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America Is Not within the Bible

America shouldn’t be within the Bible.

By no means, form, or type.

Not a touch. Not a whiff.

America shouldn’t be within the Bible, not even right here:

If my individuals who’re referred to as by my title humble themselves, pray, search my face, and switch from their depraved methods, then I’ll hear from heaven, and can forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

This verse will get cited so much in American politics. However “my individuals” refers to the individuals of Judah, the survivors of the sixth century BCE Babylonian Exile, who’ve returned to their homeland and are humbly looking for God to rejuvenate their kingdom.

This passage has nothing to do with America or any political entity apart from the traditional theocracy of Judah.

It’s not proof of God’s stamp of approval on our political actions, regardless of what number of speeches finish with “God bless the USA of America.”

It can not leap over the millennia and easily be mapped onto American democracy.

It’s not a blueprint for a way to make sure that God will “Make America Nice Once more.”

It’s not justification for privileged Evangelicals to impose their ethical imaginative and prescient by way of political means.

It’s not an invite to perpetuate tribal pondering and see ourselves as nearer to God than, say, Canada or Mexico.

If anybody desires to carry this passage into the current, let it’s on the extent of their very own lives and the lifetime of their church (if I’ll prohibit my feedback to the Christian custom).

See this passage as a name for followers of Jesus and public Christian leaders to be humble, pray, search God’s face, and switch from their depraved methods. Let it’s, in different phrases, a name to internal non secular transformation.

When that internal work is taken to coronary heart, it will likely be laborious certainly to see how anybody might ever countenance pondering that the Infinite Creator of the infinite cosmos could possibly be pinning the divine hope on one small landmass within the western hemisphere that decides to write down itself into an historic Jewish story.

If America is discovered wherever within the Bible, it’s by analogy.

And we aren’t the hero of the story.

We’re Rome.

The Roman world had a coverage of “Make Rome Nice Once more”–or maybe higher “Maintain Rome Nice At all times”–and that imaginative and prescient was supported by the all the time unhealthy alliance of “God and Nation.”

To serve the state was to serve the gods and vice-versa.

Rome put earlier than the early Christians the selection of serving Caesar quite than Christ. To decide on to serve Caesar was not merely a political determination however a non secular one.

It’s no totally different in the present day.

Even when serving Christ by title, if that service is for the furtherance of political energy, of controlling others, of constructing an alluring metropolis of man and calling it the Metropolis of God—when America does that, America is Rome.

When Individuals declare divine help by rifling by way of Scripture and place themselves in that story, that may be a Roman tactic.

It’s not a transfer of “looking for God’s face” however of turning away from it.

It’s not a “turning from wickedness” however of dwelling in it.

It’s not following the Christ however marching resolutely in the wrong way.

Historic Judah’s cry for his or her God to bless their nation and produce again the glory days of the monarchy—to “Make Judah Nice Once more”–by no means occurred. Not even for the Chosen individuals.

Maybe God shouldn’t be overly fascinated with aligning with any regime.

Why would we ever assume in any other case?

Maybe America iswithin the Bible—simply not the way in which we’d have been led to assume.

The selection earlier than the church in the present day—particularly those that revel within the unholy alliance of Church and State—is identical because it all the time was: whom do you really serve?

And for Christians, the reply to that’s writ massive inside that very Scriptural custom you declare as your personal. And the reply is nonnegotiable.

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