Today, we live in a country where people are captured and enslaved. We may not see the chains or stripes emblazoned on the bodies or the blood from the slave master’s whip, but make no mistake we are enslaved. Despair is all around us, and eyes of hope are fading dim.
I speak of parents abusing children, husbands abusing wives, and the enslavement of children. I speak not of a foreign land, but of America. I speak of drugs on our streets and children dealing, doping, killing, and hurting. I speak of parents who know suffering of children, but do nothing to save them. I speak of neighbors who turn a blind eye, and family members who choose not to see. We let the blind eye rule and we have become indifferent to the suffering around us, and so we are not free.
We are not free when children cut their bodies and mutilate their own flesh in an attempt to escape emotional pain. We are not free when families go hungry behind closed doors just across the street. We are not free when we know Christ and hide him away, like a light under a bushel. For he is not our great secret; he is our great salvation, and if we call him Lord, then we should take his light to the darkness and save a dying world.
We are not free when alcohol rips families apart or drunken hands strike children in our city or spouses live in fear for their lives two doors down. We are not free when drugs flood our city, and leave once prosperous, healthy people lying on city lawns. We are not free when we leave our starving neighbor with an empty, outstretched hand, while we go home, slide into the easy chair and eat a well-rounded meal. We are not free when our mouths are filled with cursing or we rage at the driver ahead of us or we lift up lewd gestures to our fellow man or we blaspheme the name of God without pain in our conscience. We are bound and enslaved by our choices. We slip into eternity without the hope of Christ because we are captured by all manner of pursuits. We need God’s true people to turn to him again, to allow his hope to rise up in each of us and declare that there is yet a God in America whose name is above every name. We can yet be one nation under the true God of Scripture.
And if we will turn to him alone, we can yet be free.
Pastor Dale Hensarling is the pastor of Patterson Covenant Church. Sermon notes is a column by local religious leaders.