Proud To Be An American; Proud To Be A Christian.

“I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free and I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me and I proudly stand up next to you and defend her still today. Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA!” 

Most Americans feel a sense of pride when they hear these lyrics penned by Lee Greenwood. It stirs something in the hearts of those proud to live in the United States of America.

Yet Americans are facing the another pivotal time in our country, with an abundance of contention and fighting occurring in high places. How are we to be united? Though we have been through much, we are still better and stronger as a nation than we were 245 years ago at the time of our birth.

“Proud to be an American” is not an arrogant statement but rather one of thankfulness and gratitude. Our great nation has much for which to be thankful. Our freedoms are envied by the rest of the world, and unrivaled by much of it. Our rich heritage is second to none. Are we perfect? No country is unblemished in their actions and while the USA is imperfect, it is ours. The American flag still waves as a symbol of freedom and bravery and is still a sign of strength and courage.

The case is the same for Christianity today. Those who are free from sin are grateful for the one who died to give them this great freedom! As proud as we are to be Americans, we are prouder still to be Christians. Now more than ever, we must stand together to make our voices heard by everyone around us and defend the Judeo-Christian beliefs that this great country was founded on.

“Proud to be a Christian” is only an offensive statement to those who refuse to honor God, but never to the true      Christian. The godly foundation that this great nation was built on is still the strength that has held us steady through years of battles from those outside our country as well as those who have fought us within. The cross of Jesus remains our symbol of strength and forgiveness.

As Christians, we face challenging times. All around us is bitterness and vengeance. A loud minority are using their anger and hatred to strike out against those of us who will stand for truth and honor. Many want to rob Christians of their freedom to worship and serve the great God of heaven.

Are you proud to be a Christian? Are you willing to stand for truth? If you are asking, where can I find people like this to stand with? It is at the Church of God.

The most effective way to demonstrate our pride and conviction to both our country and to God is to be saved from sin. Our forefathers knew that if a nation were to stand the test of time it would have to be built on godly values. How are you showing your pride of country and belief in God?

Many need to be   reminded to stand for the flag and kneel for Christ.

by J Kretzler

When the Gospel is Abused

Most people would agree that abuse is toxic, destructive and inherently evil. Whether it be physical, emotional, sexual, financial or institutional, these are still viewed as reprehensible in society today. One abuse, which has eternal consequence, has become commonplace in America today: the abuse of the gospel and principles of God. Where once stood a reverence, respect and awe of God, now stands a perversion and assault against the Word of God and its divine precepts.

This is nothing new. Throughout history nations have rejected the gospel of Christ. Christ himself faced this very rejection among His own people in the cities where he lived.  But be not deceived for God will not be mocked, there are always severe consequences to a society, a nation, and a people when the   gospel is abused.

In Matthew 11:20-24, we find a turning point in the tone of Christ’s ministry and a severe warning to those who abuse the gospel. Christ pronounces a woe on three cities. These three Galilean towns were known as the “evangelical triangle” because Christ had spent 80% of his ministry there. The people of that area were witnesses, even recipients, of His divine wonders, miracles and mercies. They reaped the benefits of His gospel. They were consumers of the grace God shed upon them.

Yet, despite all the blessings, it could not change their minds about the gospel. They would not repent of their independent attitudes of heart. They would not cease from counting on their own righteousness to earn God’s favor. They would not turn from their own ways, from their own thoughts and accept the gospel as Christ had delivered it to them.

Now think about America and the grace God has shed upon this land. What have we done with the gospel? For most of society, it has been abused. We have  become a nation that is content with  consuming the mercy and grace of God while abusing the very principles and  precepts taught by God’s Word.

This abuse is not without  consequence. Just as the three biblical cities received their judgement, America will also face the consequence for mocking God’s righteousness. II Peter 2:21 says, “For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” A nation which once knew the grace of God but now chooses to reject it is forever changed. May it never be said of us  individually that it had been better if we never knew this wonderful gospel of Christ.

by M Karns


Today, a fast-moving ideology that silences free expression, shuts down debate, and destroys lives sweeps across America with alarming intensity -cancel culture. Those who oppress any conflicting philosophy or speech are part of this dangerous cancel culture. They are not content to rationally debate contradicting ideas or fairly persuade the masses that their views are indeed correct. Instead, they brand those who disagree with them as ‘bigoted’, ‘hateful’, and ‘on the wrong side of history’. To disagree with this branding is to, in their assertion, try to erase their existence. Fundamental freedoms that protect freedom of speech, expression, and religion are truly in jeopardy.

Sadly, the politically correct culture of the progressive movement has moved so quickly to attack practically any view or value contrary to their own. Stray at all from the accepted limits of radical thinking and you will earn labels like racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic.

Quickly the zero-tolerance culture has become the cancel culture. It is not enough to merely smear the opponent’s reputation; progressives demand that an “enemy” lose their social standing and even their job and livelihood for deviating from what is their acceptable thought. Anyone who disagrees with a progressive view is driven out from society and if they grovel for forgiveness, they may be allowed to re-enter. A hateful, bitter social media mob will make sure that you pay a heavy penalty for your opposition.

This leads to a question every true Christian should ask: what does Christ and the Bible say about this? Should Christians be tolerant? The answer is yes, we should be, however tolerance has been redefined in society and by religion to argue that Christians should accept everyone’s sinful behavior to achieve social justice.

The Bible does not permit personal sin or the acceptance of sin in others. The apostle Paul gave a clear understanding of Christ-like behavior in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

But he also writes in Ephesians 4:31 of things to lay aside or not tolerate: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.”  Paul then goes on to explain in verse 32 of the Christ-like attitude that we should show to each another, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Those who subscribe to the cancel culture movement are often unforgiving, lacking any sense of grace and are full of pride. They offer very little means of forgiveness or repentance. From a Christian perspective, this society strikes at the core principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus came so that our sins could be forgiven, not perpetually held over our heads. Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,” Christ came to cancel sin, not our fellow man.

The audacity and pride of those who wish to cancel men and women due to past failings, ill-timed words, or simple disagreements with their philosophy has reached new heights. Seeking to re-write history and degrade our country’s founding fathers is rather hypocritical. Those who wish to do the cancelling are not being held to the same standards. Moreover, herein lies the danger of cancel culture; it is not a level playing field.

Those who dare to speak up with a dissenting Christian view are quickly snuffed out and labeled insensitive haters, while the cancel culture mob seemingly are free to say and do whatever they please with little societal consequence. The Bible warned of this culture in Isaiah 5:20; “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil.”

Simply put, the underlying goal of the cancel culture movement is to promote evil while silencing good; to push society into darkness by extinguishing the gospel light, to fill its followers with bitterness rather than the sweet things of Christianity. Education, government, business, and religion do not have the power to stand up to this movement. They will eventually succumb to its pressures and fall in line with its evil ideology for fear of being eliminated.

But there is one thing that can never be canceled or eliminated: the Word of God. The truth found in the pages of the Bible has been forever established in heaven, undeterred by the philosophy of man, and will never be eliminated by a cancel culture movement.

By E Kline

Our Christian Duty

As our country faces unprecedented times, it calls  upon us all to take a closer look at life. The future is uncertain and basic values seem to be fading into   obscurity. Principles that were once taught in schools have been replaced with modern ideology, painting the dependence our founding fathers had in God as a mere fairy tale. The unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are gradually being washed away with new legislation.

Is this the opportunity to let your voice be heard in some march or display of protest? Or is it more appropriate to sit idly by and watch the downfall? Neither option is the answer.

Consider Ephesians 6:10-13 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Today is the day to stand up for what you know is right, holding to godly morals and clinging to the Lord. Live in such a way that others have no question what you believe. “If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything.” – Irene Dunne on America’s Town Meeting of the Air, May 1945

At times, it may be easier to go with the flow, but what can this approach accomplish? Having a “coexist” attitude only gives silent approval to things you may contradict. Do you agree with all the things that are considered the new “normal” in our     society? What does God think about the wickedness that is   being approved, even legislated? As Christians, we cannot put our approval upon these things. We must remain faithful to the principles we hold dear, no matter what the consequence may be.

In Daniel 3, the three Hebrew children knew they would face the fiery furnace if they did not bow down to the golden idol. This did not change their determination to be true to God, whom they faithfully served. They held their ground and were marvelously delivered unharmed!

Follow the example of these men and have the same determination to be faithful. Standing up for righteousness is not a loud or showy display. It is having confidence in the One you serve. Yes, stay loyal to your country, but more importantly, keep your  allegiance to God!

“Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”  – John Hancock

~  S. Shick

Socialism’s Silent War Against America

The seeds of socialism were sewn in our great country many years ago and have sprouted into a radical political agenda today. From laws passed in state and federal government to accepted societal norms, socialism has latched onto the citizens of America. Our country is split in two halves; one half of Americans who are aware of the threat of socialism and the other half  who ignore the danger or support the socialist cause. Socialism has infiltrated almost every major avenue of life in the United States—leaving virtually no sector untouched. If left alone, it will drain our once God-fearing nation of all of its values.

Socialism is a political philosophy that Satan loves. It is his brainchild, a doctrine of demons chronicled by Karl Marx. A close examination of the teachings of socialism makes its diabolical nature readily apparent. Jesus said that Satan “comes only to steal and to kill and  to destroy.” (John 10:10) Satan’s favorite thing to steal is freedom and nothing robs freedom as efficiently as socialism.

Atheism is the commandment of communism, and socialism is the final step which leads to communism. (Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels in 1848.) The implementation of socialism involves empowering government to forcibly take wealth from the rich and the middle class and distribute it to the poor. As can be expected, a philosophy that denies the truth of God’s word will yield a result that is fraught with evil. Socialism has spread in the US because her citizens have been lulled to sleep. What used to offend the conscience is no longer much of a concern. Here are examples:

 Big Tech: We see this in the de-platforming of conservative apps, and the suspension or termination of conservative-leaning accounts.

Education: American History is not taught accurately or is taught with an anti-American approach.

Media: Main-stream media is no longer known as objective, but drives liberal agendas and at times decides policies.

Law Enforcement: Senior level police have retired because of purposeful budget cuts and loss of authority, new recruits are trained in more socially acceptable classes.

Corporate America: HR policies favor progressive policies and use termination as a consequence for opposition.

Entertainment: Broadway musicals and Hollywood movies promote sexuality and elimination of the nuclear family.

Religion: Clergy “dumb down” the gospel and congregants are taught to accept ideology.

Family: Many parents, especially fathers, acquiesce to teenager’s wishes on clothing, relationships and technology.

What may be thought as merely immorality is actually socialism in disguise. There are forces in the world that are intentionally asserting their progressive and socialist agendas over the concerns and ideals of conservative Americans.  

One may look no farther than a list of 45 communist goals ( that were published in the book “The Naked Communist” and read into the Congressional  Record 1963, and how these goals were created to explicitly erode American values and traditions. What was a goal of the communist forces in 1963 has become reality.

Whereas capitalism fosters happiness and prosperity, socialism creates fear and oppression. Socialism misappropriates the compassionate intentions of Christians in meeting people’s needs while rejecting God’s expectations that adhere to the Christian faith. This may leave many feeling despondent because not much can be done to    overturn the powers that be. However, much can be accomplished at the family level.

Nuclear families are perhaps the largest target of Socialism. Two parents (husband and wife) who raise their own children at home is an offense to progressive philosophies but a credit when viewed in the eyes of God. It is important parents teach their children to obey God above everything else.

Children are losing their innocence well before biological  maturity begins. This is partially due to the digital age we live in.  Parents who allow young children to have their own internet devices or be babysat by them contribute to this depravity. This has been likened to the child being left alone on a New York street corner. In addition, this leads to children desiring something more entertaining than what is appropriate at their age.

Socialism creeps into society and takes families unaware. It is subtle and if allowed to take hold, it will rob a family of all things good and decent. Parents act as the children’s moral guardians. They need to be rugged in these times as we face this assault of socialist ideals.

If America is to continue to offer life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, her citizens must be cognizant of the threat of socialism and be willing to protect their God-given freedoms at all costs.

 ~ M. Karns

A Country With Values

At a time when our country faces unrest, violence and rampant hatred, an important election draws nearer. The decision made by voters will undoubtedly affect the course of our nation, whether good or bad. Which candidate can best lead the nation on a course that preserves our liberty and keeps America the world power that she has been from her very formation? The key to America retaining her virtues is not in a single leader in one election, but in her people and their values.

In his book “Democracy in America,” author Alexis de Tocqueville wrote “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” Our pastor referenced this quote in a recent sermon. After touring the United States in search of its success, he found the answer. “Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.”

How can America continue on a course that results in greatness? The answer remains the same: strong Christian values faithfully heralded from our churches.

Think back to the reason why so many flocked to this “new world” centuries ago. Men and women wanted the freedom to serve God as they desired, rather than be forced to follow the Church of England. They wanted to be true to their conscience without fear of what authorities would do to them.

Similarly, our righteous principles are being encroached upon. The political agenda which removes the very ideals that shaped our country’s beginning will cause America to fall from her glory.

Now, more than ever, it remains of utmost importance to cling to those godly beliefs. We need God’s help with our country, so our freedoms can be preserved and we can continue to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

By S. Roxbury

The Importance of One Vote

Wiping his forehead with his already damp handkerchief, Harry Burn listened to the shouts from the crowds of people below as he hid from sight in the hot, stuffy attic. Hours earlier he had entered the State Capitol Building, never imagining that the events to follow would lead him to his present perch, high above the city of Nashville.

At 24 years of age, Harry was the youngest legislator in the House of Representatives, a distinction which earned him the nickname “Baby Burns.” The oldest of four children, Harry was from East Tennessee, where his widowed mother oversaw the family farm.

Harry made his way to his seat on the House floor, a red rose pinned to his coat lapel symbolizing the direction he intended to vote. Two previous attempts had resulted in a tie, 48 – 48 and after much heated debate, this would be the last vote before the issue was tabled. But as he waited for roll call, Harry pulled a letter from his pocket, which he had received just that morning and pondered the words his mother had written. When his name was called his quietly uttered ‘Aye” shocked everyone present and with just one syllable, Harry’s vote broke the tie. Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, finally giving women the right to vote.

It had taken over 7 decades of struggle to reach this moment, including 6 previous denials from Congress and 35 states who ratified the proposal before Tennessee. It almost didn’t happen. Except Harry Burn considered his mother’s admonition to ‘be a good boy’ and weighed her advice against those who had threatened to end his political career.

Several months later Harry would win reelection, and his mother, Phoebe “Febb” Burn cast a ballot for the very first time at the age of 47. In the years to come Harry would introduce many other bills that would remove restrictions and polling taxes and make it easier for everyone to vote. Febb’s actual letter is preserved in the Knox County Library and there is also a statue of the mother and son located in Knoxville, Tennessee to commemorate the moment that changed the course of American history.

Harry’s historic vote took place exactly 100 years ago in August 1920 and as we approach the election this November, a century later, your vote is just as important. The suffragette’s fight was known as the “War of The Roses” and throughout history there have been other battles fought to obtain and keep our liberties and freedoms. Voting is not only a privilege, but a duty and an honor. Every vote truly does make a difference.

By R Trauger