Monday, October 4, 2010

When God is not spelt JESUS

We live in deceptively seducing times rampant with irreverent cynicism and in an age when people have a form of godliness but deny its power, as was fore-warned in 2Timothy 3:5 so as it would fore-arm us for the last days. When we crack the contemporary issues of the world around us using the bible as key, we are all the more quickened to appreciate and give in to the truth it reveals.

‘When God is not spelt JESUS’(WGINSJ) derives no influence from possible conspiracy theories on how Barack Obama could possibly be the Antichrist or any other ‘doctrine of fear’ leveraging the dread of the ‘Abomination of desolation’. Rather it draws upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who shows wonders in the heavens above, signs on the earth below, and guides us into all truths before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord, by convicting us of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.

‘WGINSJ’ in bits and pieces is the poignant contemporary story about the country called United States of America and the almost tragic Christian moral it imparts.

America was founded a Christian nation and its constitution declared that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. The founding fathers of America were not just passionate in keeping their Christian faith personal but were also explicitly outgoing in injecting it into the foundations of their government.  Even as many look upon modern day America, there are remnant signs to suggest its Christian origin. For example, “God bless America” is a phrase that even Hollywood reveres and was famously used as a slogan by the patriarchs of America. The dollar note till not so long ago used to contain a small quote "In God we trust". However, these signs that indicate America as a Christian nation are merely the few remains of the foundation of true Christianity that America was once built upon. In America not long ago, God and His word were at the very heart of the nation where the BIBLE was proclaimed as the absolute truth. It was the love for God and respect for who He is that brought people to try to live morally and in accordance with Scripture. Such respect for God can be seen in the words of one of America’s forefathers, President Lincoln (1861-1865), “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” Here we see a President willing to place God above all others and not afraid to boldly declare God to be the One around whom our lives should revolve, rather than God revolving around our lives. The first president of America, George Washington is known for his famous quote: It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. George Washington, rightly called the Father of America was an exemplary Christian and one who was an epitome of America’s stance as a Christian nation.

America has welcomed a new horizon as Barack Obama has taken over as the 44th President of the USA. However, will this be a new beginning for God to be restored to His rightful place or will this so called Christian country simply fall further away from their Christian beginnings and from proclaiming the true identity of God? Obama is a professing Christian, whose speeches do often give reference to God. However, his speeches do not always seem to profess the God of the Bible as strongly and clearly as some of his predecessors and some of his ethics seem to conflict with the Bible’s teaching. It is possible that his faith in God is genuine and Biblical; however, it is also possible that the faith he proclaims is a faith that concurs with the new diluted American version of God.

Christianity was once understood, respected and declared by America as the absolute truth, but new age and free thinking has created a new line of thought which claims no absolute truth. This line of American thought proclaims that you can believe what you want and no one should be able to tell you that you are wrong. This is something the next generation is eagerly accepting with tolerance being over-emphasized in religious studies at schools. While tolerance to other beliefs and religions is necessary and right, it seems that America has gone beyond that to elevate these other beliefs and religions to a level equal with Christianity. Christianity, while still talked about and practiced by many, for much of America it has become simply a religion that is listed along with many others. The God of Christianity is no longer set apart and exalted above all others. For many the God has become a god. By dishonoring the God of the Bible, the morals of the Bible have also lost their inviolability. Without the absolute truth of God to support moral principles, people have less of a conviction to live by those morals.

The following analogy explains more clearly this principle: Consider five year old stealing sweets from a shop and having got away with the act. He is told by a friend another five year old friend not to steal sweets. Having managed a successful lift the boy knows that if he does steal sweets there will be no consequences as his friend does not have the authority to tell him what to do. However, if the boy is told by his father not to steal sweets, the boy knows that he must obey because his father has authority over him and there will be consequences if he disobeys. It is not the moral message that makes the young boy obedient, but it is who commands him that becomes important. Without the authority of his father the boy decided there was no reason to not do as he wished. Sadly, this same thinking has become true for many in America, without God there becomes seemingly little reason for individuals to not do as they wish. The tragic effect of this thinking becomes clear when we consider the following statistics. In America there is one murder every 22 minutes, one rape every 5 minutes, one robbery every 49 seconds, and one burglary every 10 seconds. These are shocking statistics for a nation that many refer to as Christian.

It is clear however, as previously mentioned, that the name of God has not completely disappeared from the lips of America. Many A-list celebrities are heard confessing their thanks to God, and have declared themselves Christian with the genuine belief that they are Christian, when by biblical standards and truths; this is clearly not the case. The answer is that their society and country have diluted Christianity and along with the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, according to these diluted standards, they are Christian. Much of America lives in the delusional mindset of a new age generation that cries out “if it feels good, do it” and “do whatever makes you happy”. It seems that they have tried to adapt Christianity to not stand out from,
but to harmonize with these new age principles. They have become delusional to who God really is and created God to be who they desire Him to be. Therefore, although there are some genuine Christians throughout America, for many the Christianity they claim is merely a Christianity fabricated by human convenience and conception. This once great Christian nation seems to be in an awful spiritual state where widely either God has been left out completely or been replaced by a new American god.

‘WGINSJ’ is no comprehensive case presentation of American society but just a contemporary snapshot of the obviously prevalent. But it is an attempt to caution Christendom of similar decays of spiritual truths, fervor, values, standards and stances that might set into our lives, our societies and our churches. 

Beware of small inroads of the devil. Beware of all stances, cults, people, fellowships and doctrines representing the seeming harmony of religions and the promotion of universal good-values such as democracy, peace, fraternity, art of living, etc,  but fail to mention it as according to what our Lord Jesus ordains it in His Bible. If you give in to such ‘make-yourself-feel-better’ orientations you are in for diversion and deception on the long run. Cracking the Contemporary using the Bible as key equips us to be loyal unto death for our Lord. If you would want to be counted among the faithful and not to be duped by the master of slow evil deception, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit of God and draw upon His strength and inspiration. But, you could also do this! Remember the ‘WGINSJ’ story of United States of America.

Vicky Gibson
Vicky Gibson is an Irish student of theology who visited GEMS for Indian mission exposure as part of her curriculum.

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