Russell Moore on How 2 Chronicles 7:14 Does Not Apply to United States Politics

A brief post on what Russell Moore teaches about how 2 Chronicles 7:14 does not apply to the United States. I have never understood this issue as there has never been a covenant between God and the United States. This are my thoughts and I have included Moore’s article for people to read and reflect upon. 

 

“But the fact is 2 Chronicles 7:14 isn’t talking about America or national identity or some generic sense of “revival.” To apply the verse this way is, whatever one’s political ideology, theological liberalism.”

Russell Moore 

“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.” 

2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV 

 

Russell Moore image from Wikipedia.

This is a post that I have been wanting to do for a while, as this is a topic that absolutely has baffled me. Let me state that I disagree with Moore on a number of things, but when it comes to the culture wars I find myself agreeing with him quite often. For many years in my evangelical life I have often heard that the United States needs to turn back to God and return back to its roots. I believed it at first but as time went on and I connected the dots I had a lot of problems and concerns. Then my faith crisis hit and then I had that Sovereign Grace situation which also hit me after that situation. Today there are many concerns that I have had about the practice of civil religion and evangelicals have embraced it warmly in the past year. But I have always been baffled as to how evangelical Christians use 2 Chronicles 7:14, often out of context. Russell Moore has a great post called “2 Chronicles 7:14 Isn’t About American Politics.” In that post Russell Moore explores many of those issues and writes a response. I’ll let you read the article and then respond below. But let me explain the issues with 2 Chronicles 7:14 that I do not understand. 

I do not understand why some evangelical Christians believe that there is a covenant between God and the United States. To those who espouse that I ask the following…have you read your Bible? The covenant is between God and Israel if I remember correctly. There has never been, nor will there ever be a covenant between God and the United States. 

I do not understand why some evangelicals feel like they have to return to the old covenant in the Old Testament. Is Jesus’s death at Calvary not enough? Evangelicals often teach that we now live under a covenant of grace and that the covenant of the Old Testament has been fulfilled. If Jesus is representative of the new covenant why do some want to go back to the old covenant? 

I do not understand what evangelicals mean when they say go back to the “good old days.” What are the good old days? Rosa Parks sitting on the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama? Women being raped and told to endure it and child sex abuse being more hush, hush…. Days when there wasn’t a polio vaccine and there were more health issues than today? Why do evangelicals have this obsession with the 1950’s “Leave it to Beaver” type of life. I look at evangelicals obsession with the 1950’s to be a form of spiritual pornography. Nothing but fantasy and not grounded in reality. Plus it also raises other issues as well. What about the evangelical Christian faith in the 19th century? Does that count or is that good enough? Why this obsession with the 1950’s? 

The United States has never been a Christian nation. I wrote about that in “The United States is Not a Christian Nation, Lets Address This False Claim; Plus Bill Maher on Evangelical Christians and Hypocrisy.” The founding fathers wisely established a separation of church and state which has been good for both the government and the church. When I hear evangelicals speak about how the United States is a Christian nation I am baffled. How would many evangelicals survive or persevere in Rome or Greece. This has always had me baffled. 

This is a short post but its one that I have been meaning to do for sometime. Feel free to share your thoughts and get them off your chest. As always guys I love you. 

 

31 thoughts on “Russell Moore on How 2 Chronicles 7:14 Does Not Apply to United States Politics

  1. I’m glad that you raised this issue. Why? So that I may disagree with you once again.

    Russell Moore is on the wrong side of history, and the explanation is way out of whack when “OLD TESTAMENT” is discussed.

    The Old testament begins in Exodus 20 and ends in Deuteronomy.

    Chronicles is OUTSIDE of those parameters. So, let’s not confuse the Torah with the Old Test. The Old Test is within the Torah, but is not the Torah. Even so, Chronicles is outside of both the Torah, and the Old Test.

    There is a huge push in the SBC to hate nationalism. What does that letter “B” represent in SBC?

    Baptist, right? Russell Moore is Southern Baptist.

    Well, I just sent this to a Baptist web site that endorses Moore’s stance on hating nationalism:

    My Country Tis of Thee was written by a BAPTIST MINISTER.
    http://hymnary.org/text/my_

    The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a BAPTIST MINISTER.
    http://www.smithsonianmag.c

    When you will people acknowledge your GENUINE true and authentic “rich history”? Baptists have something to be proud of by shaping our country’s foundational beliefs about God and Country. I’m not a Baptist, but I acknowledge their great work in our history. Some wish to forget. I don’t.

    Verse 4

    Our *fathers’ God, to thee,

    author of liberty,

    to thee we sing.

    Long may our land be bright

    with freedom’s holy light;

    protect us by thy might,

    great God, our King.

    If we are ignorant of our founding, ignorant of what was in the mindset of the “we the people” of that time and beyond, then you would see how my comment addresses the main point. It is obvious that the author of this article is not taking their mindset into consideration. What was the INTENT of our founding fathers? What was the INTENT “BASED ON” THE MINDS OF Baptist ministers who wrote patriotic songs/pledges that honored both God and Country in the same set of words? Hence, the authors picture of a flag and a bible. And yes, it was the Christian God that they spoke about. They did not intend for this nation to be as secular as it is today. I know non-Christians that, while they worship another god, or none at all, they do acknowledge our founders and their intent, and even what their “religion” was. It’s the Christians that seem to be having a hard time with it for some crazy reason. Our church’s today seem to be removing God from the Declaration of Independence, just as the secularists have already done. And since this article is posted on the 4th, which honors the Declaration of Independence…That document declared something important for us to remember. And church’s seem to be bashing those things.

    Russell Moore is on the wrong side of history. BAPTISTS have ALWAYS had COUNTRY in mind UNDETACHED from God. They are inseparable. But today, they are separating the two. And thus, Russell Moore badmouthing America.

    Another comment on that particular blog states the following, and I agree:
    “Politics cannot be severed from religion (especially worship) anymore than morality can be severed from legislation. One’s political persuasion is a reflection of his morality (or, more often than not, his
    immorality) and one’s morals determines his religion. Thus, applied politics is applied religion and applied religion is applied politics. It is therefore imperative that we get our religion correct that we
    might get our politics correct.

    Religion that severs itself from being involved in applying Yahweh’s immutable moral law as government
    and society’s standard has devolved into mere 4-walled Christianity. What was Christendom in 17th-century Christian Colonial America has tragically become ChristenDUMB, what’s best depicted by Christ in
    Matthew 5:13 as SALT that’s lost its savor, good for nothing but to be trampled under the foot of man.
    —–
    Wondering, I blame people like Russell Moore for ALLOWING our nation to become as secular as it is today, but all he wants to do is to bash Trump, when the country went to hell in the 60’s when that outspoken woman atheist took to the stage, you know that one that got murdered who had a hip replacement, Madeline something, I think. Who stood up to her? And you wonder why people are concentrating on the 50’s? Post WW2, when this nation still had morals. My Grandmother was born in 1919, and she had stories about her time growing up, and it was more pure than the 60’s and 70’s and beyond. The 50’s was our last stand. And the SILENT majority LET debauchery happen.

    The United States was a Christian nation, and I have also said it to you before. The Treaty of Tripoli’s statement that states that we are not, was in regards to EQUATING us to a MUSLIM NATION, which is defined as a Church/State Theocracy. But that is not how we define a Christian Nation. We define it as a nation of Christians and that is what it was. There were no Buddhists here yet. No atheists.That’s right, no atheists. No Shintoists, etc.

    And guess what? There were no deists here, either, contrary to that popular belief.

    Ed Chapman

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    • Wow. Just wow.

      I hardly think Russell Moore is trying to tear down America, or argue against Christians trying to instill positive values and morals through our civic involvement. What he is doing, correctly, is pointing out that you can’t take all of God’s Scriptural promises to Israel, cross out “Israel” and put in “America,” and think that you are going to end up with either good theology or a proper understanding of God’s workings in this world.

      I am glad to be an American, and I have a civic pride in our country . . . a pride that allows me to not only appreciate all of the positive benefits which we enjoy, but also to honestly see and acknowledge our faults and regret them and aspire to do better. And I don’t think that being an American in any way places me higher in God’s eyes than one of His children who happened to be born in England, or Russia, or Indonesia, or Uganda, or Iraq. In fact, I think often that this places a higher level of responsibility on me (as in, from everyone who has been given much, much will be required), and that is a sobering responsibility.

      I truly believe that for some Christians, the level of civic pride has risen to the level of idolatry. This is nothing but storing up for ourselves treasures on earth and not in heaven. The kingdoms of this earth are temporary and fleeting, only God is eternal. God does not have a “covenant relationship” with America. But He did establish a covenant relationship with Israel, and in warning the ancient Israelites about the dangers of pride in their special nation, Jesus reminded them “Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.”

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      • SB17 is my reference. It’s a huge debate going on in the SBC world about it. In the world, not of the world is a reference that they are using to support being against nationalism. I am a veteran of the USN. My generation has civic pride and it has nothing to do with idolatry at all. The 4th of July was to honor the declaration of independence. 3 God given rights that are being diminished by the SBC all because the word “Jesus” is not in that document.

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      • Bible verses don’t exist in isolation. They are always part of a larger context. You ask, “I’m just not getting where people are concluding that 2 Chronicles is a covenant. Where do you get that idea from?
        What part of that discusses blood? If no blood, then there is no covenant.” The context is the entire Old Testament (although since you define the Old Testament as only the Torah, perhaps it would be better for me to say “the whole of the Law and the Prophets.” The covenant relationship with Israel is one of the major themes throughout. But in this particular case, we don’t even have to look at that huge context. It’s very clearly laid out in just the immediate context of the verse we’ve been discussing, This verse ties in with the completion of the building of the temple by King Solomon, the dedication of the temple, and the offering of animal sacrifices followed by God’s confirmation to King Solomon, plus a warning which yields the verse in question. Right in these verses you’ve got both the covenant and the blood you are asking about. I’m sorry to belabor the point with the lengthy cut-and-paste, but please look at the context of 2 Chronicles 7, which couldn’t be clearer. It is right in the middle of God confirming that He had chosen the temple as “His place” to meet with his people, and then confirming the covenant he made with King David:

        When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord. And King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand head of cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the people dedicated the temple of God. The priests took their positions, as did the Levites with the Lord’s musical instruments, which King David had made for praising the Lord and which were used when he gave thanks, saying, “His love endures forever.” Opposite the Levites, the priests blew their trumpets, and all the Israelites were standing. Solomon consecrated the middle part of the courtyard in front of the temple of the Lord, and there he offered burnt offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings, because the bronze altar he had made could not hold the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the fat portions. So Solomon observed the festival at that time for seven days, and all Israel with him—a vast assembly, people from Lebo Hamath to the Wadi of Egypt. On the eighth day they held an assembly, for they had celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the festival for seven days more. On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their homes, joyful and glad in heart for the good things the Lord had done for David and Solomon and for his people Israel.

        When Solomon had finished the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the Lord and in his own palace, the Lord appeared to him at night and said: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 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. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.’ “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’”

        Certainly we should pray for our land. We are commanded throughout Scripture to pray, even to pray without ceasing. I will gladly join with you in doing so. But if we carve one verse out of the middle of this passage and use it to establish a principle that, for all time, whenever Christians pray for their land then God will heal their land, that just doesn’t follow.

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      • David,

        You had said:
        “The context is the entire Old Testament (although since you define the Old Testament as only the Torah, perhaps it would be better for me to say “the whole of the Law and the Prophets.””

        My response:
        Uh, no, I never said that.

        The Torah begins in Genesis 1:1. The Old Covenant begins in Exodus 20. Torah means “First 5 Books”, which is where we get the term “Pentateuch” from. Penta meaning 5, and the rest meaning book.

        The Old Covenant was the 613 specific LAWS of Righteousness.

        None of it had to do with a prayer in 2 Chronicles.

        By the way, both books of Chronicles outline begins with Genesis. So it is not an outline of, or a context of the Old Covenant.

        Therefore, there is NO PRAYER that is considered to be a covenant. Prayers are not condidered to be covenants at all. Each and every covenant is sealed with blood.

        So, you can twist this any way you want, but prayer is not a covenant at all.

        You kinda speak out of both sides of your mouth here, saying like, “Ya, it’s a good prayer and all, but don’t expect much from God when praying, therefore, don’t bother, cuz you ain’t gonna get what you ask for.”

        I’m like, “What the hell, DUDE?” Are you kidding? That logic is insane.

        Ed Chapman

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      • You are right, I mistakenly remembered the Old Covenant comment you made earlier as having said Old Testament, and I was wrong on my characterization of how you defined the Old Testament. That error was not intentional on my part, but it was indeed an error. I stand corrected.

        On the covenant versus prayer, I think now we have gone around in circles to the extent that I don’t think either of us is following what the other is saying, so I’m not sure how to express my thoughts differently. One last try: I am not trying to say that the prayer itself is a covenant. I agree with you that prayer is not a covenant and vice versa. The prayer could certainly be offered by anyone of any nation at any time. What I believe is that God’s promise to answer the prayer directly and in a particular positive way for the ancient Israelites was based on His covenant relationship with them, and we cannot presume that this particular promise of a particular response is extended to other people in other times.

        You ask what kind of prayer it is to pray not expecting it to be answered. That is not how I was trying to characterize prayer, so let me offer a different example that may make my thought a bit clearer. If I am sick, I pray for healing of my sickness. I know and have faith that God can, if He so chooses, heal me of my sickness. Yet I do not know whether in fact He will do so. God’s ability is never in doubt, what is unknown is whether or not I will be healed in His sovereign will in the way I am asking. And so I pray in faith, asking for,healing, but also recognizing, in the end Thy will be done.

        Contrast that with different a view of prayer that says, God has promised us physical healing. If I truly have faith, He will heal me. If I pray and am not healed, that is because my faith must not be strong enough. I must not be praying right. Or maybe I have sin that is preventing God from healing me.

        I think the first prayer reflects the right mindset for us to have. The second prayer is presumptive in that it has concluded that God is obligated to answer in a certain way, provided I “push the right buttons.” It is based on the premise that God has made a promise which, in fact, God has not made. That first case reflects my view of prayer that leads me to say that we should pray for our nation, but in the end a sovereign God may or may not answer those prayers in the particular way we want. And in the end, I think that is where we derive value from prayer and why God tells us to pray . . . not because it necessarily always leads to the result we hope for, but rather to teach us to have a mindset of dependence on Him, and to be able to place our concerns in His hands and learn to trust Him.

        I hope this better conveys what I was trying to communicate, and perhaps did not adequately do so.

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      • Dave,

        Yes, I agree that in this, you brought up a good point.

        My pastor, when discussing this, in regards to healing, had this to say:

        Whether God heals you or not, it’s a win win situation. If he doesn’t, you will be with the Lord sooner than you previously thought. No more sickness. But, does God heal? Yes, he said. He knows of people that have been healed, and I know people that have been healed…by prayer. Bonafide miracles. But does God always heal? No. But if he doesn’t, you will be with the Lord. Win, win.

        However, I think that if MULTIPLE people pray, the same prayer, just like those held in Bondage in Egypt for 400 years, God tells people that he has heard their prayers, and sent Moses to free them.

        So, it may take 400 years for God to answer the prayers, but he does HEAR our prayers, and he does respond. He just may not respond the way that WE demand that he respond, right now, today, this second, etc. Or, he just may say, “NO”.

        I don’t think that God’s promise to Israel has anything to do with it. And when you get right down to it, I have no clue as to why this topic is even an issue with anyone, especially Russell Moore.

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      • James 5:17
        Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

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    • Ed,
      The part of the Bible that you refer to as the OT are the books in which God’s contract with Israel was written out. Israel remained under the old covenant until Jesus came, therefore Chronicles is part of the OT because Israel was still under the old covenant.
      “My Country Tis of Thee” wasn’t written until 1831, 55 years after our nation was born. The Pledge of Allegiance wasn’t written until 1892 (116 years after our country’s founding) – the words “one Nation under God” wasn’t added until 1954 (178 years after our country’s founding).
      Yes, many Christians came to America. Some of my ancestors came here to escape religious persecution in Ireland and Scotland. The Indians were already here, and you can’t say they were Christians. To say that the USA is a Christian nation is a bit of a stretch. We are a melting pot, not just of Christians, but of all kinds of peoples.

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      • Nancy,
        Thank you for your comment to me. First of all, I wasn’t discussing the Indians. I was discussing our founding fathers and the generations of those escaping the Church of England’s State/Church. And, as you noted the years that those things were written goes to show that Christianity still reigned in America in those years. And, history shows as to the REASON that “Under God” was inserted into the pledge. My point in mentioning the Pledge was to show that the Christians had no problem with “nationalism”. Lastly, Christian evangelism was indeed mentioned by such people as Thomas Jefferson:
        “President Thomas Jefferson extended three times a 1787 act of Congress in which special lands
        were designated for the sole use of Christian Indians and the Moravian Brethren missionaries for civilizing
        the Indians and promoting Christianity”, and other very important founders as well. By the way, Ben Franklin wrote the following in a PAMPHLET to those in England:
        “In a pamphlet titled Information to Those Who Would Remove to America,
        written for Europeans who were considering coming to America, Franklin made these observations:

        Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable
        consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is
        not only tolerated, but respected and practiced.

        Atheism is unknown there; infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in
        that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel.

        And the Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance
        and kindness with which the different sects treat each other; by the remarkable prosperity with which
        he has been pleased to favor the whole country”

        Ed Chapman

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  2. I thank you for your service. And, not to be glib, I am thankful for a country where we have freedom, even freedom to (hopefully civilly) disagree with one another.

    In regards to Christian nationalism, in looking at world history I think this should give us pause. I do not see a wealth of examples where the church seated in the power of the state yielded positive results, either for the church or for the state. Inevitably the desire for political power corrupts the church.

    I also don’t agree with the concept of a wall between church and state being taken to mean that the state must be anti-religion, and I do see some who want to take it that way. I would prefer a state that permits free exercise of religion, and does not either impose it or prevent it, and I really believe that is the vision the founding fathers had as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Dave,

      One thing to consider in the years of our founding, that is, is the word, “religion”. Today, we use that word to distinguish between, for example, Buddhists, Shintoists, Christians, etc.

      But if you really are serious at investigating how that word was used in our founding years, it was only used in a manner to distinguish differing Christian denominations only.

      You might find it surprising, but Thomas Jefferson and James Maddison attended Christian church services in the US House of Representatives…sometimes those services were in the US Supreme Court. So much for the “SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE”, huh? Imagine that…Christianity being taught in Government Buildings.

      Why was that allowed? Because differing RELIGIONS were being taught…that is, differing Christian denominations. There was no other RELIGION, as we use that word today, being taught in GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS, except for Christianity.

      Ed Chapman

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    • Dave,
      Here is another question for you. We all know that both the Bible and Prayer was taken away from schools. So the question is, who put them in the schools in the first place, and why? What year? What government official promoted it?

      Everyone knows that those two things were removed…but no one concentrates on who put it there to begin with. I’m wondering why no one concentrates on that part of the equation.

      Just my thoughts.

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      • Ed I will answer this as well as your other posts in the next couple of days. I am traveling in Pennsylvania and have limited internet access. That’s why I haven’t responded in depth. One thing I want to say quickly. We all appreciate your Navy (USN) service. No one questions or doubts your service, instead we are thankful.

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      • Ahhh. Well you have a great time there. I took vacation in Pittsburgh back in 96 for a couple weeks. Never knew Amish people really existed til then. LOL. Thanks for the kind words about my service. I was in from 1982 to 2000, so it was before 9/11/2001. Relative peace time, as I started off with Reagan in office.

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      • I do not dispute that from early on the greater portion of the American population has been nominally Christian, and that has been reflected in our civic statutes and practices. I use the word “nominally” since many view themselves as Christian by default, or culturally Christian, with little understanding of the Christian faith and no understanding of a personal relationship with Christ. I agree that much of our founding documents are at least based on what could be called Christian principles. (Tolerance of slavery would be a prime example that shows the limits of this.) We probably have to disagree on the extent to which the founding fathers sought the codify the country being an explicitly Christian nation as in a theocracy; your argument seems to be that they made the country explicitly Christian and tolerated freedom of religion only in the sense of freedom to choose which Christian denomination one belonged to. I don’t think this understanding holds up historically.

        But turning our attention to the situation today, I would like to ask what it even means to “return America to being a Cheistian nation.” Change things so that Christians are explicitly running the country? I can’t see how that helps, seeing the many abuses perpetuated in Christian churches and organizations, many of which have been written about in this blog. Are we to push out adherents of other religions to the margins of society? That is what some Christians feel has been done to us in recent years, and we haven’t liked that too much, so do we want to try to gain the upper hand and do it to others? How does that not contradict the command to do unto others as we would have them do unto us? In seeking out political power, and making deals with the political leaders of our day, are we being like Esau and selling our birthright for a pot of stew just to meet our immediate material desires with no regard to our place in the heavenly kingdom? I look at the compromises which have already been made by Christian leaders in pursuit of a place in the halls of power, and I would argue that in exchange for support on “Christian” positions A, B, and C, many have pledged support for decidedly “unChristian” positions X, Y, and Z. We compromise our faith and our witness in doing this. This is where I am coming from.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dave,

        You gotta ask yourself, What Religions were there in America in our founding?

        That is a question that seems to be either ignored, or just plain unanswered.

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      • To answer the remaining points of your questions to me…simple…
        2 Chronicles 7:14.

        But, people are badmouthing that verse for the United States. And that is a shame.

        Is prayer evil? Is that prayer misplaced? Who makes that determination? Russell Moore?

        Christianity is SUPPOSED to LOOK good to the outside world, not look bad.

        Did you know that Ben Franklin actually was a member of a CHRISTIAN church? He was Presbyterian I think.
        He did not like going to church because he had major issues with the preacher. What was the issue?

        His preacher was more concerned about making people better CHURCH GOERS than that of PROPER CITIZENS.

        Two Laws under Christ…Love God…Love People.

        The preacher was certainly preaching the Love God part, but NOT the Love People part. And that made Ben Franklin ANGRY. Very angry.

        So, he stopped going to church.

        We seem to be living in those days once again, that preachers are demanding loving God, but neglecting loving people, therefore, we are NOT the salt of the earth as we are supposed to be.

        Our founders did not make laws based on secular reasoning. But NOW they do. MANY founders stated that you cannot separate MORALITY from RELIGION. It’s impossible to THEM. But NOW we have atheists telling us a different story, that they can be moral without RELIGION.

        But, again, Ben Franklin told those in Europe that THERE ARE NO ATHEISTS HERE in America. No Atheists back in the Ben Franklin days. So, if there were no atheists here, what religions were here?

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      • Judging from how you keep going back to the religious makeup of the founders and the demographic breakdown, I am guessing that you are a strict originalist for whom nothing can be valid if it had not been explicitly addressed and covered during the founding of the nation? If so, I don’t know how we make any progress at all in discussion. Yes, there were not a lot of religious minorities here early on in the country’s history (although you have to exclude slaves and native Americans in order to make that point, which I will still grant you since the founders explicitly excluded both as being part of the citizenry). (On atheists, or at least skeptics, I have more doubts, despite Franklin’s blanket statement you quote.). So the argument becomes that since there were not religious minorities being acknowledged at our nation’s founding, therefore that is the appropriate course today? How it was is how it should be, forevermore? If that is the case, then should we still be approving or tolerant of slavery because the founders did?

        I don’t mean to be contentious, I just really don’t understand the argument that “it should be X today because it was X in the late 1700’s.” Just for the record, I am a Christian, and I believe the truth claims of the Christian faith, and I don’t see all religions as having equal truth (although I do argue that each person should have the freedom to worship, or not worship,as they see fit). I would desire that all people would come to Christ, but that would only occur because of the movement of the Holy Spirit and the sharing of the gospel through God’s word and the living of faithful lives by Christians . . . not because of an edict passed down by a government that “henceforth this is a Christian nation.”

        As far as 2 Chron. 7:14 goes, it is never a bad thing to repent and return to the Lord. We are called throughout Scripture to do so. The point being made is, the “promise” portion of this verse was given to Israel, and it is not correct to assume that the “promise” portion of the verse has somehow been divinely transferred to America. Yes, we should always repent and return and call on God. But too many proclaim this verse calling on the “promise” aspect of it, as if we push the right buttons and then God blesses our land. He may bless it, He may not. He hasn’t promised to do so. Whatever we do, we should do simply because it is right, not because we are expecting the fulfillment of a promise he never made specifically to us. I don’t understand how this is considered “badmouthing” the verse.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dave,

        I am a firm believer that foundations must be set before anyone can proceed to the problem at hand. This is what determines what went wrong as things progressed. We went from _________________ to ________________, Where did we start, what changed? Why? To me, this is how we get things done. Being in the Military taught me this kind of thinking in TRAINING when things got to the point of being complacent. We had to have training to get us back to where we once were, and supposed to be.

        I think too many people are concentrating on the promises to Israel as being a key point in 2 Chronicles.

        I’m not sure if you are aware, but there is TWO ways to interpret scripture. One is a CARNAL way, and the other is a SPIRITUAL way. For example…the PROMISED LAND AND PROMISED SEED. If you were to read scripture based on how you interpret 2 Chronicles, how would you ever see Jesus as the promised seed when reading the story of Abraham? Pretend for a moment that you had no New Test scriptures in your possession at all. Then read Genesis only. When God promised seed, do you see Jesus, or do you just see Isaac? Galatians 3 tells us that the promised seed is Jesus. That is the spiritual side of the interpretation. But there is indeed an Isaac that was the CARNAL promised seed, withing the SAME EXACT story. Am I saying that America is the promised land? Hell no. I am saying that Israels 2 Chronicles is to EVERY CHRISTIAN on the planet, not just Jews for the land of Israel.

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      • You keep mentioning slavery, and you also said something about minority religions. I beg to differ on both issues. Slaves were indeed given the gospel by their masters. Slave owners themselves thought that the bible sanctioned slavery, all due to the slave words in the bible. I’m not defending them. But in regards to other religions, you gotta show me some kind of proof, and name those religions. I don’t like to be generic.

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      • Dave,

        The Declaration of Independence:
        Who was our founding fathers declaring independence FROM?
        What was the Revolutionary War all about?

        Other than the native Americans and Slaves, what other nations were here other than those who fell under British Rule at the time of the Declaration of Independence?

        This is what I mean about beginning at a foundation.

        All of THOSE people left a CHURCH/STATE THEOCRACY. ALL of them.

        They were all Christians, and many of them did not trust the Church of England’s interpreting of scripture.

        But they were Christians nonetheless. There were no Buddhists on them boats coming to America. That’s my point.

        And even tho they did not use the word Jesus in the founding documents, there is a reason why. It was not for GENERIC reasons, but it was because many had DOUBTS about the Church of England’s teachings about the deity of Jesus, and one of those doubters was Ben Franklin.

        Ben Franklin said of the subject that he had not researched it for himself, but didn’t think that God would punish those who had that doubt. So, to Ben Franklin, just saying the word “God” was good enough for him.

        But, many people say that Ben Franklin was a deist. They even say that he said that in his autobiography. I saw a web site the other day, and based on the blog owner, he presents it in a way that Ben had said that in sarcasm, not literally meaning it. I have yet to research that myself, however, but I plan to at some point.

        However, there are TONS of things that can be found at the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS web site, as well as other sites, as well. And when you put it all together, you see that the word “religion” was in regards to differing Christian denominations.

        Why on earth would the AUTHOR of a so-called SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE attend Christian church services in his own government building? Based on that alone, it shows that he really did not mean it as how it is taken in today’s interpretations. If so, he violated his own wall of separation.

        Ed Chapman

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      • There are numerous Scriptures with two levels of meaning, one immediate and one prophetic. (I’m not sure what you are getting at with your Spiritual versus Carnal distinction, unless it is to shut down discussion by saying your understanding is spiritual and others are carnal.). This can be easily seen by the many times in the gospels where Jesus cites an Old Testament reference dealing with something in that prior time, and then declares that it is being fulfilled in Jesus’ time. But those distinctions are all made clear within the scope of Scripture, I am very hesitant to take Scriptures that had an immediate meaning and project them as having a new or re-applied meaning in our current age without clear Scriptural indication of there being a distinct future meaning.

        But it is probably best to leave things there, as it seems we are at an impasse. It is clear that in your understanding, how society was at the time of the American founding is in itself sufficient reason to say it should be exactly that way today. I am not so sure that the situation at the founding is quite so clear cut as you indicate, as historians differ on that question (and not all these historians are secular with an axe to grind, some Christian historians beg to differ as well; John Fea, a fellow evangelical, is one I am particularly familiar with), but even if I were to grant that understanding, I don’t see how it follows that this was an ideal, providentially God-ordained model from which no deviation can occur.

        Final comment, I completely disagree with the modern secularists who interpret separation of church and state to mean that faith should be driven from the public and civic sphere, and that Christians should only participate if we “check our faith at the door.” That is wrong and discrimatory. But I am also apprehensive at what it would look like if the church were empowered to run the country, given the rhetoric I hear and the abuses I see in the church realm today.

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      • All I am saying, Dave, is that to LIMIT Chronicles to a DOGMA that NO ONE is allowed to praying to God about healing OUR OWN LAND is totally insane. So, I am against anyone, including Russell Moore that states that the Chronicles reference is ONLY FOR ISRAEL. I don’t care who preaches that, to me, it’s nonsense. Anyone can pray for that at any time. So, please do not put limits on that for Israel only. I can’t see how that is a promise to Israel ONLY. I just cannot see it at all. Show me where that is a promise to Israel only!!!!! SHOW ME.

        As a matter of fact, show me IN GENESIS ONLY that Jesus is the promised seed. SHOW ME!

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      • Ok, one more, because I think you are hearing me say something I am not saying. Are you actually hearing me say that we are not supposed to pray for our land? Yes, by all means we should pray for our land. We should pray for God to heal our land. Absolutely we should, and we do. Nothing said about the 2 Chronicles verse should suggest otherwise. The point of disagreement is on the promise that doing so will absolutely result in God acting to heal an entire nation. We certainly hope He will act, but the promise (i.e. his covenant) that He will do so was given at a particular time and place in history, and we can’t automatically presume it would yield the same result today. For all we know we are already headed for judgment that is not going to be averted.

        I know some preachers who would argue that you can take all the promises to Israel, cross out “Israel,” put in “the church,” and everything holds true. That is faulty theology, and it is no different substituting “America” in the same way.

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      • David,

        Where does everyone get this idea that its a “covenant”? Specifically a “covenant to Israel”?

        Last I recall, covenants were sealed with blood. The word “covenant” comes from a root word meaning “TO CUT”.

        This is no covenant. It’s a PRAYER.

        If “MY” people. We were once NOT a people. Now we are God’s people.

        I’m just not getting where people are concluding that 2 Chronicles is a covenant. Where do you get that idea from?

        2 Chronicles 7:14
        If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

        What part of that discusses blood? If no blood, then there is no covenant.

        I think that if we do as the verse states, then he will do it. The problem is, we are told that it does not apply to us, so the religious folk is trying to steer us away from praying that, telling us that the “promise” is not to us, calling it a covenant when it is not a covenant to begin with because there is no blood sealing the deal.

        In order for it to be a covenant, there must be blood shed.

        Ed Chapman

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      • David,

        You had said:
        “I know some preachers who would argue that you can take all the promises to Israel, cross out “Israel,” put in “the church,” and everything holds true. That is faulty theology, and it is no different substituting “America” in the same way.”

        My response:
        I don’t think that is faulty at all. Why? “MY PEOPLE”.

        MY PEOPLE is a key phrase here. We are indeed MY PEOPLE now.

        Jesus said he had OTHER SHEEP to bring in. We belong.

        The Promised Land…WHAT IS IT? Is it just a piece of real-estate in the middle east?

        Or is it eternal life in heaven? Is that promise to Israel only? Or are we included? Does that promise extend to us or not?

        I think you are limiting God’s word, as many others are.

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      • Sorry for posting this twice, I’m having a hard time getting things into the right comment/reply thread.

        Bible verses don’t exist in isolation. They are always part of a larger context. You ask, “I’m just not getting where people are concluding that 2 Chronicles is a covenant. Where do you get that idea from?
        What part of that discusses blood? If no blood, then there is no covenant.” The context is the entire Old Testament (although since you define the Old Testament as only the Torah, perhaps it would be better for me to say “the whole of the Law and the Prophets.” The covenant relationship with Israel is one of the major themes throughout. But in this particular case, we don’t even have to look at that huge context. It’s very clearly laid out in just the immediate context of the verse we’ve been discussing, This verse ties in with the completion of the building of the temple by King Solomon, the dedication of the temple, and the offering of animal sacrifices followed by God’s confirmation to King Solomon, plus a warning which yields the verse in question. Right in these verses you’ve got both the covenant and the blood you are asking about. I’m sorry to belabor the point with the lengthy cut-and-paste, but please look at the context of 2 Chronicles 7, which couldn’t be clearer. It is right in the middle of God confirming that He had chosen the temple as “His place” to meet with his people, and then confirming the covenant he made with King David:

        When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord. And King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand head of cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the people dedicated the temple of God. The priests took their positions, as did the Levites with the Lord’s musical instruments, which King David had made for praising the Lord and which were used when he gave thanks, saying, “His love endures forever.” Opposite the Levites, the priests blew their trumpets, and all the Israelites were standing. Solomon consecrated the middle part of the courtyard in front of the temple of the Lord, and there he offered burnt offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings, because the bronze altar he had made could not hold the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the fat portions. So Solomon observed the festival at that time for seven days, and all Israel with him—a vast assembly, people from Lebo Hamath to the Wadi of Egypt. On the eighth day they held an assembly, for they had celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the festival for seven days more. On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their homes, joyful and glad in heart for the good things the Lord had done for David and Solomon and for his people Israel.

        When Solomon had finished the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the Lord and in his own palace, the Lord appeared to him at night and said: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 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. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.’ “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’”

        Certainly we should pray for our land. We are commanded throughout Scripture to pray, even to pray without ceasing. I will gladly join with you in doing so. But if we carve one verse out of the middle of this passage and use it to establish a principle that, for all time, whenever Christians pray for their land then God will heal their land, that just doesn’t follow.

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  3. Wondering,

    I haven’t researched all of your posts, but I am sensing that much of what you blog about is in regards to Calvinism. If that is it, then I agree with your emotions. It’s the most dangerous religion that I have ever come across…ever. So, don’t think I am against you. I’m not. I am against your atheist push, however.

    I’ve studied Christian controversies for years. And that is what made my faith MUCH STRONGER, because I see the error in plain site.

    I know the Bible pretty well. And I never attended seminary. I don’t recall the Bible instructing anyone to get a college degree to preach the word. But these people go to school and by the time they get to the pulpit, all they are preaching is what they learned in college, BASED ON what the teachers were taught, all the way down to what their CONFESSIONS determined the Bible to say.

    In other words, DEAD PEOPLE decided FOR THEM, instead of for them deciding for themselves. That’s not what a Berean did. No matter who told Bereans anything, they searched it out for themselves.

    And that is what is lacking today.

    Example. I don’t believe in a doctrine called Original Sin. Why? Well, first off, they bring up Romans chapter 5 as their go-to reference. But I provide Romans 5:13, for which they don’t even discuss at all; for example, when THEY reference Romans 5, they do it like this: Romans 5:10-12, 14-20, bypassing verse 13 altogether.

    Next, I provide them with 1 Cor 15:36-55, which CLEARLY shows that Adam was gonna die a natural death ANYWAY, even if he did NOT eat of the Tree of Knowledge between Good and Evil.

    Then I mention that Adam did not eat of a Tree called The Tree of Life, showing that Adam never OBTAINED eternal life. So, Adam did not start off with eternal life, then lost it. NO NO NO….he never obtained it. After the Fall, God blocked the Tree of Life, so that Adam could not OBTAIN eternal life in a fallen state.

    Hence, I do not believe in Original Sin. Yes, we all die, because Adam never obtained eternal life, not because he ate of the tree of knowledge. We are not born spiritually dead, we die a spiritual death when we, too, get KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil. I could elaborate even much more than this, too. But that would take up too much. The word “again” in Born Again, this is what that means. It is not discussing natural birth, then a spiritual birth. It’s only discussing spiritual birth. We started out as being Born of God, then we died that spiritual death, then we are born again that spiritual birth. It’s a spiritual resurrection from the dead. Resurrection shows that you once lived. NOW you can relate to physical life, then physical death, then physical resurrection. One is a spiritual life/death/life, and the other is physical life/death/life.

    But, many are TOLD that they HAVE TO believe in Original Sin, or they are going to hell.

    That’s just a scare tactic. I don’t believe what I am told, JUST BECAUSE a preacher preaches it.

    I am always scepticle…BUT I know how to research. I wish others would do the same…such as yourself, and save you a shitload of grief and hurt and anguish.

    You are supposed to go to the source, aka, the bible. Not the preacher. All a preacher is supposed to do is to FEED you, and the food is the Bible, and since you have one already….??????????????????
    Why are you not using it?

    Why are you wallowing in your hurt?

    Ed

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