The Fourth of July weekend was just upon us and this year’s celebration across the nation had a different tone. The violent protests with calls for defunding police departments; the “cancel culture” movement and the occupation of city property has us all alarmed. Our nation that celebrates the birth of independence, liberty and justice is now being challenged by various factions as to whether our Founding Fathers were truly men of honor. We have heard questions about equality, bigotry, racism and privilege. These are now the focal point of our national dialogue. Are we on a slippery slope of self-destruction? What will the future hold for the United States of America?

We are truly at a crossroads. Will the people of our great country come together to resolve the problems that confront a pluralistic society, or will we splinter into special-interest factions that seek to divide and conquer? Moral leadership is needed in this moment of our history! In past moments of crisis in American history, there have been those leaders who have risen to the challenge and made enormous contributions to the welfare of its citizens. Today, we need moral leaders who will engage the people, the problems and the possibilities. It is time to resolve our social divide.

Moral leadership must seize this moment and advance the wellbeing of all our citizens. Equal justice, the rule of law and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness must be the centerpiece of our republic. Otherwise our nation will fall. The moral leader will talk directly to the people in order to deescalate tension; be flexible in problem resolution rather than being dogmatic and authoritative; they will lead by listening, rather than commanding.

Community leaders across our land must reach out to all citizens and have a serious dialogue about our way forward. Representatives of different cultures, ethnicities, faiths and socioeconomic backgrounds must articulate the issues that divide us and determine to work on solutions. Moral leadership. The status quo of being “tone deaf” to the “least of these” is no longer acceptable.

A new day is dawning across our nation; the social science and politics of our past are becoming extinct. We must resolve to fulfill the declaration in our Constitution to pursue a “more perfect Union.” In many regards this pursuit has been given lip service over the past several decades. Now we must roll up our sleeves and do the hard work of perfecting.

I want to exhort our readers to engage in moral leadership in your community and state government. In your local schools; in your church; in your local non-profit organizations. We must not curse the darkness; we must light a candle to impact our communities and resolve its great problems through proactive moral leadership.

As Christians, we must engage in the work of a better society. The greatest impact we offer is hope through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, forgiveness of sins, and the gift of eternal life by grace, through faith in Christ’s death and resurrection. Faith in our Saviour results in the transformation of sinners into saints who are being changed into Christ’s likeness through the work of the Holy Spirit. There is light at the end of the darkness. The hope is in Almighty God. He calls upon His people to humble themselves and repent. As we seek Him, He will heal our land. Together, we anchor our hope in His promise.

Let us each commit to leaving the grandstand of observation and critiquing the actions on the streets of America and be a moral leader who contributes to the betterment of our society. With our faith in God and through the principles of love from the Gospel of Christ, Almighty God will empower us to make a difference. Our Savior sought those who were despised, downtrodden, affected by sexism and race as well as violence and hate. Jesus loves all people and laid down His life for us all. As Christ’s ambassadors, we can be His hands, feet and voice for faith, hope and charity. May the Church of Jesus Christ in this troubled age, be tools in the Master’s hand for positive change and unity.

Have a great week and remember, Jesus loves YOU!

Contact Jon at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

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