Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God (Mic. 6:8).
God has two dwellings; one in heaven, the other in a meek and thankful heart.

No Wake-Up Call


by James M. Kushiner, Executive Director, Fellowship of St. James

As consternation rises in the hearts of pious Christians who are witnessing the societies and nations in which they live seemingly rush toward economic, social, and moral collapse, it is well to remember what it is that we are looking at today: July 2, Anno Domini 2021. Our sight, contoured by our memories, aided by hard drives, printouts, books, etc., is yet limited to the past and to the passing present moment. We cannot see with certainty where we are headed, and so should be less motivated by the desire to prevent a future we fear than compelled by the need to call evil for what it is today.

Because we can see the real past far better than we can imagine the future, it behooves wise citizens to master the manifest lessons from their past and refrain from airbrushing it—or cancelling it—to advance their own theories or agendas. Blood-red catastrophes have fallen upon us in modern times, including among many too numerous to list, the Great War, World War II, multiple genocides, and millions upon millions of aborted children.

There is nothing new under the sun, and the sins committed today in the halls of power and commerce, as well as in the homes of the rich and poor alike, are of no new species and remain every bit as deadly to the soul as the First Bite of the Apple. (That bite on the logo of a famous company should serve as a constant warning against human pride instead of being a sign of up-to-date purchasing fashion.) They can be called what they are: sinful.

Declarations of independence notwithstanding, our freedom is only ever a gift from God when it is a true spiritual liberation so we may live in holiness by the grace of God. Otherwise, our freedoms, if taken to mean we may do as we please, remain mere license to embrace chains of slavery while insisting on the right to not be told they are, in fact, chains; the words of the “inclusive” and “non-judgmental” Jesus about sin and slavery to sin are thereby cancelled and the light they shed is blocked and the shadows deepen.

I hold no sway over the future (and the mighty have less than they think), but events of the past should stand out as warnings to not trust in any prince and not champion saviors who promise a future free from the turmoil and injustice exploding all around us or free from suffering.

“Stand still and see the salvation of God” is a timeless reminder to “Let not your hearts be troubled.” But that is only possible if we hear Jesus say, “Believe in God, believe also in me.” But what is such faith?

When the disciples awakened him from sleep in the stern of the storm-tossed boat that was filling with water, Jesus questioned whether they had any faith at all. Let his puzzlement and rebuke sink in: Who of us would not have wakened him in panic and terror? What level of faith does he expect? How can one calmly watch a sinking ship or what may be the death of a civilization or a nation?

But we’ve been given an example of behavior by the Lord who knew the scourging, the crown of thorns, and the nails were coming. “On the night on which he was betrayed, or rather, gave himself up for the life of the world,” as it is put in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Jesus arranged for a faith-focused Passover meal with his disciples. Psalms were sung, prayed, the Passover cup and bread were shared, they sung a hymn, and Jesus prayed the High Priestly Prayer as well as the prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane. Such worship was a touchstone of his “being with the Father” and the font of his miracles and healing touch, even of Malchus's ear.

Heaven features the worship of God, communion with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If worship is optional, so is heaven. We get what we desire, reap what we sow. And what we truly desire, we long for and seek: “My soul thirsts for thee as in a dry and weary land where no water is.” When we know that the land is parched, society bankrupt, and love is grown cold, it is time to awaken Christ, as Augustine wrote:

“Christ is asleep in you. What do I mean? I mean you have forgotten his presence….This is the moment to awaken Christ and let him remind you of those words: ‘Who can this be? Even the winds and sea obey him.’”

Yours for Christ, Creed & Culture

Next Jesus is worth it