3/13/19 – Pastor Brian’s Blog
“Make America Great Again:” a statement that Americans could rally around to unify our country. Yet this phrase seems to have divided our country. Depending on your political bent, this phrase will offend or anger you, or you look at it with approval and hope.
I do not have to tell you that our country is divided and our future is not bright. Jesus said… “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew 12:25
You don’t need to have an earned doctorate from Harvard or Yale to know that our country is in trouble. If you listen to politicians from both sides, it is obvious that we are a country divided. If this continues and things do not change, the United States of America will be a fulfillment of Matthew 12:25.
So what is the solution? That is an excellent question, so let’s stop and think. We won’t find the solution if we don’t understand the problem. You cannot be a problem solver if you are oblivious to what the problem is. So, what is the problem?
For some, you might be surprised at what I am about to write. The underlying problem isn’t the democrats or the republicans, it is not even whether we remain capitalists or move to socialism. The source of the problem is not whether or not you believe in climate change, or whether we should have a one payer health care program, or whether or not we have the right foreign policy towards Iran or North Korea.
Now are these issues real, are they issues that need to be addressed, absolutely, but they are not the cause of our country’s problems. The problem is the human heart, the source of our being, the heart where our emotions and thoughts dwell. God says this about the heart… “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart.” Jeremiah 17:9-10
I believe that we are where we are today, because as a people, we have allowed our hearts to drift from God. What you are about to read is not an article from the Boston Globe or the New York Times explaining the consequences of our “drift.” This “article” was written 2000 years ago, and clearly explains where our country is:
- The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
- For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
- Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
- They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
- Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent (disrespectful), arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
These words come from Romans 1:18-32.
Sound like our society? I think so! Even though the politicians might be sincere, even though the climate changers might be able to give you information that persuades you, even if we accepted every person that wants to come through our borders, even if we could balance our budget, and even if we could denuclearize every country in the world, it would not solve the divide in our country, and in our world.
In order to solve the problem you must start with the root cause of the problem and not with the consequences from the problem. If the root problem is the heart, then the solution has to begin in the heart. And the solution must begin in our churches… If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
God did not say that He would heal our land if we could just get the right people into office. God did not say that He would heal our land if I can just convince people to think like me. No, God said that if His people would only humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their sins, He would do what only He could do: heal our land.
Although, in context, this is a covenant God made with His people Israel, I believe that because the church today represents God’s people, we can claim this promise. So I believe it is time for the church to step up and do what only God’s church can do: humble themselves and pray.
We are living in perilous times. People have lost hope, people are taking their lives at a staggering rate, the public discourse has to be at an all time low, we are living with the real threat of a nuclear war, with no answers in sight. So instead of bashing the president or the Democrats, instead of trying to convince people to think like you, the church needs to pray to God and then share our faith, not only in word but also in our lifestyle.
Remember God did not call us to revolt or demean our government leaders without ceasing. God did not call us to complain and reflect on how bad I think I have it without ceasing. Instead God called us to… Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
There is just something about prayer that moves the heart of God. Jesus said… “When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action.” Matthew 18:19 (MSG)
So, Church, instead of rising up, we need to fall to our knees and ask God to “Make America Great Again!”