Blessed is the nation whose God is Lord
Psalm 33:12: Here is the evangelical Christian’s basic premise concerning the success of America — and that would be the relationship of her citizens to Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
I realize that may sound arrogant, but that is not the point at all.
Jesus Christ declared to us as individuals and — as nations I might add — “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from Me you can do nothing!”
John 15:5: You could logically ask, “How does this apply to America?” And that takes us back to the roots of our nation. For the most part, the groups that came here came as Christian exiles to be more free to live out their Christian commitment here in this unencumbered land. By 1621 our Puritan and Pilgrim forefathers made covenant with God that this land be a Christian nation where Christianity could be freely practiced without fear of punishment.
Whether you were immigrants of New England or Pennsylvania or Georgia, you wanted a government where you could freely practice your Christian faith. This is one of the fundamental ideals of American life — that you can freely practice the teachings of your Christian faith without fear of discrimination or prosecution.
And so, as long as the courts and the will of the people subscribed to Christian principles, our nation would prosper and we would enjoy the bounteous blessings of the God of Heaven. As Jesus, the Son of God, declared, “Apart from Me you can do nothing!” In other words, you cannot enjoy true success unless you abide in Christ’s principles, no matter what nation you are, whether France or Spain or England or America.
When did that begin to legally change? When did we begin to officially depart from Christian principles that made our nation so great? I will say 1962 and 1963 when the Supreme Court banned formal prayer and Bible reading in the public school systems. The Court was beginning to fundamentally say that Christianity could no longer be considered the objective basis for determining truth and moral right in society.
Christianity, the liberal thinkers say, is a partial, subjective view of truth. They decided we would need another more objective basis for determining truth and moral right. The Courts were heading then in a more humanly derived view of truth based on the sciences and social research.
Legally, Jesus Christ was laid aside as objective truth for law and judgement. Instead, humanly derived intellectual theories of modern times were replacing Jesus teachings in the tenants of law.
Let’s remember a few replacements — Here’s one:
Instead of the unborn child being a sovereign blessing from God, they become “mere fleshly tissue” at the discretion of the woman carrying the tissue.
Another replacement: You have paper money, not based on any weighable mineral value, but based on the relativistic evaluation of the nation’s financiers. Biblically, the scales are not precisely weighted as Holy Scripture dictates. The hidden loss of value is built into the system. So, instead of paying 29 cents for a loaf of bread, now you pay $2 for a loaf of bread.
Another replacement: You have sexual expression rooted in the contemporary findings of sociology and psychology, and not the moral tenants of the Bible. There is no longer any such thing as “aberrant” or abnormal sexual behavior. Any expression can be possible as long as another person’s will is not being violated.
Another replacement: We have marriage as Biblically revealed between a man and a woman. That too has been officially overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Biblical revelation aside, two persons of any declared gender can be legally united in marriage.
The social sciences then prevail over Biblical revelation. What Jesus has taught is irrelevant in light of current social science teaching. It is clear then, as a nation, that we are no longer abiding in Jesus teachings. Jesus is now to be regarded as a parochial God, a singular personality, but not carrying the weight of defensible law.
Remember again, Jesus warned, “Apart from Me you can do nothing!” This applies equally to nations as it does to individuals. Like the history of Israel in the Old Testament, we are then faced with the Lord’s judgments rather than His Blessings. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!”
In that we have legally forsaken that standard, we are putting ourselves in the inescapable path of His judgements. What can we say with humility, but accuracy, are the indicators of His judgements upon us?
COVID-19 would be our most recent dilemma with the Lord’s judgements. All the powers that be have not been able to reduce the death toll to less than a hundred thousand. And, perhaps, another hundred thousand to come. In the plague that attacked Israel following their sexual binge in Numbers 25, there were 24,000 lives lost in one day. In the plague that David’s prideful conduct incited in 2 Samuel 24, there were 70,000 lives lost in the span of 3 days.
Another undeniable realm of judgements has been what our property insurances label “Acts of God.” The wild fires in California have destroyed multiple thousands of acres of timber lands and of suburban communities. The horrid tornadoes from Texas to the Carolinas struck with a vengeance and a tragic loss of lives. The massive flooding in the Midwest inundated cities and towns and farms and human lives as well as livestock.
Are these not Biblical ways of God’s judgement upon a disregarding nation? What do we do, dear Christian friends. What is to be our response to such dire judgements upon our nation?
One, we are to straighten out our very own lives, where we know that we are not walking straight.
Two, we are to stand “in the gap” in behalf of those who have been taken captive by the misleading values of the media and the culture.
Three, we are to appeal as much as possible to our civil authorities to reject popular values that are wrong and support values that uphold Jesus teachings.
Four, we are to use our churches as Beacons of Christ’s Light to counter the darkness of the media and the false teachings of the liberal elite.
Jesus repeats, “Apart from Me you can do nothing!” The culture has us dwelling on many novel things. But “Christian,” our Pilgrim era friend, created by John Bunyan, has chosen the better portion, which will not be taken away from him! May that be true for you and for me as we choose to walk in the LIGHT OF CHRIST.
(Message given by Pastor Charlie Stump, Mt. Union Presbyterian, 5/31/20)
Charlie Stump was ordained by the United Methodist Church in 1968, served as Pastor in several denominations, retired as News Director for WTLR/WQJU in 2006, serves as guest preaching pastor at Mt. Union Presbyterian Church.