“It is impossible to be a part-time Christian”
David Fiorazo, The Cost of our Silence
(image courtesy the web)
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.