But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths.’ (Exk 33:6 NLT)
America is not a nation like Israel; a nation founded as a Theocracy. However, America is a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values. To the degree America adheres to those values she is a Christian nation. She is a free nation because she was founded upon the values and principles of freedom and “inalienable rights.” This is true even though America embraces “pluralism.” She embraces the individual’s right to freely choose any particular or no belief at all.
America was founded upon and has received great Light, visa vie the Holy Scriptures. That Light has brought about great freedom and liberty. So long as that Light burns brightly those freedoms and liberties remain. But when that Light grows dim, darkness will fall on freedom and liberty. How is the Light sustained? It is sustained first by the Reflectors of the Light, by those who are the followers of Jehovah God and who revere God’s Holy Word. Second, the Respecters of the Light sustain it, be they followers of God or not. They respect the Judeo-Christian values and principles of God’s Word upon which America, our Republic, was founded. This may be seen in the following statement by William Henry Harrison, U.S. President (1841-1841) in his Inaugural Address (March 4, 1841):
“I deem the present occasion sufficiently important and solemn to justify me in expressing to my fellow-citizens a profound reverence for the Christian religion and a thorough conviction that sound morals, religious liberty, and a just sense of religious responsibility are essentially connected with all true and lasting happiness; and to that good Being who has blessed us by the gifts of civil and religious freedom, who watched over and prospered the labors of our fathers and has hitherto preserved to us institutions far exceeding in excellence those of any other people, let us unity in fervently commending every interest of our beloved country in all future time.”
The Reflectors and the Respecters of God form an alliance affecting America’s freedom and liberty. They both enjoy a great privilege and a great responsibility. They work and survive in a culture of liberty by honoring the Judeo-Christian values and principles that undergird America. They are inseparable in many ways. But the survival of America as a free nation depends upon their mutual dependence upon the God of freedom and “inalienable rights.”
Is America undergoing judgment? Yes, America is undergoing judgment. What does that mean? Richard Owen Roberts, foremost authority on revival in our world explains how God uses judgment. In his little booklet, The Solemn Assembly,he writes, “While some judgments are immediate and final, resulting in deaths among the wicked; others are gracious and remedial, resulting in brokenness, prayer, repentance and extraordinary seeking of God’s face.” I believe America’s judgment at this point in time is “remedial” in nature. There is still time for America to act, to truly repent of her neglect of God and turn to Him NOW, before a “final” judgment comes, before she goes past the point of no return. But America and God are waiting on the Church.
Is the church (Reflectors of the Light) complicit in the judgment on America? Yes. The church is complicit because she alone is responsible for keeping the Light of the Gospel brightly shining. If the Light grows dim it can only be because the church has lost or is losing her influence and status as a reflector of the Light.
Henry Blackaby stated in the Cedars Bible Conference of 2010, “The healing of America is waiting on God’s people. The forgiveness of God’s people [for willful sin and disobedience] will determine the healing of America.”He said of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, “This was a warning to God’s people[the church].” He said the same of hurricane Katrina and the economic disasters of 2008-2010. I would submit that the fires, drought, floods, and civil unrest of 2011 should be viewed as a wake up to the Church. These disasters would coincide with Roberts’ statements above about “remedial judgment.” Blackaby said that God’s people must do some things: Humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and TURN from THEIRWICKED WAYS.“If you are not seeing the manifest presence of God in your life then there ARE wicked ways [in your life for which you must repent]”, Blackaby said. Roberts states that “remedial judgment” opens the door for brokenness, prayer, repentance and the seeking of God’s face on the part of God people.
Today we find ourselves living in a “post-Christian” culture. Why? Because both the Reflectors of God and the Respecters of God have succumb to the peril of privilege, fallen asleep at the wheel. We have taken for granted freedom and “inalienable rights.” When that happens freedom, liberty, individual pursuit of happiness is forfeited.
What has gone wrong? With great privilege comes great responsibility. Neither a Reflector nor a Respecter of God is assured the mutual protection and favor of God when they no longer reflect and no longer respect God. When reflecting turns inward and apathetic and respecting turns to complacency and neglect, the nation, the Republic, is in trouble. Reflectors no longer propagate the Light. Respecters no longer revere the Light. Less Light turns to less toleration. Soon the Reflectors and the Respecters of God find themselves marginalized, on the outside looking in. The Light is slowly being snuffed out by darkness, the creeping enemy of the Light. The result is the loss of freedom, liberty and “inalienable rights.”
Not much has changed in 2,000 years. Consider the writings of Athanasius (297-373 A.D.) These words could easily be said about our generation today.
“But men, foolish as they are, thought little of the grace they had received, and turned away from God. They defiled their own soul so completely that they not only lost their apprehension of God, but invented for themselves other gods of various kinds. They fashioned idols for themselves in place of the truth and reverenced things that are not, rather than God Who is, as St. Paul says, ‘worshipping the creature rather than the Creator.’
Moreover, and much worse, they transferred the honor, which is due to God to material objects such as wood and stone, and also to man. Indeed, so impious were they that they worshipped evil spirits as gods in satisfaction of their lusts. They sacrificed brute beasts and immolated men, as the just due of these deities, thereby bringing themselves more and more under their insane control. Magic arts also were taught among them, oracles in sundry places led men astray, and the cause of everything in human life was traced to the stars, as though nothing existed but that which could be seen. In a word, impiety and lawlessness were everywhere, and neither God nor His Word was known.1
Reflectors become weaker and fewer. Respecters become weaker and fewer. A new group emerges. They are the Renouncers. Renouncers show zero tolerance for Judeo-Christian values. They wish for and work for the removal of any mention of God. They use only language that is “politically correct,” or they become outright assailants [note Joy Behar comments on the popular TV program, The View, in February 2018 about then Vice President Mike Pence and Christians in general; she said that those who hear God speak to them are “mentally ill.”] They would see the Reflectors and Respecters completely silenced. In 2020 America has come to call this the “CANCEL CULTURE.” It is a culture of denunciation, where all views that do not square with the prevailing ideology is censored, muted, repressed. Mass media networks and circulation pages and social network platforms (Face Book, Twitter, Amazon, Google and You Tube facilitate the neutering of valuable public discourse. While those who reflect the Light and those who respect the Light continue in their apathy and neglect the Renouncers wage a full-scale rejection of the Light, rejection of tolerance and mutual dependence upon God. We are in a battle for the soul of America. The church must awaken from her slumber. John Hagee said, “America’s future is in the hands of God’s children.”God is waiting for Christians in America to answer His wake-up call and PRAY.
I close with these thought-provoking words of Richard Owen Roberts: “That there has been a very great increase of immorality and decrease of true biblical spirituality in America in recent years is a fact beyond controversy…Is it because the devil is more powerful…? No. It is because God has judged America with the remedial judgment of the withdrawal of certain manifestations of his gracious presence and mercy.”Roberts sounds an alarm to the church, “As soon as it becomes evident that immorality is on the increase and spirituality is on the decline the biblically sound and spiritually lively Church will not foolishly blame the world but will immediately recognize its own COMPLICITY. The Church must first repent, for the righteous judgment was not against the world but against the church(1Pe 4:17-19). Therefore, in times of spiritual declension and moral decadence, the great duty of every Christian is both to discover those sins which have caused the judgment and to put them away…”
1Foster, Richard J. Devotional Classics. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 1989. Athanasius was important in early church history as he helped to steer the Church away from the heresy of Arianism – belief that Jesus was merely a human being. He wrote extensively on the incarnation and how God took on human form. He took part in the first council of Nicea (325 A.D.). The portion Foster quotes above is taken from his primary work, On The Incarnation.