America, ISIS, and the Pride that Goeth Before Destruction

Let me say, first of all, that this post is not a comprehensive treatment of what is occurring in Iraq today. The violence of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) is by no means unique. There are hundreds of situations around the world today (and in history) that are examples of injustice and violence. Understandably, the violence being carried out by ISIS is revolting to many people. According to several reports, members of the terrorist group ISIS are targeting Christians in Iraq, beheading children, raping women, and killing fathers. This has been labeled a “Christian genocide” or “Christian holocaust” by some. These acts are being called “crimes against humanity.” Amid these goings-on, some are calling America to intervene militarily.

America’s history in the Middle East is so complicated that it nearly defies briefly summarizing. Nevertheless, our involvement has been characterized by unjust wars, unconstitutional intervention, and immoral behavior. We invaded Iraq with no congressional declaration of war. We invaded when there was no threat to our nation. And we invaded with vague objectives. To top it off, we claimed that installing “democracy” was a victory. (Unbeknownst perhaps to those in Washington, the United States of America did not compact together to form a democracy—but who cares about details like that anyway?)

In a recent online discussion, I commented on the plea for America to invade Iraq yet again:

The mass murder being carried out by ISIS is wicked, but America is not authorized or capable of policing the world. If bringing “democracy” to Iraq was a victory, it was a vain one. Democracy is mob rule. “Democracy” has brought us abortion, homosexual “marriage,” and the welfare state. With the state America is in now, where we have our own mass murder being carried out on unborn children (legally) and we exalt wicked behavior such as homosexual practices, we are a horrible example to other nations. If we really want to be a light to the nations, we need to submit to Jesus Christ, abandon the welfare state, and practice righteousness according to God’s Word, not majority opinion. Then America would truly be a city on a hill. Then we could open our doors to the oppressed in other lands—who would come to America not because of the welfare state, but because of our loyalty to Christ and His Law. If America doesn’t repent, God will raise up another nation to be a light to the world. But let’s stop thinking America has the “moral high ground” at this point and is authorized by God or able to “fix” other nation’s problems.

America, by and large, is not trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. Think about how often you have heard statements such as this: “America is the greatest nation in the world. We are the strongest. We are the most powerful. We are the most prosperous. We alone have the ability and right to intervene in other nations.” That is the sound of pride—and “pride goeth before destruction, and an high mind before the fall” (Proverbs 16:18, GNV). My fellow Americans, God will severely judge a nation such as ours, except we repent. In fact, we are already experiencing that judgment in part right now. We may claim to have the “moral high ground” to invade Iraq and stop their crimes against humanity, yet we casually carry about our business here while millions of babies are being legally murdered by medical professionals. Instead of trusting in Christ and in God’s Word, America has come to rely upon her military might, something God has warned about:

Woe unto them that go down into Egypt for help, and stay upon horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many, and in horsemen, because they be very strong; but they look not unto the Holy one of Israel, nor seek unto the Lord. (Isaiah 31:1, GNV)

God pronounces a curse upon those who trust in military might or political power rather than in Jesus Christ, the Holy one of Israel. Let’s be honest friends, America is a wicked nation. There is a remnant of faithful Christians here, but overall, Jesus Christ is rejected by America. We murder our children, defile the marriage bed, exalt homosexuality, and blaspheme Christ. Such a rejection will not be without consequence. Be not deceived, God is not mocked. Whatever a man, or society, or church, or nation sows, that will they reap. We have sowed iniquity and now we are reaping the whirlwind.

What is the solution? How can we really help those who are oppressed not in only in Iraq, but all over the world? The solution is submitting to Jesus Christ as a nation. God’s Word is not silent on matters such as this.

Justice exalteth a nation, but sin is a shame to the people. (Proverbs 14:34, GNV)

Blessed is that nation, whose God is the Lord: even the people that he hath chosen for his inheritance. (Psalm 33:12, GNV)

America is a shameful example to other nations because of our sin. We have nothing good to offer if we reject Christ. The only example America has to offer is some of its founding principles—principles which are now being systemically perverted in the name of “democracy” and “freedom.” Justice, or righteousness, will exalt America, not sin or military might. And the question we must always ask is this: Righteousness by what standard? Unless we submit to Christ and seek to follow His Word as a nation, we have no true justice to offer.

But, if we repent as a nation, if God’s Spirit sweeps our land and millions come to true saving faith in Christ and seek to obey His Word, then we will have something to offer. We won’t invade other nations as policemen of the world (something we have no authority to do), but we will be a city on a hill, a light to the world as to what true freedom and prosperity look like. Then we would say, as a nation, “We are weak, we are feeble. Any good we have comes from Christ. But we are great because we seek, by God’s grace, to obey Christ and submit to His Word. We won’t trust in our military, we will trust in the Lord our God. Any hope we have for success depends upon Him.” Then we could open our doors to the oppressed, to the downcast, to the persecuted, not to offer them benefits, but to offer them a society built upon the Word of Christ and Law of God. That is a nation I would be proud of.

I pray that God would break the teeth of the members of ISIS (Psalm 58:6) and their evil machinations would come to an end. But I also pray the same for abortionists here in America. I pray for the Christians in Iraq, that God would strengthen them and subvert the plans of their enemies. But I also pray the same for every baby that is about to be murdered today inside a mother’s womb. We are no better than Iraq. In fact, we are probably worse, since we have such a rich history of biblical thought in our land and yet we are ruthlessly abandoning it and rejecting Christ. To whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).

Our unbiblical attempts to promote “democracy” in the world will fail. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, however, will not fail. The nation that submits to Christ and governs according to God’s Word will truly be a beacon and a refuge for those all over the world. Until then, I love my nation too much to be silent about her abandonment of King Jesus.

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