TEXT: TOPICAL/DOCTRINAL: Attempts at reconstruction of nation
INTRO: Last week, Pt. 1, dealt with current racial unrest. This week we will deal the issues that impact our culture as attempts to reconstruct our nation. Are they right? How does a Christian react
I. CONTEXT FOR CONFLICT.
A. The Trump Presidency. Donald Trump’s victory threw politicians and liberals who believed they were in control into a tailspin and set the stage for a cultural battle for the nation.
B. The Coronavirus Pandemic. An overly aggressive authoritarianism response to a worldwide virus created resentment and resistance to authority.
C. Cultural unrest caused by racial tension between African-Americans and police actions. The George Floyd murder led to protests to defund or destroy police departments even as crime rose drastically in black communities.
II. A politicized and biased media. Major media outlets with clear and unapologetic bias against the Trump administration and conservative ideals stirred the flames of animosity between conservative and liberal groups.
A. DIFFERING VIEWS OF SO-CALLED AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM.
B. Is the USA a nation of high ideals insuring the freedom and equality of its citizens? Or is it a failed experiment, flawed and unlikely to change? Using freedom as the battlefield, there are things liberals wish to do to basically change our nation. How should Christians respond?
1.) A destabilizing of the established government. One of the most important practices in a free society is a peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another and a willingness to accept the legally elected authorities. Liberals have ignored the election of Trump and have created a battle over authority and who has it.
a.) The Christian perspective: Matt. 22:21, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s.” ;Rom. 13:1, “Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God. . . . for the government is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong.” ; 1 Tim. 2:1-3, “I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior.” ; 1 Pet. 2: “Submit to every human authority, because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor, as the Supreme authority, or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who what is good.” ; 1 Samuel 15:23, For rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft.”
2.) A rejection of capitalism for a promised utopia. Capitalism: “one person or group owns the means to produce while another group is paid to use the means to produce. The owner profits from the produce. Making more than the workers.”
MARXIST system ( Socialism or Communism), supposedly, everything is state owned so all people have “equal power and profit.” Unfortunately, a “ruling elite” must enforce equality. The elites dominate and equality exists only on lowest common level. The majority of such attempts fail because class systems are more distinct and tyrannical leaders arise, and equality is impossible to maintain.
a.) Christian perspective: There is no heaven in a fallen world. Rom. 8:20-21, “For the creation was subjected to futility[when sin occurred] and [it] will also be set free from the bondage of corruption [at the coming of God’s children].” ; Ex. 20, The 10 Commandments allow private property and the right to prosper by ability and opportunity (Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not covet anything that is your neighbors). Earthly “utopias” are human attempts at trying to create heaven on earth – without the benefit of a Perfect Ruler! Impossible.
3.) A move toward historical revisionism. This is an attempt to focus on the failures in a nation’s history rather than the successes.
ILLUS; The New York Times: “1619”: it aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”
III. The Christian response: Ex.13: 3 “Moses said to the people, ‘Remember this day when you came out of Egypt, out of the place of slavery, for the Lord brought you out of here by the strength of His hand.” Every feast and celebration they had was to celebrate the memory of their history and their heroes and God’s care for them. Moses, David, Paul: imperfect, but used by God.
Why is history, both the good and bad, important to us? Because it shows our need for God’s grace and His merciful provision
Obeying God brought good; lust, pride, greed, and disregard for righteousness brought failure.
James 4:6-8, 10, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. . . . Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you.”