As we watch with awe, wonder, frustration and disgust while the world (both figuratively and literally) burns around us, we as Americans tend to repeat some version of the “why can’t the world be more like us” line. We don’t necessarily phrase it quite that way most of the time, but the idea that’s been rammed home into American heads, hearts and minds for generations now is that we are something special. We are more enlightened. We are uniquely blessed. We are exceptional.
So inclined are we toward a state of America idolatry that we tend to ignore or instantly attack any criticism of American claims to greatness. Those of us on the political right or conservative end of the political side of the spectrum have been particularly well programmed in this regard. For many of my fellow conservatives who are stuck in an America Idol mindset, only “commies” or “liberals” would dare criticize American – particularly so-called “conservative” American – approaches to business, economics, education, warfare or law.
For the vast majority of professing Christians in America, the Founding Fathers are the gold standard for lawmakers and the Constitution is the gold standard for law.
That’s how far we’ve fallen away from God in truth…while proudly claiming His name with our lips.
God has become our ornament. Our rubber stamp. Our rabbit’s foot. Our genie in a bottle, to be invoked in times of distress and otherwise ignored.
We love to talk about Him as Lord, but we have no intention of personally, much less nationally, submitting to him as such.
With a “Christianity” such as this ruling the “right wing” of the land, is it any wonder then why we are circling the drain of complete cultural disaster?
While there is some truth to the notion of America having once been a uniquely blessed republic, the manner in which we have been encouraged to warp, pervert, and deploy these ideas in defense of our wildly unbiblical sense of superiority is one of the most commonly and openly displayed signs of the judgment of God upon us.
So why do we do this?
Well, first off, it’s our nature to do so. Until and unless we are each individually supernaturally saved by the grace of God through His life-giving Gospel, we will always be enslaved to selfish, destructive pride. Even those of us who have been converted through the Gospel of Christ struggle from moment to moment with their “old self” as the Lord leads them through the process of transforming their life ever more into His likeness on this side of eternity (this process is often referred to as sanctification).
With these basic truths of human nature (both fallen and saved) in mind, there are several specific obstacles to growth and joy that have been purposefully placed in the paths of today’s Americans. I’d like to share a few of them here and encourage you to prayerfully ponder them. Please also be encouraged to submit any suggestions for addition to the list in the comments section below.
That said, here we go…
Three reasons why Americans don’t do repentance:
1. Pride. Few terms rival pride as a defining tag for the modern American mindset, and few things should more clearly concern anyone with even a remotely biblical worldview. Pride is the gateway through which all other sins march to occupy our hearts, minds, homes, families, and cultures. “American pride” has become a battle cry for what we must acknowledge as open idolatry of America itself, along with it’s related man-centered notions of freedom, liberty, law, education, and economics. As Christians, we must only be proud in and through Christ, and strive to correct and rebuke each and every claim to pride that would center elsewhere and inevitably lead people, families, and cultures into darkness…which is precisely where America is now.
2. Arrogance. We have come to believe through a profoundly warped (and satanically inspired) sense of “American exceptionalism” that we are the exception to God’s Law and the lordship of Christ. Again, we’d rarely if ever put it quite that way, but in practice that is exactly what we believe. We do not test our cherished heritage, Founding Fathers, Constitution, or any other American icon or idol in light of Scripture. We test Scripture in light of America. That is the height of arrogance, and the common display of such arrogance is not only is another clear sign of God’s judgment upon us (see: Romans 1), but it is also the mechanism by which we have been “given over” to the leadership and designs of wicked men and women. The Republican and Democrat parties, in particular, have carefully cultivated our American idolatry in their own distinct ways, all for the purpose of leading us further and further down the dark road of totalitarianism…a road that we deserve as prideful Americans and a destination that we will soon reach unless we repent and submit to the lordship of Christ.
3. Self-righteousness. In our pride and arrogance, we have been encouraged to imagine and proclaim to the world our inherent superiority, and we have been manipulated into acting upon that delusional sense of superiority. We murder and dismember millions upon millions of innocent children for convenience as a matter of routine year after year here in our own land, yet we are led to bomb and wage war abroad to “protect the innocent” time and time again. We preach free markets, capitalism, and a sound work ethic, yet in practice our corporate owned Orwellian State and its favored elites thoroughly pervert and destroy each of these things through their open embrace of anti-Christian approaches to everything from work and business to money itself. America’s Monopoly Money currency has been used to secure slavery and State empowerment both here all over the globe. God hates it (see: Proverbs 11:1) and will judge America accordingly, yet even now America funds the growth of the Orwellian State, the slavery of the masses, and perpetual war abroad using what is perhaps the ultimate display of self-righteousness – the power for a few to magically create out of thin air the “wealth” by which everything and everyone else on earth may be purchased.
Clearly, we have much to repent for as Americans. Much more than our favored secular media and “leaders” would ever like for us to realize, and certainly much more than any of us will initially be comfortable with.
Yet if we truly love America, meaning that we the Lord first and above all other things, America included, then we will seek His glory, submit to His will, and strive for repentance and restoration as He defines them.
Only God can grace people with such desires, and only that God-given grace can save this culture…one individual salvation and subsequent act of obedience at a time.
I hope that these thoughts are helpful. I know that they are convicting to me, and I pray that they will be to you as well, in the best sense, as God uses conviction to inspire ongoing repentance and biblical reformation in each of our lives.
Thank you for taking the time to consider these things. If you find this message helpful, please do share it with others.
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© 2014 Scott Alan Buss – All Rights Reserved.