The real problem in America today isn't Barack Obama. And it's not the secular left. It's the CHURCH!
Just ran across the best article I've seen in ages! I recently left a church because I began to realize they were twisting the Word of God into something totally unrecognizable. At the time, I remember thinking, no wonder we're having so many problems in America - the churches aren't even getting it right!
This man, Dr. Paul Elliott, expressed it far better than I ever could so I wanted to re-post the second half of his article here. The full article can be read here.
Can God Change a Nation Through a Single Local Church?
Martyn Lloyd-Jones understood the principle that God honors His Word when he came to Sandfields (Wales) in 1927. Lloyd-Jones found a church that was off-message, off-mission, off the battlefield, and on the shelf as far as God's purpose was concerned. He understood that his mission as a pastor was to get the church back into the Word, and to get the world out of the church - to pull down all of the programs and church-growth schemes that had been built up over time that were contrary to the Word, and the un-Biblical thinking that accompanied them. The result at Sandfields was a revolution. The revolution started inside the doors of the church, and it spread to the surrounding community.
Lives were changed. Some people who had thought they were Christians (including the pastor's own wife and the church's most prominent elder) came to true saving faith. Hardened sinners in the surrounding community came into the church to hear Lloyd-Jones' revolutionary preaching and were gloriously saved. Hardships were eased as men who had wasted their lives and money on all kinds of depraved habits now brought the money home to feed and clothe their wives and children. Increasing numbers of people, even non-Christians who observed what was happening without the full understanding of a mind transformed by the Gospel, saw that the revolution at Sandfields was a far more effective answer to the problems of the times than anything else the church or the government had proposed or tried.
Many people today do not realize that in the 1920s and 1930s, the country of Wales was very close to becoming a foothold for Communism in Western Europe. But by the late 1930s, Martyn Lloyd-Jones was being credited in the news media as one of the two men most responsible for saving the nation of Wales from Communism.
God's Word did not return empty. It accomplished His purpose. That purpose began with the changing of individual lives in an insignificant and struggling church. It grew to encompass the rescue of an entire nation from the dark night of Communism. And God's purpose was accomplished not through political effort, but through loyalty to the authority of God's Word. And it began in a single local church.
There is no telling what God can do if we His people repent of our un-Scriptural ways. The hand of God's righteous wrath is poised against this nation, and rightly so. This nation has fallen into great evil. The main reason is that the Evangelical church in this country has become the church unplugged from the Word of God, and as a result it has become the church uncertain, and the church ineffectual.
America Today: God's Word Tossed Away
It is bad enough that God's Word has been pushed aside in the public square. But in our time, the Word of God has been pushed aside within the Evangelical church. We need to repent. Often we find in the pages of the Word of God and in the history of the world that God was merciful to a nation because of a faithful remnant. It is not too late for God's remnant to plead for His mercy. But we must be a faithful remnant.
Why is our nation in the shape it's in? It is because the Bible has lost its influence. In Nehemiah chapter 9, we read of a remnant of the children of Israel who have returned to land of Palestine from captivity in Babylon. And we read in verse one of Nehemiah chapter 9 that all the people assembled together "with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads...and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers." And what was the iniquity that they confessed? We find the heart of it in verse 26: "Lord, we rebelled against You, and we cast Your law" - Your Word - "behind our backs."
Here's the picture: A man is walking along a road and he has the Word of God in his hands. And as he is walking along, he throws God's Word over his shoulder and lets it fall to the ground behind him, and he just keeps on walking. Utterly forsakes God's Word. Tosses it behind him. Rejects it. Treats it as useless. As a nation, that's exactly what we've done. This nation has been blessed above all nations in having God's Word in our hands. But we've taken God's Book, and we've tossed it over our shoulder, and we've just kept on going - farther and farther away from God's Word. The influence of the Bible on this nation over the last 50 years has gone down, down, down.
And why has this happened? The Bible lost its influence in the nation, because the Bible lost its influence in the church. That's where the problem began. It began long before Madalyn Murray decided to go to court to get prayer and Bible reading thrown out of the schools. It began long before the Supreme Court ruled that killing her unborn child is a woman's constitutional right. It began long before governments began passing laws that make Christian apologetics a hate crime. It began long before the legalization of same-sex "marriage".
The Bible subsequently lost its influence in our nation because the Bible first lost its influence in the church. The church has gone after all kinds of other things instead of God's Word. In many ways, the church has tossed the Bible over its shoulder just as ancient Israel did. And that's where the problem must be solved - in the church. But the answer to the political and economic and moral and social crises of our times is not for Evangelicals to organize more political pressure groups. The answer is not for Evangelicals to become involved in a wider range of so-called faith-based initiatives. The answer is not for Evangelicals to seek empty promises from political candidates. And the answer is not for the Evangelical church to reinvent itself to try to please the world.
God's Word Reclaimed
The answer to the crises of our time is submission to the Word of God in the church. We need to repent. (ALL of us!) We need to go back and pick up God's Word that we've so lightly cast aside. And once we pick it up again, we need to really get back into the Word. That's what ancient Israel did in the book of Nehemiah. We read in chapter nine that during the time of repentance the entire remnant stood and heard the Word of God read and explained to them for a number of days for six hours a day, and they spent another six hours confessing their sins and worshipping the Lord their God in the proper way. That was true repentance. That was true worship. That was a true and sincere turning to the Word of God.
And in the last chapter of Nehemiah we read that as Israel turned to the Word of God, they came to realize that they needed to make some very hard decisions. They had to give up practices, and associations, and relationships that were contrary to God's Word. It wasn't easy. Many tears were shed. But they did it. And God blessed them for it, and God re-established the nation, because the remnant repented.
God's warning to the nation of Israel in 2nd Chronicles 7:14 is also God's warning to His church today: "If My people who are called by My name" - He's speaking not to the nation as a whole, but to the people of God, God's remnant within the nation - "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways" - not the wicked ways of the nation, but the wicked ways of the people of God - "then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
As the church goes, so goes the nation. The healing of the nation will begin with the repentance of the church. We need to become, once more, the Scripture-driven church.