetics such as
Christian apathy or that of abortion, or homosexuality and same-sex unions,
heresy or atheism, or the failings of The Chruch, or posts about Chrisitan morality,
God’s word, the Truth of our Faith—
my numbers soar…as does the “hate” mail.
And I’ll admit that I don’t always have the time to devote to this sort of evangelizing
posting as it demands true depth and justice.
Some days life requires the simple and glazed over page-turners all because time is
not our friend.
The true meat and potatoes type of posts need passion, time for research and even valid
documentation…all of which does the subject matter justice.
And so when I read the words of authors such as Mr. Fiorazo, I feel those fires igniting—
as in it’s time to get cooking with some really flavorful meat and potatoes.
Mr. Fiorazo continues in his introduction:
Just as Jesus wept for Jerusalem while acknowledging its judgment,
should we not weep for America as the signs clearly point to God’s impending judgment on
a once-mighty, blessed Nation?
So we expect God to stay His hand of judgment and continue blessing a rebellious and
narcissistic people with His protection and provision?
One might argue, “But God is still on the throne.”
Sue. I agree He is sovereign over all events and circumstances.
He remains all-powerful, but He does not control us or force people to love Him.
God was also on His throne when we legalized abortion,
and soon America will be closing in on 60 million babies murdered in the name of “choice.”
Chrisitan helped elect the most pro-abortion,
anti-Christian president in our history–twice.
Do you suppose God cares how we vote?
God is still on the throne–
and He is preparing to judge a complacent people who continue ducking the issue of sin.
So with all of this simply found in the first few pages from a book’s introduction,
I can only imagine what might be waiting inside the book itself.
And so as I begin the slow picking apart and digesting of what it is I will be reading,
I will certainly, time and life cooperating, be sharing some important words for all
of us who call ourselves Believers.
Hopefully offering up a hearty portion of delicious meat and potatoes.
Yet I am mindful that time is not our friend.
Our time is running nigh as God’s judgment will not remain at bay forever…
Strengthen what remains and is about to die,
for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.
You hit the nail on the head with this statement – “God is still on the throne–
and He is preparing to judge a complacent people who continue ducking the issue of sin.” Most folks don’t want to hear that they are sinful. They believe if they lead a good life, help humanity, don’t stray from the norms they’re doing OK. Our churches have gotten too far away from teaching sin and the wages of it. It’s become more of a “feel good” society today. Who wants to hear fire and brimstone. I don’t like it either, but it’s a fact. If we turn from God – we will go to hell.
A simple fact that we work to twist into our favor — but no matter how we twist it—sin is sin and death is death 💀
Numbers are no more trustworthy than the people who collect them, crunch them, and present them.
There is a quote whose originator is somewhat disputed.
“There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics.”
Metrics or statistics have their place. On an assembly line producing widgets, they work well. The engineers know where the numbers come from. The goal is simple, make every widget look the same.
Using numbers to compare schools doesn’t work well. Children, people, neighborhoods,… are too different. Imagine trying decide who you want to babysit your kid based upon statistics. Stupid. Right? So we rate schools with numbers because it is scientific? The fact is that it is a dumb thing to do.
Widgets— yep, I’ve actually heard educators refer to students as products and widgets… forgetting the human factor — and this is now the approach used in educating kids— the powers that be lie to themselves over the notion of numbers …
Love this post …and look forward to your posts. I pray that the book will point to other symptoms of our narcissism as well: extreme self-love, self-focus, self-exaltation, self-indulgence, selfishness, self righteousness, love waxed cold demonstrated by greed, lack of compassion, grace, mercy, false piety, superiority. This nation needs to get over itself and stop shaking it’s fist at God in many ways in addition to those mentioned in your post and I hope book addresses these as well. We, in fact, discussed this in SS on yesterday-the speck and the plank. I don’t have time to read so will look forward to your posts. Blessings today!
thank you and I fear my reading will be slow…a little here and a little there as time is really a rare commodity these days—but each page I manage to take in before turning off the light at night has me nodding my head and watning to digest more!!
I’ll keep you posted on the meat and potatoes 🙂
So much to say. Great post, to start with.
As for social media, I got on Facebook when my old platoon sergeant shared photos of a trip to France. His wife is from France. He had married her when the US still had Army bases there. Right after I signed up, my high school class spread the word on FB about a reunion, so my friends grew quickly. When I started blogging, my son showed me how to share a link on FB. Those links no longer work as of August 1. You have to create a “page”. Pages are ‘business’ pages, separate from the social. I pretended to be a Christian church, with fake address, and created a page, but my 170 friends were not transferred to the page. I had to start from scratch. Only about 20 friends accepted the page. So, then FB tells me that if I pay them $5 per month, they can ensure that 5,000 people will see links to my page. Ah, ha! The news saying that FB is cleaning up the SPAM is a ruse. They are simply making the advertisers pay for the privilege. So, I post to a page so that 20 people can read my post. I am not paying for the advertisement when I am not “selling” anything. Back when I could post directly to my news feed on FB, the pictures of family were well liked. The preaching from the pulpit – not so much. FB people don’t get on FB to be serious.
As for the numbers on the stats page, as a lifelong engineer, I record the data on a spreadsheet dutifully. Whenever I have a bad day, I praise God that somebody read the post. When I have a great day, like last Saturday, a voice says, “Don’t get the big head.” and I praise God that His message is spreading.
We can also thank our friend Vincent, who reblogs for a wider audience to see.
So much to say back Mark— thanks for a great response!
FB is for the birds and indeed— I sing praises to our friend Vincent — aka glow worm, who is ever so dutiful 🙂
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
This post is a blessing!! 🙂
Happy reading, Julie! I look forward to the wonderful sharing you will weave together for all of us, (your readers) to learn from. Hugs for taking on this noble topic!
Thanks Dawn Marie—my time is so pulled right now— it will no doubt be piece meal reading- a little here, a little there— as will be the sharing — but it looks to be good stuff!
Our daughter n law begins the new school year at Christ the King middle school— God brought her to the Catholic school for a reason— my sign to be quit honest 😇
Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts about Fiorazo’s book! The introduction is certainly powerful…and it is definitely an important topic for all those who wish to “be salt and light” in this world! ❤ ❤
I can really relate to what you say about those good, meaty posts requiring time and research to do them justice. I haven’t been blogging much lately and that’s the main reason why, I just feel I haven’t the time or inspiration. I hope to get inspired by you as you jump back in to the game! 🙂
Well you can see when it’s just a quote with a picture time was not exactly giving 😑