The Last Prophetic Presidency Part 2: A Poverty of the HeartWritten by: zachneese | Found in: General | 15 Comments »
I opened my last blog by saying our nation is walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls (with is actually an allusion to something Abraham Lincoln said during the Civil War). But the peril of tightrope walking is that you can fall to the right or the left. There are two ways to take the plunge. And in this case there are two sides to our moral dilemma.
The central question for a Christian is, “should I submit my faith to my politics or my politics to my faith? Should my culture submit to God or should I expect God to submit to my culture?”
In “The Last Prophetic Presidency” I referenced King Manasseh of Judah and how his endorsement of depravity affected the nation he led.
Now I’d like to take a look at his grandson, Josiah. If Manasseh was the worst king in the history of Judah, Josiah was arguably the best. He cleaned up the religious, moral, political, and social dung heap left in Manasseh’s wake. But when Josiah’s sons came into power (reprobates in their own right) God reminded them of why their father was such a successful leader. Read on, ye “open-minded”:
“Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord. – Jeremiah 22:15-15 (NIV)
Did you catch that? According to God (through the prophet Jeremiah), what made Josiah great was not just his moral righteousness, it was also his social compassion. Josiah defended the poor and needy, who are dear to the heart of a holy, compassionate God.
Moral righteousness and social compassion are the right and left hand of just and godly leadership.
Here’s another example. Think of Sodom and Gomorrah. Just the mention of their names elicits scenes of rampaging throngs of homosexual rapists, fire from heaven, and an extinction-level judgment of God. But what was God’s perspective on the reason Sodom was so morally irredeemable? This is God speaking to idolatrous Judah through the prophet Ezekiel:
“‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. – Ezekiel 16:49-50
What the heck? What about gangs of gay rapists? God doesn’t even mention their “detestable things” until last. Why? Because Sodom’s moral implosion didn’t begin there. It started with a faith failure, which always manifests as a heart failure. Arrogance led to gluttony led to apathy led to immorality. Social callousness (neglecting the poor and needy) was just another brand of immorality.
Christians on both side of the isle have got to get their brains around this. God is not a politician. He never courts the approval of MAN. And He alone determines right and wrong. So what kind of religion does God approve of? James 1:27 sets the record straight, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
Both! Both! Both! Are you a Christian Democrat? You must remain undefiled by the world, and you cannot approve of or endorse a fallen culture’s fickle “virtues”. Abortion and sexual immorality are wrong! Period. Deal with it and move on.
Are you a Christian Republican? You must embrace God’s gracious heart towards the poor, the needy, the alien, the fatherless, the widow, the beggar. There are so many conservatives with enormous, charitable, serving hearts. But the party has managed to paint itself as cold-blooded social Darwinists. Grow a heart!
Jesus shows us the way in Luke 11:42. Should we obey God more or love people more? Both, both, both! “You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.”
The bottom line is that politics cannot provide an answer to a culture that is arrogant, gluttonous, greedy, morally reprehensible, and socially insensitive. Want proof? Look at Rome. They overreached themselves militarily, true, but Rome also fell because they had moral gangrene. What were the symptoms? Apathetic rich, corrupt self-serving politicians, a culture fascinated with violence, pornography, and moral turpitude, and cities brimming with pandemic poverty.
We cannot expect to tread the same path Rome walked and reach a different destination. That is the definition of insanity.
What is the answer? The Church. Not that building across the street where people show up in their Sunday best once or twice a week and listen to preachers and pipe organs – No. I’m talking about the true believers. The Jesus-lovers. The radicals who will actually grapple with the heart of God until they put on His passions like a cloak. The hope of mankind, and of Rome-like America, is a million walking, talking, breathing Jesuses. People who will follow Him, obey His Father like He did, love and defend the hurting and needy like He did, lay down their lives and their pride like He did, and become living Truth, compassion, and redemption like He did.
And just like I asked in the previous blog, I’m asking again: please, if you are a Christian and you love your country, get on your knees.
2 Chronicles 7:14 is for us. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Note: If you are interested in adopting a Biblical attitude towards the poor, try reading these scriptures:
Proverbs 14:31 , Proverbs 19:17, Proverbs 21:13, Proverbs 22:9, Exodus 22:25, Psalm 15:5, Proverbs 28:8, Exodus 23:3, Leviticus 19:15, Exodus 30:15, Leviticus 19:10, Leviticus 23:22 , Deuteronomy 15:7, 1 Samuel 2:8, Psalm 12:5, Psalm 35:10, Psalm 82:3, Psalm 140:12, Proverbs 23:21, 2 Thessalonians 3:10, Isaiah 58:6-8, Zechariah 7:9-11