Is this the"Year of the Bible?" That's what the Mayor of Flower Mound, Texas, has proclaimed.
According to Ben Russell, NBC 5 News, Mayor Tom Hayden made his declaration during last month's city council meeting in the Dallas-area suburb.
"I ask that you join with me ... in proclaiming 2014 to be the Year of the Bible in Flower Mound, Texas, and encouraging all residents in their own way to examine the principles and teaching found in the Bible," Hayden said during that meeting.
He further promoted a website where a daily choice of Bible verses was posted. The Jan. 2 selections included stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, along with John the Baptist. That same day, Mayor Hayden explained on NBC 5 the inspiration for his proclamation:
"I believe that Jesus died for my sins and I hope to be able to share the good news with others . . . Everyone's personal relationship with God is a personal decision. ... If I can, I would like to encourage people to read the Bible."
Needless to say, the responses came from every angle, from those who supported the mayor's position, to those accusing him of "discrimination," and still others using the "separation of church and state" mantra.
As for me, I was impressed with the mayor's gutsy move. Thank God, there are still some politicians with conviction and courage. And yet, what was the "big deal" for an American to call people back to the Bible, the Book that made America what she is.
It certainly wouldnt be a problem for a governmental leader in a Muslim country to proclaim 2014 as the year of the Quran. But you say, they have state religion, and we dont. True, but this country was founded on the principles and moral standards of the Bible. Check out the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., along with all of the presidential monuments and notice the obvious references to the Bible. This is what has made America unique, but that uniqueness is waning rapidly because of our arrogant rejection of the sacred Scriptures.
In Russias heyday of Communism, religion was considered the opiate of the masses; totalitarian government was in, and the people were slaves of the state. The Bible was outlawed because of its promotion of God-given personal freedom. The Scriptures were relegated as fables and fairytales, etc., supposedly having no life-changing value. Yet I was told that no one visiting a Moscow bookstore could find one Bible on the fairy-tale or fictional literature shelf.
Amazingly, the government had to lie about the Bible in order to propagate the party line. Thankfully, many people under the bondage of Communism were personally liberated and converted to Christ through the Bible. When the Iron Curtain ultimately fell, a new generation was privileged to freely reap the results of that sacred book.
The so-called progressive, socialistic cycle is again gaining momentum in America, from the new pope to apostate Protestantism, to far left-winged politicians, the downhill trek continues. Interestingly, what should be the primary responsibility of the church, i.e. to uphold and promote the Bible as the word of God, is being done by a city mayor.
Shame on the church for its failure to demonstrate why it is separate from the state. It was sanctioned by our forefathers to do what government could not namely, to freely minister the Gospel of Gods grace to human souls.
Where are the genuine and courageous preachers of the Bible today? Where are those who proclaim the whole counsel of God, unattached from a denominational, political or civil rights agenda?
Mayor Haydens proclamation is simply an attempt to stem the tide of wickedness and moral corruption that is causing our nation to implode. Our primary threat is not from foreign terrorist attacks, but the insidious and destructive forces that are killing us from within our borders. In reality, the enemy is us. God help us to get back to the foundational truths that birthed and prospered this beloved nation.
I say hats off to Mayor Hayden, hoping that many other leaders will follow his example.
Finnigan is a Howland resident.