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Centurio Epistula - Reading Scripture

One rule of the Order is to "Meditate on Holy
Scripture". This of course necessitating that one read
the Scriptures. In an article entitled "The Demise of
Literature" concerning the very drastic decline in
reading in America (and which probably affects the
entire Western World), George Will offers this
illustration of Christians in combat some 64 years

In 1940 a British officer on Dunkirk beach sent
London a three-word message: ``But if not.'' It was
instantly recognized as from the Book of Daniel. When
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are commanded to
worship a golden image or perish, they defiantly
reply: ``Our God who we serve is able to deliver us
from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us
out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known
unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods.

Britain then still had the cohesion of a common
culture of shared reading. That cohesion enabled
Britain to stay the hand of Hitler, a fact pertinent
to today's new age of barbarism.

I must admit that I did not recognize the three-word
message, and I doubt that many of my generation would
unfortunately. I, and perhaps many of you, am
influenced by of a vastly changing Western World whose
worldview is often shaped by television, advertising,
and entertainment; but not by Scripture or classical
reading. Without this common base of good literature
and the Truth in Scripture, we are faced with
generations who do not have a foundation based on the
Truth of God's Word, and who lack the insight
necessary so they may "beware of false prophets" [did
you recongnize it from Gospel for the 8th Sunday after
Trinity, BCP, St. Matthew vii. 15

See the full Geore Will article here:


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