• April 20, 2024

Who is America’s God now? | Repentance

The post Who is America’s God now? | Repentance first appeared on USSA News. Visit USSANews.com.

A Proclamation

For a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer.

Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the supreme authority and just government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation;

And whereas, it is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truths announced in the Holy Scriptures, and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord;

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. But we have forgotten God, we have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Can you imagine that proclamation issued today?

Today, words like humiliation and repentance are completely misunderstood. For some, they are associated with shame, guilt, fire and brimstone, and for others, it’s a get out a jail free card on your way back to do whatever you want.

But, it’s neither of those things.

In Hebrew, the word for repentance is Teshuvah — which literally means to turn. It’s about changing what you do, just as much as it is about the condition of your heart. When we repent, we turn around and start over in the right direction — the direction God wants us to go.

That is not easy. It takes incredible faith to humble yourself and repent.

It takes incredible faith to humble yourself and repent.

It’s not easy — but it is possible.

I began this by talking about France. Now, let me take you back to Nazi, Germany.

Hitler was not a Christian but knew he couldn’t take out the Christian church head-on, so he infiltrated from the inside — eroding its values and its relevance from within. Over an afternoon lunch in his headquarters in 1942, he said,

“I do not care in the slightest about the articles of faith… The organized lie has to be broken in such a way that the state becomes the master… you can’t rush things. It has to rot away like a gangrenous limb. We need to get to the point where only idiots stand behind the pulpits, and only old women sit in front of it, and the healthy youth are with us.”

Hitler expected Christianity to slowly suffocate and die under the duress of the state and its own inaction and irrelevance, but in the meantime, he would use the institution to spread his propaganda.

And unfortunately, they did spread it — mostly thanks to a movement called the “German Christians.” Under the influence of the German Christians, the church went to work to de-judiaze their faith, and spread the “good news” of Hitler.

German pastor Hermann Grunner preached:

“Hitler is the way of the Spirit and the will of God for the German people to enter the Church of Christ.”

What’s truly shocking is that the German Christians were at work in the church before Hitler even took power. They were priming the congregations by slowly shifting the focus away from God and the Bible and creating a new Aryan “god.” German Christians insisted that loyalty to the Nazi agenda was, at its core, a matter of faith. It’s hard to imagine that everyone behind the pulpit or sitting in the pews agreed with this, yet so many said nothing.

Miraculously, some did eventually break their silence.

Pastor Martin Niemoller sat back as Hitler installed his dictatorship. He didn’t intervene until the German Christians started to Aryanize the Bible by purging the Bible of all Jewish elements — including the entire Old Testament. They were re-imagining Jesus as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, anti-Sememtic Aryan. This was the last straw for Niemoller. He helped organize a movement called the “Confessing Church ” — which challenged the German Christians and insisted that Nazism not make demands of the church itself. Although Niemoller was primarily focused on Nazi intrusion into the Church, other prominent leaders of the movement called for the followers to challenge Nazism on every front — including a man named Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Bonhoeffer diagnosed the German church and said they suffered from a theology of cheap grace — they wanted redemption without repentance. They hoped to live any way they wanted and wear the covering of God like a cheap rain poncho.

Then the Third Reich collapsed and the church had no idea how to pick up the pieces.

Reconstruction quickly turned punitive towards Germany. Life for Germans under Hitler was hell, but the hell continued after his failure. The German people had been the victims of unprecedented psychological capture, and for those who woke up, they were not only left with the collapse of their nation — they were shouldering almost unbearable guilt. The international church leaders had a decision to make. Would they ostracize the Germans as their political counterparts had? How should people of God handle these obscene circumstances?

The church, like every German, needed a new start.

The church, like every German, needed a new start.

So the believers did the only thing they knew would work.

After the Third Reich collapsed, a gathering of Christians took place on October 19th, 1941 in Stuttgart, Germany. At the gathering, Bonhoeffer was praised for his unwavering faith and Pastor Niemoller preached that the Nazis alone were not to blame, but the church itself, saying:

“Would the Nazis have been able to do what they had done if church members had been truly faithful Christians?”

From this event sprang forth the Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt. On behalf of the church, it said:

With great pain we say: By us infinite wrong was brought over many peoples and countries. We did fight for long years in the name of Jesus Christ against the mentality that found its awful expression in the National Socialist regime of violence; but we accuse ourselves for not standing for our beliefs more courageously, for not praying more faithfully, for not believing more joyously and for not loving more ardently.

Following the collapse of Hitler’s regime, the faithful Germans professed that they had failed as a body of believers. Their failure was not extraordinary, we all fail on more extreme levels than we care to face, but what was extraordinary was their ability to look their failure in the face, and choose to change. The Christians of Germany were called to repent on their knees, and, miraculously, some answered that call.

Are we prepared to write our Declaration of Guilt in the future? Are we prepared to do it now?

People of God: Do you want to have to apologize for watching evil rise in our nations and saying nothing?

People of God: Do you want to have to apologize for watching evil rise in our nations and saying nothing?

Religious leaders: can you continue to be silent as God and goodness is attacked from all angles?

America: Have we hit rock bottom yet? This is not working. Conservatives are supposed to conserve the best ideas from the past. Have we done that?

If we continue on this path of least resistance–of non-action, I shudder to think what our apology letter will say:

I apologize for standing by while millions of unborn babies were slaughtered. I said nothing when activists tried to re-segregate our nation. I even helped sometimes. Israel was slandered and attacked and I ignored it. I didn’t protest when my church was shut down and the liquor store was open. I was apathetic to the government trampling my congregations’ rights. I couldn’t be bothered to comment as young people permanently mutilated themselves after being told they were born in the wrong body.

I outwardly participated in every destructive social movement to protect myself. I leaned on my own understanding and acted in my own self-interest. I just did what everyone else was doing at the time. I didn’t have the faith to resist. I lacked spiritual countenance. Because of my inaction, the body of God became crippled. The people lived without love and died without hope.

I was not part of the cavalry when it finally came.

I apologize.

May God forgive us.

We DO NOT want to write this letter in the future. Write it today while it’s still bearable and then repent — not just in your heart — but in the way you live.

The Kingdom of God is at hand.

Catch up with the rest of the “Who Is America’s God Now?” series here:

Click this link for the original source of this article.
Author: Mikayla G. Hedrick

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The post Who is America’s God now? | Repentance first appeared on USSA News. Visit USSANews.com.

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