This post dates from November 2010, but I thought it would be a good time to repost it. There are many new readers to the site and I want to make sure people understand that my criticisms of the United States are not rooted in some kind of Leftist freedom bashing agenda. My statements not only come from years of intense reading and study, but a specific theology...one that informs both my citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven and the kingdoms of this world.
Here's the original post...
Since I've probably upset and irritated more than a few as of late, I thought it a good time to answer the following email......
Why are you so critical of the United States?
As I've tried to explain in regard to other topics, when something or someone proclaims to be Christian or to represent Christ, the claim must be examined. And the standard is not the Common Grace order, but the Special or Redemptive Grace order/Kingdom presented to us in Scripture.
So, while I can say with complete confidence that the Soviet Union was a truly evil and horrific experiment, I place this in the fallen realm, the realm of Common Grace. It was authoritarian, at times totalitarian and has an incredible amount of blood on its hands. It outwardly and explicitly rejected Christ as Lord. Thus by definition it was anti-Christian and I don't for one second want to make light of the sufferings of the people who lived under its reign of terror.
The Church suffered but flourished under this arrangement and today I am more than a little encouraged by the testimony of the Church coming out of the former Soviet lands as well as the Eastern Block. There is a small but vibrant remnant bringing to glory to God and His Christ in those lands.
Looking at Old Testament Israel, what was the greater threat, Babylon or the high places at Dan and Bethel? Assyria or the Baal worship introduced by Jezebel?
The greatest threats to God's people, and thus the MOST subversive and wicked are always spiritual in nature. The Totalitarianism under the guise of Communism brought by Lenin and Stalin was also a type of spiritual wickedness. But it was more akin to Rabshakeh the Assyrian standing outside the walls of Jerusalem and threatening Hezekiah. There was no hiding what it was.
But when Jeroboam introduced the high places as Dan and Bethel to discourage the citizens of the northern kingdom from visiting Jerusalem…that was a real wickedness that brought harsh denunciations from the prophets. Baal worship sought to completely subvert God's people. There are clues in the text which indicate the people had not entirely abandoned Yahwist or Jehovah-worship. No, like the high places, they were syncretizing. This has always been a greater threat, a great evil….spiritually speaking.
While the devastations of the Assyrians destroyed bodies, they could not destroy souls. The seductions of Jezebel and the temptations of the calves at Bethel could.
That's why I'm making so much noise about European history and at present, the United States. For Christians in this country, the history of the United States is cast in a Christian narrative and so these claims must be examined. What do we find? Rather than Jerusalem we find a counterfeit, a sham, something more like Dan and Bethel, more like Baal masquerading as Christ. Everyone argues over the historical events and whether or not the founders were trying to form a Christian nation. Gone is the more pertinent argument as to whether or not there is such a thing and would it be right to attempt it. Another question I would pose....if it's wrong to try and create a 'Christian' country, what's the theological fallout after it has happened?
We need to think in spiritual terms. Sure, other nations are evil and have killed millions. The United States has as well, it just goes about this in a different way. The propaganda machine works differently here. Rather than terrorize its own people, it prefers to keep them fat, happy, and distracted. It's far more effective than the amateurish personality cults brought by Stalin and Mao. There are always true believers, but most of the people don't really believe it. They are skeptical of their government, and many recognize it for what it is. That's how physical or temporal evil operates…even fallen man can see it.
Spiritual evil is far more subtle and thus far more dangerous. While compared to Maoist China or the Khmer Rouge the United States looks 'good,' the reality is that Constantinianism has proved in spiritual terms the most spiritually destructive force in all of post-New Testament history. And often enough, it has also resulted in a lot of pain, suffering, and death in physical terms. The United States has not proved to be an exception. We can ignore the facts of history or try and explain them away as many seem willing to do, but like it or not, the United States has a massive amount of blood on its hands. Why does the rest of the world seem to see this and yet so many here in the United States cannot? Is it because we're good and everyone else is bad? That seems to be the Evangelical argument.
Could it be that Constantinianism creates rampant self-deception?
So while I'm not trying to promote hatred of America…I am trying to deliver a desperate plea, a wake up call to Christians in America and for those abroad who harbour Constantinian sympathies. I would argue from a Biblical standpoint, Constantinianism is a far greater threat than Communism or any other historical movement. I think it is the very imagery being presented to us in the Apocalypse, the Beast and Whore in tandem. This is your Holy Roman Empire, your Byzantine ideal, and the dream of virtually every Evangelical American-ist.