Discover the form of commitment that our country truly needs to reclaim at this critical hour.
Overindulgence, moral apathy, national complacency – all of these traits which are so characteristic of our current society bear a disturbing similarity to the problems faced by the Roman Empire leading up to its eventual downfall. Is there still a way to reverse the toxic trends that we see played out in our nation’s families, legislatures, and schools?
Elton Trueblood begins his 1961 book, The Company of the Committed, with a sobering question: "What reason is there to suppose that our civilization, in contrast to civilizations which have preceded it, will endure?" The Roman Empire, one of the most powerful regimes of all time, was brought to its knees by a small group of people known as the Way. They were not simply professing believers who viewed Christianity as something lived out in church attendance one day a week. Rather, they were focused, energized, and passionate about their faith. In a word, they were committed.
Why are so many people discontented with the church today? Trueblood writes that people “are looking for a bold fellowship, and what they find is a complacent society concerned to an absurd degree with its own internal politics or so unimaginative to suggest that the world can be saved by three hymns and a sermon or a Mass." He goes on to say that "many contemporary seekers cannot abide in the Church [sic] as they see it, their dissatisfaction arising not from the fact that membership demands too much, but rather from the fact that the demands are too small." According to Trueblood, American Christianity has trivialized the community of the committed by reducing the focus of the church to a single place, a time, and a person.
Too often we search for political answers to solve spiritual problems. I think there is more at stake than the Supreme Court in this election. The world is watching the values of our nation. Trueblood declares that if America is to endure we must become fully committed to Christ and His cause by reintroducing the power, wonder, truth, and beauty of God into all of life, not solely on Sunday.
The above article was written using information from the following sources:
Trueblood, Elton. The Company of the Committed. New York: Harper, 1961. Print.
Horace, Percy, and Cyril are ordinary boys who love the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Their discerning pastor starts a club for boys - The Order of the White Knights - challenging them to be chivalrous in their own neighborhoods and even in their own families. What a profound change takes place in that community because of the personal sacrifice of these ordinary, yet extraordinary boys! This story will increase our sensitivity to the needs of others, as we realize that most of the people we meet each day are weary travelers simply needing a kind word or a helping hand.