Saturday, December 04 2010
As we move into the latter part of our calendar year and begin to reflect on 2010, we recognize a tremendous shift in our country. Some general observations are: 1) the economy remains in flux; 2) national security remains threatened by outside enemies; 3) government corruption is at an all-time high; 4) we have increased our national debt in just 2 years to an amount that exceeds the entire history of our country combined; and lastly, 5) our country is divided in its overall interests and pursuits. I realize there are a number of other areas that footnote these items. But I only seek to address the accentuated changes in our culture in the United States of America.
As I observe these issues, I am not so interested in how the world handles it as much as I am in how the church does. According to Jesus, all authority in heaven and earth has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). We being His disciples then are required to follow His lead, and not our own. Now, this sounds simplistic, but my observation of the church in America is that many, if not most of those who call on the name of Jesus as Lord, depart from seeking the will of God when it comes to their politics. I’ve even had Christians tell me directly that their political views have nothing to do with walking with Christ. You may chuckle at the hypocrisy, but when tested, we may find how little we actually consult Him in the matters of government and the laws in which we bind ourselves. When we called upon Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, ‘Savior,’ this meant we needed saving, and ‘Lord’ meant that we were willing to subject ourselves to His will.
And in the context of ‘His will’, I also find ‘Christians’ arguing over whether the Bible is God’s inerrant word. So please let me state bluntly – if one does not view the Bible as the word of the living God (known as Yahweh (YHWH)), one needs to find another God by another name. These writings came long before the time of anyone reading this, which means the precedence is already set. If a person wants to call upon Jesus as Savior but rejects the Bible as His will, they are merely attempting to hijack His sacrifice for an idolatrous prospect of their own. John 14:21 quotes Jesus saying, "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him." Moreover, we are commanded to not add to or take away from any of the words of Scripture in Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; and Revelation 22:18, 19. And I will add that it is no coincidence that these statements are given at the last of the Torah/Law of Moses/ Pentateuch and Revelation – the two places of ‘finality’ according to their context and position in Scripture.
So let us establish this – We are to seek God’s will and His way and follow what He says. No ‘ifs.' No ‘ands.' No ‘buts.'
The items I’ve listed at the front of this article are not listed in priority or importance – but I will biblically address them in the number I’ve listed. 1) Here is a montage of passages concerning God’s word on living well and prospering: "Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. "O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the LORD commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed. Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he stood above the people and said to them, "Thus God has said, ' Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD and do not prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He has also forsaken you.'" An arrogant man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper. " You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess. ‘But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’.
Anyone can get a concordance and query the word(s) ‘prosper’ or ‘live well’ and find that I have only given you a fraction of how many times the Lord speaks on the matter. But the final analysis is this: good economy is directly tangible to following the will of God. Furthermore, this ‘following’ exceeds the individual cause. The economic situation of a country rests entirely on the people of the country and their desire to submit themselves to following His will and His way.
So for the sake of challenging this supposition and testing its philosophy, let’s present China and its current situation of economic superiority over the United States. China is not a God-fearing country and yet they appear to be growing and ‘prospering’. How can this be? I could effectively argue that only a small percentage of the people see any wealth in China – but let’s not make this easy on ourselves in this test. Let’s assume that China would appear to be, for lack of better phraseology, ‘more blessed’ than America, because after all, Scripture does say, ‘The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's slave (Proverbs 22:7).
Initially, God does tell us that we are supposed to trust Him, even when we see Him do good things for wicked people; "for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45b)" and "for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men (Luke 6:35)." Secondly, Scripture tells us that God has blessed enemy nations to use them as ‘rods’ of discipline when His people rebel against Him.
This leaves us with a rather simplistic conclusion – if America is suffering economically, it is because it has departed from God, as reflected in the leadership it has elected. Bluntly (again), willingly ignorant (stupid on purpose), arrogant, godless politicians are in place because of willingly ignorant (stupid on purpose), arrogant, godless people who elect them. And Christians are so eager to compromise their ethics and principles based on what they think an elected official can do or get for them. Too often the great justification is in believing that it’s the choice of the lesser of two evils, and therefore, qualifies the most debased of individuals. How is it that men and women who openly and proudly argue in the most adamant of senses for the right to murder the most helpless of all human life (the unborn), who participate in what God has called an ‘abomination’ (Leviticus 18:22) of relationships, embrace false religions, and declaratively announce to the world that we are no longer ‘just’ a Christian nation, continue to receive the praise, adoration, and unyielding support of the American people? Americans have loved their representatives who have fought for things to be brought and given to their districts that the people did not earn. Therefore, it had to be taken from someone who had earned it. But the people did not care, so long as they received it. This exacerbated others in feeling that they were ‘owed’ something beyond which they had worked for, on the grounds that things had been taken prior. And thus, the cycle ensued. Our people love to denounce slave labor while we import record amounts of cheap products from nations that work children in dangerous conditions for pennies a day. People protest companies in the name of ‘environmentalism’ and yet drive their cars to the rallies burning fuel from oil producers in foreign countries who have no regard for pollution. We are victims of our own self-centeredness, which is the essence of all sin.
This is not a new sin and thus gives us a feeling of helplessness. We can’t see viable choices that have any chance of being elected, so we compromise, hold our noses, and vote for the veritable ‘lesser of two evils.’ We see no immediate result, and in our impatience and ‘instant gratification’ mindsets, we never consider investing to make a change that truly is in line with the Lord God Almighty. What has deceived God’s people in this nation to ever think that He would approve of electing people who are so specifically against His will? Psalm 33:12 states, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance."
So, how did this happen? What sent us in this direction? How did we come from statements like The First Charter of Virginia (granted by King James I, on April 10, 1606), "We, greatly commending, and graciously accepting of, their Desires for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the Providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of his Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God;" and "We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus! (April 18, 1775, John Adams and John Hancock)", to the blatant rejection of Him in our leaders? It was forewarned by God through Moses in Deuteronomy 6:10-12; "Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." Very clearly, America has forgotten from whence it came.
We cannot have it both ways. We cannot turn our backs on God in the political, entertainment, economic, and educational (etc) sectors and praise Him in our worship assemblies while expecting His blessings to continue our prosperity. If He loves us, and He does, He will not allow us to flourish in such sin. The good news? "And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14)." Do you want the economy to pick up? Apply yourself in this way and elect leaders who will do likewise. It matters not if they get elected – but it does matter that you did what you could in the eyes of God. The people in Ezekiel 9:4 objected to the abominations of their nation and its leadership, but to no avail because they were ultimately led into Babylonian captivity. However, they were preserved (marked) by God through the persecution. You must choose whether you are going to be committed to an economic model/political party, or to one you call ‘Lord.'
Keep the Faith,