This was another shocking epiphany for us. You see, when we first saw which direction Donald Trump was pointing the finger for all your troubles in America…
Look at the state of the world right now. It’s a terrible mess, and that’s putting it mildly. There has never been a more dangerous time. The politicians and special interests in Washington, DC, are directly responsible for the mess we are in.Donald Trump, From the Amazon.com page description for Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again
… we thought the Donald might be right.
But over time, as we came to see through the lens of story, a massive change in our thinking came about.
Consider this, from one of Donald Trump’s most famous Christian supporters…
Now we come to the big question Christians are asking: What do we do in light of the devolution of society around us? When we ask the question in that way, we betray a misunderstanding of the problem. We mistakenly think the problem is outside us— that it originates with the non-Christian population.David Jeremiah, I Never Thought I’d See the Day!
It looks like that guy has it right.
The problem is ultimately you Christians in America.
Look at this…
Still, contemporary evangelicalism is in serious trouble. Actually, its crisis is the same one that afflicts all Christianity in America. At the risk of hubris, and the risk of merely adding one more item to the seemingly endless list of crises, in this book, I believe that the crisis lies at the heart of what ails large swaths of the American church. Alexander Solzhenitsyn named it in his speech upon receiving the Templeton Prize in Religion in 1968. He was talking about Western culture when he used it. I apply it to the American church, evangelical and not:
We have forgotten God.The Heart of the Evangelical Crisis, By MARK GALLI, Christianity Today, MAY 15, 2019
And so, we now believe that, if Christianity is the story we are in, this guy also sees it right…
Whenever a nation needs healing, it’s usually because God’s people aren’t obeying and serving Him as they should. We like to blame dishonest politicians and various purveyors of pleasure for a nation’s decline in morality, but God blames His own people.Warren W. Wiersbe, Jeremiah, in The Bible Exposition Commentary
We know all this is hard for you to take seriously.
We expect you to push it away.
But, you may not want to just push that possibility away, because, it looks like you Christians are under a difficult judgment situation in America…
Another major lesson of Amos is that people who have the light of God’s truth live with greater responsibility than those who live in darkness. The light exposes our sins, and when we see our sins, we must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, or we will experience His judgment. Christians have a greater responsibility to judge themselves, “that we be not judged,” than the unsaved. We may be judged, not with separation from God eternally, but with separation from much future blessing.Notes on Amos, By Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Sonic Light
And Paula showed us this…
For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
And Paula also showed us these passages related to your God’s chosen people, Israel…
Hear, O my people, and I will warn you— if you would but listen to me, O Israel! You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god. I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.
But they soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel. But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness, and put God to the test in the desert; he gave them what they asked, but sent a wasting disease among them.
But our fathers refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’ That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and held a celebration in honor of what their hands had made. But God turned away and gave them over to the worship of the heavenly bodies.
And look at this comment…
In all, Amos mentioned seven disciplinary judgments that God had brought on the Israelites: famine (v. 6), drought, (vv. 7-8), plant diseases (v. 9), insects (v. 9), plague (v. 10), warfare (v. 10), and military defeat (v. 11). God sometimes permits His people to suffer so they will turn back to Him (cf. Heb. 12:6), but the Israelites had not done that.Notes on Amos, By Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Sonic Light
And Paula pointed out that Christian leaders are under greater judgment risk than Christians in general…
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
On the other hand, some of God’s most condemning words were also spoken to leaders. The pursuit of leadership comes with severe warnings. James said leaders will be judged more harshly (3:1), and the writer of Hebrews said leaders will give an account for how they shepherd (13:17). Jesus addressed the religious leaders of His day as children of hell (Matt. 23:15). The point is that we should not assume anyone in a position of spiritual authority deserves to be there.Francis Chan, Letters to the Church
And have you seen this, from Charles Finney, one of the leaders of your Second Great Awakening? …
Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.The Decay of Conscience, by Charles G. Finney, The Independent, New York, December 4, 1873
And you might want to consider this fascinating description of your negaphobia …
Peruse the Christian marketplace, and you will find a plethora of books, songs, and paintings that depict God as a loving Father. And he is that. But he is not just a loving Father, and limiting our understanding of God to this picture ultimately distorts the image of God we have in our culture.
Yes, God is a loving Father, but he is also a wrathful Judge.David Platt, Radical
So, our team realizes that, if Christianity is the story we are in, the Party needs to do risk assessment in relation to such a Judge.
But of course, so would you Americans. In fact, maybe you need to do it more than us!
Look at this…
To say that we are a nation under God is to say, first and most importantly, that we are a nation under transcendent judgment. Judgment and promise are inseparable.Richard John Neuhaus, American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile
So, it looks like you are in a delicate situation.
If Christianity is the story we are in, of course. Otherwise — so what?