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Opinion

“My Vision”

By Rep. Allan Farley                                                                   

On a recent Sunday morning, as Muriel and I were worshiping with our church family, I found myself starring across our congregation at someone I had never seen. (I admit it; I’m a Southern Baptist who sits in the same seat, on the same row, around the same group of people, every single Sunday. There, I said it).  But, that Sunday I was watching a lady as she sang and signed the words to the songs.  Wow!!!  It was amazing how peaceful and uninhibited she was.  It was like no-one else was there but her.  Just singing, praising, and signing the words as she sang.  Oh yeah, this was a black lady standing in the middle of about 300 white folks in a Baptist church in McCalla.  It was AWESOME!!!

The sermon that particular Sunday was built around the story in Mark, chapter 11, of Jesus placing a curse on a fig tree that was not bearing fruit.  Our pastor then walked us down the path that led  to another story about Jesus kicking the thieves out of the temple that were ripping off the people who were trying to do the right thing.  {Wait a minute.  I’ve heard this somewhere before.  Politics 101:  Convince the people you’re on their side, identify a problem, take their money, and split the money with the guys who let you get a table in the temple.  No question about it, that’s politics}. 

 Fig trees and people are both created by God to produce good fruit.  The moral to these two bible stories are the same.  When you don’t produce fruit, or you produce bad fruit, then bad things can happen.  In one case, the tree withered and died.  In the other case, the politicians, (I mean money changers), were driven out of office, (you know I really meant to say temple). 

Over the past several weeks I have used this weekly newspaper column to write about serious issues facing Jefferson County and our state.  Every issue has involved money, politics, and bad fruit.  (I’ll bet you know who the bad fruit are).  We’ve discussed everything from Medicaid to Legislative Office Funds.  I haven’t seen any fig trees, but there have been a lot of money changers.  And, our state and local economy have both continued to wither.  Now, today I’m talking about a lady in a Sunday morning church service singing, signing, and worshiping likes she’s all by herself.  What’s up???

Watch how people worship.  Well, first identify who or what they worship.  Are they money changers?  Is it all about money?  Is it about them?  Is it about power and control?  Or, is it all of the above?  With 1474 religious congregations, identified through tax records in Jefferson County, it’s obvious that worship is important.  So, why does this same county account for one third of the state prison population?  (Matt 23:25 – “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.”)  Remember the money changers located outside the temple?  The worse things got, the more people came to worship, the more money they made.  Sound familiar?

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We have politicians and organizations making money off of our problems.  They focus on our differences.  They dwell on our past.  But, they don’t want to discuss what we have in common.  Remember the lady praising God, singing, and signing?  She was totally focused on her future.  Wow!!!

We must dwell on our future.  We cannot continue to be blinded by our past mistakes.  (1 Cor 4:4 – The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ).  Let’s deal with the money changers and worship together.  Then, we can really become “WE The People” Forming a More Perfect Union.  Union?  This union would bring everyone together.  What a vision.  “One Nation under God, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for All. “

Remember Hebrews 13:3 – Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. 

God Bless America!!!

Allen Farley
Written By

DIG DEEPER