It was early summer, 2012. My pastor had introduced our church to Rabbi Jonathan Cahn's novel, The Harbinger, and the accompanying documentary movie, The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment. As I watched the video in my home, the Lord brought me to my knees. The Spirit asked me "How had you, as the Church in America, missed your opportunity - and your obligation - to help your country turn back to the Lord?"
Why had our country come to so brazenly rely on its government, to so foolishly forget to rely on and follow Him? God told me I should prophecy to the Church, admonish it to turn back to the Lord and once again follow Him. He told me that the American Church, profoundly reliant on government at present, could once again become salt and light for all of the American culture by joining Jesus in the three pillars He would to use to undergird His Church - charity, healthcare, and education.
Several years have passed. I have been "busy" with my life. But I have not been able to forget that call. I pray that God is patient enough to wait for me. Indeed, He seems to have been making our country ready for this mighty work of redemption and reconcilition while I was "busy". And now is the time.
Before I was ready for His use, God needed to remind me how we had turned away from God in the first place. Then God built in me a vision for healthcare, and to prepare in me a call to arms for the American Church.
I love America. Our country was founded on Christian principles of individual liberty - a liberty not of the flesh but in the Spirit. Our founders balked at government as an aribiter of religion or religious activities. At the same time they clearly recognized the importance of a spiritual basis for our culture.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Danbury Baptists, 1 January 1802
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
John Adams, Letter to Massachusetts Militia, 11 October 1798
The founders studied history. They knew that for millenia Christians had transformed their cultures simply by following Christ and His teachings... in health care and charity:
The Romans are believed to have established some military hospitals. However, it was the Christians of the Roman Empire who began to change societyâs attitude to the sick, disabled and dying, by their radically different outlook. The Graeco-Roman world in which Christianity appeared was often cruel and inhumane. The weak and the sick were despised. Abortion, infanticide and poisoning were widely practised. The doctor was often a sorcerer as well being a healer and the power to heal equally conferred the power to kill.... Stories of Christian caring had enormous impact, even before Constantineâs decree of toleration. Clement, a Christian leader in Rome at the end of the first century of the Christian era, records how the Christian community was already doing much to relieve the plight of poor widows. In the second century when plague hit the City of Carthage, pagan households threw sufferers onto the streets. The entire Christian community, personally led by their bishop, responded. They were seen on the streets, offering comfort and taking them into their own homes to be cared for.
Rosie Beal-Preston, The Christian Contribution to Medicine, triple helix - spring 2000
... and in education (see How Education, Literacy & the University Came From Christianity & Are Dying Without It):
Let the priests recruit for these schools not only children from servile families but also the sons of free men. We wish that schools be created to teach children how to read. In the monasteries and in the bishoprics, teach the psalms, how to take notes, hymns, reckoning the dates of movable feasts in the religious calendar, grammar, and studiously correct the religious books because, often, when students want to pray to God they cannot do so because of imperfections and mistakes in these books.
Charlemagneâs command on schools, 789 AD. Charlemagne, a pre-eminant European king of the dark ages, was known as a Christian warrior king.
A few centuries later, in 1179, Pope Alexander III ordered that every cathedral should have a magister (master) who would, free of charge, teach Latin grammarâthe cornerstone of academic knowledge in the Middle Agesâto bright but impoverished students. Thus were born the first European universities.
Prior to the American Revolution, nine colleges were founded in the thirteen colonies - every one of them under the influence and guidance of Christian churches. Education was entirely the province of the Church at the time of our country's founding. (See Colonial Colleges, Wikipedia.)
Obviously America has strayed greatly from its spiritual foundation. Strangely, the American Church has greatly contributed to that devolution, both through action and inaction. It is time for the Church to resume its role as salt and light. Christ's Church - His Body - will once again provide leadership in the moral and practical affairs of our nation.
How? Well, let's read a story...