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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : Can God Bless America? And who's to blame for the riots?

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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2071

 Can God Bless America? And who's to blame for the riots?

In this era of terrorism, poverty, oppression and a few less-distinct enemies, waves of patriotism occasionally revive the slogan “God Bless America.” Sadly, though, the sentiment long ago became a cliché to which people rarely give serious thought. The phrase is even seen, ironically, on bumper stickers adjacent to other bumper stickers expressing humanistic and atheistic sentiments. One assumes that even those who don’t believe in God want His blessing on our nation.

Anti-God philosophies and worldviews now clearly dominate most of Western society. God has been removed from public discourse; prayer has been virtually banned from the public arena; agnosticism and humanism dominate public policy. So it is remarkable that the slogan “God Bless America” is still in vogue. We have to wonder what most people have in mind when they repeat it.

Originally, “God bless America” was a prayer for divine blessing. In its current form, it sometimes seems nothing more than a patriotic battle cry—usually intoned without much serious reflection. Perhaps it is sometimes recited with the superstitious belief that merely invoking God’s name can garner His blessing. One thing is clear: while Americans universally want God’s favor, as a whole, they do not want God.

Some apparently believe that America enjoys God’s blessing by divine right. After all, God has blessed America throughout history to a remarkable degree. But His blessings are not measured—as most people believe—by material affluence, power, and world dominance. The greatest blessings God has graciously given America have been spiritual blessings—freedom for the gospel to be propagated, sweeping revivals like those of the Great Awakenings, and growth and spiritual prosperity for the church in our nation. The sad truth is that all those blessings were in serious jeopardy long before the terrorist strikes reminded us that our freedom and material prosperity hang by a fragile thread.

Does our nation really desire God’s blessing? Do Americans truly long for the spiritual awakening that would be the necessary condition for true blessing, or would the policy-makers and media moguls in our society be as hostile to such a revival as they are to the threat of terrorism?

And what are the means by which the people of God should seek to have God’s blessing on our nation? Can we help position modern society to receive God’s blessing merely by influencing public policy through politics and protest, or is something more needed to fulfill the conditions under which God will bless our nation? Can external moral reform alone make America fit for God’s blessing, or is something even deeper needed in the lives of most Americans?

To ask such questions is to answer them. Scripture is clear that a wholesale spiritual renewal, brought about through the preaching of the gospel, is the true pathway to divine blessing. What is needed is not merely moral reform but spiritual regeneration. And unless this occurs on a widespread scale that deeply impacts all of society, we will continue to forfeit the true blessings of God for our nation. Merely reciting the slogan “God bless America” will do nothing for us until it becomes a heartfelt prayer for spiritual renewal and regeneration.

The remedy to our nation’s moral and spiritual woes must begin at the house of God. The process starts with personal repentance. If Christians truly want to see God’s blessing on our society, we ought to be models of genuine contrition and humility rather than merely pointing fingers of blame at the evils of secular society.

The church today is in a serious state of spiritual decline. Many churches are apparently more willing to imitate the world’s fashions and opinions than to confront them with biblical truth. Meanwhile, Christians concerned about the moral evils of society often opt for all the wrong remedies—as if the only thing needed to cure the spiritual malaise of our nation were some kind of federal legislation against abortion, sexual promiscuity, pornography, or other forms of corruption.

I am by no means opposed to legislative efforts to outlaw abortion, drug abuse, and similar abominations. But political remedies to our nation’s moral ills are no cure for the underlying spiritual problems. Of all people, Christians ought to know that, and the preponderance of our efforts ought to be focused on proclaiming the truth that can genuinely set people free. In other words, the majority of our energies ought to be invested in preaching the gospel and living the kind of life that gives testimony to the redeeming power of Christ.

Lives, not just laws, need to be transformed before America will be in a position to ask for and expect God’s blessing. The blessings of God cannot be acquired by any legislative process. Law cannot make people righteous. Scripture is clear on this. No one is justified by works of law, but by faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:16). And saving faith is an individual matter; it cannot be imposed by legislative force.

In other words, society as a whole cannot be delivered from moral bankruptcy unless individual lives are transformed by the power of Christ. If that conviction does not frame the priorities of the people of God and drive the activities of the church on earth, we can forget about God’s blessing on our nation.
by J. MacArthur


 2020/6/10 20:20Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2205

 Re: Can God Bless America? And who's to blame for the riots?

I don't believe the church is responsible for the rioting and looting because rioting and looting comes from the evil heart within men.

/To ask such questions is to answer them. Scripture is clear that a wholesale spiritual renewal, brought about through the preaching of the gospel, is the true pathway to divine blessing. What is needed is not merely moral reform but spiritual regeneration./

Yet, this statement hits at the root of our problems. Politics and secular solutions only clean the outside of the cup. The Gospel cleans men from within by way of spiritual regeneration.

David Winter

 2020/6/11 6:54Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3777


I don't believe the church is responsible for the rioting and looting because rioting and looting comes from the evil heart within men.

Undoubtedly David, you speak here for many in the church. Yet, I'd like to challenge that. For it is, after all, the church that is to be the light in the darkness. The church has left a spiritual vaccuum. We really can't absolve ourselves even by pointing at "those others" less righteous than ourselves.

I'd say self-righteousness is our greatest sin, and I must certainly include myself. I suspect that self-righteousness has been the impulse driving polarization of the church -liberal vs conservative, left vs right. Each side feels they are the right ones.

I suggest meditating on "The Valley of Vision" - a collection of prayers by puritan writers. Here we see how the puritan divines saw themselves as sinners in ways we cannot fathom of ourselves in our day. This little devotional book is a excellent starting place for anyone who hungers to be authentic before the Lord and the world. It's humbling. But that's what will speak to the world more than all our rantings against this sin and that sin (but never our own).
You can access "The Valley of Vision" online - and also hear readings by Max McLean on YouTube.
It will change your lives!!


 2020/6/13 17:20Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2205


Some say the glass is half empty, some say the glass is half full. The church has also filled to a large degree the spiritual vaccuum in society.

But we are tempted when we are drawn away and trapped by our own evil desires. (James 1:14)

Rioters and looters do so because of their own innate sin originating within their own heart. That is not to say they are not objects of God's love. I don't believe a Church standing on the principle of law and order can be held responsible for what they do.

"We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is responsible for his actions." (Ronald Reagan) This is a biblical principle I believe.

The Church can do better no doubt but such lawlessness I don't believe can be laid at the Church's feet. Meanwhile, we can all likely learn to be better ambassadors of reconciliation between the different races.

Thank you. Peace.

David Winter

 2020/6/14 4:08Profile

Joined: 2020/2/12
Posts: 50


I know that God could and would FORGIVE America, if...
Of course the same applies to the rest of the World.

Many of the older saints tried to warn us.
Leonard Ravenhill wrote a book "America Is Too Young To Die" which first came out in 1979 !
"The author says we are failing to save the contented from the curse of compromise, imitation, and professionalism and that it is time to quit playing church."

When Carter Conlon preached about the virus he said:
"many were raised up to warn the nation..."
"if the church had been where we should be, this wouldn't have happened...our nation wouldn't be in the condition it's in..."

savanna has started another thread which addresses the same issue.
"The Justice of God—and the Sins of Our Country, Samuel Davies, 1755
"When disaster comes to a city—has not the LORD caused it?" Amos 3:6

Thank you roadsign for mentioning "The Valley of Vision". Didn't know that.

Here are some of the latest news that should concern us, just do a search and you will find the article
"Christianity becomes next battleground in cancel wars"
by Nicholas Rowan, Staff Writer | June 23, 2020 04:38 PM

"Christianity, like nearly every long-standing institution in the United States, has a complicated history with racism, prompting several leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement to call for its symbols to be adjusted or removed. In some cities, protesters have taken matters into their own hands, pulling down statues or taking over churches..."

Lord have mercy and forgive us our trespasses

 2020/6/27 1:52Profile

Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1113
Germany NRW

 Re: Can God Bless America? And who's to blame for the riots?

I do believe that the church in a sense bears responsibility for what happens in America. Judgement always has to begin at the house of God. When preachers refrain from preaching devine justice and righteousness that is only found in Christ, we should not wonder when the world around us sinks into anarchy.

A church that does not witness the truth is just as bad as the doctor witholding medicine. I thank God for all those who reach out to the protesters.

 2020/6/27 3:17Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3311

 Re: Can God Bless America? And who's to blame for the riots?

Some of my thoughts on this are, remember I said "my thoughts", not facts. In my opinion, one, God can do anything he wants, of course he cannot lie, or see our sin through the blood of Christ. So asking the question can God Bless America? He is Blessing America! just because we are in a time, most people alive today have never witnessed, doesn't mean God is still not Blessing us. I woke up this morning, I'm and American, I consider just waking up/life my greatest Blessing, some may not even consider this each day, you will when you don't wake up.

The riots? here's who is the blame for the riots, "again my opinion" every person in America that has allowed the evil one to work through them. Remember, our struggle "IS NOT" against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Some want to blame politicians, certain groups, etc. but lets be real, it's the evil one, old slue foot, that created this mess, and if you don't understand this, read this "Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually". This scripture should help us understand a bit more, why America is in the shape it's in.


 2020/6/27 9:26Profile

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