Faith, Fatalism and America's Future
In the 1980’s I served on the staff of Senator William Armstrong from Colorado. He loved Jesus, and he was exceedingly shrewd and brilliant. Those of us who worked for him used to joke that the only reason he had a staff is so that he wouldn’t make the other United States senators feel bad.
But humor aside, in private this exceptional man confided, “As a United States Senator, I can’t hope to turn America around. I can’t even hope to stop the slide. The best I can do is help slow it down.”
Then there was Chuck Colson, another extremely smart man who loved Jesus. After serving time for his role in Watergate during the Nixon administration, he found Jesus. Then in 1976 he founded Prison Fellowship which ultimately became the largest non-profit serving prisoners and their families. In 1991 he went on to establish the Colson Center for Christian Worldview.
I remember about 20 years ago, my wife got frustrated as she listened to him speak. She said to me later, “He just speaks doom and gloom about America. He said we are beyond the point of no return! What am I supposed to do with that? Does he really think there’s no hope?”
Folks, that was 20 years ago! It was bad then. It’s worse today—a lot worse!
We have more idiots for leaders than ever before in American history.
Mass shootings seem to occur almost weekly.
Child suicide is higher than ever.
Sexual perverts lie in wait for our kids.
Lethal violence boils over into our schools.
Many men believe they are women.
The fentanyl crisis has exploded.
We are being invaded through our southern border.
The rule of law is a complete joke.
Inflation daily devalues our currency.
Social Security is plunging towards insolvency.
We are dependent on nations that hate us for energy.
Another possible Great Depression looms on the horizon.
Not since the Civil War has America been so polarized.
And Russia, China, and Iraq have joined forces against us.
As bad as that is, it’s going to get worse. But there is hope amidst all the darkness.
Do you know what else both Chuck Colson and Bill Armstrong firmly believed? They both believed God is sovereign. God decides. God is fully capable of turning America around. But it will only happen if God causes revival in this nation. Let be cIear. I did not say, only if revival happens, because revival never just happens. Only God can cause revival. That is why I said, only if God causes revival in this nation. God alone is sovereign.
When we say God is sovereign, we mean, God is in complete control.
Some Christians respond to God’s sovereignty: “Well, if God’s in control there’s nothing I can do about it.” That’s FATALISM.
If you listened to my podcast a few weeks ago about my cancer diagnosis and the sovereignty of God, you know I have had a tendency in the past to view God’s sovereignty like a fatalist – more like Eeyore than like Tigger. If you grew up reading Winnie the Pooh you know exactly what I mean. It was probably due to my Presbyterian upbringing which tends to emphasize predestination over free will, and therefore often slides into the abyss of fatalism.
Other Christians respond: “If God is in control, there’s nothing I can’t do, empowered by God’s Spirit.” That’s FAITH.
Faith or Fatalism, which one best describes you? Which one best describes you when you listen to the evening news?
Polls show that a majority of Americans don’t believe the future looks bright. You may be one of them. I’m not! Here’s why. In the final few years before my dad passed away, he often declared, “I believe another revival is coming to America, and it will be characterized by love.”
But before rival can come, we need to ask the two obvious questions. What is our role? What is God’s role?
First, let’s consider the question: What is our role?
Since God is sovereign and He is in control, our primary job is to daily ask him to send revival. If we aren’t doing that, then nothing else matters, because only God can cause revival. We cannot. Without revival, I agree with Chuck Colson that we are far beyond the point of no return. So, we need to be humbly asking God every day to cause a revival across this nation.
However, I do not believe that is enough. We must also recognize that the real problem in America today is not that there is too much darkness. Is there a lot of darkness? Yes! But that is not the problem.
The real problem in America today is that there is not enough light.
The scripture is clear, light casts out darkness. And folks, if that is true, we can each do something about the darkness, can’t we? Jesus said we are to be salt and light. Jesus’ strategy was to use us to spread His light.
It is not the pastor’s responsibility to bring light into my neighborhood; it is mine—and it is yours. If we ignore that, we might as well go home today, close the door, and wait for the inevitable end to come. Because it will. That’s what fatalism looks like.
The second obvious question is: What is God’s role? It is to cause revival. Only He can do that. We cannot.
So, let me ask you the million-dollar question: if you are not willing to pray and be a light in your community and in the nation, how likely do you think it is that God will cause revival? I think you can guess how I would answer that question, but how do you answer that question?
Remember, you can either respond to God’s sovereignty as a fatalist—and do nothing. Or you can respond to God’s sovereignty with faith. And folks, faith is not just belief; faith is acting on belief. Faith is primarily an action. That why James, the brother of Jesus said, “Faith without works is dead.”
Folks, it’s time for you and me to turn up the Light, trusting that our sovereign God will act in response to our faith. America’s very existence is at stake. Our children’s futures are at stake. It’s time for each of us to make God the issue. It’s time to love our neighbors as Jesus commanded.
Like my dad, I believe there’s another revival coming, and it will be characterized by love,
but only if we will pray for our neighbors and our fellow citizens, and then extend the love of Christ to them.
God is the issue. So, let’s go out and make Him the issue every day—in love.
Watch my podcast on YouTube and like and share it! Help us get the message out there!
Copyright © Brad Bright 2023. All rights reserved.