In a very interesting development, those of us who are calling Americans to come back to Christ, and to do so as Americans who are guilty of very American sins, are somehow being charged with teaching that America is somehow the new Israel, God’s chosen people. Now of course, we teach no such thing, and would be indignant over the charge if we didn’t have better things to do. We must not get distracted.
Among those better things to do would be the ongoing task of calling our nation back to repentance. And if we were to repent the way Israel did on a number of occasions, when God gave true reformation to them, it would be an occasion for shouting, whatever the theological challenge involved. Even if there were to be a challenge in keeping straight who the chosen people might be, which there isn’t really, but in the meantime we stopped mutilating kids, that could be considered by some as a good deal.
Maybe it would be alright with God if nations that weren’t the chosen nation abandoned their wicked ways. Just a thought.
Americans Share the Lot of All Mankind
We are all of us sinners, and even in the Old Testament God didn’t mind telling the goyim when to repent. He didn’t mind at all. He wanted the inhabitants of Nineveh to repent (Jonah 3:10). He charged the residents of Damascus, Gentiles all, with their sin (Amos 1:3-5). And the king of Assyria? God said He would punish “the glory of his high looks” (Is. 10:12). It appears that God brings His ethical judgments down on all nations, and not just on Jews. Perhaps we should think about that a little bit more than we do.
“O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: For thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.”
Psalm 67:4 (KJV)
There is a God in the Heavens, and He judges all the nations of the earth. He judges them for their sins, whether or not they got tangled up in some misconstrual of the First Amendment. In fact, that misconstrual is one of the sins He will judge. We Americans talk a lot about wanting to keep a safe distance between church and state when what we actually want is a safe distance between our sins and the wrath of God.
We Americans talk a lot about wanting to keep a safe distance between church and state when what we actually want is a safe distance between our sins and the wrath of God.
“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
Revelation 6:15–17 (KJV)
Do you think it would have gone any better for them if they had cried out for majority opinions to cover them? If they had called for stare decisis, and penumbrae, and First Amendment twisting, and precedents, and Ivy League law schools to fall on them? You know, to protect them from the wrath of the Lamb?
No, because sin is sin, and righteousness is righteousness.
Somehow this conversation always gets turned around. When America is confronted with its impudence, its arrogance, its high-handedness, the reply comes back, “Oh, you must think that America is the chosen nation. You must be some kind of a reconstructionist Judaizer.”
But perhaps our concern is rather to categorize our nation with other nations that are not the chosen nation. You don’t need to be the chosen nation for God to pour out His wrath on your arrogant high looks. Egypt wasn’t the chosen nation (Ex. 10:7). Babylon wasn’t the chosen nation (Is. 13:1, 10). The Cities of the Plain weren’t the chosen nation (Gen. 19:28). Assyria wasn’t the chosen nation (Is. 10:12). Perhaps it is those who assume that their secularist distortions of the First Amendment give all of us a bye with regard to the wrath of God who are actually those who think that America is special.
So the issue is not whether America can assume a chosen nation status, like Israel of old. Of course we cannot. The question rather is whether we can disintegrate the way Egypt did, or fall as Babylon did, or come to nothing as Assyria did. That is something we are fully capable of, as recent developments seem to be bearing out.
Sly Dog Teachers
So before America can do anything worthwhile at all, she must first repent. There will be no recovery without repentance. And so this is what we are calling upon her to do. But because we are insisting that she name the name of Christ in her repentance, this does something to the nature of this call for repentance. It makes it very specific.
We are not calling upon America to step into a general theological category called Ethical Mindfulness, with Buddhist wind chimes sounding in the middle distance. Rather we are calling upon individual Americans, and America as a nation, to repent of her very specific sins—to repent of massive porn use, millions of abortions, millions of abortions authorized by our black-robed justices, our official blessing of grotesqueries like same sex mirages, the open proliferation of cannabis stores, and so on. We are spiraling down to become a nation of fornicating lotus-eaters.
But at the very same moment, the evangelical Christian world has grown a full crop of what we might call sly dog teachers. They are not exactly false teachers, in that they would affirm the basic truths of the Christian faith. They have managed to hammer out doctrinal workarounds for public sin, but while also maintaining that they are evangelicals who affirm the inerrancy of the Bible. Yes, but what about the authority of the Bible? They bypass this, and in various ways they have developed sly workarounds to excuse those Americans who do not want to repent. They mount objections on their behalf. “You do know that America is not the chosen nation . . .”
Whenever a call for repentance gets a little too close for comfort, they start worrying about how this emphasis on sexual issues—about which the Bible apparently “whispers”—is somehow a distraction from gospel issues. But this is like saying John the Baptist should have stayed focused on Herod’s need for a gospel that spoke to his brokenness instead of getting off into the weeds of marital legalities.
Some of these sly dog teachers know what they are up to, others are just doing what’s done in their presbytery, others use the Baptist Faith and Message as an extra long scarf that wraps around their head and eyes, others were taught how to talk this way in their Winsome Class at seminary, and they even wrote a paper on it. But for whatever reason, at the end of the day, the whole thing comes off as rather deliberate. You can’t really pull a punch accidentally.
Instead of a John the Baptist coming out of the wilderness with a message of “repent or die,” they would much rather heal the wound of the people lightly. They want to present to the world a powder puff ministry. They think to win a world in rebellion with a winsome grin, and the only thing they will accomplish is that when believers are all sent off to the camps, they will be the Bewildered Ones. Some of them are so winsome they won’t red pill until they have spent a couple of years in the mines.
“For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.”
Jeremiah 8:11–12 (KJV)
What Would a Real Prophet Say?
If Americans were ever to hear an ungarbled word, what would that sound like? If a prophet were not trying to turn America into Israel, but rather trying to turn her back away from becoming Nineveh and Tyre, what would he say to us? Some of our poets have a better line on this than our ostensibly Calvinist ministers, which is actually pretty sick, historically speaking.
Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Rudyard Kipling, Recessional
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world . . .
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias
Melted away. The center cannot and does not hold. Colossal wreck. Remember to be winsome!
Naming the Road to the Void
The true prophetic office is one of naming, and naming accurately. This is what Adam was doing when he named the animals, and when he named his wife. But that was all a very pleasant naming. After the entry of sin into the world, the fall resulted in an antithesis between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman. There was now to be a clash of rivals in naming. The false prophets would insist on naming falsely. The true prophets countered by naming accurately, which necessarily resulted in confrontations. This is why Ahab always had his difficulties with Micaiah (1 Kings 22:8).
And this is what I mean when I say that all of our cultural battles are actually over editorial control of the dictionary. Who shall have control of that dictionary? Shall we let the liars have that post? Remember that a house divided cannot stand, which is why—in any given society—there can only be one dictionary.
What we are seeing in our day is full manifestation of the death cult that is progressive unbelief. Abortion? Death cult. Trans-surgeries? Death cult. Environmentalism? Death cult. Socialism? Death cult. Same sex mirage? Death cult. All of it, and every bit of it. What does Lady Wisdom say in the book of Proverbs?
“But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: All they that hate me love death.”
Proverbs 8:36 (KJV)
What we are witnessing makes me think of that prophetic phrase used by Cornelius Van Til—”integration downward into the Void.” This is precisely what is happening to us, although I would want to add one observation. Ultimately, there is no such thing as integration into a Void, but only attempted integration into the Void. What you get as a result of that attempt, of necessity, is “disintegration downward into the Void,” and I am confident that Van Til himself would say amen.
Our rivals in naming stand across the way, and they use words like identity, and acceptance, and affirmation, and diversity, and equity, and non-discrimination, and inclusion, and harmony, and unity. And they lie. They lie like dead flies on a window sill.
“Then it came burning hot into my mind, whatever he said, and however he flattered, when he got me home to his House, he would sell me for a Slave.”
John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress
What they mean by those high-flying words of theirs is that they want the right to soak you for a lot of money in order to cut off your teen-aged daughter’s healthy breasts, and doing so with her mother’s enthusiastic support and cooperation. Just the imagine the regrets in that household when the frenzy passes. Just imagine trying to repent of something like that. All of it is really bad . . . but not out of gospel reach.
Hiding From God Under the Grease Paint
One of the reasons why the drag queen groomers put on those flamboyant outfits, and cover their faces with grease paint, is that they think that the grease paint can somehow hide them from God. Even though we know that nothing hides anyone from God, there is nevertheless a deep impulse that sinners have to do what they do in a way that has the semblance of being hidden away—a semblance of being hidden from Him. The Lord is the omniscient one, and yet when He came down to walk in the Garden in the cool of the day, our first parents still hid in the foliage (Gen. 3:8).
He fashioned every leaf on every tree that they were hiding behind. More than that, He shaped every molecule that made up every leaf of every tree they were hiding behind. And yet Adam and his wife still felt as though they had to do something to try to escape from His gaze.
“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
John 3:20 (KJV)
This is why bars and taverns that cater to drunkenness are so dimly lit. When people want to sin, they like the darkness, they seek out the darkness. When they want to get drunk with others, those others bring too much of the image of God with them, and so all the lights must be dimmed. Sin always wants to skulk.
And this why so many Americans masked up so readily. They were fearful and ashamed of themselves, and shame always breeds more shame. And this is why the grease paint, why cosplay is so attractive to many, and why we have furries now. You should also make sure to look for the lurkers to come up even more innovative ways to smudge or obscure the image of God. Those deep in sin always want to hide the image of God from God. A healthy imaginative world helps to reflect the goodness of God, while a world governed by the ethos of daydreaming is just one more blanket to hide under. This is why the world of Marvel gods and goddesses provide yet another hiding place. A shattered mirror hates to reflect the sun.
This is a deep impulse, and so the arrogance and impudence must be well-advanced before sinners get up the nerve to carouse in the daytime (2 Pet. 2:13). And even though their consciences must be seared black in order to conduct their pride parades right through the middle of downtown in broad daylight, even then they are still pretty jumpy about it. This is why they issue decrees beforehand that require that their effrontery be greeted with nothing but acclaim and affirmation. Jeers and catcalls would be more fitting, but they have outlawed all those. They are rebels, defiant rebels, courageous and valiant, which is why they wilt at the first sign of criticism. They need to turn the whole world into a hothouse so that they can grow their delicate orchids of tough-minded rebellion.
And this means that the only reason their cowardice has managed to carry the day for them is because they have been outdone by the cowardice of our evangelical leadership. We are back to our sly dog teachers. Things have gone the way they have gone because we have been more ashamed of Christ than they have been ashamed of their sin. We have been more fearful of a collision between the two sides than they have been. And after a while, it occurred to them that there might not be a collision at all. But there needs to be a collision, and may God soon grant it.
Because reformation and revival will come when God gives someone a prophetic eye, and a prophetic word, and he will name the chaos correctly, and that act of naming will blow away all this obfuscation, like smoke in a gale.
No, Really. Would You?
So, in the meantime, here is the basic question. America is not the chosen nation. But if she were, and if she had gotten as deeply into sin as America has gotten, and if God were to send a prophet to bring a covenant lawsuit against His people, and if he rebuked them for all the things that we currently are engaged in doing, and with a high hand too, would you listen then? No, really. Would you?