|Americans celebrating the death of Osama Bin-Laden|
Matt at The Church of No People has this interesting post
Read it. Matt says that people who forecast gloom, doom andj udgment on nations are viewed by those nations as barking mad.
Mad and bad.
It was ever the way with prophets. Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Isaiah were distinctly odd, and most unpopular.
It just so happened that they were right.
And, Matt asks, But is there any reason, other than we think that Pat Robertson is crazy, that he must be wrong?
I think God’s a big fan of“natural consequences,” which is handy, since doing bad things always results in natural consequences, saving God a lot of smiting that He’d have to do otherwise. Even if it’s not by God’s hand, America will be destroyed by our own actions, given enough time, unless we change course, or as the fundies might say, repent.
Several weeks ago, I participated in the “Rally to Restore Unity,” in which the goal was to say farewell to“flippant dismissals” of other Christians. Well, maybe we need to add this to our list of flippant dismissals we’re guilty of, and actually take a hard look at ourselves when some crazy person suggests that God is mad at us.(Except for Fred Phelps. We can flippantly dismiss him all we want…)
I vividly remember a sermon I heard in Williamsburg Community Chapel several years ago. The preacher, a visiting Russian, said a pattern repeated itself throughout Old Testament history. God blesses people,they grow complacent, forget him, sin.
John Wesley talks about this. “Wherever true Christianity spreads, it must cause diligence and frugality, which, in the natural course of things, must beget riches! And riches naturally beget pride, love of the world,and every temper that is destructive of Christianity. Now, if there be no way to prevent this, Christianity is inconsistent with itself and, of consequence,cannot stand, cannot continue long among any people; since, wherever it generally prevails, it saps its own foundation.” From a sermon in Dublin in 1789.
A couple of days before 9-11-2011, Roy and I had a couple ofAmerican Christian friends over to dinner. We were talking about the materialism, the relentless getting and spending, the recreational shopping,the excessive focus on clothes and beauty, the relentless house proudness which brings no peace, snazzy cars one got into debt for considered symbols o fstatus; the immense amount of time and energy and worry squandered on one’s appearance, clothes, furniture, cosmetics, interior decoration. America needs a shock, a wake up call, we said. A couple of days later, she had it.
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There was a time in which America was perhaps the most blessed nation on earth, as we humans understand blessing. Perhaps in fortiesand fifties when her churches were strong, and she gave the world outstanding,exemplary Christian leaders and their institutions like World Vision,Compassion, Operational Mobilization, Mercy Ships, YWAM, you name it.
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· And now? Where is America in the cycle ofBlessing-Complacency—Sin—Judgement—Repentance—Blessing.
I left this comment on Matt’s blog,
[email protected] Beneath the SpiresJune 30, 2011
Indebtedness, hedonism, divorce, having other Gods (Gods ofmaterialism, lust, and comfort) disregard for the poor and the alien, lack ofinterest in God: all these things brought God’s judgment on the ancientIsraelites, as recorded in the Old Testament.
I have lived in America for 17 years. After 9-11-2001, Isensed a difference, a dramatic sea-change. There was an atmosphere of fear andsuspicion, and there was a rush to attack Iraq and Afghanistan which history isproving was unjustified.
God has certainly blessed America in the past. However, I nolonger have the sense that America is, any more, a nation particularly under God’sblessing. The events of September 2011 started an inevitable and inexorabledecline, in my opinion.