By James Beaty
Phillip Stizza says if Christians in McAlester, in the nation and around the world will unite in prayer and action, they can become a mighty force for change.
Stizza spoke to a group of 106 at All Saints’ Episcopal Church during the Wednesday morning session of the Men’s Holy Week Breakfasts in McAlester. They ate a breakfast of pancakes and sausage, with orange juice and coffee, while Stizza delivered his message.
“My friends, there’s a battle going on in the world today,” said Stizza, representing St. John’s Evangelist Catholic Church. He said he’s not referring to a military battle, but the battle between good and evil.
“Our country and our culture as we know it was founded primarily by people who were Christians and our nation is a predominantly Christian country,” Stizza said. “Now as professed Christians, is there anything we can do about all of this — to change what is going on? Is there something we can do in addition to relying on the grace of God to overcome temptation as we fight along the ‘good side’ against the ‘dark side?’”
“Can we do something about the evil that tempts our society, our nation and the sinful tendencies that confront our culture? How can a person, namely each of us, in our little rural town of McAlester, do anything to make a difference?”
Stizza then quoted St. Benedict: “Pray as if everything depends upon God; work as if everything depends on you.”
He said sinful ways can be confronted through unity.
“I suggest to you there is real power in unity — Christian unity,” Stizza said.
He presented an example of a single strand of fiber that by itself has little strength, but becomes a strong rope when the fibers are twisted together.
“One ear of corn can feed only one person. However, when acres of corn are harvested, see how many people can be fed,” he said.
Stizza also alluded to how a thin copper wire conducts little electricity, but many copper wires seamed together can transmit a powerful current.
“My friends, in the same kid of analogy, just imagine what all of us Christians banded together could do,” Stizza said. He suggested pouring that united enthusiasm and energy into an expression of involvement “just as we do when we support our favorite football or basketball team, just as we do when we support a particular political candidate, so that the moral silent Christian majority is not so silent any more.”
By exercising Christian unity, “there can be a beginning to reversing the erring ways of this nation and those sinful actions that are leading our society down a path of destruction,” Stizza said. He suggested starting with prayer.
“God always hears our prayers and answers us in His own time, often in ways that we would never dream of,” said Stizza.
In the past, the nation’s leaders have called for days of prayer and fasting, imploring God’s divine help, Stizza said. They went far beyond current national day of prayer held on the first Thursday of each May, he said. Maybe Americans should once again take former President Ronald Reagan’s advice to “seek His help for the challenges we face today and in the future,” Stizza suggested.
We live in a time when there have never been greater communication tools available, he noted.
“We cannot use the excuse that we are not informed with the likes of newspaper, Internet, cable television and smart phones,” Stizza said.
“Many of us have email, Facebook, Twitter; most have a cell phone instantly available for texting and talking and yes, old-fashioned pencil and paper is still available — all of which can be used to voice opposition and support, when appropriate, for what is gong on around us,” said Stizza.
The millions and millions within the moral Christian majority in this country could flood communication lines to voice an opinion in support of, or outrage against, policies and laws that go against or threaten religious rights and freedoms or jeopardize the moral fabric of the nation, society and culture, he said.
“The silent moral Christian majority could unleash a tsunami of texts, emails, voice mails and the like to make known their consciences about what is right and wrong, what is moral and immoral,” Stizza said.
He asked those present if they could imagine what would happen if every professed Christian in the nation would vote in line with their Judeo-Christian values and moral principals.
Strength and power lies in Christian unity among the 250 million Christian men and women in the United States and among the 2.2 billion Christians worldwide, he said.
All of us have a duty to pay attention and to act “because in order to change things, it must begin with the individual,” Stizza said.
When individuals unify and change what is wrong, they soon merge, at first transforming small groups and communities, then progressing to cities, states and countries, with the world following over time, said Stizza.
“Think it can’t happen? Then look at Christianity as it began more than 2,000 years ago with a handful of Jesus’ disciples progressing to the now billions in nearly every country in the world who profess their belief in Him,” Stizza said.
“We have a higher power in God, who through His son, Jesus Christ, has assured us of victory over evil,” said Stizza.
“The cross, the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, highlighted in remembrance this week, has saved us from sin, starting with the sin of Adam and Eve, continuing through all time to the modern-world sins of the 21st Century.”
Stizza said the result is forgiveness of sin and salvation for all.
“Death will not be the final outcome for us, the children of God, just a passageway to heaven which has been opened up and made available to each of us,” Stizza said.
“We trust in God that he will not abandon us. Let us believe in the might of Christian unity.”
Contact James Beaty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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