America

Bob Kaylor worked as a historical, perhaps hysterical, interpreter at the Gettysburg battlefield for two years. His hysterics may have come from some of the actual questions he was asked by visitors to the Civil War site:

  • Did the soldiers hide behind the monuments when they fought?
  • What was Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address? Do you mean he had a house here?
  • Why were so many Civil War battles fought on National Park Service land?

Makes you proud, right? How about these answers to American History tests:

  1. What ended in 1896? A. 1895
  2. If you could go back in time and meet Abraham Lincoln, what would you say to him? A. Don’t go to the theater.
  3. Part of an essay: “Soon the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the constitution people enjoyed the right to bare arms.

America will celebrate her 239th birthday next weekend. For all our stumbles and challenges, our country deserves the support of her citizens. Our moral drift is frighteningly similar to the fall of other countries/kingdoms in history, which demands more, not less, of those who care about faith and values. It isn’t politically correct these days, but engagement still trumps entitlement.

We may have lost some of our standing in the world these last few years, but who does the world turn to in times of disaster and conflict? Who normally is the first to respond when catastrophe strikes? Who continues to demonstrate generosity and compassion when other nations hesitate?

Yes, we have external threats that seem to grow closer each day. We live in scary times but I refuse to live in fear. Frankly, I’m more concerned about internal decay. Our pulpits need to grow bolder. Our witness needs to combine our words with our ways. We may live in a post-Christian age, but we know the truth and the truth will set us free.

Happy Birthday America … now, go study your history.

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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