If you’ve ever read the Old Testament you've noticed a cycle in Israel’s life as a nation – they go from being blessed to being cursed. They go from receiving the abundance that God only can give, to receiving punishment that only God can give. From the promise of taking the Israelites to a land “flowing with milk and honey”, to sending a Savior, to the promise that we will lend and not borrow – all blessings promised by God Himself in Scriptures. And yet, Israelites were oppressed by the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Romans, the Assyrians and so on - punished by God time and time again - but delivered every time afterwards. The question is: what was the reason for their punishment?
As you read Scriptures you know that the Israelites over and over again grew apart from God, abandoned Him, began worshiping pagan gods and disobeyed God at every opportunity, trusting in themselves rather than God. Israel brought curse upon itself. Each cycle of blessings was the direct result of Israel's faithfulness towards God, and each cycle of curses was the direct result of Israel's unfaithfulness towards God.
Why am I telling you this?
Because the Bible teaches that the fate of a nation is entirely dependent on the worldview held by its inhabitants. So please keep this in mind as I share the latest poll conducted by Pew Research Center.
Pew Research Center conducted a poll, with the results published on November 15th, in which 63% of the adults polled indicated that they want religious groups to remain out of politics, 76% don’t think Churches should endorse specific candidates and 37% of them believe Churches have too much influence in politics.
In addition, the poll shows that 55% of Americans maintain that Religion is a force for good in society, 53% think it strengthens morality and 50% believe it brings people together.
What’s happening to America? Why do people insist that we forget God? Why do we even ask God to bless America?
America was founded on Christian principles – in fact, the Pilgrims signed a contract, called the Mayflower Compact, in which they stated that they were coming to our shores “in the name of God” with a clear purpose: “for the Glory of God and the advancement of the Christian Faith”. That was their purpose.
Fast forward to the 1740s and you find yourself in the middle of a Religious Revival also known as the Great Awakening led by pastors such as Jonathan Edwards and his famous sermon ‘Sinners in the hands of an angry God’. The Great Awakening ultimately led to the American Revolution of 1776.
Furthermore, James Madison, the architect of our Constitution, is attributed for saying this:
"We have staked the whole future of American Civilization NOT upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the ten commandments."
That’s right, my dear friend. Our constitution and our entire civilization was founded on the Ten Commandments – the very Ten Commandments that are now banned from public buildings. And yes, this quote is unconfirmed as having been said by Madison, but it does reflect the attitude of the times and the beliefs held by Madison, who firmly believed in man's ability to self-govern and believed in Christianity as "the best and purest religion" in Federalist #39.
What's more, while that quote is unconfirmed, the following one is confirmed:
"[T]he belief in a God All-Powerful, wise, and good is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities to be impressed with it."
So it becomes very evident that both quotes - the one confirmed and the one unconfirmed - by Madison clearly reflect both the attitude of the times and the personal beliefs of the man.
But in any case, if you fast forward to the Civil War, in which the Democrats in the South were willing to die to keep their slaves, ultimately even the abolition of slavery was strongly pushed by religious groups. For example, in 1818 the Presbyterian Church General Assembly adopted a resolution that used bold language to reject slavery: "We consider the voluntary enslaving of one part of the human race by another, as a gross violation of the most precious and sacred rights of human nature; [and] as utterly inconsistent with the law of God."
Our history shows that America, as long as it remained a Christian country, saw blessing after blessing after blessing coming from God.
But if Church is required to stay out of politics, how do we expect to have a moral and blessed country? If you think about it, every policy discussion is a moral discussion: from taxation, to abortion, to transgender bathrooms to drag queen story hour in kindergarten to healthcare….ALL of these issues are moral issues. And if we’re going to discuss moral issues apart from the standard that is the morals written in the Bible, why wouldn’t a just God consider punishment for us?
We have the benefit of Israel’s history – we know what happened to THEM, how come we don’t realize that, unless we turn to God again, the only possible fate for us is severe punishment? And how are we going to turn to God again unless Christians step up to the plate and begin influencing policy?
There is such thing as separation of Church and State. But what this means is the State doesn’t tell the Church what to preach on and the Church doesn’t form armies to defend the State. Christians can serve, of course, in the military. But the Church as an organization is not to maintain an army.
Separation of State and Church was never meant to be separation of State from God. We’re still one nation under God. And if we’re going to Make America Great Again, we need to make America GODLY again. And this will take the effort and courage of all of us Christians to influence policy. And you cannot do that unless we get involved in Politics – and that includes pastors, priests, theologians, etc. We have two options: either we let pagans impose their gods on us (be it sexual immorality, abortion, etc.) or we arm ourselves with knowledge of what God says about all of these issues and influence morality with the only moral standard that exists: the Word of God.
“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.“
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