If you haven’t noticed, there is an absolute flurry of spiritual and natural activity in our nation currently. The political machine is heating up with the election in November. Hot button topics like the economy, health care, abortion and same-sex unions are more polarizing than ever.
We may have hit a peak this week with a stunning article by Billy Graham. The 93 year-old icon of modern-day Christianity wrote a scathing piece concerning the impending judgment of God upon our nation. Multiple influential church leaders echo his cry. They all declare that unless America repents and returns to biblical values, its end is near.
I love my country. The liberty we enjoy is the envy of the world. Our military provides me with an unmatched security I take thoughtlessly for granted. American capitalism, for all of its vices, has done more to create value and wealth than any other economic method. I’ve traveled enough to realize how special our nation is.
That said, I believe that Graham and the others take a perspective I’m not sure God shares. Jesus is not American. In fact, He’s not of any earthly origin. He is heavenly. And that is the paradigm from which the Godhead operates. He loves the people of our great nation.
I think we err when we desire for government to mirror our biblical convictions. The law of the Spirit cannot be legislated through any natural means. It is a well-intentioned effort but the end is a populace chained by biblical rule while their hearts internally rebel.
Jesus was not a nationalist. He didn’t promote a Jewish revolt against Roman rule. His kingdom was not of this world. Instead, He birthed a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. No matter the nation, government or conditions, this people would live peacefully and thrive.
I think Jesus is about building His church and advancing His kingdom. It’s my hunch that from His perspective, He’s got America right where He wants it. Historically, the gospel of the kingdom has its greatest success in the most adverse of conditions. An ungodly culture is actually the fertile soil of awakening and revival.
Trouble and struggle has a way of softening the heart. Prosperity, especially a propped-up and feigned version of it, is a weak reed that breaks when leaned upon too heavily. Is it a bad thing that when those who lean upon it fall, they fall upon the solid rock of Christ?
So, I think Graham and the others are sensing accurately, but are implementing a flawed strategy. We don’t want repentance so laws change. We want repentance so hearts and minds change. Let’s not forget, our government is a reflection of its people. True change in our land will occur when what we’ve relied upon apart from our heavenly Father fails.
Then people will cry out for something that won’t fail. I am a proponent of letting things fail. It’s happened in my own life and as painful as it was, I am a more mature and loving son of God because of it. We’ve bought into the idea that we can’t fail. I disagree. I think we must.
And when it falls, the children of God must be ready. Ready to love, not judge. Ready to heal, not point fingers. Ready with grace, mercy and compassion. Some will be rattled and devastated. Some will be proud and arrogant. Some will be deceived, some perplexed, and some broken. And we must love them all.
I pray for my country. I pray that the kingdom comes. And I seek to agree with Him for whatever is the best context for its coming.