By Bishop Charles Scott
It was hard to believe. Looking across the landscape and viewing the Washington Monument, reading the names listed on the Vietnam Memorial, and putting my hand on the inscription for the heroes from World War II were each indescribable, emotional experiences. Actually standing on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial and reading the Gettysburg Address and President Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address were euphoric. It was hard to believe my feet were on the actual spot where, on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to posterity with the resounding thunder of inspiration based on a dream. Extending above it all, the sheen of the Capitol Dome reminded me of my feeble beginnings, my modest upbringing, the prices paid for my freedom, and the debt owed for the privilege to be an American.
It is hard to believe that the America founded on ideals so noble that its founders laid down their lives would in 1973 find a Supreme Court ruling in the Roe v. Wade decision that women, in consultation with their physician, have a constitutionally-protected right to have an abortion in the early stages of pregnancy – that is, before viability – free from government interference. It is hard to believe that since 1973, 48,589,993 abortions have been performed in the land of the free and the home of the brave (source: Guttmacher Institute, http://www.guttmacher.org/).
It was hard to believe the inhumanities. As our family silent visited the Holocaust Museum paying homage to the six million Jews martyred by racial prejudice and demonic hate, we were incredulous that such odium could reside in a human heart. It was the piles and piles of shoes that broke my spirit. After viewing all the atrocities of violence, my emotions could not handle any more when looking at untold thousands of infant-sized shoes and thinking of the tiny feet once bound inside their laces. They were murdered because of their ethnicity, despised because of the heritage of their family, castigated because they lacked a baptism certificate – dead because someone played God and said they had no right to live.
It is hard to believe that political conventions are determined by Golden Circle Clubs with $10,000-per-plate dinners, while the average voter pays $80 to fill a gas tank. It's hard to believe UPS or FedEx an track a package as it moves around the world but our government cannot locate an illegal immigrant who has lived here for years. It is hard to believe that 88 percent of Americans approve of the reference to "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance (http://www.americansolutions.com/), but our Congress considers its removal. It is hard to believe that anyone would disagree with the statement that most of the problems America is facing are due to her backslidden condition.
We must believe that the Pentecostal Church of God should and can make a difference. We must believe that the Holy Spirit will guide our strategies to ensure that each local PCG congregation is healthy and transforming its community. We must believe that the heart of the Lord of the harvest is to commission the planting, mothering and birthing of new, healthy congregations committed to transforming additional communities. We must believe that the PCG is endowed by its Creator to be an organized fellowship holding the hands of all colors to exalt Jesus, evangelize the world and edify the Church. We must believe that our congregations exist to nourish the unfed, clothe the unprotected, educate the unlearned, serve the underprivileged, defend the unborn, rebuke the untruthful, embrace the unwanted, perform the unbelievable, invite the unchurched, defend the unfortunate, renounce the unforgiving, refuse the unorganized and proclaim the unchanging, unbeatable, unequivocal gospel of Jesus Christ.
It's hard to believe we can't see that eye to eye.