I've heard from a few pulpits over the last few years that the light is going out in America, that God is taking away His guiding hand, etc. But our thesis is that God's grace supercedes human rights, and Christianity is indeed growing in leaps and bounds...just not in the USA. So we don't depend on human organizations, but rather focus on the invisible, spiritual war.
But what is the relationship between having the freedom to worship and true freedom? Christ said in no uncertain terms that if you take up your cross (not necessarily the same as His cross) and follow Him, you WILL BE persecuted. Further, persectution is fertile ground for the growth of the Body of Christ (all Christian believers). Should we then pray that God sends more persecution? Umm, I don't criticize others who do, but that's not really up my alley. Likewise, although I think fasting is good for the soul, I don't think I'm called to do emulate monks who wore scratchy woolen underwear.
Why are more people than ever simutaneously concerned for the future of America AND foretelling a new Great Awakening? Largely due to the present state of politics, I'll wager, especially at the federal level. For example:
"Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one. (Courtesy Discover the Networks.org)
Newsmax rounds out the picture:
Their strategy to create political, financial, and social chaos that would result in revolution blended Alinsky concepts with their more aggressive efforts at bringing about a change in U.S. government. To achieve their revolutionary change, Cloward and Piven sought to use a cadre of aggressive organizers assisted by friendly news media to force a re-distribution of the nation's wealth.
In their Nation article, Cloward and Piven were specific about the kind of "crisis" they were trying to create:
By crisis, we mean a publicly visible disruption in some institutional sphere. Crisis can occur spontaneously (e.g., riots) or as the intended result of tactics of demonstration and protest which either generate institutional disruption or bring unrecognized disruption to public attention.
No matter where the strategy is implemented, it shares the following features:
The offensive organizes previously unorganized groups eligible for government benefits but not currently receiving all they can.
The offensive seeks to identify new beneficiaries and/or create new benefits.
The overarching aim is always to impose new stresses on target systems, with the ultimate goal of forcing their collapse.
If you think America was a bad idea and we should work toward its downfall, I guess this is as good a strategy as it gets. Obviously I think that's, ummm, SATAN speaking, since Capitalism and the Protestant Work Ethic (Weber), combined with the New World, has been the most significant force of freedom, democracy, and human rights the world has ever seen.
See also here: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/once-upon-a-time-in-america/
In America, you were free.
Here was a New World. No kings, no knights, no dukes, no earls. No titles, no shackles, no pales of settlement. Some of us, shamefully, owned slaves. But when push came to shove, Americans were willing to kill and die to make other men free. It was true in the Civil War. It was true in World War Two. It remains true today in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We were never perfect, but we were always working on it — at least when we weren’t trying to make a buck, or maybe just trying to avoid attention. America was the land of promise, and the land that delivered on that promise.
American freedom was a huge, sprawling, messy, brawling thing. It consumed everything and anything, and spewed out an unimaginable bounty. For some, the freedom was about growing their business and making money. For others, it was about growing their hair and making love. But it was always here, for anyone willing to risk the journey and leave behind the Old World and its old ways.
But now that we have this wonderful place, this precious idea — what are we doing with it?
Already, the government runs our children’s education and our parents’ retirement. Now we’re allowing it to usurp our banks and nationalize what remains of our auto industries. Within weeks, Washington promises a plan to dictate our health care. To do all this, we’ve let Washington run up enough red ink to impoverish our grandchildren. As if all that weren’t enough, the president still found the time to kick our friends in London and Tel Aviv while courting a genocidal, election-stealing maniac in Tehran. He even gave a speech in Cairo — that oppressed, impoverished Old World megalopolis — in which he assured the world that America really is no better than anywhere else.
Well, once upon a time, we were.
...If the Old World comes here, where does the New World have left to go?
When the Puritans were persecuted in England, they risked everything to come to America. When young Germans faced the Prussian army’s grip, they gave up their ancient towns to come here. When Jews faced the Czar’s pogroms, they gave up their bucolic steppes for the slums of New York. Rather than accept stagnant lives in their own countries, Latin Americans risked uncertain lives in America. Rather than accept far milder impositions than our own, America’s Founding Fathers risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor just to sign their names on parchment.
What are our federal branches of government risking for us today? Certainly not their lives. On the contrary, they're betting their constituents' (yours and mine) lives and fortunes. Ugh, without faith in God this would be a dark situation.
My friend Dave also sees this struggle and is engaging: http://troubledcorinthian.blogspot.com/2009/06/wisdom-of-men-and-holy-spirit.html
To what extent should the Christian be a voice in the political wilderness? To what extent should human rights issues--even in our own country!--compare with spreading the Gospel?