LEADER TIMES WEEKEND RELIGION ARTICLE FOR
February 7, 2015 by William H. Scarle, Jr. 813-835-0129
Is God simply off the radar for many of the citizens of our land of the free and home of the brave? Has the idea of God simply slipped away from the consciousness of many of our homes and communities? I raise the question because of several confrontations with it these past few weeks.
In his latest book, “THE MYSTERY OF SHEMITAH,” Jonathan Cahn reminds his readers that for the founders of this nation God was very much a part of their everyday consciousness. The Massachusetts Bay Colony saw the establishment of a new home in the new world as directly parallel to the exodus of Israel from Egypt. This mindset permeated the entire American enterprise. When the nascent government was considering the design for the Great Seal of the United States of America Benjamin Franklin suggested an image of Moses parting the Red Sea. He was voted down. However, the Great Seal does have significant theological content. But, that is another story.
These early settlers established a legal system in which they sought to incorporate the Law of Moses. They saw their Sunday worship as a parallel to the Jewish Sabbath. Thanksgiving was established as a shadow of Israel’s Feast of Tabernacles.
If there is any doubt that these first Americans saw America as the new Israel you need only look at the names they gave their mountains; Mount Gilead, Mount Hermon, Mount Ephraim, Mount Moriah, Mount Carmel, and Mount Zion. They named their children Joshua, Rachel, Ezra, Zechariah, Esther, Jeremiah and a host of other biblical names.
They taught Hebrew in their public schools and universities. The Hebrew name of God appears on the seals of their universities: Yale, Columbia Dartmouth and others.
Cahn’s point in his book is not that the United States is a Christian nation, but that it was, and has fallen. The book is about judgment and a call to repentance.
When a nation loses its awareness of God they also lose any ground for ethical judgment. The expression during the sixties was, “everything that has been nailed down has come loose.” This loss of direction and moral behavior will impact quality of life, family living, government, economics, art, leisure time and every other aspect of our daily living.
When we do our prioritizing; when we make our choices as to where we will put our effort and spend our time, if God is not even on the radar, religious practice will not likely see the light of day.
Perhaps the way to conclude this line of thought is to remind ourselves that God has not forgotten us. Jesus taught that God is aware of even the fall of a sparrow, and he knows the number of hairs on each head. I could use a few more these days.
When Fredrich Nietzsche said that “God is dead” he was speaking of the mind set of Western culture. When he said it he was wrong about America, but time has made it more relevant. If we put God back into our sphere of consciousness, we will make better decisions on how we live and how we spend our time. Tomorrow is Sunday. Where would God want you to be on this first day of the week?
(Bill Scarle can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org). END-whs