How a Great Nation Falls
The Bible teaches that those who forget God will not last (Job 8:13). Whether we’re talking about a nation or an individual, the truth is evident: it is God who sits on the circle of the earth, and all of the inhabitants are like grasshoppers (Isaiah 40:22).
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Believing the Bible
The worldview of God’s rulership does not require your acceptance to make it real; it’s true whether you accept it or not. Thus, the call to action for all people and nations is to repent of their sins and trust God (Proverbs 28:13; Matthew 4:17). We see this idea with Jonah calling the country of Nineveh to repentance (Jonah 3:1) and the Lord calling the rich young ruler to faith (Matthew 19:16–22). The calls are the same; we must all bow our knees to the Lord. We all will do this eventually, whether in this life or the life to come.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. — Philippians 2:9–11
The integrity of this perspective stands on the legitimacy of God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16–17; John 17:17). Is the Bible true? That is the question. Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God, but if you disbelieve and discredit God’s Word, you will not come to faith in God (Romans 10:9, 13). Your starting point will determine the course of your life. Do you believe God’s Word? See 2 Samuel 7:28; Psalm 19:9, 119:160.
You come to regenerating faith by God imposing Himself on your life; it’s a spiritual decision that is personal and unique to you (Romans 10:9, 13). Trusting and following God does not mean you’ll have all the answers. You’ll never be able to understand all the complexities and perceived inconsistencies of life (Isaiah 55:8–9; Psalm 92:5; Amos 4:13; Micah 4:12; 1 Corinthians 2:14).
This inability is similar to all complex things in our universe. At some point, we have to believe in what we believe, even if we don’t have all the answers.
If a person chooses not to believe in God, it does not alter their need to worship something. We’re all worshipers (Ezekiel 23:7; Leviticus 26:1). We need something outside of ourselves to trust, embrace, and follow. These things become agendas, passions, and system of beliefs.
Eventually, these belief systems become so crucial that any perceived attack on them is an insult that requires a defense. We end up with competing for belief systems that can no longer coexist because the thought is that if you believe what you believe, you will try to stamp out what I believe.
From this juncture, each group strategizes how to make their belief system the dominating worldview in the culture (or nation). Currently, in our country, it appears that those who oppose God are winning the cultural scrimmage.
They have learned that the way to win is by legislating their beliefs into the cultural mainstream. By lobbying the government to mandate laws to support their belief system, they leverage the government to persecute those who reject their views. E.g., changing homosexuality from a disorder to sexual orientation in the DSM-IV and Roe v. Wade.
Without a revival from the Christian side, the incrementalization of the predominant culture’s belief system will eventually become the dominant thought and practice of the society. Sadly, the Christians, by and large, have had a “stay away” attitude regarding politics.
Unwittingly, they ceded the government’s turf to the liberal, progressive activists, and they took it gladly. The anti-Bible activists intuitively knew how to accomplish the inculturation of their doctrines. And their current losses in this political culture war explains why there are such visceral and hostile reactions to our current government’s administration.
So they have amped-up their assault on the administration. And the primary means in which they are fighting this battle is through social media, which includes television shows and movies. Our education systems are also indoctrination centers for their worldviews.
Once they can reclaim the government, they will be “happy” because they will own the primary lever that steers a country down the path of rejecting God. And they will continue to legislate their belief system until the followers of God bow down to these immoral idols, or suffer the consequences (Daniel 3:18).
The followers of God will have to do more than complain about the societal ills or preach against the moral decay of our country, the two main reactions when Christians lose conservative, cultural ground. They must mobilize practically. They must learn from the playbook of their combatants.
The adversary does not care if we preach from our pulpits into the echo chamber of our congregations. Preaching to the choir against the woes of a nation becomes a form of public grumbling if there is not a practical plan to confront the encroachments of those who are tearing away at the moral fabric of our country.
Of course, there are others who sentimentalize how this country is not our home. This type of passivity flies in the face of the great commission (Matthew 28:19–20), which is an active call to action to go and make disciples of the nations. It would behoove the Christian world to rethink how to “make disciples.” Those on the other side, who despise God and His followers, have a strategic approach to making their disciples. We can learn from them.
Then there are those who say, “God will win in the end.” That, too, is a form of spiritualized passivity that dismisses our missional calling to convert others to Christ. Yes, God will win in the end. But don’t dismiss the process that goes before that good end or your responsibility as we wait for Christ’s future rulership to come. Your response must be more than “God is in control,” which can turn us into our holy huddles while the cultural bombs drop all around us.
Each of us has to ask God how we can individually and uniquely respond to the cultural decay of our country. Each one of us has a God-given, missional gift and an opportunity. We are called to make a “great commission” difference within our sphere of influence.
Our current problems and your response to them are of generational proportions. What can you do? How are you to respond to the cultural demise of your world? In what ways can you practice the great commission in your community?
In an ironic way, how can you emulate those on the other side, but without the resentment, hostility, fear, hatred, vengeance, or a desire to punish them? We need courage, optimism, grace, kindness, and practical redemptive aggression.
Originally published at Rick Thomas.