40 DAY PRAYER COUNTDOWN (Less Christmas & New Year’s) – 35 Days Remaining
America is undergoing a social, political and economic revolution.
The origins of this revolution are at least a century old. This culture-crashing revolution lifted off the runway in the 1960s and has come to fruition in the hope and change of the 2008 elections.
A brewing counter-revolution has gotten its legs in the past two years — fueled by a perception of the rope and chains of oppressive, incompetent and increasingly Christophobic government – as evidenced by last month’s elections.
This cultural churning is symptomatic of more fundamental currents running beneath the surface of American life.
One such undercurrent is spiritual and moral in nature. It involves our perception of who we are at the most fundamental human level. It involves the hearts of our citizens who together comprise the ‘heart of our nation’.
Conventional wisdom in America tends to view people in one of three ways:
The Evil (generally seen as a small minority): Jeffery Dahmer; Timothy McVeigh; Saddam Hussein or George Bush (depending on your political viewpoint)
The Saintly (also a small minority): Billy Graham; Mother Teresa; Oprah or Sarah Palin (again depending on your perspective)
Everyone Else (the vast majority): Good ole boys; average folks like you and me who are going to work, raising the kids, trying to pay the bills; wealthy entrepreneurs who hire thousands & societal ‘victims’ who constantly seek additional compensation
In other words, Americans tend to view the righteousness and the evil as exotic minorities on the fringes of society, and view the overwhelming remainder of us as just ‘folks’, muddling along somewhere in the middle.
But God’s perception of humanity differs radically from our conventional wisdom.
People who know only one verse in the Bible usually know this one:
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
But don’t stop there — read a little further in the Good News of John:
Whoever believes in him [the crucified & resurrected Jesus of Nazareth, the unique Son of God, Messiah to the Jews & Savior of all humanity, the divine agent and ruler of all Creation] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what has been done has been done through God. (3:18-21 NIV)
Reality – as defined by Bible-God – allows for no middle ground.
Let me say that again: there really is NO middle ground.
From eternity, looking back on nations and individuals, we will see the pull of spiritual and moral Darkness and Light on everyone. And we will see clearly who among us was in fact struggling toward the Light — toward righteousness, truth and Life-invested-with-God-himself.
…and, we will clearly see those among us who were shrinking back from the Light into the Darkness of selfishness, aversion to God’s reality and existence apart the presence & dominance of Bible-God.
We will in the End, looking back, understand that every person will have pronounced the eternal verdict on their own life by what was in their heart and how they acted from that heart.
American society is a dynamic mix of
…those who are hungering and thirsting for righteousness and moving toward the Light – those who believe a primary function of government is to protect the innocent and punish the wicked;
…those who are want life on their own terms with little regard for God or neighbor – those who see the responsibility of government as enabling their sin & selfishness while punishing those who ‘intolerantly’ object; and
…those who live in the conflicted confusion of tolerating Darkness while hoping for the dividends of Light.
But Jesus makes is crystal clear in John 3 (and elsewhere) that as regards God’s eternity, there is no middle ground. Not for the individual; not for a nation birthed in covenant with God, protected by God and prospered by God.
There is nothing new about God’s view of reality.
Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light…. written almost 2000 years ago.
There is nothing new about redefining reality based on a godless political correctness.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…. Isaiah 5:20 – written 2700 years ago
You might say, “Doug, this is a matter of your opinion vs. the opinion of others,” or “You have really gotten intolerant in your old age.”
Except…except the times will have none of that. The centrifugal forces of world and national events are pushing us out of ‘the tolerant center’ toward the logical polarities of our hearts.
The culturally respectable and manageable middle ground of American conventional wisdom is rapidly eroding. You and I are being driven to declare our hearts, one way or another.
Said another way, our cover is being blown.
Each of us is going to be discovered as a seeker of God’s Light (as one who will enjoy Him and His People forever), or…
… discovered as one who really didn’t want to play (as one who will spend eternity in Darkness without a single benefit of Light).
All this to say, in the end our national heart will be defined by OUR collective hearts and derivatively by the reflected hearts of those we elect to represent and lead us.
Every effort to maintain a ‘muddled middle’ is failing. All talk of compromise and bi-partisanship is manipulation.
We – as a nation — are morphing into something new and radically different than what we used to be. And getting from here to there is going to be ugly.
But be encouraged. If you have eyes to see, you will find God alive and well and active ‘in the ugly’. He will be calling to your heart.
What we become as a nation, going forward, depends largely on how you respond.