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Today's crisis calls for long-term reformation



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December 28, 2011 - The New Year is already upon us. It always amazes me how fast the time goes. Wasn't it just a short time ago that we were being warned of an impending disaster in our technology—when we went from 1999 to 2000?

Now we are coming into 2012. Have you heard all the disaster scenarios? The Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world in 2012 and many other sources are confirming disaster is just around the corner.

It is amazing to me how people love to warn of the end, but so few take a realistic long-term view. I am never motivated by any information that encourages short-term thinking. Panic is definitely a motivator for immediate action.

As a person who loves history, I am always motivated to view events from a historical perspective, and as a Christian, I take the long-term view of the future. I do see trends that are leading our nation down a road of disaster.

The contributors to this scenario have been long-term and varied in their influence. The good thing about a long-term view of a disaster is, it gives us the opportunity to do something about the future, and either change it altogether, or at least prevent a "worse case" scenario.

By nature, I am an optimist rather then a pessimist, but in the end I am a rationalist.

In other words, we must have a rational explanation of our problems and realistic efforts to change them.

A big part of the problem our country is facing is generational and it will take a generational turn to change it.

I am part of what many have called the "baby boomer" generation. As a generation, we have always questioned authority and institutions.

The upheavals of the late 1960's were the result of a desire to fight against these things because they were often seen as purveyors of injustice.

The end result is a crisis of leadership in our nation and a crisis of function in our government as well as other institutions. To change this situation, we need to have a change in the basic premise of our thoughts and motivations.

We are confronting a moral dilemma. To reverse this crisis, we need to make immediate choices, but we also need a long-range plan of reformation. It would not be the first time that we have done this as a nation.

In the early 1800's, America was facing many problems that seemed like they would overwhelm our country. Alcohol abuse, family breakdowns, crime, and a general sense of pessimism invaded the land. The problems seemed so great that most people saw them as irreversible and did not hold much hope.

Along came a preacher named "Lyman Beecher." Motivated by his love for the country and his fervent faith, he began a call for reformation.

He said that it had to start in the church and it would be a force to turn the nation around.

His call was generational and his children carried on the burden through various reform efforts. He believed that if we were willing, God was able.

Beecher wasn't the only voice, but a major voice in those days. There is credible evidence that this spiritual renewal changed our country and had a profound impact on society. A country is not an impersonal thing, but a gathering of people under a single banner. I say, we must once again build our faith and say—God, you can turn our nation around. We must recognize in our prayers that we need to be the vehicles God will use to bring this change.

"The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! Your people shall be volunteers In the day of Your power; In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth." (Psalm 110:2-3 NKJV)

The Rev. Loren Covarubbias is pastor of Mt. Zion Temple.

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