To the watching world, Americans hold God's name in contempt. Our official motto, "In God We Trust," testifies of a piety we no longer practice. When God looks for faith, what will he find? Secularism, a strange god of lifeless lips and unkept promises, expedited the collapse of the vision and mission of America's Christian Founders.
God now calls out, "Come let us reason together," moving us to think about our past, present and future. How did we, a nation founded "For the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith," arrive at this moment?
Certainly God does not need an entourage of supporters, carrying Him around shouting, "You da champ, You da champ," in order for Him to deliver a knock-out blow to secularism. He will act decisively and in a timely fashion, but "timely" is a matter of His own wisdom and plans.
As one Bible teacher puts it: "If any carrying is to be done, He will carry us. Many think it's useful to have God on their side. In a way they want to honor God. They will go to church. They will say prayers. They will ask a pastor to bless a marriage or their home. The kind of God they want is simply a God who will help them get their own way and win their own battles. They want God to be a servant to help them get things done, but at the same time they want to have their own views and live their own lives."(*)
Because Christians refuse to submit to His lordship, God appears to be losing in America.
"He is waiting for us to be holy as He is holy (1 Pet. 1:16). So instead of blaming the church for being anemic, lethargic and irrelevant, perhaps we should blame ourselves." (**)
Unfortunately, in American Christianity, "We want our God to be casual and easygoing. He is 'the man upstairs' rather than the Lord of Hosts, chummy rather than holy. We want God to be the co-pilot, and we get worried when He wants to fly the plane. But God wants us to bow before His holiness with respect and reverence. God's power deserves our great awe. There is a danger in being in the presence of the Lord of Hosts, especially when we come into His presence with arrogance or apathy. We must come before His presence with quiet humility and brokenness." (***)
Certainly, "arrogance" describes our coming into God's presence with this false notion of American Exceptionalism. Our nation has never been "exceptional" in and of itself. All blessing flow from God alone, the One who Daniel described as: "It is He who changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who know understanding" (Dan. 2:21). And we should note, Daniel wrote those words as an exile during the Babylonian captivity, a time when God allowed His people to be ripped from their homeland for 70 years. Tough times call for greater faith in God, not nationalistic sloganeering.
The wonder of biblical Christianity is that God can be known personally. The essence of biblical faith is to believe in the One who identifies as: "I AM, the only self-existent, noncontingent being in the universe."(****) When we find Him, then we find the meaning of life; government cannot satisfy.
And He promises to deliver us from our enemies. Yes, secularism is our enemy, but we can be thankful His Word guarantees, "Certainly, the hand of the Lord is not so short that it cannot save, nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear" (Is. 59:1). Our rallying cry to restore America to her Judeo-Christian heritage and re-establish a biblically based culture is not hopeless.
Since God promises that His arm is not too short to save, what could be possibly holding up His deliverance from pagan secularism in America? Why are Christians powerless in the civil government arena? It has to be that His "promises are being prevented from being kept by one thing only: flagrant sin."(*****)
Franklin Graham wrote a powerful reminder of the power of God over all earthly kingdoms and rulers. Do we still believe this theology? We should. No, we must.
"2500 years ago Iraq was in the 'headlines.' It was known as the Babylonian empire and had the largest military in the world at that time. Its king, Belshazzar, was having a big party drinking and boasting [about Babylonian Exceptionalism] with his wives, his mistresses, and his nobles. While they were partying, the hand of God appeared and wrote a message on the wall, terrifying everyone including King Belshazzar. His face grew pale and his knees went weak. Daniel is called in to interpret the handwriting which says three things: 'Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians."
Daniel warns Belshazzar that he is guilty of worshiping false gods. He said, "you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life" (Daniel 5:23). That very night the king was slain and the kingdom was lost to their enemies."
What's the writing on the wall for America? As a nation we are found lacking because of sin and disobedience to God's Holy Word. We have not honored Him. If we don't turn back to God, I fear that our end will be near." (******)
What must we do? Our shepherds must re-establish the Word in the pulpits. Then they will put in motion the Word to advance from the pulpit, to the pews and to the public square.
Here's a promise for those willing to stand, "For the eyes of the Lord move about on all the earth to strengthen the heart that is completely toward Him" (2 Chr. 16:9).
Two examples should suffice.
EXHIBIT #1: The Idaho legislature and the Hollister, Missouri, students are leading the way!
Idaho Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Bible in Public Schools
EXHIBIT #2: See the Bold Way Public School Students Are Reacting to Atheists' Demand That a Pastor Stop Leading Lunchtime Prayers
We simply need a Gideon or Rahab to stand.
*Keith Krell, 1 Samuel
***Stephen Andrews and Robert Bergen, 1 & 2 Samuel, p. 54
**** John N. Oswalt, Isaiah Commentary
****** John N. Oswalt
******Franklin Graham: facebook.com/FranklinGraham/posts/1131173296938850
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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