Who's to Blame?

I enjoy the seasonal reminder that patriotic days bring to our minds. This July 4th was my first time to observe what kind of difference this date makes in another country – specifically England. The answer is: none. While it is the 4th of July in Britain, there is no notice of anything special. In fact, one British man I spoke with today, was annoyed I would even bring it up. He still blames America for weakening his homeland.
It is sad to see how many of us in American churches today employ similar blame tactics to our own lethargic carnality. For example, in the midst of our current crises – global terrorism, worldwide economic instability, national postmodernity, and local tolerance, many Christians repeatedly catalogue each of these evils as sins of others and not ourselves. Not that outside factors are not important, but when it comes to revival, God clearly sets forth a divine tipping point for God’s mercy should He bless America once again. It begins with “if MY people, who are called by MY name will…” The children of God are the target.
As tempting as it is to shift fault, the Word of God is the judge for what is evil – wherever it is found. “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” (1 Cor. 5:12-13).
In the Old Testament, the Israelites were God’s chosen people, but in the New Testament, God’s chosen people are all the born-again believers in the universal Christian church. Only born-again believers are called “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God” (1 Peter 2:9). America is neither Israel nor the Christian church. While it is a predominantly Gentile nation, within it are true believers who make up part of the body of Christ. Thus it is simply not biblical to Christians to be hurling condemnation at unbelieving sinners. Unfortunately, I have often heard that type of “self-righteous preaching.” Some churches have turned such condemnation into a small industry because so many people like to dwell on the sins of America. But we Christians have no license to do this from Scripture.
When we focus on the sins of people outside the fellowship of believers, we conveniently divert the searchlight of God’s Word and Spirit away from those of us who are inside the church. It is we Christians who must be sure our houses are in order because judgment must always “begin with the family of God” (1 Peter 4:17).

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