Tuesday, August 4, 2015

We the People or We the Church?

Are you an American-Christian? Or are you a Christian-American? Can a Christian really be hyphenated like that?

I was reading and article by (the Calvinist) Scott Lively on WND today where he discusses why he believes the American Church has lost the culture war. He says the American Church has lost God's favor.
"“Why don’t we have God’s favor?”
Some will say “It’s because we’re killing the unborn,” or “the pastors aren’t teaching Christian responsibility to vote,” and such like. But I tell you these are only symptoms of the disease, not the cause.
We don’t have God’s favor because we have officially rejected Him as the God of our land."

With all due respect Reverend Lively, I believe you are wrong. You seem to conflate being American with being Christian. You seem to think that America and the Church are similar or in fact the same. You cite passages from the Old Testament about Israel to bolster your case.

Rev Lively, America is not Israel and neither is the Church.

Our culture in the good ole US of A began as a Christian culture because it was founded by middle class Christian protestants from Europe that actually believed what was in the Bible. Our ancestors were Christian men that desired the unfettered freedom to worship as they pleased without the interference of government.

This is not the case today. America is a polyglot. Unbelieving Americans do not take Jesus or the scriptures seriously because they do not believe. They are from many traditions besides the once dominant Christian one and they have no reason to live in either fear or love of a God they do not believe in.

This is not a Christian nation. Maybe once, not now. People are free to make choices and they do. Right now they are choosing against the faith and for themselves. Deal with it Rev. Lively. Your recriminations and hand wringing will not change it.

This has always been the choice. From Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, to Isaiah and the prophets and finally to Jesus and the apostles, this has always been the choice. God says we can choose and America has chosen...for now. I do not know if America ever had God's favor, but He has used her to achieve His purposes. The gospel has gone places it never would have gone because we were free to tell the story.

If that freedom ends for His Church, it will not be because the Church has lost God's favor. It will be because the Church has lost it's fire. Maybe a few centuries of persecution will put that fire back into God's people. Maybe American Christians will finally divorce themselves from their earthly nationality and become full citizens of the Kingdom of God. When that happens Rev. Lively, when we once again become the Church Militant and lay down all loyalties except those to Christ, then we will be the nation God wants. America is not that nation anymore than Rome was Paul's nation.

We must come out and be separate. We must reveal the word of God. We must reject our culture and at the same time offer it hope.

The Church is and will continue to be blessed by God. Our salvation is secure because Christ has already paid for it. Our job is to plant the seeds so that everyone can enjoy that opportunity if they wish. We cannot force people to behave in the way we do. They must come to believe what we believe if we want them to live as we live. Again, that will be their choice. We plant the seeds. God takes the harvest.

The Christian majority in America is gone Rev. Lively. God's fire still smolders in His Church though. Let's fan it to flames. If God wants a Christian culture here, He can make one by using us. But please do not confuse me with claims to dual citizenship. "This world is not my home. I'm just a passin through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. Jesus beckons me from heavens open door and I can't feel at home in this world anymore."

I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God. I happen to live in America. It's a mess, but I live here. It was not my choice. I will make the best of it until God comes back to take me Home. I have God's favor. That's all I need. I leave America in God's hands. 

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