The power of influence
One of the things Police Lt. Tony Conrad pointed out to us on Tuesday evening was his assessment about the increases in crime in these times. He believed it was at least in part, due to a growing rejection of any source of authority. That is certainly true. Some of this disenchantment with authority has, no doubt, resulted from some in places of leadership abusing their positions. But I believe the most significant reason for a growing disregard for authority relates to an earlier and ongoing trend in our American culture, the setting aside of the Bible and the discounting of God’s authority in national and personal affairs. That discounting was made somewhat official early in the time of Mr. Obama’s presidency, when he announced to the world that America was no longer a Christian nation.
In refreshing contrast to these sad trends, was what happened at the funeral of Sherriff’s Sgt. Steve Owen, held at Lancaster Baptist Church on Thursday. Sgt. Owen was ambushed and murdered by one of those early release parolees our liberal California government as flooded into communities all over California. Sargent Owen’s influence for good was obvious, as testified to by the unprecedented outpouring of support. The streets were lined with many hundreds and overpasses were jammed with people as the procession passed. Then at the funeral, thousands filed in.
Many commented on the impact Steve Owen had on their lives, but one common thread was that they all knew he was a man who was unashamed to be known as a follower of Jesus Christ. His son Brandon spoke and said the following in response to the enormous turnout, “This week I have seen as never before, the impact one person can have, if they do one thing; that is- live out the gospel with their lives. What gave my dad the ability to change so many lives was more about his heart than anything else. His life was firmly anchored in Jesus Christ. He lived free of fear, even the fear of death, because his eternity was secure.” Brandon closed his comments with these words, “What is your landmark? For my dad and our family, it is the cross of Jesus Christ. Look at what one decision for Christ can do.”