Is Your Hope in the U.S. or the I AM? :: by Howard Green

“We are going to take America back for Jesus!”

“It’s time to rise up and claim our nation for the Lord.”

“Vote em’ all out and put some Christians in Washington.”

“We are a Christian nation!”

There is a cycle I witness approximately every four years. It is the cycle of many Christians in America getting on the bandwagon of the: Peace and safety through America mindset. There are different variations of this belief, but at the core is this notion:

If we get the right people in office, abolish certain items, and fill this nation with Christian principles, we’ll turn America around and perhaps usher in the Kingdom! I’m here to tell you that this belief is skewed, harmful, and diametrically opposed to the Word of God. So as we approach the new election cycle, let me ask you a question: Is your hope in the U.S. or the I AM?

“Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,but we boast in the name of the LORDour God” (Psalm 20:7).

Before we dive into this important topic, I do want to make a few points to let you know where I’m coming from: I love my country and its people. I served in the military and a second time as a civilian during OIF. We have a rich heritage, the greatest military, and many God honoring people in our land.

For the most part, America has been a force for good in the world. Do I believe the Lord used America in the past? Absolutely… because in previous decades, countless missionaries have left America to preach the gospel in the dark corners of the world. I know there have been several anti-Israel administrations in the past, but I believe we have been a safe haven for many Jewish people while they faced anti-Semitic madness in other places.

“I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).

So here’s the thing: Is it okay to have a sense of pride and love for your nation? The answer is, yes. With certainty… we should vote with conscience, our convictions and against evil legislation that’s pro-abortion and pro-homosexual marriage, etc…

We should pray for our leaders, respect authority, and be solid citizens because that’s a good witness. I’m weary of the America haters even in our own legislature who label Christians as ignorant people who cling to guns and Bibles. This rhetoric comes from people who despise our land and the morality in lives of Christians in particular.

On the other hand: Do I see many Christians putting an unbiblical faith and hope into politics, people, and principles? The answer is, yes. I believe this unbiblical hope in anything other than the Son of God alone is what many “American Christians” are mired in at this moment. They are adherents either knowingly or unknowingly to the false movement and teachings of dominion theology.

What is dominion theology or its outflow…kingdom now theology? It’s a belief, movement, and a lifestyle held by an ever growing number of Christians globally, but especially here in America. In short: Dominion theology is postmillennial in nature given the fact that many believe that it is the churches and Christian’s job to set up the Kingdom of God here on the earth before the Second Coming of Jesus.

That is a broad definition but the point is this: It is the belief of a growing number of Christians or people who identify with Christianity that… if we make conditions right, we can make this world ready for Jesus to return. I’ve heard it put like this: “We are going to usher in the Kingdom!”

There are numerous reasons why dominion theology is a dangerous false teaching and there are many excellent Bible teachers who weigh in on the subject. Here is why I believe dominion theology is dangerous and deceptive:

Anything that deviates from the gospel message and the core centrality of Jesus is spiritual deception.

“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the soundwords of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing” (1 Timothy 6:3).

I understand what motivates people to despise what is happening in our nation and the world.I believe America is in a very unprecedented season of darkness and moral decay. Iget it when people want to take action and reverse the downward course our nation has taken morally and spiritually. But it’s getting harder to distinguish between true Christians and those who are Christians by affiliation or “cultural” Christians.

There is a new hybrid creature: It is the Great American Christian. They adhere to the mantra of taking our nation back. They believe most people in America are Christians and if they put the right people in DC, things will be great. I’ve been around for awhile and I’ve seen political majorities and minorities. I’ve witnessed the rise of the “moral” majority. I’ve seen pseudo-religious groups call people to action. “Let’s boycott Disney, boycott Pepsi, boycott whoever stands in our way!”

I remember life chains and pro-life marches. I remember televangelists in presidential elections. I remember so called, “Christian” presidents like Jimmy Carter who were better allies of tyrants……than they were to Israel or even America. Time has shown again and again………you will not fundamentally redirect the downward spiral of a nation by putting the so called ‘right people’ or ‘right policies’ in place.

Look at all the political movements, moral campaigns, and calls to action over the past three decades. Has any of it helped? No, because our American society is worse than ever before… it’s a growing cesspool of immorality. Corruption, pornography, abortion, legalized so called “same sex marriage,” godlessness, and violence are the new norm.

The only lasting change that will stand for eternity is in the heart of an individual who comes to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

The other major issue with dominion theology is that it stems from ignorance regarding Bible prophecy or dismisses prophecy altogether. We (are not) going to usher in a golden age of peace before the Second Coming. Many of these people have their eschatology completely backwards. That is the theological confusion that follows people who don’t take the Bible literally.

The Bible clearly states that prior to Jesus’ return, the days would be marked by increasing evil and godlessness. We would be hated, mocked, ridiculed, and scoffed at because of our faith in Jesus.

This growing animosity toward true Christians should come as no surprise because we were warned over and over these days were coming. The knee jerk reaction to the world growing more evil by the minute is to… fight back, organize movements to stem the flow of society, and even gravitate to the mind over matter teachings of the name it claim it and prosperity teachers.

I see extreme variations of dominion theology via self proclaimed “apostles and prophets” heralding better days, favor from others, and revival… unfounded nonsense of course.

I’m not advocating burying our heads in the sand, putting on rose colored glasses, or moving to a secure mountaintop hideaway until Jesus returns.As citizens, we canand shouldcontinue to vote as our conscience dictates… for legislation that protects life, family, and our liberties. In just the past twelve months, these things have come under attack.

I don’t believe this a temporary set- back and were just one congressional majority or one new president away from turning things around.

The truth is: A majority of Americans fall into two camps: One is ultra radical, borderline socialist, and is fine with the morality of the nation breaking down. The second group is bent on proliferating the religious/social crusade I described earlier and creating a sort of American Christian utopia.

There is another group. Christians who throw away the mantle of nationalism, political war games, and religious dominionism. These people are answering the all important question: So what are Christians to do as the days grow evil and society continues its methodical godless breakdown?

True lasting change in people comes by salvation in Christ alone. True Christians get this and are actively witnessing to people. They are in their closet or rooms… praying for individuals to repent. True Christian’s motives are to see people saved and live for the Kingdom to come… not try to create a so called Christian nation or world here.

True Christians don’t scream vitriolic platitudes from picket lines in front of statehouses or abortion clinics. Homosexuals, abortionists, and others get that there is a vocal opposition to what they do.

True Christians engage them with equal parts truth and love. How about showing people mired in sin, like those outside abortion clinics… a gospel tract and truths from the Bible instead of your poster and clinched fist? Will everyone respond and turn to the Lord? Definitely not, but some will. The truths of what the Bible says about sin, hell, and repentance will compel some to come in…not the high pitched screaming or a manmade political crusade.

Why do we expect the world to act like us? They won’t… because they are “in” the world. Eternal change only happens when wicked hearts of individual people come to Christ. Stop being a moral, political, or social activist under the banner of Christianity and follow the example in the Bible.

Nowhere in the New Testament will you find the mandate to conquer nations for Jesus. On the contrary, we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Neither Jesus, Paul, James, or John polarized the people to get behind a movement to usurp Rome.

Not only were early Christians ridiculed, ostracized,martyred by the government… they were persecuted by very “religious” people who thought they were on God’s side.

As the Second Coming nears, expect society to get worse. Quit running to your idea of a perfect government, Christian nation, Kingdom now, or other misnomers for security. Expect to be marginalized and even hated by most of the world and yes… even by many who have a religious agenda. Look at the “anti-hate” legislation being passed in many western nations.

It is beginning to show up here in America too. I expect the animosity toward Christians and our beliefs to get worse, not better. This is an admonishment to stay off the bandwagon of pop-religion, worldliness, and Christianese culture. Instead…focus on Jesus and live for Him. Witness, pray, and continue in holiness.

“But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. Theysaid to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garmentstained by the flesh” (Jude 1:17-23).

Continue to teach and speak about repentance, coming judgment, and salvation. An effective witness for Jesus rooted in the truth of the Bible will do what no manmade socio-religious, patriotic movement can do. It will bring some individuals to the foot of the cross. Jesus is coming soon. Is your faith in the U.S. or the I AM?