The Beautiful

tfp.2013.07.07.cartoon-lateI was involved in some conversations this week that got me to thinking. A few discussions occurred on Facebook. One discussion occurred face to face. All of the conversations boiled down to one simple question—a question that contains some very consequential implications. It is a question that I do not believe anyone can answer with absolute certainty. Nevertheless, I urge you, Dear Reader, not to allow that fact to quench your thirst to explore with me the ramifications that the question I am about to pose brings to the table.

OK. Enough of the buildup. Let’s get to the question. Here it is …

“IS GOD DONE WITH AMERICA?”

Please do not deny that you have not pondered this question in the privacy of your own thoughts. Every Christian in America who has any kind of serious relationship with God, and who considers the Holy Scriptures as His inerrant, unmitigated, timeless Word, must certainly have wrestled with this question internally in recent times.

Some readers may be tempted to take the Hillary-Clinton-Responds-to-Questions-About-Benghazi approach, reacting in frustration. “What difference … does it make?”

Well it does make a great deal of difference and here is why … First, a bit of background …

Christians who are serious students of American history, who look honestly at the facts, who read the writings of America’s founders, who consider the influence of the Church and of Christianity in general upon the colonial American culture, and who weigh the evidence, overwhelmingly conclude that God had a Providential hand in establishing this country we have come to call America. I will not again lay out, point by point, my arguments for this statement. I wrote about it nearly two years ago in a blog post titled Forum: Was America A Christian Nation? If you wish, pause here, click the link, and go explore my reasoning. But please, come back to this page and finish where you left off because what follows is equally important.

If, as I have come to believe, God did Providentially invest Himself in bringing this nation into existence, do we not, as His followers, have a responsibility to, at minimum, ask ourselves what His purpose might have been? Many of us Christian Americans have sadly never even pondered this question at all. I would hope, since you are reading this post and have made it this far down the page, that you are not among those who have never had this question cross their mind.

So then, if God did have a purpose in assisting in the birth of our American republic, can we with confidence now say that His purpose is absolutely fulfilled? There are some with whom I have recently conversed, that appear to believe that this is or might be the case. To a few of these I posed a question: “Has God specifically told you that He is done with America, that her purpose in history is fulfilled?”

One responder pointed me to God’s Word to Samuel regarding His rejection of Saul.

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”          I Samuel 16:1

Another suggested that perhaps, even as God finished His work with Jerusalem in 70 AD, He might be likewise finished with America.

I do not in any way, mock or scorn these examples. They are legitimate renderings of God’s past dealings with kings and nations, and could, realistically, represent our current situation.

But for me, at this stage, I am not ready to presume that these examples, or others like them, truly and unquestionably represent God’s relationship with a country that He clearly had a significant role in establishing.

I submit to you that unless and until God specifically makes it clear to you that He is done with America, you still have, personally, a responsibility to “defend” your liberty, and, as Benjamin Franklin once admonished, to “keep” your republic in good working order.

But alas, across the vast plain of American Christianity, the “keeping” of our once strong Christian republic has, overall, been an extremely low priority on our list. Such is the reason we now see the dark clouds of tyranny beginning to break across our once bright horizon.

Friends, God gave us a nation – a nation founded on the principles of liberty, self-government, the rights of the individual, the separation of powers to protect the people from the terror of big government, and so forth. I could go on with a lengthy list of our Biblically-inspired American attributes, but I won’t because I have already covered so much of this, in so many other ways, and in so many other places in past postings of my thoughts, on The Famished Patriot blog.

I believe that God gave us this nation because He wanted to demonstrate to the world how, by following His principles, the individual, set loose in a land of near limitless possibilities and bound only by his internal commitment to honor God and His ways, would lead to unmatched blessing. I believe that God also helped birth America to create a platform for His Church to grow strong and to seed the world with the gospel. Thirdly, God also assisted in the birthing of our nation in response to the multitude of Christian believers who came to this land in colonial times for the very purpose of creating a “City on a hill.” And perhaps a fourth reason might be in order. Just maybe God helped form this American nation simply because He is a good God. I can, with bold confidence, say that these good things are God’s purposes because clearly, Biblically, they are revealed in His Word as His will, and because, for a number of generations, we Americans actually lived them out.

Having proclaimed all of this marvelous stuff, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that we Americans, at times, missed the boat. Slavery comes to mind as does the mistreatment of our land’s indigenous peoples. Both certainly sit at the top of our failure list. In recent generations—my own to be specific—we have, I think, been a bit too busy sticking our noses into the affairs of other nations. This last acknowledgement is a relatively recent conclusion of mine and has come about for a number of reasons which I won’t go into here.

Regardless … and back to the point … the idea of our nation, as conceived, was a rather beautiful idea, I think. The ideals our Founders sought to elevate and the principles they endeavored to employ are unmatched in history – a marvel to behold and even celebrate if you ask me. And I have celebrated them and I do now mourn their fading from the American scene.

The America I seek to restore is the one where, first of all, God is loved, honored and obeyed. Secondly, I hope for a return to a time where government is limited, where the individual, under God, is free to be all that God made him or her to be. I do not seek a return to the America of my youth—my halcyon days—the post-WWII era—where a triumphant America sat as a world power, and where the military-industrial complex, as Dwight Eisenhower dubbed it, became a dominating force in American government. I explain things this way for some of my readers who I think have subconsciously categorized me, and many like me, as Nixon-Reagan-Bush-Republican Party worshippers. I am not.

So then, if God Providentially guided the birth of our republic and did so with a clear purpose, who are we to now give up on a work that God Himself began? Is this not presumptuous on our part? Should we not, instead, be working to right the ship? Is that not a part of our responsibility as Christians? Or are we called by God to sit by and allow the wicked and the evildoer to fully and completely assume control of our country?

Yes. It is late. But you are still welcome. Don’t just be a bystander. Jump in. God wants to use you in ways that you have yet to imagine. And personally, I believe that caring for our country—our home—is simply part of the stewardship with which God has entrusted us.

So, all week I have been turning the above, bold-lettered question over in my mind. “Is God done with America?” I am happy to report that the week ended for me on an upturned note which involved a conversation this past Saturday at a friend’s 60th birthday party with a woman I had never had the privilege to meet until the moment we began to converse. Bear in mind as you read, that what I am about to report is a second hand account. I had no personal experience with any of what follows. I am just reporting.

Back to the birthday party … As the celebrants poured into my friend’s home I found myself seated next to a woman I had never met before. Let’s call her Joyce (not her real name). Joyce, as it turns out, is one of those intercessory prayer types. She prays up to three to four hours a day. Consequently, as it is with most of these types of prayer warriors, Joyce frequently converses with God and He, at times, talks to her.

Joyce told me about something she experienced at a recent event held at the Hylton Memorial Chapel in Dale City, VA called “Awaken the Dawn 2013.” At the event, while in the presence of the Lord, Joyce heard the Lord speak to her. He said, “I am not finished with The Beautiful.” Later in the evening, during the keynote speaker’s message, the speaker proclaimed from the podium, “God is not finished with The Beautiful.”

Hmmm. Two witnesses to the same word—Joyce and the speaker, independently. Again … second hand info here. Just reporting what was shared with me.

And the moment Joyce spoke those two words—“The Beautiful”—I knew what she meant. I am taking this internal knowing as a witness of the Holy Spirit within my own spirit, so I guess I do have a small piece of first-hand stuff going on here after all. Nevertheless, I wanted to confirm and so I asked. “The Beautiful?”

“America, The Beautiful,” she replied.

Joy lifted my heart.

Now I cannot say with certainty if this was indeed the word of the Lord. And I can only hope that He views our country as “The Beautiful.” But I will continue to pray to Him for her.

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