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 Vol. 4, No. 3 

 

March, 2002

Editorial Page

~ Page 2 ~

 

God Bless America

By Louis Rushmore

Louis Rushmore Many of the first settlers who flocked to the shores of America came seeking religious freedom. Further, the laws that our founding fathers made to govern this nation were often based on biblical principles. At one time, the United States of America was referred to as a Christian nation. (Strictly speaking, of course, since mankind has freewill and as long as he continues to make wrong spiritual choices, no nation will ever truly be a Christian nation.) Few reflective souls would seriously doubt that America has been wonderfully blessed by Almighty God over the past two centuries or so. It was no wonder that in former years when facing great trials, our nation petitioned God on bended knee in prayer. However, do we as a nation, as individuals or even as the church, have a right today to expect God to grant our plea that he bless America? "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance" (Psalm 33:12). "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34).

Today America is far from being a Christian nation. First, the face of religion in America has changed. There has been a great influx of other world religions into our nation, including: Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. American denominationalism in so-called Christianity has greatly expanded and in the process significantly diminished its reliance on biblical principles. Increasingly, the American population is at best indifferent to religion and at worst has embraced practical atheism.

Consequently, our country is guilty of many sins. A nation that murders a million and half babies annually through abortion is hardly in a position to petition God to bless America; God takes a dim view upon those who shed innocent blood (Genesis 9:6). A nation that abounds in immoralities, including adultery, fornication and homosexuality, is in an untenable position to petition God to bless America, for God has condemned these activities as sinful (1 Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 5:19). A nation that is immersed in alcohol and other pleasure drugs is neither in the right frame of mind nor demonstrating a proper conduct by which it is reasonable for it to ask God to bless America, for recreational intoxication is disallowed by God (1 Corinthians 6:10; Galatians 5:21). A nation whose citizens have no or little respect for the rule of law ought to be embarrassed to petition God to bless America, for we are biblically obligated to comply with civil law (Romans 13:1-7), unless it conflicts with God's law (Acts 5:29). A nation whose citizens often exhibit a poor work ethic, prefer the public dole (handout) and place their hope in gambling can hardly expect God to bless America, for God requires mankind to earn a livelihood and not to take away others' livelihoods (2 Thessalonians 3:10; Ephesians 4:28).

Even the Lord's church today often falls far short of being the ideal church of the Bible. The Lord's church has undergone some hurtful changes over the years. Not long after the restoration of New Testament Christianity in America through the present, the church has experienced a gradual and continual departure from its biblical moorings. The inspired New Testament predictions of apostasy seem to come to pass over and over again through the years (1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 2:3-4; Acts 20:30). Unfortunately, the church has been lax in policing itself; false teachers (Romans 16:17-18), the factious (Titus 3:10), disorderly brethren (2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14) and the immoral among us (1 Corinthians 5:1, 13) have not been addressed promptly and properly, an often unfulfilled responsibility that largely falls on the shoulders of elders (Titus 1:9). Lamentably, the church has settled into deadly indifference, of which Jesus said of the Ephesian church that it had lost its first love (Revelation 2:4) and of the Laodicean church that it made him want to vomit (Revelation 3:15-16).

Consequently, respect for Bible authority and God who gave man the Bible is sometimes deficient. Congregations and the Christians who comprise them can hardly expect God to hear their cries to bless America while adding to and subtracting from the Bible (Revelation 22:18-19) or while unforgiven sins stand between God and us (Isaiah 59:1-3). Congregations and Christians who distort worship (instrumental music, female leadership, choirs, charismatic tendencies) cannot honestly hope that God will bless America on their account (Ephesians 5:19; 1 Timothy 2:11-12; 1 Corinthians 13:8-13). Congregations and Christians who try to extend fellowship to denominations (ecumenism) cannot move God to bless America according to their pleas (Ephesians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 6:14).

Congregations and Christians who favor false doctrine (premillennialism, modernism) over Bible truth can hardly expect God to hear their pleas to bless America (2 John 9-11; Galatians 1:6-9). Congregations and Christians who alter the church mission to downplay evangelism and append entertainment cannot reasonably expect God to bless America because they request it (Mark 16:15-16; 1 Corinthians 14:12; Galatians 6:10). Congregations and Christians who befriend the world from which they were saved are in no position to petition God to bless America (James 4:4). We cannot look back longing to the world and effectively petition God (Luke 9:62). Congregations and Christians who do not pray regularly cannot expect their petition to God to result in him blessing America (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Congregations and Christians who fail to faithfully practice Christianity are not in a position to ask God to bless America (Luke 6:46).

Remember, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD ..." (Psalm 33:12), and "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34). Neither our nation nor the church (or Christians) can reasonably expect that God will heed pleas to bless America while persisting in disobedience. Petitions for God to bless America will be more effective when those making such petitions are righteous (James 5:16). Unbaptized believers need to repent and be immersed for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-5) and erring Christians need to repent and pray as privately or as publicly as the sin (Acts 8:22). Then, perhaps for our sakes, God will hear the plea, "God bless America!"

Image Friend to Friend
by Helen Steiner Rice
hardback, 45 pages; gift book of poems and sayings
$4.95 + S&H   Order: rushmore@gospelgazette.com

Image The Message of OT History
Vols. 1-4
by John T. Willis
paperback, 100 pages
$6.95 each + S&H   Order: rushmore@gospelgazette.com

Beverage Alcohol

Beverage Alcohol by Louis Rushmore
paperback, 106 pages, 13 chapters, including: Biblical,
Medical & Historical Considerations,  Social Drinking, Fermentation Versus Distillation, Intoxication, Alcoholism.
$3.50 + S&H           Order: rushmore@gospelgazette.com

Copyright 2002 Louis Rushmore. All Rights Reserved.
Conditions of Use
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Steubenville, Ohio 43953-3353
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rushmore@gospelgazette.com

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