The other day a friend of mine sent me a message asking me if in light of recent events, do I think God will still bless America? Here is my response.
That’s a loaded question. I’m concerned about writing a novel in order to answer it. I think the belief that God has been blessing America because it’s a righteous country that honors him is misplaced. Basically, that holds to the idea that the U.S., like Israel in the Old Testament, is a covenant nation. God chose Israel to be His holy people and He issued commands saying that if they did certain things they’d be blessed and if they did certain other things they’d be cursed. That’s because they were under the law. The way the law functions is on blessings and curses. If you do good you get blessed but if you do bad you get cursed. This was a burden Israel couldn’t even carry. They failed miserably. But see, Christ ushered in a new era when He came. He fulfilled the law (meeting all of its requirements) freeing us from its demands. So now we no longer live under the law, we live under grace. God no longer “curses people” for doing bad or “blesses people” for doing good. The whole point of the cross is we no longer have to try to earn points with God because He’s not keeping score. Yes, there are the natural consequences of reaping and sowing. (i.e. if I spend too much I’m going to run out of money and bad things will happen.) But there is also no longer one nation that is God’s chosen people. Rather He has a spiritual holy nation made up of people from every tribe tongue and nation who love Him.
If America was blessed for following the law then when has this nation ever upheld the entire law? We don’t get to pick and choose which parts of the law we’ll follow and which parts we won’t. Paul was clear that if you fail in one part of the law, you’ve failed in all of it. This nation is guilty of FAR more egregious sins than gay marriage. The oppression and murder of numerous people groups through out history, just to name one. Yet, the country continued and eventually repented (changed its mind) about those things, without incurring any wrath from God. This nation has been called “a Christian nation” but when has the government ever looked anything like Christ who told His followers not to wear titles or exercise top down authority as the gentiles do? When has this nation ever “turned the other cheek” when its been attacked? This nation was even birthed out of bloody violent rebellion to authority from a nation that ALSO believed it was God’s chosen nation. When did Jesus ever take up the sword to end oppression? He never led Israel to stand against Rome. (Something many of His Zealot followers really wished He would do.)
Actually, what we have here in this country is a weird mixture of Christianity and the world. We see America and Christianity as being one in the same when they are actually in opposition to one another. I think God is much more concerned about how His people have bought into a strange mixture of Christianity and the world that has caused them to lose their love for one another and the lost while trying to gain worldly political power so they can be over others and dictate to them their wishes. That’s something that runs completely the opposite direction from Christ. This is why the church has been powerless to change this country. Not because she doesn’t pray enough, or doesn’t read the Bible enough, isn’t active enough; but because she is not placing her hope in the Kingdom that is not of this world. Though most will never admit it, they think America is God’s holy nation. They have turned to political power and attempts to lord over others rather than placing their hope in Christ. We are not called to make America great. We’re called to love others as Christ loves us. America is not our hope, Jesus is. I believe with all my heart the body of Christ will see judgment long before America will. But when I say judgment, I don’t mean that in a condemning way. God’s judgments are always an act of love, to set things right. That’s why it’s almost humorous to hear Christians say, “God is going to judge America!” You mean He loves us so much He’s going to set things right? AMEN!!! The church in America is largely out of order. We all know that. But it’s not out of order because of it’s views on “gay marriage” or its lack of morals. It’s out of order because it’s lost sight of who Jesus is, His love for them, and His love for the world that He DID NOT come to judge, but to save. Christians so often sound like James and John asking Jesus to rain down fire on those who oppose them. Jesus told them they didn’t even know what spirit they were of. Much of the church in America has FAR more in common with the Pharisees of Israel than it does with the Son of God they claim to follow.
I think what looks like a mess right now is actually Jesus bringing his church to the end of themselves so they’ll finally give up and let Him be Lord. I can almost hear Him saying to His people, “Have you had enough yet? Are you ready to quit?”
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” Matthew 5:3 (The Message)