My Faithful Friend,
It is my desire to spend the rest of this year calling attention to all that we as believers, and by extension our neighbors who may not believe, can give thanksgiving for. Last month as our Canadian friends where gathering with friends and family celebrating their Thanksgiving Day, I wanted us to appreciate that greatest gift for all we sinners; Calvary. The astonishing sacrifice of the only begotten that He might be our redemption, expiation, propitiation, and salvation, which has been made available to all, and as a result has effected every society on our globe to some degree.
So as we south of the border gather as well with family and friends to celebrate our Day of Thanksgiving, I want us to appreciate just what our faith, that’s right Christianity, has actually done to lift the conditions of all humanity. It is bewildering that our faith seems to be the one religion that is now so openly criticized, reviled, and defamed. Something that is seemly encouraged by those in influence be it academia or politics. This is done without the slightest acknowledgement of what Christianity has brought about in our world even outside the spiritual realm. Most reflections of our faith become preoccupied with ancient crusades, inquisitions, and so-called religious wars in Europe without the slightest appreciation of the historical context. And in the process they ignore or our ignorant of all that Christianity has brought to the world. Or Is it on purpose?
The ancient Romans were the first to comment on the unnaturalness, at least to them, of the Christian compassion and care for the afflicted, diseased, the poor, the abandoned, and dying, something that continues even today in every corner of our world. It was Christianity that saw to the outlawing of slavery (too bad in the present atmosphere of multi-cultural toleration that slavery is making a comeback). It is our faith that has been responsible for the true development and expansion of hospitals, sanitariums, and leprosarium, of laws concerning child labor, work safety, and humane treatment. Also our faith is responsible for the awareness and thus the disapproval and punishment of what we now call war crimes, and excessive violence. Do our critics really believe that before Christianity anyone even considered that war and violence against one’s enemies had any limitations? If so they are totally bereft of any historical understanding.
All this is what we have every right to be thankful for! When a nation has embraced these Judaic-Christian beliefs, assuring their people that their lives are safe, have the freedom to pursue their own dreams, and all religions can be freely followed, that nation will prosper. Most of the suffering, despair, oppression, and poverty in our world is due in large part to the sad fact of the denial of these foundational truths. It is what we can be thankful for. Christianity if applied even in this mortal sinful world can mitigate anger, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, over indulgence, and can in the process eliminate abject poverty, corruption, unnecessary accumulation, nervous and emotional disorders, most sicknesses, even famine (for most famines are caused by human malfeasance and ignorance).
We should give thanksgiving to the empowering influence of the good news. What socially is revealed as the “rule of Law,” that each and every life has value, that all should have their hopes appreciated. You see our faith is so much more than our eternal hope, but joy, peace, and love provided now in this imperfect world. In the life of Christ are the answers to all that this world needs, and the answers to the overwhelming chaos that seems so prevalent now. When engulfed as we have been lately with misrepresentation or outright lies, callous disregard for others, and ignoring basic Judaic-Christian values we can see the resulting anger, disregard for the rights of others, and division. So as give thanks lets us also embrace forbearance, patience, truthfulness, courtesy, and above all else love. This is vital for our lives, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and thus the health of all our Judaic-Christian Republics, and also all those societies that try to copy us, and all who dream and hope for what our beacons of liberty represent to our world.
May we truly give thanks for all that our faith provides,
Thomas Randolf Wyatt