Articles

Is America Under God's Judgment?

February 1, 2014

All sane persons know, instinctively, innately, intuitively, that every human will finally sit down to a table of consequences. We will, we know in the city hall of our souls, that, as Butterfield, the English historian, put it “History teaches us one thing and one thing only: it is finally well with those who do good and bad for those who do evil.” Or as the rustic says, “The chickens will finally come home to roost.” Such consequences, alas, have both individual as well as corporate expressions. I heard Matthew Arnold’s line as a tenth-grader, in my pre-Christian days: “Sin weakens and finally destroys both the individual and the nation.”

Could it be that our beloved America is under God’s judgment?

I am often asked that question in one way or the other.  How would one know, for certain? I was reared by a man, a good and fair man, but a man’s man who---in rearing six boys, knew something instinctively as well: only the clobber method works in some situations. During those memorable thrashings I never once needed to ask, “By the bye, what’s happening here anyway?” The event did not require a metaphysical clarification!

How would we know if God was chastising us? What would the signs be?

In a careful study of our Old Testament we discover that when God’s people were under judgment, certain realities manifested themselves to one degree or the other:

  • open and blasé immoral behavior, spiritual declension (often led by the priests),
  • common violations of the marriage covenant (read, “free sex”),
  • irresolvable economic problems,
  • an inability to guard the nation’s borders,
  • plagues,
  • inept and/or evil political leadership,
  • and often “natural” disasters. Sound familiar?

 

I have for some several years now been convinced (essentially due to specific prayer about the matter) that (a) America is under God’s judgment, (b) She is not under ultimate judgment yet, (c) Millions of faithful Christians are substantively responsible for God with-holding His full judgment (think of righteous deeds  by godly people as creating moral capital for the country), (d) It will not do to say we are not as evil as other countries (who can quantify such things, and, anyway, God does not grade on the curve), (e) America has enjoyed God’s favor for well over two centuries now, but God is not automatically obligated to continue His blessings on us (I am sure that sentence is more shocking to some than if I had just denied the law of gravity), (f) God may well be through with us (may well, as a godly young woman told me recently, “have His belly full of us!”), (g) Our repentance, yours and mine and everybody else’s, is our only salvation, and (h) If our time is running out, Lincoln’s statement when he thought of the correlation (in his mind, inevitable) between our treatment of slaves and the civil war comes to mind:  “…(I)f God wills that it (the war) continues, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’

My place and yours in the matter? Thomas Carlyle, keen student of the French Revolution, when asked who caused it said that every Frenchman who did not do his personal duty to his country was responsible for it. The London Times once ran an ad asking its readers this question: “What is wrong with London?” G. K. Chesterton sent in a pithy reply: “I am!” What his reply lost in verbosity, it gained in relevance!

It really is not what happens in the White House that counts; it’s what happens in your house. And heart. Now.

Finally: how do you and I escape the charge of ultimate hypocrisy for whining about what our illuminati, both in Washington and in Hollywood, cannot or will not do for the betterment of our country, when we refuse to do—maybe even to confess we need it!---what we both know what we should do for her? Now.

Bill Anderson
Grapevine, Texas
February 2014