Here's text from an e-mail I received recently from Dr. David Canfield, an elder at Clearnote Church, Bloomington. David gave his permission for me to post it here on Baylyblog. There is a context for the letter, but it's unimportant to David's larger point.
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The problem is not, essentially, that President Obama has... That is just a symptom of the true problem, viz., that America (and this has happened to a great extent during my lifetime) has abandoned the notion of us, both as individuals and a nation, as being under authority. I speak of authority in all of its manifestations. We have seen, for instance, parental authority ripped to shreds, and the US Constitution is now viewed as a list of suggestions that might...
or might not be relevant any longer to our country in the 21st century. Etcetera. The abandonment of authority, however, ultimately began when we (again, as individuals and as a nation) thought to cast off the authority of the only Being who holds it intrinsically, all other authority beign delegated by God. So we now act capriciously, as if indeed there were no God and no coming judgment from Him upon all mankind.
As long as this is the case, National Days of Prayer are meaningless. Why should God hear the prayer of a people who despise him? Why indeed should the Almighty grant us any good thing when we have shrugged off our obligation to His Law? I see many bumper stickers from well-intentioned Americans that read "God Bless America." Why should He, though, when we do things that are as bad or worse than acts committed by countless pagan societies throughout history? We don't see Philistines or Tatars walking down the streets nowadays. This is simply because God has destroyed those societies. "America Bless God" is an improvement upon the bumper sticker slogan, but why do we never see a bumper sticker that exhorts us, "America Love God," or "America Obey God"? The truth is that we (again individually and as a nation) are exceedingly wealthy by the standards of most of history and the present world, and being so, have become autonomous and smugly self-sufficient.
When Republicans, of whom I at one time considered myself a part, begin to teach us not to fear men, but God, and to return to biblical authority in our lives, then (and only then) will I consider that there might be some hope for our society. I think, however, that God's judgment has already come upon our country through abortion, same-sex "marriage," calling evil "good," and so forth. Our current President, whose policies are only building upon thousands of precedents of previous politicians, both Democrat and Republican, is just a natural continuation of that judgment. Perhaps God will yet be merciful to our society and bring wide-scale repentance and faith, and preserve America in some semblance of its founding which, although more Deistic than Christian, was not overtly antagonistic to the Gospel and the Law of God. Alas, more likely America's "day in the sun" is past and will be replaced by a more God-fearing society, perhaps China or even South Korea. But I'm neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet.
But lest anyone reading this e-mail despair of hope, we may rest confident that the same God Who has ruled and intervened throughout history, continues to reign over His creation, and that persecution has historically been one of the primary means by which He has purified his Church. As Christians, we are called to be salt and light, and our failure in that regard is the primary reason for the current state of our country and its continuing decline. (And yes, I plead guilty for my own failure to sufficiently heed this command of the Lord).
One hundred million Christians who fail to obey God are less effective than one who does, but I fear that, like Abraham who was pleading for God to consider the righteous number of citizens in Sodom to persuade Him to spare the city, those who consider that there are anything like 100,000,000 Americans who fear God and seek to obey Him are hugely optimistic. This despite the fact that they might wear the label "Christian."