We had hoped that the November 3rd elections would provide insight into what the Living God is saying to a nation anchorless and morally adrift. As of this writing, we are still waiting to see which candidate will be sworn in as President of the United States on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. Holy silence itself is a speech, provided there be an ear to hear it according to August Tholuck [1799-1877], German Protestant theologian and church leader.
An “ear to hear” is a troublesome issue in America.
Having removed prayer to Jehovah from public education in 1962 [Engel v. Vitale], the Bible from public schools in 1963 [Abington School District v. Schempp], and the Ten Commandments from public school walls, courthouses, and government buildings in 1980 [Stone v. Graham], is the want of a Word from God any surprise in today’s America?
Add iniquitous rulings from U.S. Supreme Court Justices to the current loss of moral and spiritual perception, - i.e, the killing of precious unborn babies [Roe v. Wade 1973], the license and consent to homosexual vice, sin, and marriage in 2015 [Obergefell v. Hodges] and the expansion of homosexual and transgender rights in 2020 [Bostock v. Clayton County] - and you have a flourishing formula for national hardship of a calamitous or disastrous nature. After all, culture is the public manifestation of religion.
We note the red flag raised by Rush Limbaugh last week, “I actually think that we’re trending toward secession. There cannot be a peaceful coexistence of two completely different theories of life, theories of government, theories of how we manage our affairs.”
Over the last few years, we have raised a quite similar spiritual flag to accentuate that “Two distinct religions are vying for supremacy in the public square: transient and mutable secularism versus eternal and immutable Christianity. These two can’t coexist, one will ultimately collapse as a consequence of the elevation of the other.”
So we have come full circle, ending up where we began: a nation torn apart by secularism, morally adrift and off its moorings.
The American Founders knew from their experience in 16th and 17th century England that blindness prevents mankind from recognizing, discerning, envisioning, or understanding objects even under maximum light intensity. Likewise, the best eyes are useless when a person is in total darkness. Thus they established Biblically-based education.
Founding Father Fisher Ames, coauthor of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution wrote on August 20, 1789, “We have a dangerous trend beginning to take place in our education. We’re starting to put more and more textbooks into our schools. … We’ve become accustomed of late of putting little books into the hands of children containing fables and moral lessons. … We are spending less time in the classroom on the Bible, which should be the principle text in our schools.”
Having removed the bedrock from the culture over the last 100 years, contemporary America possesses neither spiritual sight nor spiritual light (Gleanings from Paul, by A.W. Pink).
The secular subjugation of culture by Big Tech’s Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and America’s corporate media conglomerate through suppression of free speech and throwing our children into sexual confusion through sexularization of government-run schooling, the secular media’s and Hollywood jet set’s control of the airways, arts, and entertainment have come at the price of the complete loss of the main element that exalts a nation: righteousness. [Proverbs 14:34]
And God sees it.
Individuals as well as nations must choose between God’s way or man’s way. There is no third or middle way. Man cannot serve two masters, or in current America’s case, combine the two completely incompatible religions vying for control of the public square. Spiritually, the commingling of different, oftentimes contradictory beliefs, known as syncretism, brings God’s judgment upon a nation. Politically, secularism spawns bondage to the State.
Let there be no doubt about the fact that God has been banished from the public and secular culture. America has sown the wind and is about to reap the tempest, with secularism bringing forth absurdity and lunacy as its earmarks, as this demand of contact-free grappling shows:
“Ohio High School Athletic Association have released requirements for players and coaches amid the coronavirus pandemic. Among the new rules is student-athletes are permitted to wrestle but must refrain from handshakes before and after the match.” www.wlwt.com/article/ohsaa-coronavirus-rules-students-can-wrestle-but-cant-shake-hands/34874133
Over the last several months we have argued Pastor Joe Nicola’s point that American Christendom has based her success on how the church is doing, instead of how one’s city, state, or nation is doing. Pastor Rob McCoy frames it this way: “Is my ‘bean patch’ looking more like the Kingdom of Heaven, or the domain of secular darkness?”
In the words of Pastor Joe Nicola: “Any casual observer of Christianity will immediately recognize the disparity between what Jesus said He would build and the modern church.”
In attempting to make a finer point, let’s look at what differentiates Jesus’ Kingdom assignment from the subculture model adopted for the most part by the American Church over the last 200 years. When a church with 45 thousand members and an annual budget of 70 million can’t defeat in their small city a pro-LGBTQ “special rights ordinance,” while at the same time a sister church in that same area raises 92 million on a single Sunday morning for their new building program, this unquestionably demonstrates that we have moved far away from Jesus’ Kingdom assignment requiring of His ekklesia to engage the public square for ideological supremacy and control of resources.
Large sums of money, prodigious budgets, and massive amounts spent on buildings for meetings twice weekly have produced a thriving church subculture, but has it changed the culture? People like George Soros and Michael Bloomberg apply metrics to their donation model, a quantitative assessment for comparing and tracking the performance and production of those seeking their money. How effective is the Christian subculture model?
At one time, a robustly spirited Christianity dominated the spiritual, intellectual, educational, economic, and vocational mountains of influence in America. Not anymore!
If Christianity is to survive, Jesus’ ekklesia must be reestablished in the public square.
There is no better illustration of this than Ronald Greer’s narrative, If You Know Who You Are, You Will Know What to Do. Let’s look at it again.
In the dark days of the Nazi occupation of Holland, with Gestapo everywhere and Jews vanishing, Dutch Christians asked Dutch Reformed theologian, linguist, and missionary Hendrik Kraemer [1888-1965] what they should do.
Kraemer responded, “I cannot tell you what to do but I can tell you who you are. If you know who you are, then you will know what to do.”
He then read to the fearful Christians the words first spoken in 1 Peter 2:9 to the equally fearful Christians: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a people claimed by God as his own, to proclaim the triumphs of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Whereupon the people thanked the missionary, departed, and launched the Dutch underground resistance movement.
Still and all, there is good news for America. Gideons and Rahabs are beginning to stand.