I came across an opinion piece on Christian Post by Rev. Mark Creech entitled As Goes the Church, So Goes the Country, and thought, how true! Inside, this short paragraph struck a chord: “Surely, the state of true religion is in a bad way. Our nation is also far removed from its moral underpinnings. As goes the church, so goes the country.” That resonated because the past two years have also seen the exposure of the gap between the church and the moral underpinnings to which it once anchored its values. If the church is the moral barometer of the country, it is no surprise, then, that our beloved nation is in moral decline.
Notably, is Creech’s observation that “the state of true religion is in a bad way.” It is an admission that the religion currently being practiced is a counterfeit. He made some really good points and mentioned Hosea 4 where the indictment against Israel was the lack of truth, faithfulness, love and “no knowledge of God in the land!” Great application of scripture because that is exactly the state of the church and our country today. But that is where my agreement ends.
Creech’s solution tended towards a kind of Christian nationalist approach with continued political activism on social issues – the same dynamic that produced the current state of affairs. It maintains the destructive divisions of political ideology and labels within the church, which God hates (Prov. 6:19; I Cor. 1:10-13).
Until we come to truly understand that the church is not an earthly institution, but the representative of the divine kingdom of God, we will continue to make the same mistakes we have always made. The mission of the church is to proclaim the Gospel message, and to make disciples. We keep making the mistake of thinking that the defining social and political issues of the culture wars are what drive the Gospel. They tend more to be hindrances. That does not mean the church cannot address social and political issues. It means that social and political issues should never detract from the mission. Why is that? The root of the problems that manifest themselves in social and political struggles is addressed in the message of the Gospel.
The lack of true knowledge of God in the land means that the church is not teaching the people who God truly is. Or worse, the church is not representing the true God to the country. At the root of unrighteousness is the lack of knowledge of the requirements of our righteous God.
When we read in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” there are some things we must come fully to grips with.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Marvin G. Thompson