The following article was published in the September 1952 edition of To-morrow magazine, which was the official publication of the Allied Church League. (The Allied Church League was the precursor organization to the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.)
What Kind of World Will We Leave Our Children?
By J. Marse Grant
Allied Church League
During the 1951 hunting season in New York state, an incident took place which illustrates the chasm between those who care and those who are thoughtlessly brutal. Outside of Rochester, Lambie, a pet Japanese doe, was felled, but purposely killed by a hunter who fired into a private kennel. The veterinarian gave Lambie penicillin, tetanus shots, and a blood transfusion. Neighborhood youngsters loved the deer and one of them slept next to her those first few nights to keep her warm and calm.
Our world is filled with godless people like that hunter, who, with cruel actions, are trying to kill the hope of tomorrow’s children. The Christian faith assures us that the future belongs to the neighborhood youngsters all over the world to whom “caring” and “kindness” and “love” are the great works of a universal language.
If children were only in a position to put into effect what they believed might make a better world. But unfortunately, they are not. They can’t prevent war, yet who suffers from war more than they? They can’t do anything about the endless flow of alcoholic beverages, yet who suffers from these more than they do? They can’t prevent a separation or a divorce, yet who suffers more than they? Whether today’s children will have a decent world in which to live tomorrow depends on adults who have conviction a d courage to stand up and fight today when they see trends which threaten the generations of the future. If we take the easy way out and wash our hands of the whole problem, we might not suffer in our generation, but we are selling the birthright of those who come after us.
Every parent has a sacred obligation to his or her children. Whether there will be a beer tavern or gambling den on every corner for my two little girls to pass by 15 or 20 years from now could all depend on what I do today to encourage or discourage such an eventuality. The forces of evil work slowly and slyly, duping many nonchalant folks into thinking that what they do is perfectly legitimate. If these forces can hold their own today and at the same time, make careful preparations for snaring coming generations in their sinful web, they are paving the way for the continuance of their satanic practices. Unfortunately, they are succeeding on some fronts, but in many sections, Christian citizens are rising up in arms to demand better government. The latent powers of many voters are showing evidence of an awakening, of a determination to make this a better America, morally and spiritual. Probably more than ever before, people are displaying an earnest desire to become better informed on what’s going on around them. Whether or not enough of our people will act after gaining a clear picture of these conditions remains to be seen.
A widely distributed advertisement shows an innocent child looking at a Bible, a door key, a pencil, and a ballot. The caption says, “Will you leave these to your children?” Then a more detailed explanation is given of each object in the picture. The Holy Bible is the symbol of the right to worship as an individual wishes. The door key represents the right to lock your door against illegal force and prying. The pencil is symbolic of the freedom to speak or write what we wish. The free ballot means that we have the right to choose the people to represent us in government, which is our protection against government tyranny.
To varying degrees, infringements have already been made on some of these freedoms. To what extent that these freedoms will continue depends entirely upon us. Through our negligence and indifference we could bequeath to our children a world even shakier and more confused than the one in which we live today. Or we could leave them a more decent and honorable world where these and other freedoms will be assured.
Remember, there are ruthless hunters on the loose, seeking whom they can to destroy. Don’t let it be said of this generation that we shirked our responsibility if we do. The condemnation of god is upon us if we do.
Mamie Gene Cole has given us a poem titled “I Am The Child” which seem appropriate here:
I am the child,
All the world waits for my coming.
All the earth watches with interest to see what I
Civilization hangs in the balance,
For what I am the world of tomorrow will be.
I am the child,
I have come into your world, about which
I know nothing.
Why I came I know not;
How I cam I know not;
I am curious;
I am interested.
I am the child.
You hold in my hand your destiny
You determine, largely, whether I shall
succeed or fail.
Give me, I pray you, those things that
make for happiness,
Train me, I beg,
that I may be a blessing to the world.
J. Marse Grant, a native of North Carolina and a graduate of High Point College (now University), was elected in 1960 to succeed the retiring L.L. Carpenter as the editor of the state newspaper of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Grant would serve as editor to “The Biblical Recorder” for more than 22 years. He was often referred to as “Mr. North Carolina Baptist.” He was an ardent advocate of social justice, a friend to powerful politicians, a fierce opponent of liquor by the drink, and a tireless visitor to Baptist churches across the state. “What Kind of World Will We Leave Our Children?” was written when Grant was the editor of “Charity and Children,” which was the official publication of the Baptist orphanage of North Carolina.