Monday, January 11, 2021

A Christian Response to a Deteriorating Culture


“…if 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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 

This verse, (2 Chronicles 7:14), is familiar to many. Supposedly President Dwight Eisenhower opened his Bible to the verse during his 1953 inauguration. What’s not generally known is that this passage records God’s response to King Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the temple as recorded in 2 Chron. 6:36-42.

I realize that this is a specific promise, made to Israel, not to America, however I believe our nation is in desperate need of this same kind of promise from God at this time in our history, perhaps like no other. We are in an ethical war that threatens our very existence. Ironically, a myriad of voices cry for justice while at the same time, motivate prejudice, oppression, violence, injustice and anarchy. All of which is in stark violation of our nation’s long-established ethical standards, standards which have given us stability and freedom for over two centuries. Anger, violence and injustice seem to rule the day instead of courtesy, deference and respect for human dignity and true justice. Both sides blame the other with malicious, hateful and contemptible rhetoric. The staggering spectrum of radical ideas and demands threaten our stability, safety and freedoms. Childish and unsubstantiated accusations and attacks riddle the spectrum of nearly all of our media. Harsh rhetoric and name-calling supplant rigorous, logical debate in the public square. Wise and reasonable solutions are often met with brutal, relentless and unfounded rebuttal and attacks. It seems that we are on the brink of total collapse with no one to lead us to unity and peace.

What IS the answer to America’s crisis? Is it possible that our nation’s healing is actually dependent upon the humble repentance of God’s people, rather than the loud voices of our culture which demand justice through destruction and reparations?

Is it possible that our hope, healing and restoration does not lie in our rising up with resistance against tyranny and oppression?

Is it possible that the real root of America’s decline is actually due to the lukewarmness of God’s people and not because of the “wicked people” in Washington or in our streets?

Is it possible that God’s people need to repent of sinful anger, bitterness and partiality against the wickedness of the people of this nation and rather turn toward our God in humble, personal repentance?

Is it possible that the only real hope for America to avoid complete and utter ruin and devastation is clearly and simply found in repentance in the Church of Jesus Christ?

“If 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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Is it possible that God is calling His people so He can use us to change our land by asking Him to change us?

I believe our greatest hope for America is for Christians to repent, myself included. If American has any hope to recover from the nonsense, chaos, rebellion and moral decline that has so deeply stained and corrupted our once great land, our only remaining hope is in God's healing us in response to our repentance.

Otherwise, our nation likely faces that same kind of rebuke and judgment that Isaiah speaks of against Israel in the first five chapters of Isaiah. No one can say with certainty what God is doing, but we can say that God is just and according to his word, he judges justly. At some point, without repentance, it appears that America will face the withholding of God’s grace and the resulting judgment that sin demands.

With the prospects of judgement looming on our horizons, Christians also need to proclaim the Gospel of God’s mercy and grace to a sin-darkened culture. The voice of Christian church needs to loudly proclaim mercy at such a time as this. Unfortunately, many Christian voices today are harsh, judgmental, cruel, bitter and unloving.

America needs for God’s people to repent and proclaim the Good News of God’s redemptive mercy. Isaiah learned that in chapter 6 where God sent him to proclaim the hope of the coming Christ. Pastor Alistair Begg's message entitled "Have Mercy" gives a stern warning to the Body of Christ about the effects that our attitudes and witness have upon our culture. I suggest that the hour he takes to offer this timely exhortation is one well worth spending.

The voice of the Church today needs to be primarily the voice of its own repentance and then a gracious voice offering redemption to a very lost culture.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. (Prov. 25:11)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcaikgzvEzE

Kent Kloter

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