The story is told of a political activist who believed in the power of big government and so proclaimed at a public gathering, “Socialism can put a new coat on a man!” A Christian in the audience immediately responded and shouted back, “Jesus Christ can put a new man in the coat!”
One way to measure a person’s religious, or political teaching, is to look at what it produces. Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:15-16). There are some religious teachers who have a form of godliness, but who are to be turned away from (2 Tim. 3:5). There are some political figures who promise many things, but they are to be turned away from.
At the moment, it is the fruit of political promises made from the highest echelons of government that have not been kept that concerns much of America, and rightly so. The quest for political power at the expense of truth, justice, and righteousness might prove to be the single greatest cause for the economic collapse of our nation, apart from gospel repentance.
There are many social acts, rooted in political policy, and sustained by settled law, that will bring a nation to ruin. Abortion is certainly one example. A nation cannot continue, without divine retribution, to slaughter its own infants, and make the womb of the mother a miniature death camp, worse than Auschwitz in Poland during World War II. Recently it was reported that abortions in America have fallen by 13 %. That statistic should bring no comfort. All it means is that there are fewer babies to slaughter because so many have been terminated since the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision was handed down in January, 1973.
To the social act of legalized infanticide is the promotion of, and nationalizing of drugs for recreational pleasure. In the state of Colorado, marijuana is no longer considered an illegal drug. Marijuana is something to be enjoyed in one’s personal time, without governmental interference. In fact, the state government has legalized the sale of the narcotic.
The list of questionable social behaviors is long, and many social issues are worth open and vigorous discussion. But there is one action that seems to bring divine retribution upon a nation sooner than other social transgression, as horrific as some are, and that is when a government figure positions himself as someone to be looked to, revered, and depended upon.
There are many examples that could be used by way of anecdotal illustration of this principle, but one from the book of Acts will suffice for the moment.
His name was Agrippa, and he was born in the year 10 BC. His grandfather was known as Herod the Great, the king of Judea when Christ was born in Bethlehem. As the years went by, in his maturity, Agrippa became an expert in political intrigue. In AD 41 when Caligula was assassinated, Agrippa seized the opportunity to help Claudius ascend to power in Rome. Claudius did not forget and reward Herod Agrippa as he became known by enlarging his kingdom in Judea.
Enamored with his own power and position, Agrippa began to persecute the church. He had the apostle James killed by the sword. When his action pleased the Jews, Agrippa had Peter arrested during the Passover and imprisoned. An angel of the Lord delivered Peter from prison which enraged Agrippa who put to death the prison guards (Acts 12:6-19).
Soon after this event, Herod Agrippa received a delegation from Tyre and Sidon that wanted to win his favor. After Herod gave a stirring speech, there was a loud ovation for him. Individuals shouted out, “It is the voice of a god, not of a man!”
As Herod was basking in the flattery of men, an angel of the Lord struck him with a horrifying affliction because he accepted the worship of the audience instead of giving glory to God. He was consumed by worms and died five days later (Acts 12:20-23).
The curse of God is upon any government, or any individual in government, that will receive the adulation of men which properly belongs to God. History seems to teach that nations are quickly destroyed when the people depend more upon government than God.
American coins say, “IN GOD WE TRUST.”
May that ever be true and may the lessons of history, and the testimony of Scripture, guide our thoughts, and adulation, and our utter dependency. Psalm 33:12, Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord: and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.