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Consuming as fire

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jul. 27, 2021 - 4:22 PM

Consuming as fire

W.J. Butcher is a Coweta County resident and retired 26-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department. Send comments, kudos, and criticism to: .

In a recent newspaper column, I see where only 36 percent polled claim to be of the Protestant faith, down from 50 percent in 2003.

A bedeviled statistical proof of the decline of our moral condition as faith is all about hope, and hope in this case has been substituted for anger from a populous who lashes out against traditional values, symbols, names and skin color. As if an infant, kicking and screaming in a temper tantrum of rage, whose irrational uproar neither wants assistance or resolution as much as they just want to show out, destroy and be seen.

I see where a particular town in America is in a quandary as to what to do with all the historical statues they have removed from public display, as it seems to have offended a certain group that passes by.

How splendid it would be to take these historical monuments off their hands, free of charge of course, and place them respectfully in my pasture facing the roadway. Outstanding in the field, so to speak, reminiscent of the Cadillac Ranch along Route 66 west of Amarillo, Texas. It would upset neither me nor my cows to have these outcasts of history displayed in admiration.

In a study of the book of Jonah in the Bible, I see a profound parallel in the anger of Jonah and the recent growth of an anti-cultural respect (destruction of historical monuments), anti-authority (defund, reform the police), anti-racial harmony (finding racial bias around every corner), anti-wealth (legislation directed at Wall Street) and anarchist proliferation (rioting and destruction of public and private businesses/property).

You see, Jonah was appointed by God to go to Nineveh, which was a town fraught with wickedness and violence, and preach: “Yet 40 days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”

Jonah knew full well God was gracious and compassionate, and Jonah wanted vengeance to a town he thought not worthy of forgiveness.

Jonah tried to run away from his assignment and ended up famously being swallowed by a giant fish. Three days in the belly of this whale, and he changed his mind about God’s mission resulting in the Lord commanding the fish vomit Jonah on dry land.

Jonah finally went to Nineveh, delivered the message, and the town repented. That made Jonah furious as when God saw their deeds of repentance, He changed his mind about the calamity he had previously declared He would inflict upon the town.

God asked Jonah, “Do you have good reason to be angry?” Boom. There is the parallel I made with Jonah and these malcontents that wage riotous behavior and displeasure to an America that does not warrant such disdain.

America is not squeaky-clean, and we are collectively and personally guilty of the sin worthy of separation in a place called Hell. But God is absolutely gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abundant in lovingkindness and made a pathway to salvation through Jesus Christ.

And Jonah’s answer to God’s decision? He irrationally said, “I have good reason to be angry, even to death.” Sound familiar lately?

I do not know why some Americans hate America so much. They never say what country they would like to emulate. Their anger is irrational. But we who love the United States of America, striving for a more perfect Union, should actively pray for those whose hatred is consuming as fire. We need to forgive and pray earnestly for our leaders.

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we lose our freedoms, it will be because we have destroyed ourselves from within.” – Abraham Lincoln

W.J. Butcher is a Coweta County resident and retired 26-year veteran of the Atlanta Police Department. Send comments, kudos, and criticism to: .