This past weekend, Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, delivered a sermon entitled, “God and Country Crucified” to our congregation at The Village Church. Of the many voices in evangelicalism today, I’ve found Dr. Moore’s leadership a refreshing mix of humility and conviction. The ERLC has done great work injecting a winsome Christian voice into the hot-button issues discussed in our culture today
On Sunday, Dr. Moore preached from 2 Chronicles 7, keying in specifically on verse 14. It’s a pretty popular one that tends to get hijacked during political season, as you may have already noticed. It reads:
“…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
More often than not, it is patriotically co-opted to call for governmental leadership and social opposition to repent of their sins and turn to the Lord. Then, as Mr. Trump loves to say, we can “make America great again.”
The problem, as Dr. Moore points out, is that this is not at all the intent of the verse. In fact, 2 Chronicles 7:14 is not a call for America to get in step with the church, but a call for the church to fall out of step with America, thereby preaching a better message. First and foremost, it’s a call for the people of God to repent, humble themselves, and walk in obedience with the Lord—not a passive-aggressive weapon to swing at opponents on social media. Healing begins with the Gospel, not a lifeless civil religion that pledges empty promises of restoration in return for passionate patriotism. Country and culture cannot bear the weight of our hope. Thankfully, Christ can.
You can listen to the encouraging message by clicking on the picture above. It’s well worth the time.
“The best thing that could ever happen to you is already yours. Because the best thing that could possibly happen to you, if you’re in Christ, is not that you would make it in your job and in your profession. The best thing that could possibly happen to you is not that you would have the family that you wanted. The best thing that could possibly happen to you is not that you live in a culture that is morally behaved and upright. The best thing that could possibly happen to you is that you would be raised from the dead, seated at the right hand of the Father, and to hear from Him, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation for you.’ And that has happened for you in Jesus Christ.”
Dr. Russell Moore