Standing in the Gap! by Paul Lagan, President Alliance for Life Ministries It was D-Day, June 6, 1944, and a young soldier from South Central Wisconsin waded ashore on Omaha Beach in France. Years later, I talked to that young soldier, now in failing health and in his mid-seventies, about his experience. He told me that when he exited the landing craft he was resolved to the fact that he was definitely going to die. His only fear was that it would happen in the water or on the beach, and not in a green field on the other side of the cliffs. Although wounded, "on the other side" he did escape the fate he had so courageously accepted. Nearly 10,000 others did not. I vaguely remember WWII. Rationing, Bob Hope ending his programs with the plea, "Bye bye, and buy bonds." Kate Smith sang, "God Bless America" and God did…WE WON! Another popular wartime song was entitled, "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition and We’ll All Stay Free." During WWII, people at home prayed for the safety and success of our troops, and then rushed off to defend plants where they helped manufacture the supplies necessary to defeat the enemy. People from that era had their values straight. They acknowledged the fact that the enemy was real and the possibilities that existed if they did not respond. They realized where God’s involvement ended and their responsibility began. The enemy was defeated and our country was saved from tyranny, not only by prayer, but also by the 450,000 American soldiers who paid with their lives, and the efforts of millions of dedicated warriors at home who "stood in the gap." Ezekiel 22:30-31 states, "I looked in vain for anyone who would build against the wall of righteousness that guards the land, who would stand in the gap and defend you from my just attacks, but I found no one . And so the Lord says - I have heaped upon you the full penalty for all your sins" Today, very few of God’s anointed are willing to "stand in the gap." And that is precisely the reason for the breakdown of morals within our society. It is the reason why abortion is still a law, why infanticide (including partial-birth abortions) is legally practice, and why physician assisted suicide will eventually escalate into active euthanasia, why men and women will be fornicating with their own gender (under the disguise of being a family), and why churches will openly condone these relationships as "Christian." If what I am sensing is accurate, there is wide-spread confusion in the Christian community about how to respond to the spiritual free-falling we are witnessing. Church attendance is now at an eleven year low; surveys show that the average child believes committing adultery is sassing adults and that a politician on horseback delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Our nation is not experiencing a spiritual revival – to the contrary, 70% to 80% of church growth in America is simply "transfer" growth, or movement of Christians from one church to another. There is a searching for the truth among the saints of the church, brought about by the silence of the shepherds. It is clear to me that many church attending people today do not accept Hell as a reality, and consider sin as a gray area. Many of these same people believe that because abortion is legal, and depending on personal circumstances, it can be justifiable, that euthanasia can be an act of mercy, and that homosexuality is a preferential, normal lifestyle rather than fornication. The key difference is this: Although we are all sinners, our intent is to change. To not only make a commitment to Christ, but a CONVERSION! The converted Christian acknowledges his/her sins and, even though reoccurrences may happen, is repentant and makes a sincere effort to follow God’s laws. The abortion and euthanasia sympathizers, as well as practicing homosexuals, do not. Ungodly people may PROFESS to know Christ but their lives and their works DENY Him. These people openly advocate disobedience to God’s laws, are not repentant, and forcefully state that they have no intention of conversion. In fact, their intention is to convert other Christians to their beliefs, and they have become extremely successful at their efforts. In these cases, to welcome the messenger is to condone the message, and as a result, (because many of our churches are willing to tolerate "sin in the camp" in an effort to appease certain elements of their church body), the message delivered from the pulpit of a majority of our churches today has evolved into little more than a cancer of compromise . How different would the Holy scriptures read: If God had not sent the great flood; If…Lot’s wife had gotten away with her backward look of unbelief; If…Pharaoh would have been allowed to disobey God and cross the Red Sea; If…God would have allowed Paul to continue to persecute His people. How different would World War and American history read, If : Washington had thrown in the towel because he only had support from 15% of his country men; If…Lincoln would have given in to the wishes of his entire cabinet and allowed the confederate States to secede; If…Churchill had cowered before Hitler’s hegemony in 1939 (that is precisely what Chamberlain did, and his appeasement of Hitler nearly cost Britain it’s freedom): If…10,000 American soldiers had not "stood in the gap" on June 6,1944. Contrary to the passive message that is being taught in many of our churches today, there has never been in recorded history a major dispute that has been settled by "doing good to one’s enemies." The invasion of Europe on D-Day in 1944 is evidence to that fact. The final battle of Armageddon will be no different. This is simply a misapplication of God’s word. Abortion will not end, and infanticide and euthanasia will not be prevented from escalating by not speaking out and passively condoning or "doing good" to people who are involved with, participation in, or responsible for these evils. Clergy that are teaching this false doctrine are sentencing pro-life efforts to guaranteed failure. The fact is that there IS an eternal right and wrong. The Christian church would have been stopped before it had started if the first century Christians had relied upon the timid, passable resolve displayed by many of our churches today. Dr. James Dobson stated, "The United States has seen the most rapid deterioration of the Christian ethic in memory, and yet many of our clergy are saying, in good conscience, "It’s not our calling." One only needs to pick up local newspapers or turn on television news to be shocked into reality. From abortion to Kevorkian, from herpes to homosexuality, who is publicly speaking out, proclaiming their Biblical truth? For the most part, liberal Christian leaders. Yes, there are clergy in a few churches addressing these issues form the pulpit, but for most conservative clergy, their public silence is deafening. How is it possible that so many ministers – of all people – can justify silence over something as morally reprehensible as child killing, murder of the elderly, and the spread of AIDS brought about by legalized sodomy? "I looked in vain for anyone who would…stand in the gap…but I found not one." It is shocking to realize that the America of 2004, like the Germany of the 1940's, is capable of committing great acts of evil against other humans while many Christian leaders are willing to look the other way and caution others to be civil. Being civil doesn’t mean being silent! How have we rewarded those brave soldiers who put their lives at risk on "the longest day" 60 years ago? By not defending their lives, as they did ours. By allowing doctors to finish the job that the Nazis were unable to finish on the beaches of Omaha in 1944. Euthanasia will be their reward…GOD HELP US! To the Christian leaders who suggest we retreat to our Christian enclaves, I would like to ask a few extremely important questions: - At what point will you rise to defend what your believe? - Is there ANYTHING worth putting your reputation in jeopardy? - Is there any sin within our society where you would draw the line? As American solders scaled the cliffs of Omaha Beach 60 years ago to defeat the enemy, so our cliffs at home are scaled, and the enemy defeated; but not without a price. If there is anything worse than being in a war, it is being in a war and not knowing it. Even though our enemy today is just as real as the enemy 60 years ago, some of us have failed to recognize who the enemy is – for others, the enemy lies within!