When vices are celebrated as virtues – Part 1
Change will ever be constant with man. Development and adaptation are part of man’s existence. Man reacts and responds to his environment; sometimes the influence that man gains from his environment affects his relationship with His creator. Over time man has evolved in every facet of his existence. The constant change over time has affected the moral and spiritual existence of man.
God created man a relational being, in relationship, he either influence or is influenced. No man gives what he lacks. He is, indeed,
the product of influence. The society is constantly influencing our worldview and belief system, most of which are promoted by depraved minds that are reprobate of the truth. Truth is never subjective to culture, environment or time. Facts might be, but truth stands out from generation to generation.
Vices are bad or undesirable character trait found in man. Virtue is the direct opposite of vice. When something is said to be good or
desirable we refer to them as virtues. For example, honesty is a virtue and dishonesty is a vice. Most celebrated vices include greed, anger, lust, envy, gluttony, pride, and laziness. These are undesirable character traits we find in people. In comparison we can list some
virtues, which might include loyalty, bravery, honesty, compassion, humility, generosity and temperance. Whatever we tend to promote
religiously, culturally or politically, one ou standing undeniable truth is that vices are character traits that we want to avoid and virtues are character traits that we should promote or cultivate. As the world keeps changing, we discover that humanity seems to align themselves with the promotion of vices against virtues. This is because a system without God can only bring and promote godless policies. The state of the world as vices are promoted above virtue is reflected in the prayer of Bob Russell, which was adapted by Pastor Joe Wright of Wichita.
The written prayer of Bob Russell, which is also referred to as America’s Prayer of Repentance was said in 1995 when he wrote a prayer
of national repentance and offered it at the Kentucky Governor’s Prayer Breakfast in Frankfort Kentucky. The prayer was adapted by Joe
Wright and presented when he was asked to say the invocation during the opening session of the Kansas House of Representatives in 1996.
This prayer stirred up great controversy on that day because this is a generation that promotes vice against virtue. The prayer infuriated
several legislators; one member stormed out of the hall in protest. Several gave speeches critical of the prayer, and one even called it a
“message of intolerance.” The chaplain coordinator in the Nebraska legislature read the prayer the following month, stirring a debate
there. Paul Harvey reported on the controversy and read the prayer on the air. He has since repeated the story, claiming it is one of the most requested readings he has ever had. The prayer has been widely circulated by e-mails and many channels. And no sooner has the guest
chaplain concluded his prayer and three Democrats on the state legislature are on their feet at microphones protesting, “He can’t talk like that about us!” Representative Delbert Gross called the invocation “gross,” “derisive,” “sanctimonious,” and “overbearing.” Representative
David Haley called it “blasphemous” and “ignorant.” Representative Sabrina Standifer echoed the indignation.
But what in the world had Pastor Joe said in Topeka, which incited the righteous wrath of three democrats from Hays and Kansas City?
“Heavenly Father, we come before You today to ask your forgiveness, and to seek your direction and guidance.
• We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good.’ And that’s exactly what we’ve done.
• We’ve lost our spiritual equilibrium.
• We’ve inverted our values.
• We confess that we’ve ridiculed the absolute Truth of Your Word in the name of moral pluralism.
• We’ve worshiped other gods and called it ‘multiculturalism.’
• We’ve endorsed perversion and called it ‘alternative lifestyle.’
• We’ve exploited the poor and called it a ‘lottery.’
• We’ve neglected the needy and called it ‘self-preservation.’
• We’ve rewarded laziness and called it ‘welfare.’
• Father, in the name of ‘choice,’ we have killed our unborn, and then in the name of ‘right to life,’ we’ve killed abortionists.
• We’ve neglected to discipline our children and called it ‘building esteem.’
• We have abused power and called it ‘political savvy.’
• We have coveted our neighbour’s possessions and called it ‘taxes.’
• We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it ‘freedom of expression.’
• We’ve ridiculed the time-honoured values of our forefathers and called it ‘enlightenment.’
• Search us, O God, know our hearts today, try us and show us any wickedness in us. And then cleanse us from every sin and set us free.”
• Ven. Stephen Wolemonwu is the Rector Ibru Ecumenical Centre, 08035413812.
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