In the 1830’s, when Chicago had no more residents than New Salem, village officials needed financial help to develop their infrastructure. Since at the time Shawneetown had deep financial pockets in Illinois, men from the infant Lake Michigan town traveled the length of the state to apply for a $10,000 loan. Shawneetown bank leaders retired to consider the application. Tradition says they turned down the request based on the distance between the northern village and the southeastern powerhouse. Legends & Lore of Southern Illinois, p. 154
Obviously, Shawneetown leaders thought too little of Chicago by thinking too much of themselves. Shawneetown is now a tourist destination while Chicago remains a world-class business, culture and tourist destination. The city and its far-flung suburbs also have the attention of Ignite, a Church planting organization of the Christian churches. Each year sees the beginning of new churches designed to reach unsaved people in Chicagoland.
Much evangelism needs to be done, since Chicago remains the murder capital of the country. In 2016, 762 people died by homicide in the city itself. Chicago, the poster child of everything that’s wrong with the welfare system, needs Christ’s grace. Ignite deserves more financial support than ever to keep Chicago from fulfilling the low expectations of Shawneetown bankers. Not to develop infrastructure, understand, but to keep Chicago from going farther and farther from the Love of God through Jesus Christ into deeper depravity that will bring God’s judgment if not reversed.
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New Apologetics book: Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1
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