Give America a Break – Please
October 7, 2013 at 10:52pm
Throughout my Christian experience there has been a peculiarity with increasing numbers of believers that I find mystifying. It is the assertion that political-religious tribulation, economic downturns and natural disasters will bring the unconverted masses to Christ and the churched to greater intensities of dedication to the Lord.
Some seem to get what might qualify as a crazed gleam in their eyes when they speak of America’s incoming just deserves. It is as though their oratory is lathered with fervency about impending doom by the haunting cellos and French horns of the Jaws movie score.
The Scriptures, history and candid observation of the Church in oppressed nations do not support the premise that troubles guarantee massive upturns in zeal for the Lord. Incessant pressures are more apt to incite frustrated discouragement that leads to willful departure from the faith. There are relatively few who utilize subjection to life’s various tribulations as reminders of the brevity of this life and that Christians are to live with eternity in mind.
I have spent decades ministering in impoverished nations and in those under the antichrist thumb of Communism. It is the best of the Christian harvest that are heralded as champions of righteousness in mission reports. Those who have up-close and personal interaction with broad facets of the Persecuted Church are seldom candid about all that they witness.
Economic hardship does not inevitably produce holiness. The nakedness of poverty creates boredom. The prospects that nothing creative can be accomplished, ignites the challenge of lustful escapades. My experience is that many poverty ridden believers in 3rd world nations have a brand of sanctification that exists from the waist up.
Politically based religious persecution does not always guarantee unified cooperation between different Christian groups. Some of the most divisive attitudes and corrupt activity that I have ever seen amongst churches have been in Communist strongholds. The shameful sins that are found in too many American pastoral leaders and their parishioners are just a prevalent with believers in countries closed to the Gospel.
It would be prudent for those who glamorize what tribulation can allegedly accomplish to keep the words of Jesus in mind. The cares of this life include concerns about creative innovation to better livelihood and the resultant relational upheaval caused by the lack of reasonable provision. These cares have no less capacity to choke out the Word’s productivity than the deceitfulness of riches. When it comes to desires for more things, the oppressed are ever mindful; perhaps even more so than the affluent. (Matt 13:22: Mk 4:19)
I do not think it is accurate to assume that the turbulence is solely designed to bring about experiential holiness in individuals. I am of the opinion that the purification is more so a winnowing separation of chaff personalities from the Body of Christ.
During the Babylonian captivity, he commanded the Israelis to bless the cities in which they dwelt. He promised that as they did so, the cities would prosper and the captives would in turn reap the benefits also.
I am confident that believers, who choose faith for America and resist condemning her, will experience greater measures of peace and prosperity than those who persist in woeful prognostications. To give America a break is educated household preservation. It will reap optimum results, no matter what the future holds.