Galyn, Here is a one response I received from a man that I have been debating with over the role of the church in this nation. I have heard this in the past from other Christians and feel that this may be a common attitude in the Evangelical church today. What would you say to this man?
"The Church is not about America. The Church is not about changing a nation or culture. Its about saving souls individually and standing as the pillar and support of the truth! It is delusional to think that God is going to change this country when SCRIPTURE clearly says the world, including America, is going to continue to get worse. The Church is simply following suit. We need to make sure we are thinking theocentrically instead of anthropocentrically. Otherwise we do get the majority of the church that has embraced a nonbiblical worldview and is biblically illiterate. Thus Christ asked if He would even find faith on the earth when He returns."Here is my response:
I would agree with him, but you don't have to choose between being a godly American and being a godly Christian. He sounds like he wants to be Reformed as in Calvinist, but has too much Evangelicalism, or too little Scripture. Its like saying that because you have two sons you can't love them both. Can't a man have several children and love them all? Do you have to chose? How can he be truly theocentric for more than ten minutes without becoming anthropocentric? (as in "For God so loved the world . . .") The two greatest commandments: 1) Love God, 2) Love your neighbor. The prophets of the old testament were clearly focused on saving the nation of Israel and the nation of Judah, while at the same time advancing the revelation of the kingdom of God. (Of course, if a person is Reformed they don't consider natural Israel, but spiritualize it, so this point would make no sense to them.) In the Epistles there is talk of the spiritual kingdom and our position in Christ, but in the second half of most of the letters the writer begins to talk about how these spiritual truths will effect our walk, our families, our communities and our societies. I would agree that the world ends in darkness but when this man writes "it is delusional to think that God is going to change this country" the Calvinistic tone switches to sound like a rapture ready Tim LaHaye fan. The Bible teaches clearly that "Righteousness exalts a nation." (Proverbs 14:34) Indeed, I do agree that the church must be theocentric first (as in the Greatest Commandment of Jesus). Many churches today are unscriptural. Those who try to please man are unbiblical, ungodly, and are not helping preserve the United States. If churches were to embrace truth, seek their God and live righteous lives they would see a change in this county. To disagree with this statement is ludicrous and delusional. Are we going to see churches turn to truth and seek God in our culture? Probably not, but when I was coaching and losing by 20 points in the fourth quarter I still expected my players to execute the offense and play aggressive defense until the buzzer sounded, or in this case, the trumpet was blown. Jeremiah continued to proclaim his message and encourage social change until Nebuzaraden, commander of Nebuchadnezzar's imperial guard, lit the fire (Jeremiah 52:12-13). This man is apparently upset that his church isn't growing while churches with great programs have full parking lots. Many people like to nurse their failure to engage their community by taking this illusional "high road" of "loving God" and not "bowing to humanism" to explain their lack of productivity. It sounds good until they read the parable of the sower, and other examples from the Bible, that expect God's people to be productive and not blame all their failures on other people's sin nature. I agree with half of what he says, but think he is probably mad about something else.
One more point: What's up with this statement that he makes - "SCRIPTURE clearly says the world, including America, is going to continue to get worse." - America clearly got, not only better, but came into existence 1600 years after "SCRIPTURE" was written? So, the world, including America, did get better! Why? Because of the church and a nation embracing God's natural and special revelations. It is a principle attested to in the Scriptures from Genesis through Revelation. The church did make the world better and Jesus indicated it would. It could happen again. I do think we are at the end of the age, but, again, the Bible warns us not to give up until the game is over. I'll follow Scripture. Maybe he wants to follow "some prophecy, report or letter . . . saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Dont' let anyone deceive you in any way . . . the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed." We are close, but we aren't there yet. That is why there is still "Hope for America's Last Generation." (available in a bookstore near you, but only if you live in Des Moines, Iowa.)