The Headwaters of our Impotence

As you read the newspaper, as you follow political campaigns, as you watch the evening news, you will see outrage after outrage. But I am not referring to the outrages of private criminals, which can certainly be horrendous. I am referring to the outrages of our elected officials, our appointed justices, our magistrates.

Now all this is happening in a land with tens of millions of evangelical believers and tens of thousands of churches. Why is our worship, why is our presence here, not appearing to slow down the established rebellion?

There are two responses. First, don’t forget the lesson that Elijah learned. Things are terrible, but not as bad as we might think. There are still seven thousand that have not bowed the knee to the American baals.

That said, the American Church has certainly not be salt and light the way we ought to have been. There are many ways to talk about how we have maneuvered ourselves into impotence, but the basic issue is this. The reason for all the pandemonium, all the confusion, all the muddles, is that we have forgotten to declare what God is like.

Homosexuality is a pathetic vice, to be sure, but that is not the central problem. The central problem is a heresy about the nature of God—as though He were so bland and boring, as though He were a monochrome deity. Feminism is confused and constantly frustrated, but the central problem is not the ignoring of particular exhortations the Bible. The central problem is an ignoring of the glorious truth of the triune nature of God. If we are not brought to God the Father, then we are missing the entire thing.

And why has our nation ignored this? Because we have not preached, lived, or worshiped, in terms of it.

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David Anderson
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Moreover, we Westerners have forgotten that God is holy. To just shrug and say “ah, well, let’s not be too fussy about these things”, or to twist his clearly spoken words to mean something that would make our lives a lot easier, is the practical outworking of believing in a not-particularly-holy false god. I suggest this is a more fundamental part of the problem than what Doug identifies. It’s not that evangelicals have deeply studied the Trinity and come to a sophisticated and reasonable conclusion that the Fatherhood of God has no practical implications. It’s rather than we really can’t… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“The central problem is a heresy about the nature of God—as though He were so bland and boring, as though He were a monochrome deity.” Somewhat amusing, but I think all the Christian support of Trump may actually be a step in the right direction. There’s nothing particularly bland and boring about saying, “let’s just scratch appearances here, desperate times call for desperate measures.” “Bland, boring, and monochromatic,” often brings to mind a stereotype of Western Christians ourselves, of us being far more concerned about appearances than the nature of sin itself, of the way we often seek the approval… Read more »

ashv
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ashv

I propose an alternative thesis: American Christians have not yet repented of their fathers’ rebellion in 1776, and have come under wicked masters as a natural consequence of that.

adad0
Member

Gosh, should we (the USA) crawl back into the United Kingdom Commonwealth, when Prince Charles finally ascends to the throne? ; – )
‘Wonder what the natural consequence of that would be? ; – )

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I wouldn’t bother. He’s not the sharpest knife in the royal cutlery drawer.

wtrsims
Member

I wouldn’t bother

But you could butter

ashv
Guest
ashv

When one repents of a murder, one does not exhume the corpse.

adad0
Member

Unless you happen to be a returning Stuart monarch.

Then you dig up Oliver Cromwell, and hang him just for fun!
Even though he has been dead for over a year!
(Sorry Ash, couldn’t resist! ????)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I am presuming you might consider Justin a wicked ruler. So how does your thesis explain the loyal and submissive Canadians?

adad0
Member

As much as I like Ash’, I think a more fun answer to your question, would come from “We are at war”! ; – )

fp
Guest
fp

I am presuming you might consider Kim Jong-un a wicked ruler. So how does your thesis explain the loyal and submissive North Koreans?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

They are brainwashed, starving, and terrified. When a North Korean screws up, the government punishes his whole family. So loyalty isn’t the word. More like abject terror in conjunction with mass delusions. I think you would be in so much fear that you couldn’t let your mind harbor thoughts that could get you into trouble.

It is clear that I don’t like Trump. But I think people (and I know some) who compare him to evil lunatics like Kim Jong-un and Hitler are being ridiculous.

fp
Guest
fp

Not the point. A ruler’s wickedness is determined by his actions as measured against an objective moral standard, not by whether his people are loyal and submissive.

By the way, these articles might interest you. The NoKos may be brainwashed, starving and terrified, but they are still loyal and submissive:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-11534233

Pay particular attention to #19 in this article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wait-but-why/visiting-north-korea_b_4256519.html

ashv
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ashv

Canada’s pretty much the 51st state in terms of policy and governance. (As Pastor Wilson has pointed out: Sin is messy, its effects often end up all over the place.)

John Callaghan
Guest
John Callaghan

Perhaps repentance for 1776 should wait until after the British repent for their fathers’ rebellion in 1688-1689.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think ashv would probably agree with you!

ashv
Guest
ashv

Didn’t we just have a series of blog posts on not letting our repentance wait on someone else’s?

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

I agree. Rebels shouldn’t wait to repent.

adad0
Member

I was kind of hoping that the British would repent of harboring Marx and Engels!
????

Lance Roberts
Guest

It wasn’t a rebellion, it was a revolution. It’s all about authority, that Parliment wasn’t in authority, and the King wasn’t exercising his. Rebellion is against proper authority. revolution is against improper authority.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Yes, that is what they claimed. Needless to say, these are opinions, not facts.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

So did slaves have rebellions or revolutions? Native Americans? Was Texas a rebellion or a revolution? How about the South? Philippines? Vietnam? Black South Africans? Chechnyans?
Are the Syrians against Assad rebels or revolutionaries? And or different than the Iraqis who opposed Hussein and the Afghanis who opposed the Taliban?

Jerusalem Jews circa A.D. 67 would be interesting too.

I’d love to see answers to get a general idea of your rubric for “proper authority” versus “improper authority”.

wtrsims
Member

If Britain had won, we’d probably be calling the Revolutionaries “rebels,” instead.

Unless it’s mere coincidence that the side that won has been found to have been in the moral right..

wtrsims
Member

You know, as I think about it, it’s fascinating. King David was anointed by God to be king over Israel — and he knew that he had been — but still believed that it would have been wrong for him to overthrow Saul eventhough Saul had been rejected by God because of his disobedience. David even went as far as executing the man who lied in boasting about killing Saul. And yet, Americans, as a matter of orthodoxy and good civic character, take as obvious that the Founding Fathers were not only morally and legally right in their rebellion, but… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

More to the point – were Shays’ Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion unjustified?

It’s awful convenient to have a view of history where the good guys were always the winners.

steghorn21
Guest
steghorn21

I’m not sure I agree with the last sentence. Sure, there are plenty of bad preachers who bow to the culture, but there are plenty of good preachers out there telling the truth in their churches and on prime time TV. The problem is way beyond people not knowing the message; it is that they have heard the message and just don’t care. God is giving them over to their own vices.