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Where have all the Christians gone?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Dear Editor:

Where have all the Christians gone? Has the rapture occurred in Barry County? Christians, where are you?

Have all of the Christians in Barry County disappeared? Have they been raptured, met Christ in the Air, on and up into Heaven? Or have they just turned their heads the other way, choosing to ignore a issue here in our community. The granting of a Liquor license to Wal-Mart by the Cassville City Council.

I have nothing against Wal-Mart; it's not about Wal-Mart, they do a lot for a community, they provide lots of jobs, the taxes on sales benefit the city and county, they put money back into the community in the form of grants, they donate to worthy causes in our county, the Supercenters bring other businesses to town, all this helps our community and economy. After they build one, the real estate values increase in the business community. Plain and simple, we do not need any more outlets in our county for the sale of intoxicating beverages. We have far too many now, besides, Wal-Mart does not have a chain of nationwide and international liquor stores, that's really not Wal-Mart's business operation.

I am against anyone else having the ability to sell intoxication beverages in our county.

Where are all the pastors in Barry County? Have they too been raptured or gone on vacation. Why have they not joined the fight against Wal-Mart selling booze in the new Wal-Mart Supercenter here in our community. Seems like the pastors currently engaged in this battle could use some help from the other pastors and Christians in Barry County. Surely the other pastors and Christians are against the sale of liquor and intoxicating beverages in our city and county, surely pastors are not concerned about money and offending Wal-Mart of heavy tithers?

Gee let's not totally denounce sin from the pulpit. Let's candy coat the messages, let's not dare step on any toes, let's not come out against anything, don't want to rock our financial boat, too much might sink it, besides a little drink every now and then never hurts any one?

It makes me wonder. If they believe that selling and drinking intoxicating beverages is OK, why don't they serve it up to us during communion services?

To me silence in this issue is simply approval. If the Christians of this community do not voice their disapproval, then it means they approve.

There is absolutely nothing good about consuming intoxicating beverages.

I know first hand the evils, pain and grief of drinking intoxicating beverages, because I was a drunk for most of my adult life. I thank God I did not kill an innocent family while driving my pickup in a drunken state. I eventually became addicted to the rot gut stuff, it took control of my life and would have completely destroyed me, if it had not of been for an Old Gideon Bible. I found it and read in it. I needed help, because my life was in a shambles, physically sick, broken, bankrupt on the edge of losing everything then getting my father's pistol out, putting it to my mouth to end it all.

But right before I blew my brains out I thought I would read something in that Old Gideon Bible that I picked up out of the trash. Reading it that day, I found Jesus. He delivered me from a life of drunken hell, delivered me from Satan's demonic grip. I drank so much I let every liquor store owner in Cassville think I bought booze there. I was ashamed to let them know how much I drank.

On my mission trips, I have seen its destructive force on the Navajo Nation, where a drunken son simply stomped his mother nearly to death, now she is blind in one eye and confined to a wheel chair. I have seen grown men and women passed out in the gutters in Gallup. I have attended the funerals with my Navajo friends where a loved one that was in a drunken state simply laid down in a snow drift and froze to death. I attended a funeral where a drunk driver wiped out an entire family of six on Christmas Eve.

Wonder why Benton County, Ark., is a dry county? Have you ever thought about that? Why can't ya buy yer booze there? Heck it's Wal-Mart's front and back yard, it's their headquarters. Their home office. If they want to sell it so bad, (They don't need to sell it in order to survive financially,) why not sell it right there in Bentonville, Ark.?

Could it be that the founder, Sam Walton, would not permit that to happen? Could it be the Sam Walton may have had Christian principles, valued the family unit? Could it be that he knew the evil and problems connected with the sale of it?

Why did Sam Walton build a multi-million dollar family fitness center in Bentonville, Ark., with an Olympic indoor pool, other indoor pools, basketball courts, tennis courts, handball courts, indoor tracks and state-of-the-art exercising equipment for men, women, teens and little children. Why did he build this nice family facility for his employees? Why didn't Sam Walton's build them a great big ol tavern and beer joint instead? Maybe Sam Walton's success was founded upon Godly principles. I never had the honor to meet him, but from what I have heard, if he was alive, this would not even be a consideration. Sam would never have put booze in his stores.

Could it be that Wal-Mart has entirely sold out its founding principles for money? Surely not? Why does Wal-Mart even need to sell that rot gut stuff? They make lots of money; they are in no financial strain. We have intoxicating beverages in our local supermarket and convenience stores. Why do we need another outlet to sell this poison?

If Wal-Mart wants to sell the stuff, then let them sell it down in Arkansas in their own hometown.

As for the Cassville City Council, is it that you don't really care for the community and county or is it greed, gotta have that revenue from the taxes on the sale of the booze?

This is not about Wal-Mart. It's about good and evil, right and wrong. Yes, it is about morals. When will it end? Can't pray in school anymore, can't say the pledge of allegiance to our flag anymore, can't use God's name any more, dare not say anything about Jesus.

I would hate to think that all the other pastors, youth leaders and Sunday School teachers would let these bold Christians stand alone. What will you Sunday School teachers tell the children you teach when they ask why their church, pastor and Sunday School teachers are not against drinking and selling intoxicating beverages and why you are doing nothing to fight it? What ya gonna say to them?

There will be another City Council Meeting at 6 p.m. on Jan. 17. Will the Christians of Barry County stand up for what is right, will you attend that meeting, will you stand up now for Jesus? Will Cassville's City Hall be filled to overflowing and with the crowds of Christians overflowing out into the streets?

I am a Vietnam veteran. I enlisted for three years, proudly serving my country, and I remember the protests of those days, folks carrying signs and protesting. Wonder how many Christians would dare do that today: Hey, let's stand up for what is right and decent for our community.

Pick up you phone, call Wal-Mart's home office, call the local Wal-Mart store, call the city, the mayor, the city council members.

Fellow Christians, it's high time we rose up and stood for something right. If Jesus himself appeared to you and asked you how you felt on this issue, what would your answer be? He's the one we will answer to.

God bless everyone,

Tom Gantt

Cassville, Missouri