God Bless America?

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  1. paigemom says:

    The patriotic songs at church yesterday were a sobering reminder of how far the US has drifted from more godly times. The Battle Hymn of The Republic is pretty amazing, a prophetic word for sure, even in it’s day 1862. However, sin has always abounded in this country and the Holy Spirit has been attempting to convict hearts then and now..

    Fasting and prayer seem to be in order.

  2. Michael says:

    I have the feeling this thread will be buried under 5.0…but I hope we get some response.

  3. Erunner says:

    I didn’t bother to vote during the recent primaries. I have become very jaded to everything politics. I don’t believe politicians any more as I am not sure if I rate very high on their list of priorities.

    We vote for things in California and the courts just set the will of the people aside. It seems to me the mixing of religion and politics is a disaster. Success demands compromise.

    Things have changed dramatically since my youth. I want to have great hopes for our nation but right now I don’t.

  4. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    I feel the same way…and I’m wondering what the next step is if more and more of us perceive things this way.

    We are like the frog in the kettle…and things are about to boil.

  5. Tim says:

    You may have been alluding to this, but it’s worth noting that “politician” doesn’t equal “statesman.” I could easily name 5 people who are at the top of the political game & get just about anything they want to get (our President being one of them). Statemen, however are in *very* short supply. I’m hard-pressed to name one.

    Here’s my in-depth, multi-level plan for dealing with the issues in this country:

    preach the gospel.

    πŸ™‚

    Seriously, the best way for change to happen is for God to change hearts. And whereas I’m grateful for the men & women among the body of Christ who serve in elected office, their powers & influence are severely limited. God’s power is not.

    May we continue to preach the gospel, seek the glory of our Lord & King, and then watch Him change lives.

  6. Michael says:

    Tim,

    I was indeed making that very reference…I can’t name one either.

    That is what we have to show for the billions of dollars and thousands of hours the church has poured into the system.

    I agree with your solution as well…

  7. eric says:

    Well said Michael,

    Not gonna touch this one with a 5 foot stick, but you know how I feel about it

  8. Michael says:

    Eric,

    I know…but I also know that all of us want to feel good about our country and it’s values…we want to be patriots.

    Today, i think it better suits us to be pilgrims.

  9. nene says:

    Without even realizing it, I have always separated my faith and country. No, I did not celebrate anything yesterday, but did enjoy the tv programs from Boston and D.C. When the camera panned the audience to the injured soldiers, I sat speechless. Their sacrifice is overwhelming. My next thought was anger. Anger that they had to endue what they went through, and how they continue with today.

    Yes, I care what happens politically, but the topic is so huge. The hugeness blurs my vision, so I am not really involved in the process. What is more important to me is the salvation of others, yet this topic is wonderful! I truly hope it doesn’t get “buried.”

  10. Em says:

    sometimes i wonder if “America the Beautiful” was a foretaste, a hint of the time when our Lord reigns over the earth (i believe in the millenium, obviously). Maybe it is/was an anti-millenium and not something to be proud of (man’s prideful efforts to create the perfect society).
    it may be escapism and it may be an attempt to make the profane divine – dunno –
    i attempted in a little novel to explain to my grandchildren how their great-grandparents’ generation in the U.S. saw life and virtue because i think the whole race of man is close to being given up to a reprobate mind-set
    then again, if that’s what i believed with all my heart, i’d find it easy to keep on keeping on and looking up wouldn’t i?
    not sure about this world at all and God is able to rewind the clock and go around again, if there’s more sifting to be done…

  11. Michael says:

    I wonder if revival is possible…or if we’re looking at the real signs of His coming…or if we’re just in deep trouble period.

  12. Xenia says:

    I agree with you here, Michael.

    Recently, a member of our church circle thought he might run for a county office. After discovering how much it cost, both financially and ethically, to run for office he withdrew his candidacy. So who does that leave running for office in our country? Wealthy people who are willing to compromise their ethics. And for this reason, I have a very hard time voting for anyone anymore.

    All we can do is be the best Christians we know how to be by imitating Christ and praying without ceasing. Love God and love our neighbor. All else is futile.

  13. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    That hit home…well said.

    Do we really have a democratic republic when there is no one to vote for?

  14. Babylon's Dread says:

    I remember when I believed the myth that America was a nation of the ‘good guys’ and how the ascendancy of America to the top of the world’s nations would benefit all.

    Wrong! Terribly wrong! Our nation was fraudulently founded in the conviction that ‘all men were created equal and were endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights’ all that is except those held in human bondage… Anyway… we must continue to struggle for justice even if none is evident.

    I pretty much believe now that the myth was always a myth.

  15. Xenia says:

    I guess we have an oligarchy now.

    If our friend (who is no shrinking violet) could not in good conscience jump the hoops needed to run for a county office in a county not especially known for corruption, can you imagine the compromises made by those running for state and national offices?

    My friends and I were talking after the last California primary. (I didn’t vote this year.) These dear women who are very conservative found themselves voting for people who were the lesser of many evils. Ten years ago, they would never have voted for these people. Nowadays, that’s all that’s left to vote for- the lesser of many evils. It was a very somber conversation.

    I don’t vote much anymore. People will say to me that I am abandoning our democracy, that the “boys” are off in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting for my right to vote (don’ get me started on THAT) and that if I don’t vote, I have no right to complain, etc. etc. etc. But is it not God who raises up kings? I will leave it all to God. Personally, I think we are getting what we deserve.

    It is time for us American Christians to quit bowing down to the idols of entertainment, amusement and materialism and remember Who we should be serving.

    Anyway, that’s what I think.

  16. Em says:

    BD, we were a nation built by people who believed there was an absolute, an ideal, a standard – we were also a nation of sinners, some desperate and greedy, some just desperate. Most of our population was full of the dream went to church on Sunday and tried their best. Now it seems the evil has prevailed (like all history). But the standard was there and that’s the difference between then and now.

  17. Michael says:

    BD,

    In your opinion…has our capitalism morphed into the Babylon of Revelation?

    We have become consumers who consume ourselves to death…and in the dark parts of my mind I wonder if the multinational economy is part of the anti-Christ spirit.

    I may be crazy as a loon, too. πŸ™‚

  18. Em says:

    Xenia,”It is time for us American Christians to quit bowing down to the idols of entertainment, amusement and materialism and remember Who we should be serving.”

    with you, praying for this

    God blessed America – He didn’t sanctify and seal it, eh?

  19. Em says:

    More dangerous than the wealthy political figures, the Kennedys, the Rockefellers, the Bushes etc. is the shadow wealth that looks for a personality to promote and hide behind; a puppet to do their bidding… those guys even turn up on church boards, i think – dunno

  20. Em says:

    end of pontificating and back to what i was avoiding πŸ™‚

  21. Michael says:

    A word from an unbelieving prophet…

    “Imagine the problem is not some syndrome of our society that can be solved by commisions or laws or a redistribution of what we call wealth. Imagine that it goes deeper, right to the core of what we call our civilization and that no one outside of ourselves can effect real change, that our civilization, our governments are sick and that we are all mentally ill and spiritually dead all our issues and crises are symptoms of this deeper disease.

    Imagine that the problem is not that we are powerless or that we are victims but that we have lost the fire and belief and courage to act.

    We hear whispers of the future but we slap our hands against our ears, we catch glimpses, but turn our face swiftly aside.”

    Bowden.

  22. Bob Sweat says:

    “E”

    I voted for 3 things in the last primary, and they were all ballot propositions.

  23. Na'amah says:

    I understand and also feel the frustrations expressed here. I am very concerned about the choice to not vote. I believe it is the decades of political apathy from Christians in mass in our nation (except those of liberation theology whose roots are socialism) that have allowed the elected officials to drift so far from what the ideals of the nation were founded upon. Our having left the public square so to speak. Our uninvolvement and assumption that the preported values of our nation would remain or that things were already to ‘far gone’

    Even if the choice of candidates are not to our exact liking completely, if every person who is allowed to voted, we would be able to influence that person’s direction while in office at least locally. We elected candidates to our city board, school board, state congressional board. I am hoping more people who have always sat out the process will vote in California this year to unseat one of our senators.

    For so long i’ve heard my fellow chrisitans express their resignation to how things are and it’s of this world and not of concern. I am surprised at the attitude of surrender. If there is corruption in your cities political structure now, your resignation from participation will allow it to grow larger.

    Do recall, we speak English rather than German due to one vote. (ok, we used to speak English πŸ™‚

    just my $.02

  24. Michael says:

    Bob,

    That seems to be common habit…and that tells us a lot about where our democracy is headed.

  25. Michael says:

    Na’amah,

    Well said…but outside of the local elections I haven’t found anyone worth leading or affirming…and I have a growing belief that this country is now run by and for corporate interests not the people.

    If you unseat that senator…who will you replace her with that you are assured is better?

    I want a reason to engage again…truly.

  26. Em says:

    we’ve got a little confusion here – Christians have tried the God and Country thing and now are back-pedaling on political activism… maybe, if we made our voices loud and strong out of our Christian frame of reference without trying to wrap it in evangelism at the same time?

  27. Em says:

    maybe the Tea Party is worth supporting… maybe… except i hate those catch phrases and sound bite logic… maybe i’m too picky

  28. Em says:

    i remember a conversation that gave me an ‘aha’ moment when i was a teenager… the common man has to support wealth and power as they are the ones that guide the ship… we have to find a source worth supporting, tho … and it can’t be done without our beautiful Constitution restricting that wealth and power and how did we allow that document – our document – to become impotent? anybody know?

  29. Babylon's Dread says:

    Em,

    I do not think that the America you idealize ever really existed…. just read about Boston during the small pox days and Cotton Mather’s influence in getting inoculation made normative… Mather’s Boston was not a particularly ideal place. Even the absolutes were perverted into some horrific things….Apart from the witch trials ….those absolutes allowed slavery, decried inoculation as a remedy for disease… the absolutes were not effective.
    And they have been continuously whittled down to a minimum few… Not without some good reasons I might add.

    And Michael,

    Yes there is no better picture of a whorish culture than America… consumerism gone wild creating just the kind of misery in Mexico that you are reading about.

    Still the church lives. And the Gospel is not silenced.

  30. Michael says:

    Em,

    That’s an excellent question and I don’t know the answer…

  31. Michael says:

    BD,

    I’m glad you came back to this…in your opinion is there an eschatological element in what we’re seeing?

  32. bishopdave says:

    Count me among those who vote for the sole reason of the high price that priivlege carries.

    Michael: “Do we continue to try political measures or do we simply beg God for revival?”
    Me: Beg God for revival.

    Our politicians reflect our society. We have what we deserve. As Christians choose a church fellowship based on what that local body has to offer them, whether the kids like it or the music is what we like, have we not given up being led by the Spirit for something that “fits”? We elect leaders who talk about prayer but perhaps don’t pray. We’ve allowed our sacred values to become platforms (Life, Justice, Prayer, Sexuality). We’ve begged for laws to enforce these values; we prefer rhetoric to regeneration. We bemoan politicians, but aren’t they claiming to have been reared in our churches?

    Before preaching Sunday, I mean in the 10 minutes before service started, 3 people asked me if I heard “famous pastor’s” message on America needing revival. Bet I could grab his July 4 sermon from 15 yrs ago and find the same essential message. You see, it’s all those other Americans who have gotten us here, not us.

  33. bishopdave says:

    Government is as tainted by sin and brokenness as anything else in creation. Don’t forget, God used men like Nebuchadnezzar, Sennecherib, and Herod to fulfill His purposes.

    And our country may not be perfect, but at least we are proud when our children grow up to be soldiers and policeman. While in Honduras, it was actually debated if a young one from the church grew up to be a cop, should he be removed from the membership. If your kid joined the Mexican army, would you as a parent be proud or ashamed? That’s one HUGE difference between our nation and many others.

  34. Michael says:

    “And our country may not be perfect, but at least we are proud when our children grow up to be soldiers and policeman. ”

    That is a very important point and I’m very glad you raised it.

  35. Em says:

    BD, i have to disagree with you – yes, mankind’s whole history is chock full of greed, cruelty – sins of every kind – that’s not the point
    Maybe, baby-boomer folks today are starry-eyed about some sort of pure and undefiled fantasy U.S.A. If so, bring them down gently.
    The nation was beautiful in its conception and in its ideals. I don’t live in ignorance or fantasy on the subject and i take offense at any smear campaign wrapped in the guise of rubbing our noses in reality-so-called.
    ‘course you wouldn’t do that and i pray that no one does it to you. πŸ™‚

  36. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael,

    As you know, for me all of life is eschatology… when someone sees a particular set of variables and calls them evidence of the ‘last days’ I find that incomprehensible. I wonder what those folk would have thought had they lived during the black plague or the Great Depression, or the Civil War, or had they lived in Europe during the endless wars that plagued the continent.

    America has an economic downturn and we call it a sure sign of the end. Hogwash on that.

    But let me answer more directly… yes Babylonian America is exactly the way life unfolds for those who buy into the antichrist economic system of consumerism. It is nearly impossible to avoid. In the end all Babylonian cultures/economies are doomed. America is not likely the last but just the latest.

    Each generation of believers is living an eschatological struggle against the ‘many adversaries’ of the world. We can look at our culture and point to Revelation 17-19 to illustrate the hopelessness of building our hopes on Babylon. It is a strong warning to be as was said earlier ‘in the world’ not ‘of the world.’

  37. Michael says:

    BD,

    That was the kind of answer I was hoping for…that gives us a depth to this discussion that we need to heed.

  38. Babylon's Dread says:

    Em,

    I understand what you are saying but the ‘beautiful nation in its conception’ that you talk about had the blatant lie of saying ‘all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights’ while denying these inalienable rights to men and women of African origin. That was patently ugly and resulted in the deaths of 600k across the battlefields of our nation.

    The absolute that has remained uncompromised in our society is the absolute that those with money are those with privilege. Gold is god in America. Always has been.

  39. Babylon's Dread says:

    But still Em,

    I am aware of the declining morals that has your attention and am not oblivious to the sadness of it.

    I have not wish to engage in meaningless repartee over the details of who is correct. I yield.

  40. Em says:

    BD, has it ever been otherwise? – the old gilder rules … some of my history comes out of Kentucky and Missouri and my great-grandmother grew up with slaves in the household (pre-civil war) – my grandmother tells of her father gathering up his family and leaving a Harvey House as they were serving a black man (post civil-war). But he’d have died for that black man and my great-grandmother, a devout woman of God and a college graduate saw to it that all ‘their’ blacks were educated to a 6th grade level. Yes, they had a prejudice, perhaps a blind spot or even just slaves themselves to ‘tradition.’ dunno – and, to take our Civil War a little further, it was about money and power and the freeing of the slaves (God’s design?) was just to rally the troops of the North (quite a few of whom were fighting for pay as stand-ins for some rich kid who was too precious to be sent to war).
    The real evil, the ugliest of all IMV was the whites attitude toward the blacks after the war…

  41. Em says:

    BD, you’re a beautiful man and will, no doubt, handle all the facets of a very disconcerting subject well, here – thank you for allowing me room to get in your face a bit πŸ˜‰

  42. Xenia says:

    Voting…

    Well, I am not disinclined to vote for propositions but even then, when you find out who is backing the various propositions you end up feeling like a pawn in somebody’s game.

    But tell you what. If I have to choose between a candidate that’s 100% pro-abortion and one that’s only 95% pro-abortion, I am not going to vote for either of them. If I have to choose between a hawkish, mean-spirited “conservative” and a gay-marriage promoting pro-abortion “liberal,” I am not going to vote for either of them. If that makes me a poor American who doesn’t appreciate (what’s left of) our democracy, so be it.

  43. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Those seems to be the choices we get every election cycle…and I can’t vote for one of them either.

  44. Na'amah says:

    Probably my biased viewpoint due to where i am professionally engaged but:

    It matters who selects nominees to sit in our federal, appeal and Supreme Court which are lifetime appointments. This is where so much of American society has changed along w the education provided the past 30 yrs teaching the concept of pluralism.

    How do we know what we’re going to get if we replace one politician w the other, we don’t, but to give up participation in a less than perfect process is to completely hand over the process. And if the politician is elected w a very large plurality they also know that plurality will turn on them if they do not follow their commitments.

    The corruption is not as rampant and accepted in American society at all levels as in other countries. Those of you who have traveled to other countries know this.

    I understand wanting to vote for a candidate that holds 100% to our values, and the millions choosing to not vote; we now have a man in the office of President of the United States who is on video w audio supporting the death of surviving late term abortion infants…

    To change the process we must become involved and part of the process. It will not happen overnight but in increments. Please vote in November. The rules are being tossed because there is no expected return response because we follow the rules. If someone in your community is interested in running, support her/him w your time and raising funds. Don’t give up.

    With all of its historical and current issues the representative republic of our nation is an exception and a blink in history. I want to maintain it for my children and my children’s children.

  45. centorian says:

    BD,
    ” decried inoculation as a remedy for disease… the absolutes were not effective.”

    They still decry inoculation as an effect tool against disease.

  46. Xenia says:

    Na’amah, those millions who chose not to vote could not stomach either candidate. That is not their fault and I will not blame them. Some of them were concerned about other moral issues besides abortion. Some of them (us) were left with no one to vote for. I did vote in the last presidential election, but it was for someone who had no chance of winning and of course, people criticized me for wasting my vote. So according to some, here’s the choices:

    1. Vote for the Republican, no matter what. It’s the Christian thing to do.
    2. Vote for the Democrat and might as well receive the Mark of the Beast while you’re at it.
    3. Vote for some third-party candidate and “waste your vote.”
    4. Don’t vote at all and be responsible for the downfall of the republic.

    I’ve been wrestling with this dilemma ever since I was old enough to vote. A few times I nearly voted for the Democrat but my Christian friends pulled me from the brink just in time, smelling of smoke, you’d think.

    Almost everyone I know votes for the most pro-life candidate. They say we must ignore all the other moral and ethical questions and just focus on the abortion issue because the President picks the Supreme Court judges. I’ve been doing this all my adult life and so has everyone else I know with absolutely no effect.

  47. Em says:

    Xenia,”’I’ve been doing this all my adult life and so has everyone else I know with absolutely no effect.” maybe it’s slowed the decline down a bit??

  48. bishopdave says:

    I wrote two letters to Colin Powell asking him to run for president; he’s pro-choice/abortion, but my sense is he’s got more character than many who are pro-life only for the votes.

  49. Na'amah says:

    Xenia i didn’t have a candidate either…McCain was selected by the media for the GOP (i actually supported and worked for Santorium)

    My point is if we don’t at least apply some sort of brakes we will no longer have any choice. If all the candidates we elect in November commit to fiscal responsibility and to actually read bills before being passed into law. We may be able to save our nation. But we need to participate.

    We are truely on the brink here w the debt at an unsustainable level. Just the interest payment alone is more than the first TARP travesty.

    Please people, i know it is frustrating and so often feels so pointless. But if we don’t return to the process we will not have it much longer.

  50. puzzletop says:

    God Bless America.

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