Why do the nations rage?

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : November 4, 2004

A fellow blogger recently wrote a postthat jokingly jabbed at President Bush. I found it to be funny, but if you go to the post and read the comments, you’ll see that many were a bit offended.

Some of my friends hold the President in such high esteem that they believe his goals to be in line with the cause of Christ. While an argument could be made that there is enough overlap to warrant voting for the man (and I suppose the same argument could likewise be made concerning Kerry), it is puzzling to me that so many hold Bush up to be God’s chosen vessel or his viceroy or a sort of moral and spiritual leader for our nation.

A few nights ago, our house gathering studied Acts 4. Peter and John were standing before the Sadducees, proclaiming that they will obey God rather than them. After getting away without much incident, they met with their brothers and sisters. Everyone prayed this portion of Psalm 2 with one voice:

Why did the nations rage?
Why did the people waste their time with futile plans?
The kings of the earth prepared for battle;
the rulers gathered together
against the Lord
and against his Messiah.

The early church understood the way in which the rulers of this world stand against the cause of Christ. Why is it that we believe that Bush and his administration is any different?

In the song “While the Nations Rage,” which was inspited by Psalm 2 and Acts 4, Rich Mullins (who is on my top five list of people I want to spend time with in the New Jerusalem) writes:

The Church of God she will not bend her knees
To the gods of this world though they promise her peace
She stands her ground
Stands firm on the Rock
Watch their walls tumble down when she lives out His love

America is ruled by the gods of this world. Any notion that America is a theocracy, or governed by Christian values is naive. Having a vaguely Judeo-Christian ethos is not even close to the same thing as being a Christian nation. The Israel of Jesus’ day wasn’t off in their morality per se. Their problem was they neglected the Messiah. I think conservative values actually work a bit AGAINST the cause of Christ, because a massive number of Americans equate Christianity with a moral code, rather than a life centered around the person of Jesus Christ. This is the error of the culture wars, which have become so focused on pushing a set a values that they forget that morality apart from Christ is damning.

Church, don’t bend your knee to American politics–even if they promise you peace, or an end to abortion, or an end to gay marriage, or an end to poverty, or an end to racism. Stand your ground. Stand firm on the Rock. America can crumble to the earth and it will by no means hinder our cause, since we are called to live out His love–not legislate morality.

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2 Responses to “Why do the nations rage?”

  1. pat on November 4th, 2004 4:37 pm

    Great article, Mark.

  2. Mike Myers on November 4th, 2004 11:44 pm

    Right on!

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