Monday, June 1, 2015

Expectantly Expectant: American Expectations

This morning I sat down with a fellow pastor who had just returned from a mission trip to a Central America. While there, he had an unusual conversation with a gang member. The man understood the Gospel, but said he was not ready to surrender his life to God. He did, however, know that the Bible was true and that he needed God.

He then went on to talk to the pastor about his impression of the United States. This Central American gang member said his countrymen do not respect the US, because it does not believe or respect the Word of God, and because it is a country that has no moral standard on which to lecture the world or impose its beliefs.

While you might call a gang member a hypocrite, listen carefully. He knew he was living wrong, because he believed that the Bible is the word of God. He feared the God of the Bible, even though he was not ready to surrender his life to him. He said that the USA's embracing homosexuality and homosexual marriage, its rampant drug culture and legalization of marijuana, and its moral decay were clear indicators that the nation does not respect God or his word. The pastor from the States said it was an eye-opening conversation, and that, sadly, all they could do was agree with this Central American gang member about the moral depravity of our country. 

We expect to fly the flag and be respected. What if the flag flies in the face of God?  We, who follow Christ, should never place the hope of the Gospel in the hands of the state. We should have learned our lesson from history. The state is not the church, no matter how moral its laws.  As much as we love this country, it, and every other country, will disappoint.

Read the words of the prophet, Jeremiah, carefully.

This is what the Lord says: The man who trusts in mankind, who makes human flesh his strength and turns his heart from the Lord is cursed. He will be like a juniper in Arabah; he cannot see when good comes but dwells in the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land where no one lives. The man who trusts in the lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn't fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit. (Jeremiah 17:5-8)