My brother turned 40 years old in August. We pulled together a belated party for him in October. The preparation of a powerpoint show for the party forced me way back to childhood memories. Among the pictures that I used in the show was one of a rally that my brother and I organized in Augusta's Capitol Park in the early 1980s. The attractive banner displayed on the flatbed truck above the singers said, "Jesus, He is Alive." I paused on that picture for awhile as I was designing the powerpoint show. I pondered.
It has been over twenty years. I am still in Maine's capitol city. Just this month, in March, I organized another rally. There's a banner in those pictures. That banner identified the issue that brought us together. It identified the "Coalition for Marriage." It was held over the heads of a group numbering 500 standing within earshot of where the "Jesus, He is Alive" rally was held so many years ago.
Struggling with feelings of adolescent guilt I turned my life over to Jesus Christ in 1980. He cleansed me of guilt. Soon, within months, my brother and many of his teenage friends followed me in my commitment. We started a youth group called Youth Christian Outreach, or YCOR. It was quite exciting. Life happened in the intervening years. I feel like Jesus remained steady. He didn't change. I sure did, and so did my colleagues and friends from those years.
The glory of Jesus captured and sustained my imagination through those years of college, marriage, childbirth, parenting, career and leadership development. Jesus has kept me in Augusta. He put me at the Christian Civic League of Maine before the 80's closed. He prepared me for the League by allowing me to serve good-hearted Christian people and suffering alcoholics and mentally ill folks at a ministry, now closed, called Bethany Acres. I have been at the League since 1988. In 2004 I stood on the State House steps with Christian ministers and believers from all over the state who are waking up to the fact that liberalism now means radical sexual permissiveness. They are realizing that the future of Maine cannot be taken for granted. It isn't promised to us. Our society is as prone to crumble as is any other society in all of human history. Our economy is not the guarantor of future success and stability.
Perhaps our March banner should have been identical to the one that youthful group of unsophisticated, grateful teens hung high over Capitol Park. Perhaps our March banner should have said, "Jesus, He is Alive." As it was, the speakers that day emphasized the importance of Christianity in the fight over marriage. I am proud of those men and women.
I was riduculed at that first rally. All of us were called cuckoo clocks by the Governor's office in March. Jesus hasn't changed, and neither has the willingness of "tolerant" secularists to demean Bible-believing Christians. Their tactics of intimidation used to bother me. No longer.
Sodomy is evil. It kills people just as readily as abortion. The willingness of an Episcopal Bishop to practice anal intercourse must remain a disqualification for leadership. It is sick. The only thing more pathetic is the willingness of so many Christians to pretend that it isn't sick.
For the Christian either Jesus is live, or He isn't. If He is alive then marriage matters and sodomy is evil. If He isn't alive then maybe love does mean that all consensual sex is good sex. That will never be true for me or any of my friends. No man who treats sex so casually is my friend, anymore than Jesus, Paul or Peter would have considered such people their friends. Paul called such people outsiders and demanded that Christians not practice such things. He demanded that they not associate with people who do.
This is a good idea for all Mainers who want to participate in the renovation of a once great civilization. Either sodomy is going to become mainstream or the morals of Jesus Christ are going to be restored to their prominent and respected place in our society. There is no middle ground in this struggle. Maine's heritage is Christian. The best guarantor for equality, peace and prosperity for all Maine citizens is Christian morals, and Christian leadership. The vapid platitudes of leftist secularists will destroy us. The truths of Jesus will restore us. They will create a firm foundation upon which we can continue to create, explore and succeed as a people.
Teddy Roosevelt said, "America cannot be powerful, permanent, and progressive, unless it is built upon the elements of the teachings of Jesus Christ.”
Roosevelt was right. Jesus, He IS Alive.
Michael Heath is executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine. You can learn more about Heath and the League at their website www.cclmaine.org