Thursday, April 23, 2009

Has God Abandoned America as a Nation?

I know some of you can't stand John MacArthur, but he asks some piercing questions here.

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Blogger Aaron said...

I absolutely loved it man! I have felt this way for some time but have wrestled with a few questions a long the way...

What is my role here in the states as a pastor in the most God hating county in the U.S. (true fact)?

Should I go to a place where God's Spirit is being poured out? No longer is the "west," and in particular the states, the face of evangelicalism so if God is done with this place... Then what for us? :)

April 23, 2009 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I don't know man...

Paul went to hard places too. Someone has to.

But I'm feeling you. When I was in Kenya, there was such a different spirit. Such openness and such a lack of the hardness and God-mocking you see here more and more.

I wanted to send for my family and stay forever.

But we gotta hit the hard places, and that's God's individual call on people.

April 24, 2009 at 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Joe Chavez said...


Chuck Missler hit on this last week during his broadcasts on "Twilight's Last Gleaming."

I just did a post on this earlier this week. It's Chuck's assertion that we've gone way past the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and reminds us that the verse is God speaking to His church, not the world at large!

It's provocative. I ordered the briefing package so I could watch it and study it more intently.

April 24, 2009 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger hammerdad said...

So what did it look like when God had not abandoned America? What in the world is the "nation" that repents that he is speaking about and that God would "open the floodgates" to the "nation" that does so?

This is American-Christianism as far as I can tell. The call should be to the church to repent, not the nation. When did the nation believe the gospel? And if our nation never did "believe the gospel" which I would contend it didn't, then why would we not expect our nation to be come more and more corrupt . . . when the church retreates into cultural isolation and/or sees the non-keeping of the Law of God as something to do battle against in the arena of the public square?

We as a church have abandoned the gospel and fallen in love with our nation. We have fallen in love with a (former) US administration that loved war and created torture chambers. . . against the prayers and cries of 90% of the body of Christ around the world.

We have a distorted view of our nation and Macarthur sadly furthers this.

We should love the opportunity to love our enemies, respond in grace, embrace the truth of the Gospel. We should stop coveting wealth, comfort, security, bland forms of self-righteous public virtue and the like.

not to be harsh or anything. . . :-)

April 26, 2009 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I actually agree with most of what you said, Joel, but I also think that MacArthur is getting at something else. At least how I read him.

If I harp on anything on this blog it is that 1) America is not now nor has it ever been a "Christian" nation, and 2) The church should not be surprised that lost people act like lost people.

I also harp on how the church would do much better if it was not culturally supported, so I'm with you, mostly.

And I might even go so far as to say that the nation's fate was sealed the day the first African slave stepped on North American soil. If not then, then perhaps some point after we (the nation)failed to do right by Native Americans and African-Americans once it was realized that they had been screwed.

Or perhaps when we legalized the genocide of innocents...

There truly is such a thing as the judgment of nations - even "heathen" nations - and there is a point of no return. It happened to ancient Israel, to Babylon, Greece, Rome, Germany...

I would argue that America crossed that point some time ago.

What I think is so poignant about what MacArthur is saying is that the fruit is now visible. The chickens have come home to roost. To whatever degree that God was ever honored at all by the nation, there was some grace I think. That is only a vestige now, and the open celebration of sexual perversion (of all kinds) is one of the shocking evidences that we have finally been "given over" to our lusts. The nation itself is losing any ability to function morally.

Does that make any sense?

Whatever you do, please don't mistake me for a white suburban "God and country" Evangelical (even if I have a conservative, partiotic streak in me) :0)

April 26, 2009 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger hammerdad said...

Thanks Steve, I know you are not a pure right wing nut!! JK. . .

Rom 2 makes it clear that the manner of God's judgement is giving men "over to" their evil desires and that homosexuality is part of this. But I read it as past tense. . . in other words this has happened throughout human history, rather than in the past 30 years.

I think that we've simply traded various forms of human corruption for others (ala. slavery for sexual sins). Let's say that 2-5% of the US population was homosexual for the past 200 years and what 40% or something was involved in adultery, fornication and the like. . all of this being hidden and off the table (you probably know that during the Victorian age STDs were RAMPANT and that during slavery the slave owners commonly fathered children by slave-rape). .

So now 5-10% of the population is openly homosexual and 50-60% is involved in adultery, fornication and the like... Is this actually a cataclysmic shift?

What % of the US population is genuinely Christian now as opposed to in 1850, or 1950? has it really changed much?

A similar % of people believe in God, a similar # attend church (during the colonial era a staggering few % of people attended church weekly). . .

Does our love of war and abuse of power have more to do with God's judgement than our sexual idolatry? Is the judgement of nations you refer to actually in reference to Godliness on the part of the nation somehow? Or is it not simply in the arc of God's work in history to raise up nations at times and bring them down at others? Did America raise up as a nation out of God's blessing regarding our Godliness? That is, He blessed our rebellion against our governing authority (England) and our pillaging of Africa and Native Americans??

Just thinking. . .

April 28, 2009 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger hammerdad said...

I guess what I am saying is that I don't think we as a nation grew to strength because we honored God (though arguably many Americans have in all eras),

nor then do I think he will send the US into decline simply because we have gotten more corrupt. . . I actually don't think we are more corrupt. I do think that we are less ashamed of our corruption and therefore more willing to show it off. . .

again. . . just thinking and open to correction bro!

April 28, 2009 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Good stuff, Joel. As always.

You said, "So now 5-10% of the population is openly homosexual and 50-60% is involved in adultery, fornication and the like... Is this actually a cataclysmic shift?"

The cataclysmic shift is that we celebrate it.

"What % of the US population is genuinely Christian now as opposed to in 1850, or 1950? has it really changed much?"

I would say it has remained pretty constant, maybe with some spikes and valleys.

And I'm with you on the arc of history - conditionally.

I do believe that in all strata of American society there was more fear of God in the past. People at least knew their sin was sin in most cases.

But that's not even what I'm getting at ultimately.

ALL of our sins are now bearing fruit... the whole spectrum. As evidenced by the fact that we now celebrate sin. Again, I wasn't even so much harping on homosexuality specifically, though its celebration indeed should shock us.

American culture celebrates sin now. All kinds of sin. Openly and shamelessly... things God calls evil. This is evidence to me that the wrath of God is beginning to be more forcefully revealed against the US. That is what I found poignant about MacArthur's message.

And I see Romans 1:18-3:20 more as typical of what happens in the three groups identified - the idolatrous pagan, the judgmental moralist, and the religious person who dishonors God despite his knowledge of the law... they represent all people who need the gospel - so it's not just past tense, but an ongoing dynamic. At least that's how I see it. America has plenty of 'em all.

"I actually don't think we are more corrupt. I do think that we are less ashamed of our corruption and therefore more willing to show it off. . . "

My sentiments exactly! And I would call this evidence of God giving us over... :0)

April 28, 2009 at 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Macarthur bases his sermon on rampant sexual behaviour but is that the ONLY reason that God would abandon America? or any prosperous country?

What about greed?

What about friends abandoning eachother to pursue financial security or material possessions?

What about shallow friendships in the church?

What about parents not loving their children?

What about people who claim to know God but their lives tell otherwise?

....and many more.

Don't really think God abandoned America but is focused on peoples and countries that truly seek him. America has merely been handed over to their desires.

May 9, 2009 at 9:19 AM  
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