Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Remembering 1976 on Inauguration Day 2009
It was 1976.
I was 26 years old, and had been politically active since 1964. We elected a President that was not my choice, Jimmy Carter. Many had great hopes. But for many they morphed into despair, even as America had just marked our 200th Anniversary.
Jobs became scarce. Mortgage interest rates zoomed to 18 percent, so many couldn't buy a home.
We waited in long lines for gasoline, hoping the gas station wouldn’t run out before we got to the front of the line, like other gas stations had.
Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini backed the bold invasion of the U.S. embassy and kidnapping of 52 American diplomats. We sent soldiers to rescue them, but crashed two aircraft in the process, eight soldiers dying. We came home empty handed. The hostages remained for 444 days. The humiliation was broadcast on the nightly news, well...nightly.
President Carter didn’t help things. Many of us think he made things worse. That he was inept and ideologically misguided.
High unemployment, rising energy costs, American hostages, the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan. And a President who at best only meant well.
There are similar feelings of hope and impending despair as we inaugurate our new President, Barack Obama.
But where is our hope, really?
It’s not in a new President who promises to pass the so-called Freedom of Choice Act, wiping out every bit of progress that we’ve made against the holocaust of the unborn since 1973.
It’s not in a new President who boldly promises to steal (let’s call it what it is) from the so-called rich to give to the so-called poor.
It’s not in a new President who promises to undermine the integrity of our Constitution by appointing unjust Judges who won’t interpret the Constitution, as they are called to do, but will in effect make unjust laws by perverting or ignoring the Constitution.
It’s not in a new President who judges moral righteousness, not by the Word of God, but by how it fits a left-wing political agenda.
No, our hope is in the Sovereign Lord who “turns the heart of the king like a river.”
I pray He will turn the heart of our new President to righteousness.
I pray He will yet bless America.
Regardless, though, He is still building His Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
Oh, did I mention...?
1976 was also the year that the Lord Jesus Christ came into my life. What a wonderful year after all.
Whatever the political future holds, it is appointed to all men once to die, and then comes the Judgment. As the Bible says, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The wrath of God will be poured out on all who reject Him. And the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus said that if anyone comes to Him, He will in no way cast them out, but will save them, by grace. This salvation can't be earned. It's a free gift to all who believe in Him.
If you don't yet know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please turn to Him today. Believe in Him who died on the cross to pay for our sins, and was buried and rose again from the dead. He promises forgiveness to all who come to Him. Call upon Him. In Him is eternal life. Flee the wrath to come.