Saturday, July 04, 2015

Bell: Christianity and America

Saturday, July 4, 2015
Why do the nations conspire
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand
    and the rulers gather together
    against the LORD and against his Anointed One.
“Let us break their chains,” they say,
    “and throw off their fetters.”
The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
    —Psalm 2:1-4 (NIV)
    As for what the Church thinks and says, what influence does that have on the handling of American politics, the conduct of American education, the regulation of marriage and divorce, on sex and drink, on how industrial disputes are settled, on how we carry on business? As a plain matter of fact, religion in this country is generally regarded as a tolerated pastime for such people as happen to like to indulge in occasional godly exercises—as a strictly private matter in an increasingly close-knit and socially acting society—in other words, as something that does not count. I should like to see the Church recognize that it has been pushed into the realm of the non-essentials, and to persuade it to fight like fury for the right and the duty to bring every act of America and Americans before the bar of God’s judgment.
    [Christian leaders] are making valiant claim to such a right and duty; but the great mass ! of Church members are content to regard the Church as a conglomerate of private culture clubs, nice for christenings, weddings and funerals. Most Church members readily agree with the unchurched majority that it is not the proper business of the Church to criticize America or Americans.
    ... Bernard Iddings Bell (1886-1958), God is Not Dead, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1945, p. 121 (see the book)
    See also Ps. 2:1-4; 9:17,19-20; 33:10-11; 46:10; 50:7-10; 82:8; Isa. 1:13-17; 42:1; Amos 5:21-24; Phil. 2:9-11
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You alone are the righteous Judge.
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