Forgivness and healing for America?
|October 26, 2013||Posted by Joseph Keysor under Blog|
In the couple of years or so that I have been blogging, I have generally tried to keep to themes having to do with my book on Hitler and Christianity. I have not wanted to comment on Obamacare, the Arab-Israeli peace process (so-called), the decline of America, or many other topics. Recently however an issue has come up which, for some reason, I feel strongly I would like to comment on, even though it is not directly related to the book. Yet, it is indirectly related to the book, because in the same manner that many Christians in Nazi Germany effortlessly accommodated their faith to the new times, even while they spoke about Christianity, even so many Christians in America today are adapting their faith to meet the demands of a corrupt and sinful world.
Not long ago a well-known Christian commentator referred to II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
He was understandably concerned about America’s present condition, and spoke about the necessity of American Christians repenting of their sins so that God might heal America. This was not about the sins of unbelievers, but those who – as the verse specified – have the name of being God’s children.
It seemed to me that two obvious things were missing from this necessary and important exhortation. The first one was one of motive. This might seem obvious, but I suspect many American Christians would like to repent enough to get God’s favor so that America might be restored for their benefit, so that they might have stability, peace and prosperity again. In other words, they are motivated by something other than a real sense of their having offended God by sin and disobedience in their own lives. Of course, if there is such a self-serving motive in their repentance and prayer for forgiveness, they will not get far.
Secondly, exactly what is it that Christians are supposed to repent of? What are some of the problems in the churches today that make them so increasingly irrelevant to what is happening across the land? Writing to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul made specific and detailed criticisms, explaining what they were doing wrong, even while they espoused sound doctrines and were genuine Christians.
Why are so many churches so apathetic and dull? Where is the fire, where is the power? Where is the Spirit? What about supposedly Christian churches that deny the essentials of the faith, and use Christian sounding language to present what is in fact a new and different gospel without sin, righteousness, repentance, and salvation?
What about churches that are outwardly more orthodox but have cleverly redefined “salvation by faith” so as to give people a promise of salvation but without the cross, without the straight and narrow way, without dying to self? What sort of Christianity is this, that allows us to accept the benefits of Christ’s death while we continue to run our own lives in a manner that is increasingly indistinguishable from the world?
What about accepting the world’s philosophy of role reversal and unisex and ignoring plain teachings about God’s wonderful and precious plan for women – a plan that is completely contrary to worldly wisdom? We cannot expect to have any great impact on the world if we do not even follow the Bible in our own homes and churches.
What about churches that are basically social clubs, where people see a verse in the Bible that they like and say “I believe in the holy Bible,” but have many clever excuses and dodges to get around verses they do not like and do not want to follow? What about the Jewish woman who visited a Christian church and was shocked at the immodesty and indecency of spoiled and conceited Christian women who dress in a manner that would have scandalized people in earlier times (abetted by timid and passive men)?
There are so many sins, offences, irregularities, enormities, both open and hidden, in the churches today, we can only pray that God will raise up someone to present the wickedness of today’s so-called bible-believing churches in a spiritual light. If God does grant us such a person, most people in the churches will want to have nothing to do with him.
There are too many pastors who preach sound biblical truths that have little or nothing to do with serious problems in their congregations.
There are bibles that insult God by omitting verses on the basis of dubious “scholarship” that is based on unsound principles and applied according to human whim rather than reverence for the Word of God. Who is going to repent of using bibles that say “This part is not genuine, that part is not genuine, you can have more confidence in your bibles now that we have removed all of the mistakes from them on the basis of inferior old manuscripts that are themselves full of blatant errors – though we may find some more later so get ready for more new and improved bibles soon.”
The apostle Paul himself would not be welcome in many churches today – the feminists especially, men and women, would respond to him with the deepest hostility, unless God granted them repentance for their blind adherence to false worldly philosophies that directly contradict many plain teachings. There is a lot of evil behind today’s smiley-face Christianity.
Most Christians today really don’t want a revival. We need to consider the possibility that America will not be healed and will not be saved, but will go the way of all nations that despise God and mock his commandments. But, come what may, we can still work out our own salvation in fear and trembling and, if we really are in the straight and narrow way, look forward to an eternity with Christ.