Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Gallows of Nationalism


Nationalism is not just another perspective of how Christianity should live within a fallen culture.
It is the hangman’s noose that has asphyxiated the church until she is a dead man walking.
Hitler and Stalin and Mussolini all loved and used nationalism.
But nowhere does Jesus teach anything of the sort.
It can no longer be denied, and we can no longer mince words. We can no longer make room for the spectacle of politics being a part of a believer’s life. It just cannot be. Anyone who professes to follow Jesus must see how damaging it is to the cause of Christ and to the very heart of a person. No one can claim to be guided by God’s Spirit and still remain active in American politics. For years now we have made room for sincere believers as they have played the fool and engaged in the destructive venue of politics, but there is no more room. If you are still engaged, you must repent.

There is no time left for niceties and shallow discussions about the founding fathers and having a voice. All that is gone and all that remains is Christ. You must evaluate everything through the prism of His Word and life. Please do not use some moral issue as your standard. There is a vast difference between being pro-life and pro-traditional marriage and following Jesus. If you do not see that then you must return to the gospels and understand His life and heart. This is no time for earthly machinations and rallying people to “take back America”.

This is a time for serious believers to get serious and realize we have been given a fool’s errand. Our time and energy and even God’s money is being wasted on temporal pursuits while the eternal is relegated to written doctrines. Politics is a veritable cesspool that engages in character assassination, verbal abuse, self promotion, and obscene amounts of money. It is absolutely opposed to the Kingdom of God regardless of which politician uses God’s name. It is an open practice of earthly idolatry which harms the soul and disarms the believer. We as believers cannot wait any longer to gently convince our brothers and sisters concerning the depth of this compromise. We must speak the truth and pray that the same Spirit which brought us out will begin to lead great masses of believers out from among that which sorely displeases our Master.

There is no time to elongate the discussion. The carnal aspects of the system are so blatant and so systemic that they are undeniable. A choice has to be made. But I fear that many believers do more rationalizing then they do fasting and praying. And if you rationalize, you will not change. And ten years from now if Jesus tarries you will still be chasing ghosts. But if there ever was a time when God needed to use all of us it is now. But unless millions step off the political treadmill and seek the Lord with passion, the church will remain little more than a religious and somewhat moral curiosity.

So I exhort you to take a few weeks or months and diligently seek the Lord. I am confident the Spirit will speak to your heart, not because I believe I am right, but because God’s grace opened my hardened and blinded heart. I reject any notion of superiority and I embrace the truth that I stand upon His grace alone. This is not some doctrinal back and forth which in the end means nothing. This issue of nationalism and politics has sucked the life out of the church and now the western evangelical church is on life support. But just like the bloodletting of old, the path we are on is what is killing us. The path upon which Jesus walked is all but lost.

The time for arguing is over. It leads nowhere. The time for us to fall upon our faces and seek Christ in all His will and ways is now. The time to read the gospels as if they are our template is now. The time for us to rise from the dead and become New Testament believers who passionately desire to think and speak and act like Jesus is now. The world is imprisoned in darkness, and their only recourse is to argue and fight over temporal issues that fade and change with each passing year. But we are called to be sentries of the eternal and ambassadors of the Lord Jesus and His gospel.

It is time, my brethren, to shake off the grave clothes and come forth.

II Tim.2: Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

The church is not only entangled with the affairs of this life and this world, but it now has entered into an intimate relationship with the fallen culture. And this relationship keeps growing in scope and depth. And like an addiction, the church cannot seem to even see what is happening, to say nothing of turning away. And local churches are like crack houses which supply people with enough drugs to keep them coming back. Do you think that analogy is too severe? Do you think that goes too far? Well people have become addicted to the local church, and the local church has undergone a metamorphosis in order to supply people with what their flesh desires.

No longer do men of God stand and call people to follow Jesus. Now the church has its Sunday morning fix of some praise music, some announcements, some greetings, a little message, and back home until next week. And people go through the motions with little if any observable changes, to say nothing of a complete transformation. The numbers are there; the buildings are there; the organization is there; the staff is there; the music is there; but where oh where is the power of a life that follows Jesus? No, the church has become an American religious institution, and that my friends, is death.

We think we can steer the fallen ship safely into port by the sheer power of political weight and voter registration. The ship is not leaking…it has sunk. The sooner we come to that conclusion the sooner we can seek Christ and His power once again. Until then we will continue to address the carnal with the carnal and in so doing we diminish Christ. What if it were true? What if this modern church was anything but what the early church and His followers were like? What if God was speaking and no one was really listening? But what if you and I entertained that idea and sought the ministry and guidance of the Spirit?

Well, that would be a start. But there is much fallow ground to be unearthed, much repentance to be embraced, and much more of Jesus to discover and follow. If we truly, down deep in our very beings, desire to have Christ and nothing but Christ, then we must surrender fully to whatever the Spirit says and leads. This is no smorgasbord. This presents the truth that Jesus is Lord. And if you and I believe that much more than a quaint religious phrase, then let the funeral begin. We must die. Only then can we see the stone rolled away and ourselves resurrected in His image.

But this will be no ordinary funeral.
In fact, your funeral will be the only funeral at which you will dance.
You see, once you die the gallows no longer can hold you.
You are free…free in Him.


Anonymous said...

Isaiah 40:15,17.

Amen! 2 Timothy 2:11.


Anonymous said...


Just before the crazy politics in the U.S. started to happen, and the unforgiving hateful talk started to erupt, it became evident to most of us something was spiritually amiss, and that political wolves (professed christians) in sheep's clothes were corrupt and power-hungry and not interested in serving their constituents fairly, rather wanting to be exalted and celebrated.

Now, with the truth posted here that the church has been infiltrated with a disease, and now is on life-support, I'm wondering what the Lord would want his people to do today, in this mess of a world. I kind of asked this to myself and opened my bible and was reading through until I found these verses - Romans 12 - For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think , but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophecy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence, he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness."

Sometimes I get these epiphanies (LOL) when I read the Word. Seems like right now, Ministers and bible teachers are chosen by God, not man. Being elected by a church board, or voted in as pastors, musicians, teachers may be a thing of the past. Maybe the Lord is choosing without any officiality, so that teachers and ministers are free from the shackles of the politicizing that happens in churches. And those who are chosen don't have to compare themselves to one another any more, as they have been gifted in proportion to their faith. And it doesn't have to have fanfare and religious paraphernalia. These last days are showing that the gospel simplicity is what works. The systems of the world want to lord it over us, and denominations fight among themselves, claiming we're right because we are of Paul, and the others are better, because they follow Apollos.

I think we are going to see a huge restructuring in how the gospel is being sent. It's a new way without walls and men's dominance. Maybe the politics of today in the U.S. has been a demonstration to us to show us how church has been behaving.

Jamie said...

Amen brother!
True freedom comes from Christ and Christ only!It's a freedom that rejoices even in the midst of the most tyrant of earthy governments. Praise God

Anonymous said...

To Anon previous post: Yes, you are seeing something significant. The spirit life of Christ the Vine in His branches--in His very Body now on earth--cannot be "institutionalized."

This is my opinion: Man's structures can't create Life, they can't contain the Life very long, they usually choke out the Life. Often, the institutions of man even war against the expression of Christ's life. That is "church" history, the history of persecutions and suppressions of true saints trying to live in the Spirit, from proto-protestant Waldensians in Europe to the anabaptists to the Pilgrims to Wesleys and Booths and more.

The new way you see, without walls nor men's dominance, is actually the "old" way of New Testament apostolicity: the faith once delivered.

(I'm not saying that no organized church has ever had authentic believers or never taught authentic biblical faith, but that they've probably been a minority. The ambition and politics and tradition mitigate against true faith. I do admire churches like Times Square under David Wilkerson and Carter Conlon, and certainly Spurgeon led his flock always to Christ, and surely many little congregations all over are doing the best they can. But in general, denomination hierarchies and mega-church personality cults probably stifle or usurp new testament simplicity and power.)

Humbly submitted,

Robert said...


"...ambition and politics and tradition mitigate against true faith." I agree.

Great comments, all.

May God have His perfect will through us!


Cherie c said...

Amen to all comments.

your sister in Christ Jesus
Cherie c.

Chris Baumgart said...

In many discussions with believers who have succumb and are currently in bondage to this "nationalism", I have found a strong tie to the love of mammon. They believe that if America's people are not subjugated to certain laws that God will withhold his blessings... Blessings being what? How far down the slippery slope do we find ourselves believing that being right with God we multiply our earthly comforts? ...when the true blessings are found in the depths of a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Rick , I just love your articles. My prayer is for God to start a revival and start with ME. Please continue to state the truth.

Anonymous said...

About thirty years ago I read a newspaper story about a Baptist pastor in Texas who advised the parents in his congregation to force their children - especially their sons - to watch violent TV programming, most notably Saturday morning network cartoons, in order that "they may be in a mood to kill when we have to go to war with Russia".

Many years later, I read somewhere about a man who quit a Baptist church in a town in England because its pastor, an American from Texas, preached that the gross persecution and mistreatment of Native American Indians by the U.S. government and society back in the 19th Century was God's will, and was analogous to the children of Israel driving out the denizens of Canaan before moving in.