Faith

Monumental Test of Faith: A Christian Rationale for Preserving History

Doesn't every memorial and monument hold a powerful teaching moment for every person?

Little has been said about the causes building up to the tragic events of Charlottesville or about whether this national breach can be repaired. I believe unity will not be restored until we seek God’s answer for our troubled nation.

Truly, the light once emanating brightly from this “shining city on a hill” is flickering and at risk of being snuffed out — unless America awakens now.

The division among our people is reaching a fevered pitch, having moved to jeopardizing our future by purging the reminders of our past. Some say we should ask ourselves the question: “Where do we draw the line? If you can take down one monument, then what is to stop the removal of everything from the past?” Others are trying to make the case for why certain monuments should be removed while others should stay. The first is a logical question. The second won’t be agreed upon.

Our national memorials were erected because of their importance in our history — not because they represent perfect people or only the best of times. Our culture is too divided now to hearken back to the individual merits of each monument. Nearly everyone refuses to defend their historical value, lest he be identified as “racist,” “supremacist” or worse. Because of the complacency and silence from both the church and civic leaders, God’s people will be destroyed for a lack of knowledge of His truth (Hosea 4:6). This silence is deafening and is quickly propelling the enemies of freedom toward victory.

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It is interesting to note, however, that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is encouraging the destruction of national monuments. They are joined by Marxists who have continually tried to revise our history by surgically removing all references to God, Jesus Christ, and our Judeo-Christian heritage. Truly, America hangs in the balance. The unbridled purging of our past could be destroying our future!

Why have monuments suddenly become the focus of attention? Shouldn’t we ask ourselves why we even have memorials? Shouldn’t we pause for a moment and ask what God says about them? What must Christian citizens do so that this mindless destruction is stopped? What have we as Christians done to prepare our culture for such a dangerous time? Shouldn’t we all take a deep breath and ask God for His guidance at this time?

Shouldn’t we all take a deep breath and ask God for His guidance?

A quick study of scripture shows God’s support of memorials. Joshua 4:21 says that memorials, even a pile of stones, are for the purpose of reminding — bringing to memory — some important occasion. God said they are to cause our children and grandchildren yet unborn to ask, “Why is this here?” and “What does it mean?”

God-fearing parents and grandparents should use those opportunities to remind children of who God is, what He has done, and about His relationship to the people at that time.

Memorials, erected by the support of the people or culture from a given point in time, should remain. To attack a legitimately erected memorial is to attack our forefathers’ judgment and to say that we know now what is more worthy than they did. To deface or destroy an erected monument is not only a civil crime — it is a detestable act of arrogance.

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Even tombstones — personal memorials — should remind us of the shortness of life and eternity. Each stone is carefully placed as a sacred remembrance of the courage or service of a mother, father, or perhaps of a fallen war hero. In other cases, tombstones of wicked people remind us of the depravity of man and the results of rejecting God as Creator, Judge and Redeemer of mankind.

When we look at national memorials — whether for Christopher Columbus, George Washington, or Gen. Robert E. Lee — should we not reflect on their relationship to God, the role they played in this nation’s “holy experiment,” and how they dealt with various challenges of society in their day? Doesn’t every memorial hold a powerful teaching moment for every person?

Let’s use the present focus on national monuments as a time to recognize how the sinfulness of mankind always produces a tension among human beings. Now is the ideal time to proclaim that in Jesus Christ — the Redeemer of mankind — all people, regardless of color, nationality, or station in life, can find their intrinsic value before God. This is the time to teach that no human has any singular claim to truth, but that all truth is found in God. Now is the time that Christians should show the world that unity is only achieved at the foot of the cross — when we believe Jesus Christ alone is the way, the truth and the life. When we agree with God, peace, healing and unity will be the result.

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Who must lead the way back to God? It is the church — but will the church arise? When the U.S. Supreme Court unlawfully ruled in favor of murdering the unborn, where was the church? When the Supreme Court ordered the removal of the Ten Commandments from the schoolroom wall, where was the church? When the Supreme Court spat in the face of God and ruled that His design for human sexuality was wrong, where was the church? When God’s role in our nation has been continually rejected, where is the church? When the ungodly attack memorials around the country, where is the American church?

Can we not see how the enemies of truth have come in under the walls as in the days of Belshazzar, and how in a moment our nation will fall from its pinnacle of greatness?

Wake up, American church! Stand up, pastors in the pulpits!

Sam Rohrer is president of the American Pastors Network, a national network of pastors with constitutional and biblical teachings that discusses today’s pressing issues. He was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for 18 years and is co-host of the daily “Stand in the Gap Today” national radio program on 425 stations.

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