Comment from Ken: Today I walk a dangerous walk with you for I love you and always wish you to love me. But there are times when we must voice our opinions. I was born during the beginning of the Second World War, and there are lessons from that war that false history cannot change. Sometimes we need to be guided by a strong hand. Your comments are always welcome.
Scripture: Matthew 23: 27 – 33 (The heavy hand of our Lord)
7Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have
been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Today is Flag Day, and the flags are flying in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. They really look beautiful as you ride down country roads and see the red, white and blue flags. Like we spoke about in our walk on Memorial Day, I am proud (and I am sure you are too) to be an American. Once more on our walk today, I would like to speak about our country, and what is presently happening.
Two days ago the unthinkable occurred – our president met with the leader of North Korea. The Korean War was during the time when I was in seminary, and it has never come to a conclusion. For over seventy years, we have been at war with North Korea. Now suddenly, Donald Trump has met with North Korea’s leader and has optimistically stated that we might finally bring that war to a conclusion. As a result of this meeting with Kim Jong-un, it appears that a new relationship of even friendship might occur between two former enemies.
However ever since that amazing meeting took place, there has been criticism from members of both political parties. They have emphasized that in previous agreements with North Korea the agreements made have been broken. Human rights issues are brought forward, and the president is criticized (as he is constantly) that he should not deal with this killer. In other words, we should not even deal with this enemy. Oh my, what did Jesus say about dealing with your enemies? Did He make a mistake when He suggested we love our enemies and pray for them? How can you possibly make an enemy a friend if you refuse to start in a new place forgetting the errors of the past?
At the age of 83, I have lived under innumerable presidents, and they have all been my nation’s president regardless whether I have liked them or not. Under some of those presidents, I held great disagreement with their policies; this goes for both parties, and yet, the person holding the office was my president. There was an honor that went with the office, and you respected the office if not the person who lived in the White House. I fail to understand those individuals who deny that Donald Trump is their president. He is! And whether you like him or not, he may well be capable of making positive changes for our nation, and for that we should give him a chance as we have other controversial holders of our highest office.
Our nation has changed so much since I was a boy, or maybe I have just grown to accept reality. There is criticism of Kim Jong-un as a killer, but do we not realize that we assassinate people with our drones and our superior technology? Two enemies -the United States and North Korea – have to find a common need to end their disputes of the past by beginning anew.
Our president deals with a heavy hand. People trembled when he called the leader of North Korea “rocket man.” People were almost panicked when he spoke of the threat of nuclear war, and that if that came with North Korea, we would obliterate them. In other words, he stood up to the North Korean leader and made the statement that if you threaten the United States with nuclear arms, you will have no nation or people left.
How we have failed to teach history to our children! When Adolph Hitler came into power, no one took a heavy hand to him. He sent troops into the Rhineland that was a buffer zone between France and Germany. No one stood up against him. It was later learned, according to some sources, that his generals were instructed to withdraw if there was any resistance. There was none. He moved into Austria; no one stopped him with a heavy hand. He invaded Czechoslovakia, and again no one threated or took action against this cruel and vindictive leader. When he moved into Poland, England had a treaty that impelled her to intervene, and so finally, finally Hitler’s expansion of His Reich was met with resistance. It took a heavy hand to stop the evil leader of Germany, and unfortunately, many lives might not have been lost if the nations had stood up against his invasive policies at the very beginning.
The United States has stood up to Kim Jong-un, and it is clear that he now wishes to take a different tact. Of course, he tries to save face with his people just as our leaders have to save faith for our country.
Now peace may not come. Our president has stated that, but it is right that we have attempted to bring peace to our countries.
Some critics have stated that China wishes us out of Asia, and that this agreement with North Korea will remove us from influence of that area. Perhaps we need to think about the fact that we cannot democratize the whole world, and that we must exist in the future with governments that may not hold to the standards of the United States. Let us rather preserve our future and freedoms and seek to be an example for all people to see the benefits of a free people.
Now this pastor has always been careful not to support one party or the other as he must minister to all of his congregation. As an independent, I have attempted to vote as my conscience told me. But I do believe that at times there must be a heavy hand taken in some crucial matters. And as a Christian, I believe that Jesus Christ often took a heavy hand. Do you remember how he condemned the Pharisees and Sadducees of being like white tombs – pure without but foul and decayed inside? Do you remember how He stood up for what was right even saying that families might be torn asunder by their belief in God’s will? Our Jesus was not just a weak lamb – he was a mighty force for truth and right. He was a peacemaker but not at the cost of demeaning the Father.
I’m glad you joined me for our walk. No, we do not have a perfect president, and yes, he can be offensive and crude in his comments and tweets. However, if he can lead us out of a state of war to peace with North Korea, let us encourage him not seek to hamper or destroy his efforts.
Dear God, like it or not Donald Trump was elected our President and may our prayers be that You might use him to bring our world to a greater peace among all peoples. As a people, may we be worthy of the freedom You have granted to us in our nation and may we be strong followers of Your Son our Lord and Master; in His name. Amen.
Benediction: “And now may the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other. Amen.”