I posted this over in the "Prophetic Message to the USA" topic, but it might fit better here. My first answer to Greg's question is, no, I do not believe America is a "Christian" nation, any more than any other nation. I believe it began as a "moralized" nation, based on some Biblical principles. So, here's my post from the other topic:
I'm going slightly off topic here to go back to some of the earlier discussion in this thread, and I haven't read all of the messages here yet because I wanted to stop and comment on one point.
First, to comment on the original post: I think a lot of the things the man said are true, but I'm extremely wary of anyone who would claim such a "connection" with our Lord Himself, and His Heavenly Host. If such things happen today, why not to men like Tozer, Ravenhill, etc. who preached the same things for years before Mr. Suhndar. Also, it seems to me that claiming "Apostolic" ministry on his website is sketchy. I have met men such as Bobby Moore, Bill MacLeod, and T.W. Hunt who walk closer to the Lord than most, and the Lord Jesus has never "physically" appeared to them. Have they sensed His presence so strongly that it put them in fear and trembling? Certainly. But personal appearances to select individuals? I don't see it in Scripture. The Apostolic ministry in the early Church was to set the foundations of the Church, and that foundation is already laid, not to be built upon by any new apostles.
I'll start by just stating my position on the "Jews and Christians" topic. I believe we are in the Church Age, and that the true Israel is not evident in our world today in the same way as before Christ. I do not believe the Church is a new Israel. I believe that they are still God's chosen people, but that God's dealings with humanity is not centered around the Jews at this time. I believe He still has future "plans" for them, ie: I think the 144,000 during the tribulation could well be Jews, but that He is currently working with His Church, the Bride of His Son.
So, on to what I really wanted to say...
The promises of prosperity and health in the OT are, as far as I understand, limited to the Jews of the OT. God has never promised these same types of blessings to the Church, rather He has "blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." Moreover, He tells us repeatedly that we will suffer, experience tribulation, peril, "the sword", persecution, etc. In my experience in the churches of North America, (and I have been to many different churches due to my experience with a traveling ministry), it seems to me that many western Christians equate material posession as spiritual blessing. Where is that doctrine in the NT? How does that explain everyone east of Western Europe? Some might say that those eastern nations are poor because of the fact that they have been pagan for so long, but if the material=spiritual factor is true, shouldn't the believers in those places be rising above financially? The people I'm talking about are not "health and wealth prosperity gospel" people, they are the average North American professing Christian who seem to think that when America was formed as a country it became the new Eden! I immensely appreciate the fact that America has a rich spiritual heritage, and yet I wonder how many of the "founding fathers" and original pilgrims were true believers, or simply moralists who recognized that God's moral laws were the only realistic way for a country to functionally maintain order. All that to say, if God never promises wealth to His Church, how can we say that His judgement will come by taking away our financial and material prosperity? I am not saying that I do not think that God could use something like 9/11 to wake up a nation, but I just don't know if those are the kinds of judgements we should expect from the Lord today.
Furthermore, would it not be more fitting that today's judgements upon the Church would come from a more Spiritual aspect? Removing the Lampstand, for instance? My understanding of this Scripture would be that the Lampstand is the Holy Spirit's working with a Church giving it light (ie: guidance, leading, direction, understanding of Scripture, fruit) and that the removal of a lampstand would result in a fruitless, Spirit void group of people who do not follow the Word of God, which looks like a lot of the western "churches" today. (this fits surprisingly with the first post that began this whole discussion...)
One last thought. Off topic, sort of. How much of the professing "church" in the west today is truly a purchased, redeemed, blood bought Bride? It would not surprise me if 80-90% of the professing western church were not true believers. I believe that it is possible that tens of thousands of people in western churches are not saved and they go to church every week because it is "what they do", and what they're parents and grandparents have always done. I really believe that for many the Church is merely the group of people around which their social interaction is formed. They're in the church softball, football, basketball, quilt making, square dancing, amusement park attending, etc. etc. etc. programs--but they have to go to Church on Sunday or they couldn't be in those programs--and it's a lot cheaper to be involved in the church softball than the world's softball, so, duh, why wouldn't we do it through the church's program? In a lot of the seeker friendly churches, you might have a lot of 1st generational professing christians, but quite frankly, with starbucks in the lobby, a warm fuzzy message on how God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life, a place for the kids to go on Friday nights, and lots of nice things for mom and dad to do, who the heck wouldn't want to go to a place like that? A church can get 25 people onto a softball team, but the only people out to a "prayer" meeting (and I mean a prayer meeting, not another sermon that happens to be mid-week, and then praying for 10 minutes for all the people in the hospital and Jimmy's Aunt Margie's dog) are a few old ladies and the associate pastor...How can people who profess to have the Spirit of the Living God residing and abiding in their hearts, live for years and years and years without ever doing a single thing for eternity? I think that there is an awful lot going on in the Name of our Lord which has no connection with the Person of the Lord.
Everywhere we see people "having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof". We have more books, tapes, videos, seminars, music, etc. etc. etc. that have the tag of "Christian" on them, than in any other time in our history. There are more versions of the Bible, more "kinds" of Bibles available (in English anyway) than at any other time in Human history--and yet the people inside and outside of the church in the west remain unchanged by the gospel. I definitely believe we need Revival in the Church, Oh God we need revival, but the natural outflow of a Revival is that the lost realize their lostness and come to Christ for Salvation--especially the lost within the so-called church. I really think that another Great Awakening must occurr to wake up the dead in sins and trespasses who sit in pews week after week after year after year. Okay, I'm beginning to ramble so I will stop for now. I just wonder if we should get our focus off of impending judgement, and just preach the gospel (which is a lot more than just how to be saved, as we all know). Maybe that Indian Prophet should have preached on the Crucified Life after all. That's what the western church needs to understand...
What is the price
What is the cost
I must pay
For Revival to see?
Whatever the price
Whatever the cost
let it begin with me.