On Father’s Day, my 87-year-old preacher dad and I had a great chat over the phone. He is in Maryland and I’m in Florida. Dad said he had just preached his last sermon; marking his retirement as a pastor for the second time. Six or seven years ago, Dad retired after 50 years, but was called back to pastor four smaller churches part-time.
Dad said the title of his last sermon was “Backfired”. As Dad excitedly shared the “meat’ of his message, I smiled reflecting back to when I was a little boy of 9 or 10 listening to my dad preach. I sat on the front row of tiny Baltimore storefront churches with less than 10 people in the congregations. I enjoyed Dad’s sermons because they were never rambling or long winded and were always centered around a good story.
Dad said the Charleston shooter wanted to start a “race war”, but his plan backfired. He explained that after slavery, the Methodist church opened to blacks. However, blacks were not allowed to worship at the same time as whites. This caused Rev. Richard Allen to start the AME (African Methodist Episcopal) church.
Referring to the outpouring of love, support, and unity on display for the world to see at the memorial service in Mother Emanuel AME Church, Dad said the shooting caused white folks to come to the black church. The shooter’s evil plan backfired. Praise God!
Dad shared how Joseph’s jealous brothers sold him into slavery. Then Joseph was falsely accused by his slave master’s wife and sent to jail for 13 years. Still, Joseph ultimately became a ruler of Egypt, second to Pharaoh. A famine caused Joseph’s brothers to journey to Egypt seeking food from Pharaoh. When they realized the man in charge was their brother Joseph, whom they had treated so horribly, they expressed great sorrow. Joseph had grown in spirit and wisdom. He forgave his brothers saying, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Dad said such was the case with the Charleston shooter. He meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.
Dad’s sermon sparked me to realize that God did something that no political expert could predict or achieve. In the midst of national race relations seemingly going down the toilet (Ferguson, Baltimore, and elsewhere), a horrible evil attack caused a beautiful flower of racial unity and love to bloom.
Folks, this is why I take little stock in political know-it-all doom and gloomers. Nobody, I repeat, nobody knows what God is going to do. Thus, despite Leftists’ polls, articles and news reports designed to discourage conservatives, I stay prayerful and hopeful; diligent in fighting the good fight to restore my country.
Speaking of restoring our country, a dozen contenders thus far have thrown their hats into the ring competing for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination. I caution voters not to be seduced by contenders who only promise to restore us economically while silent or shying away from elephant-in-the-room social issues. If we are restored economically, but lose core American values, what have we truly won?
At the risk of sounding like a script from an old 1940s Frank Capra movie, America and being an American is much, much more than economics.
I want a candidate who inspires personal achievement via education, hard work and right choices; a candidate who does not pit Americans against each other — racially or the haves vs. the have nots. My preferred candidate thinks there is something wrong with middle schools celebrating “Gay Pride Month” in which kids are taught to be openminded: “it (homosexuality) is like trying a new vegetable… not knowing if you like it until you try it”.
My candidate would have a problem with 3000 babies aborted daily, people allowed to break our laws by entering our country illegally, and God banned from the public square. Make no mistake about it, folks, these issues, core values and character matter tremendously.
Let me make myself perfectly clear. I will vote for whoever becomes the GOP presidential nominee. It would be insane to stay home and allow the devil (the Democrat) to win because the GOP candidate does not check all of my boxes.
Dad said retiring relieves him from all the driving to visit the sick and shut-ins of his congregations. While I did not express it at the time, I remember feeling a bit concerned about my 87-year-old dad driving from Baltimore to Pennsylvania to give someone Communion.
Dad said a young pastor told him that he does not visit the sick because he might get sick. Dad chuckled, thinking the young pastor’s comment remarkable and funny. Dad said, “Man, have times changed.”
Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American
Chairman, Conservative Campaign Committee