My pastor used a term once, entrenched religion, that I really like. It means being so comfortable, so settled in to your worship habits, that you tend to see only the process rather than the Master. This is how the Christians in Laodicea acquired God's wrath because they were "lukewarm" in their faith. If we look about us in America, I believe we will see many churches filled with entrenched religion, and they are risking their spiritual lives.
There are many areas of our lives in which we have become lazy and take so much for granted that we may actually risk losing. My mind started thinking about this after I watched a video this morning of a 7-year-old girl play our National Anthem on her trumpet for a sports crowd. She did an excellent job, and she was duly congratulated for her performance. But, there is where I saw what was, for me, the problem. The cheers and excitement began before the end of the song and were directed for her, not for our Anthem or our country. We see this continually at our sports events. Our National Anthem has become simply a stage for people to display their talents, or lack thereof. Nothing more.
I remember as a small child in the 1950s on Saturday nights my parents would watch boxing matches on TV. I would wait so impatiently for that program to start, for at the very beginning they played the National Anthem, and I would stand proudly with my hand over my heart until the end. I guess I've always been a patriot. I'm proud of my country. It bothers me to see a patriotic symbol being used for self-exhibition rather than promoting our beloved United States. And while I'm at it, I will say that I believe the same thing is happening in our churches; using the stage for self-promoting instead of Christ worship.
Little by little the patriotism that used to be so strong has been chipped away to being an embarrassment. Soldiers are booed and disrespected. Government is no longer trusted and admired. American people care little for anything but themselves and their own advancement. And Christians are being sucked into this lie of self first.
All this makes me sad and nostalgic for my early years of admiring the President, trusting my leaders and teachers, actually believing what the bible says, even if it was so difficult to adhere to, and watching the crowds stand reverently in the stands, some with their hands over their hearts, men with their hats in their hands, until the very last note of the National Anthem. And, then seeing a man or woman brush the tear away from their cheek, because they know men and women personally who gave their lives for the freedom to play that song as a proud tribute to the United States of America.
We've lost this solemn love for our homeland, and exchanged it for a worthless three minutes in a spotlight. Consequently, we have nothing at all that we believe is worth protecting and fighting for, and so, we will be destroyed and forgotten when the first army comes to take us. America the proud, it was, and is no more.