Hate, it has no place in church or state
by Chris Collett
May 17, 2014 04:00 AM | 1994 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chris Collett<br>Columnist
Chris Collett
This will be my last opportunity to write before we know the results of the election this coming Tuesday. In my 51 years living in Cherokee County, I can’t say I can remember a time when the races were so contentious.

The amount of name-calling and accusations has reached a new high or a new low, according to how you look at it. The alleged stealing of campaign signs is rampant throughout the county. It appears as if some people don’t just want their candidate to win, they want to destroy the candidate and their families in the process.

I have no problem with the separation of church and state. As a matter of fact, I am fairly sure it’s a good idea. It is with quite certainty that if God was involved in politics, He wouldn’t be too happy with the tearing down of people’s lives.

Most, or at least many, politically minded people lay claim to being Christians. It is not for us to question anyone’s Christianity. Only God knows our hearts. And as sorry a life as I have lived, I wouldn’t trade my soul with anyone. Because although I may bear the brunt of judgment from the righteous, I know that what God touched in me at the age of 12 secured me a home in heaven.

Many people do act as if the separation of church and state gives them a free pass to say and do as they wish when they aren’t in church. Not being an expert on this subject or any other, something tells me that He is watching us at all times.

If God wants to get our attention, He will get it.

A prime example of this occurred sometime in the early 1980s. I can’t remember the exact year. I was visiting a revival at Hightower Baptist Church. If my memory serves me well, Rev. Gerral Richards was the pastor.

This was a night I will never forget. Like most revivals in country Baptist churches, there was plenty of preaching, plenty of good singing, and plenty of praying to throw on top of it. While the tension welled inside the church at the altar call, a thunderstorm was brewing outside.

As good as it was, no one was making a move to accept Jesus as their Savior and be saved. It was about this time that the storm outside erupted into a big one with lightning flashing and thunder rolling.

As the church continued to sing and the preacher continued to invite people to give their life to God, the power went out.

When this happened, there were several that decided that this would be a good night to be saved. The praying that I mentioned earlier increased several times over.

It had been several years since I had given my heart to God. However, if I would even have remotely been on the fence about where I stood, I believe I would have dropped to my knees right then and there.

God wanted our attention and He got it.

During all of this, several people in the church pulled their vehicles in front of the church to give light as they opened the doors wide.

Many souls were saved that night even if God had to jumpstart things with a storm.

There may be some reading this that believe this was all a coincidence. I must respect your right to believe as you wish. But I am not among you. I will forever believe in my heart that God used His infinite power to cause people to move.

Rev. Richards pastored Hightower Baptist Church for many years. However, I can’t help but wonder if he ever experienced another night like what we all experienced during that revival service.

That was a great time in Cherokee County. Oh it wasn’t perfect. It never has been and never will be. But it was a time when fewer people were determined to destroy the lives of others. It was a time when the church was the centerpiece of the community. It was a time when a neighbor was a neighbor.

Jesus said in the Bible that if a man says he loves God and hates his brother, this man is a liar. I hope we don’t have as much hate in our county as it appears. But if we don’t, then let’s stop acting like we do.

No one is perfect, we’re just forgiven.

Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.
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