The Redeeming Of Zion
The politically obsessed, of which there are many, seem to think the
salvation of the
sinking U.S. Titanic (going lower by degrees) is a new political
How shallow! What good is a new captain if the ship is sinking?
The merely politically oriented seem to believe a new patch will save a rotten garment. How? There is nothing to sew it on that will hold. Shall we sew newness onto decadence?
Some superficial Christians think America is going to be mass converted. This idea of a mass change with no effort to change but prayer is most improbable and uncharacteristic of God. Such shallow people in my view have a kindergarten religion and a Disneyland faith. Everyone in America is hardly going to be converted short of the second coming. Also God is more inclined historically to work through saving remnants.
If you look in the beginning of the Book of Isaiah, you will see a similar if not the same situation as ours. The people have departed from God’s will and way. The land is an amoral desolation and a materialistic ruin of good values such as we have now. Yet the situation has a good side. There is a saving remnant. (Isaiah 1:9) That is a spiritual grouping, the churches.
Our job in the churches now as the spiritual remnant is not to passively expect and passively pray for a magic spiritual transformation of all. That is unlikely, though a major spiritual transformation can take place in a few individuals like the Apostle Paul who was suddenly struck by the light of God. However, he is an exception. It will not happen to most of us that way.
The redeeming of Zion, whatever Zion you are providentially placed in, is done by judgment and righteousness (Isaiah 1:27) the wisdom (judgment) and righteousness (effort) of searching and digging to spiritual living water in ourselves, our families and our communal groups. The prophet said in Isaiah 1:30 that the land was like a dry garden that had no water. He meant a dry land spiritually that had no living water to make it a garden. Jesus spoke of this living water in John 4:14 in His teaching to the woman at the well. Jesus said God had available fountains of spiritual living water.
Our challenge is to bring God in from ourselves. We need to turn the living waters on our families and communities and institutional groupings. This living water lies within us if we dig down to it and discipline ourselves for it. Jesus said, “the Kingdom of God is within you” and His coming marked the beginning of a new and better age in which the Kingdom of God is at hand. (Matthew 3:2) If you do not believe this, leave religion and get thee to some spiritually castrated system of mere philosophy.
We ought through personal communion with God, prayer, study, and efforts of various kinds get the Christ sleeping within us to wake up. God sleeps in a coma within us and we need to wake Him up that He may come out through us. If you do not want to wake Christ up, get thee to a drab life of non-spiritual vibrations. Otherwise God may make you more vibrantly alive. For God makes you more vibrantly alive.
The naive pray for miracles to bring water, but the wiser dig for wells. The wisest man does both: he prays for rain as he digs for water. (Did not Oliver Cromwell urge his soldiers to pray for peace but keep the gunpowder dry?) It is by digging, our making serious efforts for a spiritual consciousness within, that we may find the living water of God within ourselves. Then bring it to the surface to share with others. Pray for effortless spirituality, but make your best effort while doing so. Sometimes hard to find at first, you must not give up. You must dig through to Christ. (I assure you He is there.)
We in the churches are the saving remnant of Isaiah. We need to make serious spiritual efforts to change our present parched, mentally cracked, amoral, spiritually arid country into a place of healthy spirituality, rooted and renewed by living waters. You will find this wisdom written by Nature’s God in natural law for every land and every religion: that is, the land, society and civilization needs to be spiritually healthy and whole from a sense of God. This applies to every religion. It is a natural law and a universal human value.
Are you and your churches prepared to discipline yourselves for spiritual effort? Are you prepared to have your everyday living include a sense of God? If so, be warned: Digging through to Christ takes time, effort, study, prayer, patience, inspiration, grace and the proper application of that inspiration. It takes a strong will and a consistent effort. A sense of spiritual election for God’s purpose must enter your soul. That is why the churches are here on earth: to do the will of God. Increasing spirituality and growing spiritually is the desire and will of God for us.
Do not worry about grace. Yes, a religious life takes grace, grace is a paradox and a mystery. Where there is effort, there will be grace, and where grace is, there will be effort (This is somewhat similar to yin and yang, the principle of a man and a woman. If the two are apart, they will find each other. When they find each other, and are truly united, a happy issue will ensue.)
If you discipline yourself to make an effort for God, to dig for God, or to work on a project with God, you may ultimately strike a vein of grace. This is certainly what the scripture suggests. Jesus came to proclaim the new spiritual age of God. He worked and made an effort. In the short run he suffered and was crucified. In the long run He rose again from the dead. The Bible teaches us that we must endure with, for and in Christ to obtain the victory. Faith is the victory. The victory does not belong to the amoral present, the decadent society of which we are a part of, but to those who keep the faith. Let us not forget the way of the cross leads home.
Let us remember, in the decadent, amoral, sinking, degenerating, fun obsessed, doped up adolescent society in which we live, we are mocked, rebuked, abused and scorned by those dominating and decadent classes whose poor leadership, political and intellectual, have helped society to degenerate. Certainly they have not stopped it.
We as Biblical Christians are in a very difficult situation in this society, but that is probably a good thing. For it does give us our souls and self-respect back to be different. Finally to stand up and stand out. In standing up for what is Christian, Biblical and in doing right there is a sense of relief. Even though we are often defeated in our efforts for the good, the decent and the healthy, we should not be surprised or discouraged. The country will probably only get worse in spite of our efforts. It probably will go lower in quality of life, baser in goals and label the morally decadent as the liberally progressive. That this will continue from those people ought to be largely obvious to anybody with half a brain. Therefore brace for it. But you may have the inner satisfaction of not being just one more moral whore in a loose and decadent Rome.
For in our standing out and trying to be as true as we can to better values, we are elevated (even though we are sinners in this,) to the blessed state of those suffering with Christ our Lord. And we learn again what Americans have lost: how to be unique and different in a conforming mob society, and how to oppose the secular tide. Is this not where our early American forefathers would want us to be? Would not the Reformation leaders as well as the early church fathers urge the same thing? Would they not say with Exodus 23:2, “thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil”?
For this is what we are doing! Conforming is not the way towards the redeeming of any country, any Zion. Therefore I am unashamed to tell you America should change its attitude and some of its values. If you do not agree on this, I suggest you are unthinking, insensitive and, perhaps, stupid.
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.