Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Has God Abandoned America?

I've been hearing a lot of lamentation of late from my American brothers and sisters over the moral decline, political direction, holocaust of the unborn, and diluted gospel preaching that is happening there. Many of these people fear that God will bring His judgment because of these things. But what if these trends are the judgment?

I am currently reading through my John Macarthur Study Bible and just loving his commentaries on the passages. To be sure, it doesn't guarantee that Macarthur will expound every passage correctly, but you do get the precious insights of a true laborer in the Word of God who has applied consistent historical grammatical hermeneutical (whew!!) principles in Scripture interpretation. One of the things that recently struck me in the book of Exodus was Macarthur's commentaries concerning the passages that say that God hardened Pharoah's heart. Many people wrestle with the idea of personal accountability for actions living alongside a Sovereign God Who controls EVERYTHING. Macarthur suggests that the hardening of Pharoah's heart is actually the lifting of God's common grace that would otherwise restrain Pharoah's heart from manifesting the wickedness it is capable of.

Common grace is what restrains society from acting out all the lust and corruption that dwells in the human heart. It maintains a certain level of order so that the Gospel can be preached and wicked hearts regenerated (yes, Scripture overwhelmingly concludes all men to be utterly depraved and unable to do anything pleasing to God outside of the regenerating work of His Holy Spirit, see Romans 3). There are many other aspects of common grace that I'll discuss in the coming days because I believe it will help us appreciate the unbelievable goodness of God so easily taken for granted. But, back to my initial question raised regarding whether the downward cultural spiral occuring in the USA will bring God's wrath or actually is God's wrath.

The first chapter of Romans seems to indicate that the lifting of common grace is part of the judgment of God on a society that opens the floodgates of perversion.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:18-32)

Do the words "God gave them up" send a chill down your spine? Does this sound like what we're seeing today. Marshall Foster once said that the difference between an American pagan and a European pagan is that the American will go to a porn cinema in a hat and dark glasses whereas the European will wave to his friends across the street as he enters the doors of that house of perversion. Unfortunately I am no longer shocked by sin, but the lack of shame about it really does shock me as a European resident. America, America, is this where you're heading?


Heath The Blogless said...

Hey Cam great post.
I've been listening to John Pipers series on Romans and he brings up this same point about hardening of peoples hearts, and he does make reference to Pharaoh. It relay struck a cord with me as I always use to ask the question why would God do that, why, why, why. But then I realized my question was wrong. My question should have been "who" is doing it and do I trust him do to do what is best? When I started asking this question the why became much less important. Because I know God is heaps smarter than me.

The Johansen Family said...

Dear Cameron,
Stumbled across your blog quite awhile ago and love it. You are actually one of my home pages! Anyway, thank you for standing for truth and thank you for the videos/articles you put on your blog. My husband and one of my daughters will be visiting your country this August (Lord willing) as his ancestors are from Denmark! God bless you and keep it coming!

Cameron Buettel said...

Dear Johansen family, please contact me through my website www.onceuponacross.com (you'll find my e-mail and phone details on my info page). We would love to meet you when you are here. We don't get a lot of like minded fellowship in this part of the world. We are very interested in homeschooling, read Voddie baucham's book, and would love to meet people doing it for real. Hoping to hear from you - Cameron

WhereisJustice? said...

If I post anything like this on most blogs I'll get ignored or ridiculed.

Since Americans have taken God out of the church and said "Pfft' to God I guess that's why God says "Pfft" to America.

One thing that IS happening that's positive is God seems to be working thru 3rd world countries like Africa and India more where people who go there have amazing spiritual experiences which they realize how stagnant and selfish their material lives in America were.

Then they come home with a changed heart and different glasses.

These people suddenly feel the need to reach out to others more then ever and often start their own spiritual programs.

I am considering more and more that Budda may be the form of Christ when he traveled a lot in those missing years of the bible where we wondered what he did this hole time.

I mean whole time.

Buddha is Christ's best possible. way of working thru the Chinese people since they have absolutely no background on Hebrew and grew up with an entire different background.

WhereisJustice? said...

I am no longer surprised by the amount of sin anymore too.

America is on a thin string and will become like Sodom and Gomorrah in the bible which was destroyed in one night. (Ancient technology?)

TommyWou said...

To any closeted LGBT folks out there:

There is nothing wrong with your sexuality, any shame you feel is just a cultural thing, you can let it go and be loved for who you are.