To the Editor: Beer Garden

Letters to the Editor (5)As pastor of one of the many churches in our community, I attended the city council meeting on Monday, July 13, with the intention to speak against the granting of license to the fair board to have a beer garden. Coming in after the chambers were filled, I stood in the hall and listened to the proceedings as best I could. But as I waited and listened, I realized the futility of my mission on two fronts: (1) the county commissioners had already approved the plan and, (2) the council’s sole involvement was merely to grant or not to grant license for the venture. Democracy—the voice of the people had already spoken in the election of commissioners, who, while promising to put the matter before the people, proceeded without that step. Those who spoke in favor of the matter clearly demonstrated their interest to ensure that the children, whom the opposition had as their main concern, would be protected to the best their ability. I do hope that is the case.

My thoughts during the proceedings, however, centered upon something more basic—the will of God. While some may dismiss me, they will do so because of where we, as community, have departed from our roots. People used to attend church regularly for various reasons, but the main reason was to hear the man of God speak the Word of God in order to know the will of God. James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote (which I paraphrase slightly): “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a venture in order to make a profit.’ . . . Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:13, 15). This is the Word of God.

Should you regard this as irrelevant, may I direct your memory to the fact that Monday’s session was opened with prayer. To whom was the prayer directed, and for what purpose? I am neither critical of the prayer or of the one offering it. I point to its purpose—to invoke God’s blessing on the proceedings. Yet, never once was His desire referenced by those wanting the beer garden. Why? Is the invocation but a mere formality, a relic of former times with no real relevance to our present condition? Has God abdicated His throne? Is Jesus no longer Lord and King? Or, have we, as community, followed ancient Israel to declare silently, “We do not want this [Jesus] to reign over us” (Luke 19:14).

I leave you with this warning: “Since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up” (Romans 1:28).

Yours for His Kingdom,

Pastor Jeff Alexander


Filed Under: communityLetters to the EditorProwers County


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