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Saturday, November 23, 2013

50th Anniversary of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy

The 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy touched off many memories shared by the media. I was working part time at a hamburger restaurant in Rochester, New York, to supplement my pastoral salary when the news broke. A profound silence gripped the restaurant. The next evening, our church in Williamson, New York, held a prayer service for the Kennedy family and our stunned nation.

I suppose everyone about my age remembers clearly where he or she was when news of the assassination interrupted the regularly scheduled broadcasting. Undoubtedly, my generation’s memory reaches back even farther—to the difficult years of WWII. Those were years of sacrifice, patriotism, and self-discipline.

They were also years of shortages. Gas, certain materials, and some food commodities and household items were rationed. It was nearly impossible to buy butter, but margarine was available. It came packaged in a clear bag with a quarter-size button of dye attached. If a customer squeezed the button long enough, the dye would spread until the contents of the bag looked like butter. Of course, anyone who had tasted real butter knew the difference. Lookalikes are not necessarily the same.

I am old enough to remember when pastors fed congregations genuine life-related Biblical messages. Those were the days! Perhaps your pastor preaches in that historic tradition, but many others simply squeeze the dye button, so to speak, and serve a poor substitute for the real thing. So expository preaching is becoming scarce. 

In the Times of the Judges, society cared little about moral absolutes. Consequently, “every man did what was right in his own eyes”(Judges 17:6). Today we call that practice “situational ethics.” Not surprisingly, a scarcity of God’s Word marked the Times of the Judges. First Samuel 3:1 reports that “the word of the LORD was rare in those days.”

We often hear believers lament the deteriorating moral conditions of modern times. “We need a revival,” they say. Who wouldn’t welcome a national revival? But before we can have a revival, we need a reBible. It’s time to open the Bible in the pulpit and in the pews and taste the pure Word of God. Haven’t we had enough of a tasteless substitute?

--James Dyet