too good not to repost…

Thanks to Agent B for linking to this letter in my old hometown paper, the Abilene Reporter-News. Folks, I wish I could say the sentiments of the writer were only shared by a nutty few, but…

Many still prefer the old Abilene

Dub Jackson, Guest columnist

Without a doubt, for many years Abilene was the example of what a Christian town should be.

As a missionary in Japan for many years, in 1962, as we prepared for the presentation of the Christian message in a major evangelistic campaign, I encouraged the Japanese leadership to send seven of their leaders to the United States of America to look at Abilene, America’s most amazing Christian city. They came in January 1962, and Dr. Elwin Skiles of First Baptist Church was the chairman of Abilene’s welcoming committee.

We wanted them to see a city where businesses closed on Sunday because it was the Lord’s Day and a city without bars and cabarets and one where alcohol was not permitted to be sold. We wanted them to see our city with its three Christian colleges, Christian hospitals and a city where the mayor and its leaders believed in and respected the Biblical teachings taught in churches on every corner. I also wanted them to see and meet the people of Abilene.

They came and they saw and went back to Japan inspired and with a vision and hope for their country. In April of 1963, those Japanese leaders led in the presentation of the Christian message in Japan and more than 25,000 Japanese bowed and prayed to receive Christ as Lord. Abilene had a lot to do with that. Japan still has a long way to go, but they have come a long way since Pearl Harbor.

Sadly, that is not Abilene today.

Even our newspaper on June 3 boldly presented on the front page, without apology, the plans of a fine couple to enter into marriage in a way that is clearly prohibited by the biblical teachings that had so long been the guidepost of our city and nation.

Certainly we are free to live and act as we please, whether it is in line with the Bible or not.

However, for those who still believe that God’s plan as presented in his word is best, our newspaper’s presentation that day was most discouraging.

Many still prefer the “Old Abilene!”

— Dub Jackson and his wife, Doris, are residents of Abilene.

And my favorite reader comment on the letter:

Ah, yes. 1962.

When the premiere Christian university in town still refused to admit black students.

What did the Japanese visitors learn from that?

ouch.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mitch on June 11, 2008 at 12:20 am

    That’s funny because the Abilene he described in this letter sounds pretty much like the Abilene I live in now. Sure, there are bars and cabarets and booze now, but our politicians are also deacons, you can walk into a plethora evangelical churches and hear anti-gay sermons and the local preachers get free coffee at Starbucks right when they walk in the door.

    “Japan still has a long way to go, but they have come a long way since Pearl Harbor.”

    This statement bugs me because it implies that the Pearl Harbor attack was directly related to a lack of Jesus in their country. Hitler was a Christian, right? That columnist needs to read a REAL history book, not one that a Colorado-based Christian and political resource company (I’m not naming any names!) sent him in the mail.

    I could go on and on. I believe in values, morality and spirituality as much as the next guy, but sometimes it’s really hard to be a Christian in Abilene.

    Reply

  2. It’s possible to be a christian in Abilene, Mitch. Not easy. Just very counter culturally possible.

    All the best to you.

    Reply

  3. Yeah, the line that caught Mitch’s eye was my favorite, too. Referencing Pearl Harbor like that was too perfect.

    Reply

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