Thursday, March 1, 2012

Is there a Christian America at all that could be reclaimed and even if so what methods are God-honoring?

As I say in my last post I have come around from the popular view of America's Founders as Christians to recognizing that they were often outright anti-Christian. Nevertheless I continue to see America as having been highly blessed by God over its two plus centuries of existence, and predominantly Christian in its population, and Christian also from its original settling by true Christians. How all this works together is open to discussion but I haven't yet come to the conclusion that America should simply be abandoned because the Founders weren't Christians.

I get the impression that something along those lines may be the opinion of Brannon Howse if not also Chris Pinto -- but maybe him too. As if there is no point in hoping to "reclaim" the lost Christian worldview of America because it never was Christian. Well, but it was and it wasn't. We are under God's judgment now because we've fallen from the Christian worldview the nation really did mostly live by until the last few decades. Nations must live by the Law of God to be protected. When they abandon that Law God brings judgment against them. And as Jonathan Cahn's study reveals, America really was dedicated to God in a very real sense despite all these new revelations about the anti-Christian beliefs of the Founders.

Toward the end of yesterday's Worldview Weekend broadcast, Part 3 of the discussion about Kirk Cameron's soon to be released film, Monumental, there is an exchange I find puzzling and still need to think more about. Howse and Pinto see Cameron as pursuing what is essentially an ecumenical approach to reclaiming the "Christian foundations" of America, which they don't agree existed anyway, by joining hands with nonChristians on political and moral issues that Christians share with them. Cameron's side of the argument is presented as desiring to save the nation for his children and future generations. They accuse Howse of sitting around waiting for the Antichrist in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Howse responds that this is is to be a God-fulfilled prophecy if so, not self-fulfilling. A caller chimes in that it seems that Cameron is rejecting God's own revelation. See, I do have trouble keeping this issue clear in my mind. I'm going to have to listen to that part of the discussion again to see if I can sort it out better.

But something like this appears to be the way the two sides fall out. I certainly can't agree with the ecumenical approach to "reclaiming" anything, even if the nation WERE clearly Christian from its founding. I do believe, however, that there is a sense in which the nation WAS essentially Christian despite the views of the Founders. I may have to modify this. Perhaps we were more "Judeo-Christian" in that there was a basic respect to God's Laws even in the Founding generation, as they warned that the nation needed to adhere to God's laws to prosper. That's not quite Christianity but it is compatible with Christianity, which must be part of the confusion here.

I've been vacillating a great deal myself about "reclaiming the nation" in the sense of yearning for a great revival to turn us back to Christ. Versus thinking we've gone beyond any point where we could hope for such a revival, or that it would be too risky considering the state of apostasy of the churches. I go back and forth on this a great deal. True revival can make inroads in apostasy, can bring liberal Christians to recognize the truth of the Bible. God CAN turn things completely around in revival. I know that is so. The Great Awakening just before the American Revolution did revitalize the Christian mentality of the nation. However, that was also followed by the generation of the Deists and Enlightenment-influenced anti-Christians which is the subject here.

It COULD happen but the churches would need to be praying in huge numbers with huge intensity and without ecumenical interference. That's not happening.

Although I believe we're right at the threshold of the coming of the Antichrist myself I don't see that in itself as a reason to give up hope that God might yet give us a temporary reprieve. We don't KNOW the Antichrist is right around the corner after all, although it certainly does seem imminent. But while we are to believe that prophecy is certainly going to be fulfilled I don't see that we are to cease all efforts to revive the churches and the nation, especially since we don't know for sure when it's going to happen anyway.

I certainly agree that we can't reclaim America in any way at all by ecumenical means, that's a lost cause. Politics is useless, even worldview training is probably useless. The problem is supernatural. There may also be many reasons we can't reclaim America even through a God-sent revival, however, including the imminence of the reign of the Antichrist, but all that is God's own sovereign timing. But I don't see anything in he growing apostasy or the imminence of the final evil empire as a reason to abandon the hope for revival. It COULD even be an argument FOR it. But again, we'd have to be praying our hearts out for it.

So there's my current state of rather muddled thought on this subject that I've needed to get put down in some form. It will probably be modified as I learn more and think more about it. But the main point is that I can't agree wholly with Howse and Pinto on this insofar as I understand their position -- which, again, I may not understand all that well.

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