This post is not about politics, it is about the soul of a nation. Popular politicians are like chameleons who take our temperature and reflect back to us what we want to hear and promise to give us what we think we need. I have been an active observer of the animal for more than 45 years, but this presidential election has surprised me on a number of different fronts.
It really is remarkable how nearly the entire country is sensing that the USA is in need of some kind of spiritual revival or change. I have been blogging about the need for revival in America for nearly two years and have noted a tremendous increase among fellow Christians talking about and praying for revival in that time.
Unfortunately, I have not seen it reflected in most of the pastors across this great land. So many preachers have become like politicians and entrepreneurs in the process of growing and seeking the successful ‘mega’ church–taking the temperature of the people but not necessarily listening to the message that God has for our nation. So many are proclaiming that it is enough merely to believe in Jesus for salvation and that grace is sufficient to cover what ever we want to do.
There once was a nation that was at war and in need of revival. God sent them a prophet but the people asked for a political/military leader instead. So God gave them a new commander-in-chief who was charismatic and head and shoulders above everyone else in the country–his name was Saul–King Saul. I wonder if this country isn’t going down the same path rejecting God’s plan and hoping for a politician to ‘save us’ all.
Even the ‘secularists’ among us sense that America is due for a major overhaul. However, they look for politics and government to supply the remedy. Barack Obama has surged to the top as the ‘candidate of hope’–the one who seems to actually personify what many are looking for. More than any evangelist or preacher I know of, Obama is touching thousands in this nation in a rather unique way.
I have never seen a phenomena quite like this. Just Google– ‘Obama savior’, or ‘Obama messiah’ –there are thousands of articles and even whole websites dedicated to the proposition that Barack Obama is destined to somehow ‘save’ the nation and the world.
Here are a few recent quotes from Barack’s wife Michelle Obama to illustrate what I’m talking about:
"… That we have to compromise and sacrifice for one another in order to get things done – that is why I am here, because Barack Obama is the only person in this race who understands that.
That before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls – our souls are broken in this nation."
"… So I am here right now because I am married to the only person in this race who has a chance at healing this nation."
"Barack, as Oprah said, is one of the most brilliant men you will meet in our lifetime.
… And Barack Obama will require you to work.
He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism, that you put down your division, that you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones, that you push yourselves to be better, and that you engage.
Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual – uninvolved, uninformed…"
"We have a chance, not just to make history, but we can change the world…yes we can, yes we can.."
Wow! At that point the whole crowd goes crazy. I do too but in a different sense.
Today we are living in a time when there is one new book after another calling for a new kind of radical change in the Western world–the eradication and elimination of all religion. Many voices are standing up and declaring that the nation and the world would be a better place without religion and particularly Christianity.
As terrorism has increased and the specter of militant Islam has risen on the world scene, radical atheism has escaped from the university and college campus and has entered the main stream in a big way calling for and demanding a secular response.
Many in this generation have looked at the church and the current crop of preachers and have decided that ‘religion’ has no relevant answers for them. Time and time again I hear folks saying: "I’m not religious, but I am spiritual"–most don’t even know what they are saying, but I believe that it means that they have rejected organized religion as it is but are still searching for answers to fill the spiritual void in their lives.
We are a nation and a culture in need of revival in order to meet the challenges before us in the 21 century. However, the zeitgeist, the spirit or mood of our culture and nation seems to demand a secular solution. It is my fear that God will give us what we want–a leader heads and shoulders above the rest but unequal to the task.
I pray that disaster will not be the necessary prelude that comes before this nation seeks God’s true revival. *Top