Steve Ellis is the Pastor of Church of the Servant King in Dallas, Texas. He is a former Marine Corps officer, and a graduate from Dallas Theological Seminary. The following is an e-mail sent to his congregation in view of current circumstances in the America today. Steve forwarded this e-mail to me. Its content is pertinent to us as Pastors and worthy of our serious consideration. After reading, consider leaving a comment at the bottom of the page.
Dear Friends and Members of the COTSK,
The prophet Isaiah had words for his nation prior to the Assyrian invasion of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He based those warnings upon the spiritual status and belief systems that were prevalent amongst his people.
“The Lord has sent a word against Jacob, and it will fall on Israel: and all the people will know…who say in pride and in arrogance of heart.
The bricks have fallen, but we will build with dressed stones: the sycamores have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place.” (Isaiah 9:8-10 – ESV)
Isaiah is pronouncing against those who in arrogance, spoke of their determination apart from spiritual repentance and apart from God and of their own will and determination to rebuild after God’s judgment upon their nation – a spirit of defiance.
In the 6th Century B.C., Jeremiah would include the following pronouncement toward the Southern Kingdom, Judah.
“I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a lair of jackals, and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.” (Jeremiah 9:11 – ESV)
Those two prophecies were made by Jewish prophets toward the Jewish people. What about other nations? Did God ever utter such pronouncements against the arrogance of other nations? Consider the words of the prophet Malachi who speaks of Edom’s arrogance.
“If Edom says, ‘We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins,’ the Lord of hosts says, ‘They may build, but I will tear down, and they will be called ‘the wicked country’, and ‘the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.’” (Malachi 1:4 – ESV)
There are analogies to what is happening in our country today. The USA was founded upon belief systems that were faith-centered and oriented toward Christ and the recognition that faith in Him is what sustains a nation. The writings of our founding fathers are amazing testimonies to their understanding of those principles.
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to understand the principles and documents produced by the founding fathers of our country. We need to stand for freedom and against illegitimate usurpations of power and speak the truth. However, we also need to recognize where our country is spiritually en masse.
In the wake of 9/11/2001, a number of “leaders” within our country spoke the words “we will rebuild” (Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Charles Schumer, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki, Senator Clinton, President George W. Bush, Senator John Kerry, and others). In fact, on July 4, 2004, Governor Pataki made the following remarks at the laying of the cornerstone for the new Freedom Tower.
“Today, we the heirs of that revolutionary spirit of defiance, lay this cornerstone…”
In fact, on September 11, 2004, Senator John Edwards quoted Isaiah 9:11 in his remarks commemorating the events that had occurred three years earlier.
“Good morning, Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord’s word to get us through: ‘The bricks have fallen but we will build with dressed stones the sycamores have been cut down but we will put cedars in their place.”
He (and others) quoted a passage that is a passage of judgment based upon the spiritual defiance of a people – they quote God’s word without a real clue as to its meaning and they do so in a spirit of defiance.
I ask you – regardless of what happens in the Presidential election in 2016, which direction is America headed spiritually?
Should we as Christians vote and stand for truth in all realms? Absolutely! Should we as Christians speak the truth against those who wish to take the country into ruin and enslavement? Absolutely!
But, should we not also recognize the spiritual state of our nation and acknowledge that if we do not get it right spiritually as a people, we can quote all of the Scripture we want and pray until the ceiling shakes, but we have so deviated from the beliefs that underpinned our framer’s intentions and foundational documents that, as a whole, God sees us no differently than the nations to which these ancient judgments were pronounced.
Please consider all of these things in the balance as you evaluate contemporary history.