There are so many headlines I could choose to discuss and so many of them spark controversy. It seems a great dividing line has appeared in our Nation and the line is becoming broader and darker by the day. Rather than tackle current headlines, I’ll reach back a few years ago; perhaps the emotion on both sides of the aisle will have faded a bit, and the lesson within is just as relevant for the issues we face today.
Years ago, I listened to a conservative Christian radio program discuss the latest political outrage, the decision of the 9th District Court that the phrase “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional. They listened and responded to several callers, most of whom opposed the decision; most were Christians who felt personally maligned and threatened. One caller, however, was an atheist and felt that too often Believers had used the phrase “under God” as a weapon against unbelievers. She went on to quote a famous political leader that once said “perhaps unbelievers should not be considered American citizens.”
The hosts, of course, disagreed with her position and stated that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were both written by mostly Believers who desired religious freedom in America. They asserted that the framers of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence never imagined an America absent of religious freedom. At the time these documents were written, all people believed in the existence of God, so the current situation had not even occurred to them.
According to a poll quoted by the radio show, 86% of Americans still believe in God. While the hosts of the show and many other Christians struggled to accept that such a monumental court decision could be upheld based on the opinions of only 14% of the Nation, I wonder how 86% of the Nation could allow it to come before a court in the first place. So many of us Christians question how Believers can be the majority in such a secular nation. The answer? Belief in God is not enough.
God’s Word says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder” (James 2:19). Demons believe in God yet do everything in their power to destroy His Kingdom. And some Believers do the very same. Edmund Burke was quoted as saying, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Belief is useless until it culminates into action.
I listened to many callers on the radio program call in, righteous indignation in their voices, angry that the court would rule in favor of only 14% of the nation. I was reminded of yet another court decision that has affected Christians and non-Christians alike for decades—the decision to remove corporate prayer from public schools. You may be astonished to discover that fewer than 14% of Americans opposed prayer in schools in 1963. Yet when Madelyn Murray O’Hare petitioned the court, not one Christian showed up to oppose her case (Read the facts from her son’s book, My Life Without God). Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.
As Christians, we cannot be silent and inactive. Too often we are one day too late. We have been too busy watching our television programs, viewing the latest movie, shuffling our children to numerous sporting events, scrolling through Facebook, or working night and day to achieve the American Dream to realize that our world is being taken from us little by little.
Not every Christian is called to the picket line, to be a lobbyist, or to become actively involved in the government or court systems; but every Christian is called to prayer. Every Christian should beseech God on a daily basis to draw our Nation back to repentance. Though God does not interfere with free will, the Holy Spirit can exert pressure that causes men to make a different choice (consider the Damascus Road experience). Our prayers send militant angels on assignment to fight against the powers of darkness in the spiritual realm where all of Satan’s insidious plans begin. How much more effective would we be if we diffused the bomb rather than struggled against the aftermath of the explosion?
I’m not certain that the political leader was making a serious statement when he suggested that unbelievers should not be considered American citizens, but the statement does bring an interesting thought to the table. If we, as Christians, are citizens of the Most High God, should our citizenship be revoked if we do not uphold our oath?
According to Christ, we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Have we lost our savor? Instead of righteous indignation, perhaps we should be filled with heart-wrenching repentance, realizing that the state of society today rests upon our shoulders. God’s Word is very clear: “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). This Scripture leaves us with one of two options: Either we are not praying and repenting, or God is a liar. We all know which option is true.
I do not doubt that the atheist caller had often felt attacked by “god phrases” and Believers who speak “Christianese.” It is so much easier to preach Christ than it is to live as He lived. If we lived as He lived, however, sinners would be drawn to us, just as they were drawn to Him.
If His power flowed from us, if we were markedly different than those in the world around us, if we loved Him and our neighbor as ourselves, people would never feel “attacked” by us. They would feel loved and would long to have what we have. Many call themselves Believers simply because they were reared to believe in God; often their belief is rooted in religious tradition rather than relationship with God. Let us not forget that Christ was crucified by those who believed in God.
For decades, we Christians have lived in our world, separating ourselves from the very ones who need us the most. As Christ stated, those who are well do not need a Physician (Mark 2:17). We have lived in our Christian world, often refusing to get involved until something outside it affects our way of life—until something tips our righteousness scale in the wrong direction. We sit on our hands and do not kneel on our knees until it’s too late—until the damage is done.
Yet we can change the outcome of future court decisions and we can change the outcome of the world’s future. Everything is not predetermined. He sets before us life and death and gives us the choice to choose. The Word says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). The Word also reminds us that we can NEVER be outnumbered when God is on our side, because through Him one can conquer a thousand and two ten thousand!
We must also remember the numerous verses on prayer—those that encourage us that our prayers will be answered when we pray in His will, and that the power of agreement is undeniable, as well as many others. God wants to save our nation and He will IF we pray. It’s time to stop twiddling our thumbs and to get on our knees.
So much has been done for the cause of Christ in the preceding centuries. Countless individuals have sacrificed their lives for the gospel. Many have battled the enemy on their knees. While I am thankful for the great men and women of God in our past and present, so many more of us need to answer the call to prayer and Christ-like living.
I am determined to abandon my comfort zone and enter the battle on my knees. I will no longer sit on my hands and watch the world spiral downward. I am committed to kneeling on my knees and making a difference.
Tags: “prayer, spiritual warfare, America, politics, nation”