Judgment Is God’s Strange Work

August 15, 2016

Part 2

We looked last time at God’s reluctance to judge and His mercy upon the people of Israel. But what about the U.S.?

The general Christian mindset is that until modern times, America was a solid Christian nation, established by godly Founding Fathers; and that it has only recently weakened by the infiltration of humanistic thinking. This somewhat inaccurate view can undermine hope of God doing a great work.

If we think it’s as bad as it’s ever been, and because it’s so bad, nothing good can happen in the future, then we are not going to be looking forward in faith to the possibility of God doing something fresh today. If we concede that all is lost, we don’t have an accurate view of America’s history. Believe it or not, there have been times in the past similar to the times we are living in today.

The Revolutionary period was one of those times. In the late 1700s, Americans were greatly influenced by Voltaire and Rousseau’s writings from France, and by Thomas Paine and Ethan Allen in America.

In his treatise, Reason, the Only Oracle of Man, Ethan Allen wrote, “The doctrine of the Trinity is destitute of foundation, and tends manifestly to superstition and idolatry.”[1] As for the atonement, Allen declared, “There could be no justice or goodness in one being’s suffering for another, nor is it at all compatible with reason to suppose, that God was the contriver of such propitiation.”[2]

Elihu Palmer, more or less a disciple of both Paine and Allen, stated, “The simple truth is, that their pretended Saviour is nothing more than an illegitimate Jew, and their hopes of salvation through him rest on no better foundation than that of fornication or adultery.”[3] Such was the thinking of the day.

What about the moral and social conditions during our nations founding? Surely they are far worse today than at any other time in history, right? We will address that topic next time.

[1] Keith J. Hardman. The Spiritual Awakeners. Moody Press: Chicago, IL, 1983.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Elihu Palmer. Principles of Nature. (May 25, 2016).