I am signed up for the American Bible Society’s weekly lectionary emails. Here’s the first line from Dorette Saunders:
Although many nations do not share our ideologies, the world is watching every move that the United States of America makes. We are, to their way of thinking, a symbol of what democracy ought (or ought not) to look like. We wield such a sphere of influence that we are loved and hated in the very same breath.
I have changed a lot since 9/11. I was born in 1974. In 1976 many Christian groups banded together for America’s bicentennial to call the country to turn back to God. Then they banded together to elect a born again Christian, Jimmy Carter, into office. Then they revolted and elected Ronald Reagan, and so on and so forth. After thirty years of hearing 2 Chronicles 7:14 repeated with every election cycle, I’ve come to despise the notion of national repentance in the name of political reform. We’ve been duped into playing America’s sinister game of bait and switch. The system tells us “we’ll back your moral issue if you guarantee us votes.” And this is done in the name of prayer and repentance! Well I for one am sick of it.
America is not the People of God, and to think that Christians are such a force in America that we can bring it to its knees is serious delusion. The People of God are part of the Church universal. We don’t repent on command for an election season or for this year’s Party cause du jour. God does not need non profit status from the US to do his work. We are not the People of God because someone got the money together to call us that. Just as revival does not come because we pitch a tent in August and invite a guest speaker to emotionally manipulate the neighborhood, the nation does not repent because it happens to be the National Day of Prayer.
Its time to stand up and proclaim that Repentance and Prayer cannot be bought, claimed, or otherwise mandated by this season’s pundit or politician. It belongs to the People of God, who I pray can’t be bought.
“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 Chron. 7:14 NIV
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