In light of the current rapid decline of biblical conscience and increasing lawlessness that has caused sincere Christians much vexation (as many posts here testify) I was led to read the book of Amos afresh.I agree with many on here that would see that the visible 'Christian' church in the West as largely bankrupt and there is great need for repentance and cleansing out the dross from our hearts.Amos is a Prophet called to the backslidden nations of Israel and Judah. He has the unenviable task of pronouncing God's judgement against His covenant people. They will be punished and disciplined, but he also prophecies to a future beyond that when they repent and are restored to right relationship and blessings with their God.There are many lessons for us to learn through this book that I think are relevant to what is happening today in our nations that once bore the witness of Christian truth. Among all the warnings, a particular statement stood out to me. This is in Amos 5:4-6.V.4 "For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel:“Seek Me and live;" V.5 "But do not seek Bethel, Nor enter Gilgal, Nor pass over to Beersheba; For Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, And Bethel shall come to nothing." V.6 "Seek the LORD and live,"Sandwiched between vs. 4 & 6 (Seek Me and Live; Seek the LORD and live) is the warning not to seek or run to Bethel; Gilgal and Beersheba. All these places are significant places in the religious life of Israel. They are where God met and established His covenant with His people (Abraham, Jacob, Joshua) and became centres of worship. Yet God says none of these places will help them avoid His judgement. they had become empty symbols of past glories.So I believe God would say the same to His church, do not look to your institutions and past glories, even if they were where God met with us in times past. Only seeking Him for Himself and having Him deal with our hearts is valid. We (humans) have a tendency to want to put our trust in anything but seeking God. This can be the hardest thing for us, because it means being real with God and allowing Him access to our hearts, revealing their true condition and letting him change them. No we would rather have our religion and routine. We can have the soundest doctrinal confessions and statements, but if our hearts are not seeking the living God it is to no avail!I would encourage you to read Amos (its not a big book) and see the relevance to us today.
I just wanted to clarify (because it may not be clear), that I am not suggesting we (USA and Britain) have been so called 'Christian nations', but there was an undeniable influence on our nations by the church preaching and living the true gospel. My thoughts on Amos are toward us, the church!