The Change America Needs
Peter BeckPeter serves as assistant professor of religion at Charleston Southern University where he teaches church history and theology. While serving as senior pastor in Louisville, Ky., he completed his PhD in historic theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His dissertation, The Voice of Faith: Jonathan Edwards's Theology of Prayer, is soon to be published. He, his wife Melanie, and their two kids, Alex (12) and Karis (7), live near Charleston, SC. Peter's goal for his teaching and writing ministries is "love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (1 Tim 1:5).
- 2009 May 20
For the last several years there’s been much lamenting going on about the spiritual state of our nation. The cry has only grown louder in the last twenty-four months as we endured a prolonged electoral cycle. Now, the cry has risen beyond a rumble to a roar in the past six months. Christians are worried. Christians are fed up. Christians are hoping something happens soon.
The question is: what do we want to happen?
For many Christians the answer to that question comes in the form of politics. We need a right-leaning Supreme Court. We need the Ten Commandments in our schools. We need prayer in our graduations. We need to vote for whoever will make that happen.
While the Bible does illustrate the fact that as the leadership goes, so goes the nation, generally-speaking, that is not a geo-political promise for today. It’s a call to national faithfulness, for sure. But, it doesn’t guarantee faithfulness.
As we’ve seen in our recent past, Christians occupying the White House don’t guarantee spiritual renewal in our nation. Twenty of the last twenty-nine years have seen right leaning presidents. Yet, over the course of those same three decades, we’ve seen
No, we don’t need another election season where the line drawn in the sand begins at Genesis and ends at Revelation. While I hope and pray for godly leadership for our country, the answer does not reside at
While we must be careful not to butcher the meaning of the text and import all of the covenant promises for
We have, as a nation and as a church, assumed the role of the privileged child. We have enjoyed God’s blessings all the while demanding more. We turn to God only when things don’t go our way. We blame God for our problems and beg God for our just due.
It’s only when we realize what our just due is that we come to the correct reading of our times. We have sown a whirlwind in the last 100 years and now we are reaping it. Today, we see the fruits of a century of progressively more and more godlessness in our country and our churches.
We have witnessed the deaths of tens of millions of babies. We’ve watched as countless marriages have dissolved only to be replaced by another that will be short-lived as well. Today, we stand by, bystanders aghast in the headlong rush to legalize gay marriage. All the while, many of our churches are full of people who claim the name of God presumably in vain.
We must finally admit that we have failed as a nation and we have failed as a church to impact that nation. We have failed to adequately evangelize our neighbors. We have failed to disciple our children. We have failed to humble ourselves before God fully and trust Him to fix all that ails us. We’ve failed to heed His directions to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14.
If we’ve not seen God’s hand of mercy in the 100 years since the last major season of revival in
Yet, we have seen denomination after denomination leave the faith of their fathers and adopt faith in mankind. We’ve seen countless Christians come and go, raising the royal banner only to throw it in the mud of their own sinfulness. We have watched as the church repeatedly has fallen short of the very standard to which we hold our country.
You see, the ills of society can’t be blamed solely on
Christian Americans, it’s time we quit leaning on lobbying to solve our problems and lean upon God. It’s time that we quit hoping that social programs can turn things around and place our hope in the God who can do it. It’s time we turn the reins of our sovereign nation over to our Sovereign God. Let’s pray … .