August 1, 2007

The Nation That Shrunk God

Posted by Adam Graham in : church-state relations

The Nation that Shrunk God
By Adam Graham

What is the problem with our nation? This is the Summer of our discontent. We’re dissatisfied with our President and our Congress. We’re dissatisfied with the direction of our nation, but we act as if we’re helpless.

In fact, the means of our deliverance are easily obtained In nations like Cuba and North Korea, the price of bringing freedom is blood. Yet, in America, you can describe what is necessary in two paragraphs.

A small number of Americans can change this nation’s politics through small contributions to candidates who share their values and just aren’t making it up to get to the next level of their career. A few thousand bloggers with a hopeful vision can jam the Internet with the truth about corrupt politicians like Ted Stevens (R-AK) and the vile games that go on in Congress and demand change, and spur others on to action. We can turn to our neighbors, to people of integrity and ask them to answer the call to leadership and replace our self-serving near-sighted elected officials.

We can change the arts and culture through our decisions and our encouragement of those who labor in those fields in our midst, often without our notice and occasionally with our disdain.

We could, but we don’t. Some answer the call, but not enough. There are a few who give to candidates, but there are many more who sit on the sidelines. They gripe, they give their long cynical lists of complaints, and declare their battle hopeless. While folks strive for freedom, righteousness, and truth around the world, our nation is eaten away by a cynical apathy that declares all is lost. Never have so many fools died but inches from the water, complaining of their thirst.

What has happened to our nation? Why is it that a pastor in China will strive on against state-sanctioned persecution, through torture and beatings and prison, while here in America, the American Christian throws up in his hands with his belly full, a good job, and a retirement plan?

Perhaps, it’s because the God of the Chinese Pastor is bigger than the God of the American Christian. What do I mean? They’re both Christians. But in America, an extraordinary thing has happened, we’ve shrunk God.

Other nations like China or the Soviet Union have tried to pretend God wasn’t there, or like most of Western Europe , they’ve ignored God. We’ve tried to do something quite marvel, we’ve tried to make God smaller to fit our lives.

It wasn’t always so in America. Though our Founder’s faith varied from the devout to the deist, they understood God was mighty and powerful. He had the power to help a nation rise up or cast it into dust. When deist Benjamin Franklin saw the Constitutional Convention deadlocked, he saw only one way that New Englanders, Southerners, and Mid-Atlantic states, big states and small could ever agree on a Constitution, would be by the power of God.

God was viewed as so needful in the Civil War that Abraham Lincoln called national days of prayer eight times. What happened?

Over time, this big God became somewhat inconvenient to the American Church. The holiness, righteousness, and justice of God became too hard for us, so we chose to de-emphasize this part of his character and focus on those characteristics that were comforting and gentle only. This has progressed over time to the point where church after church has begun to spin God. Sins that would have scandalized in a prior generation are tolerated and accepted without question in many of our churches. Sin is rarely spoken against, and even more rarely named in our pulpits, and even when it is, our hearts are hardened against it.

Our problem is that when we remove part of someone’s character, we can very easily turn them into a caricature. God is no different. Be it God as Santa Claus who gives you everything you want, a comfortable Teddy Bear, or Zeus with his lightning bolts ready to strike us down for our sins, whenever we view God incompletely, we turn him into a fictitious caricature rather than the Almighty.

When we shrink God, we shrink His Church. Our Churches are no longer the bride of Christ, but simply consumer-driven clubs we pay dues to, and can leave as easily as we can a cell phone company or bank.

When we shrink the Church and we’ve shrunk God, we see great needs that must be addressed and those needs inevitably fall to the State. The State in turn has built bureaucracy upon bureaucracy, and in the name of helping people has destroyed more lives than can be counted.

Now, today, we truly need God’s help. Our councils are frustrated. Our Churches are divided and downcast. Our nation is under attack from those who hate America and believe that to kill Christians is virtue and reward. Do we really pray? We pray mechanically, because we know we’re supposed to. We have a prayer said before our government meetings. not because we really think it will do any good, but because it’s tradition. Why don’t we seek him as our only hope? Why don’t we cry out as men who’s schemes and plots have reached an end, and we are now at a point when only God can help and lift us out of this miry pit?

We don’t call out because God has been shrunk to the level where we really don’t believe he can help us. Who would ask a teddy bear to save their lives? Would most Christians in their heart agree with that old deist Franklin when he declared, “God governs in the affairs of men?” If we really believe this, than tell me why are millions of “Bible-believing” Christians committing their support to a man who is a favorite of the National Abortion Rights Action League and the homosexual rights movement for fear that a Democrat will be elected President and their families will be killed by Al Qaeda?

Ultimately, we’ve concluded that WE govern in the Affairs of men and that God is a nice preliminary, like politicians saying the pledge of allegiance to the Republic before voting to spend the hard-earned tax dollars to enrich a campaign contributor. We’ve made God a creature comfort, not a reality. We’ve shrunk God and we’ve shrunk ourselves into little more than calculating beasts that take the path of least resistance, time and time again.

We can’t fight with the courage of a Washington to sit in the cold and dark of Valley Forge, when death and defeat encircle us like a blanket, and still fight on. Washington prayed. He prayed because the God of our Founders was God of Justice. He was a Big God.

Despite our best efforts, we’ve not shrunk God, we’ve only shrunk our Faith. He’s as big as He ever was. It’s we that must grow, it’s we that must change. At this time of confusion and despair, we must turn to God, for He is our only Hope. We must have our eyes opened as the Lord opened the eyes of the Prophet’s servant so that we see how big our God is.

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson’s Website, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, The Random Yak, DeMediacratic Nation, Right Truth, Big Dog’s Weblog, Webloggin, Stuck On Stupid, Leaning Straight Up, Cao’s Blog, The Amboy Times, The Bullwinkle Blog, Conservative Cat, Conservative Thoughts, Pursuing Holiness, third world county, Allie Is Wired, Nuke’s news and views, The Pink Flamingo, Planck’s Constant, Wyvern Dreams, Dumb Ox Daily News, Right Voices, Gone Hollywood, and Public Eye, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

4 Comments

  1. Comment by april

    We’re always doing this in all types of situations, aren’t we? Thanks for your submission to the Carnival of Principled Government.

  2. Comment by Renae

    Thank you for this thoughtful post. I think that you express the condition of Christ’s church in America accurately but there is hope. Through the shaking God will call out His bride spotless and white. Our faith has been small for too long. It’s time to open our eyes to see what God can and will do.

  3. Pingback by The Bible Archive » Blog Archive » Christian Carnival: The Sorting Hat Edition

    […] The Nation That Shrunk God posted at Adam’s Blog is a call to action for the American Church which has backslidden from her previous glory. […]

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