Mattera has been in full-time ministry since 1980 and is currently the Presiding Bishop of Christ Covenant Coalition and Overseeing Bishop of Resurrection Church in New York.
This past Sunday metaphorically pictured the present situation of our nation: even with a terrible storm on the horizon (on the east coast) many people were being (spiritually) lulled to sleep while fascinated with football games and entertainment through media. This is eerily similar to more than 1,500 years ago, when the Roman emperor distracted the masses with gladiatorial games, traveling circuses, and distributed free bread against the backdrop of the looming Barbarian hordes about to invade, plunder and ravage their cities.
It is truly time for the whole church to wake up—to fast, pray and engage the culture as salt and light before night comes and no man can work!
These are some of the words I have been saying with more and more frequency the past several years to leaders I know in the Body of Christ. Lately I have been feeling sympathetic to the way Jeremiah the prophet must have felt as he kept warning of the impending doom coming to his nation if it did not repent.
The following are seven of the storms I see coming:
1. The storm of divine judgment for not repealing legalized abortion
It has been said that “If God doesn’t judge America He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” Numbers 35:33 says something chilling related to judging a nation for the sin of bloodletting:
“You shall not pollute the land wherein you are; for blood it defiles the land; and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. Defile not therefore the land, which you shall inhabit.”
Basically this passage is referring to the fact that when innocent blood is shed, the land wherein it is shed is unclean and defiled until the blood of the aggressor is shed for retribution. Applying this passage in the case of our nation: there is not one particular individual held responsible because abortion (the termination of the life of the unborn) has been legal since the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. Thus it is a corporate, systemic sin!
If the math in this passage is to be taken literally, this means that if America does not repent of this hideous sin then for every single baby legally aborted God will require the blood of the same number of people, which is between 30-50 million Americans! (Those involved with illegal abortion before and after the 1973 ruling would be held responsible as individuals by God.)
Judgment in Scripture for a nation seemed to come based on one generation. Read Luke 21:20-22 and Matthew 24:34 when Jesus predicted judgment on Israel for rejecting Him, which would be fulfilled within His generation. This was at least partially fulfilled in AD 70 when the Roman armies came and ransacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Holy Temple, about 37 years after His crucifixion. Also, the judgment on the nation of Israel for unbelief was to wander in the wilderness for one generation until all those over the age of 20 would die, which was about 38 to 40 (Numbers 14:29-35).
I hate to think of what could start happening to the United States after the 40th anniversary of legalized abortion (in 2013) if we continue to perpetuate this systemic sin by pro-choice elected officials and elite liberals pushing this hideous act in the name of a woman’s right over her body (in spite of our new technology that proves the so-called fetus is a human life!) I shudder to think of the extent of this judgment on the population if the prayers, actions and intervention of the Body of Christ don’t go far enough to delay the fullness of the wrath of God for bloodletting! Perhaps the increase of natural disasters over the past 10 to 15 years like statewide droughts, wildfires, massive flooding, devastating tornadoes and hurricanes, in addition to terrorist attacks at home and abroad are merely a portent of more devastation to come if we don’t repent of the sin of abortion as a nation.
If Obama gets re-elected we can expect a perpetuation of this culture of death on our nation, especially since he will probably be able to pick the next two Supreme Court justices who would more than likely share his same liberal views. If Romney gets elected, he would need the guts to go against Democratic pressure to pick a so-called “moderate” and instead pick constitutionalist justices who will protect the values of life, liberty, justice, and the sanctity of life for all.
2. The storm of judgment for electing a president who favors same-sex marriage
If the American people actually re-elect the most radical pro-choice president in our history, along with the fact that he is the first standing president to support same-sex marriage, then it would be the ultimate act of snubbing our noses against God and His moral law! It would show the enormous extent in which we as a nation have hardened our hearts against our Creator and, as a result, are setting ourselves up to get the divine judgment we deserve to satisfy the justice of God!
Furthermore, our current president not only supports same-sex marriage but he has also forbidden the U.S. Justice Department from defending the Defense of Marriage Act, which gives federal protection to states that don’t want to legalize or recognize same-sex marriage.
If Romney gets elected, one of the first things he should do is order the Justice Department to legally enforce DOMA, or else we will continue down this slippery slope of redefining marriage and family.
3. The storm of the global economic crisis
Several weeks ago I asked a person involved in several high-level financial summits with some of the leading European economists why it is that Western European leaders want Obama to be reelected. I said, “Don’t they know that his economic policies will sink the American economy?” His answer startled me. He said something like, “Yes, they know Obama will sink the U.S. economy but this is precisely what they want. They believe the euro will eventually collapse and they believe their only hope is for the American dollar to also collapse, so there will be a need for a United States/Euro currency which they believe is their best hope for economic survival into the future”! If Obama gets re-elected, they believe things will unravel within the next few years because of his high-tax, debt financing philosophy!
(During Obama’s first term in office our national public debt has increased from $10 trillion to $16 trillion. This is a greater increase in the debt by one president in one term than nearly every U.S. president from George Washington to George W. Bush. Furthermore, if re-elected it is estimated the public debt will go to $22 trillion! Plus, he has no answers or practical policies to deal with the looming crises related to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and how to pay for his massive health plan better known as Obamacare except by repeating his impractical idea of taxing the rich!
If Romney gets elected he is going to have to do more than repeal Obamacare. He will have to work with Paul Ryan to come up with a long-term solution to the huge spending crisis related to funding an ever-expanding Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other tax-funded federal benefits. Also, it will take much wisdom to enact fiscal policy that enables him to both cut taxes to spur economic growth and increase military spending at the same time—something that may take much patience because it may take a few years for the economy to initially pick up after he changes our economic course.
4. The storm of a divided America because of class warfare and racial division
Many thought that electing the first black president was going to help ease ethnic tensions because it showed that the white majority in our nation has gotten over racism. But, in my opinion, his frequent pro-government, anti-business rhetoric has also brought to the public square the socialist language of class warfare that divides the rich from the middle class and the poor. His socialistic economic philosophy is based on a “zero sum game” in which, in his view, a person can never get rich without taking it unjustly from the poor, thus spawning a policy based on greed, envy and covetousness!
Making it worse, in my opinion, some of his surrogates in media often make it seem that the (real) reason white people don’t either agree with or vote for Obama is because he is black. Also, I recently read that some leaders have predicted and many disgruntled people have tweeted that if Romney gets elected, there will be riots in the streets (http://www.westernjournalism.com/thomas-sowell-race-riots-if-obama-loses/ and http://www.infowars.com/new-threats-to-riot-if-obama-loses-election/)
I hope and pray that it never comes to this but the rhetoric on both sides has definitely been acerbic!
If Romney is elected, he really needs to intentionally reach out to people of color, especially in urban areas, to demonstrate that he truly wants to be the president of every American and he needs to enact policy to help empower the so-called “47 percent” of those in America who don’t pay federal income tax and/or are depending on entitlements.
5. The storm of radical Islam
The so-called Arab Spring has resulted in massive mob-led movements in Arab and Islamic nations which has replaced authoritarian leaders with radical Islamists who want to instill Sharia law in their nations (e.g. Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, to go along with the Islamic radical rule of Iran, Saudi Arabia and other nations, which eventually may even include Turkey which was once a secular Islamic nation that is now leaning more towards radical Islamic rule).
What this means for America: there will possibly be more jihadists targeting our nation, American citizens abroad and all our interests, companies and properties on foreign soil, as well as more pressure from Arab nations to move away from our alliance with Israel in exchange for more of their oil, as well as greater cooperation and regional stability related to American interests.
Obama’s foreign policy has been to leave these nations in revolution alone (whether right or wrong, many are critical that he didn’t do anything to support the uprising against the present regime in Iran that took place a few years ago).
If Romney gets elected he will have his hands full because “the train has already left the station” regarding the change in the political landscape in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
6. The storm from inordinate materialism, entertainment and pleasure seeking amongst the population
With the increased capacity of social media, internet, and entertainment there has come an increased amount of self-focus and individuality which is constantly reinforced to the masses of people by sponsors marketing their wares on television as they feed on our carnal desires. Consequently, we are increasingly becoming a nation of individuals who know little regarding living sacrificial, virtuous lives with a transcendent purpose; truly, our lives are not worth living if we have nothing we are willing to die for! A nation that values materialism and pleasure more than sacrificial love for faith, family, friends, and nation is a nation in decline whose best years are behind! The only hope will be for another Great Awakening that has the power to transform our cultural values and lifestyles, resulting in mass conversions and mass movement towards loving God first and our neighbor as we love ourselves.
This is something only the Body of Christ is called to do as the salt of the earth and light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Only the church can transform the culture of a nation from the ground up and top down, and which we are responsible to do no matter who gets elected!
7. The storm from a weakened American church
The Roman Catholic Church is reeling from numerous sex abuse scandals threatening their financial base, diluting their prophetic moral voice, and emptying their pews—especially of young people. So bad is their dilemma, they don’t have enough men planning to become priests to shepherd all their parishes, and they have to close and consolidate many of their parochial schools because they don’t have enough students to cover expenses.
The Protestant Church has lost its majority status for the first time in American history, with a low of only 48% of the U.S. population (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/10/09/protestants-no-longer-majority-in-us-study-says/)
Also it is important to note there are presently no Supreme Court justices who consider themselves Protestant!
The decline of the Roman Catholic and Protestant Church in America will have huge ramifications in regards to future policy decisions that in past generations had to consider the strength and opinion of the Roman Catholic Church and Christian population before attempting to pass legislation and before releasing certain movies, literature and modes of media.
(In my opinion it is not a coincidence that same-sex marriage advocates made their huge policy move after the scandals of the Roman Catholic Church surfaced in the beginning of the 2000’s, as well as the dramatic increase in lewdness and sexuality in television shows.)
Furthermore, the Evangelical Church has largely lost its center as its messaging frequently appeals to the rampant individualism deteriorating our culture with churchgoers and adherents motivated to come to Christ merely for self-fulfillment, health, wealth, prosperity, comfort and a shallow spirituality that comes without a radical commitment to the cause of Christ. This has resulted in the church appealing to and even perpetuating the very lifestyle that is responsible for our national and cultural decline!
The only hope for America is for a godly, holy remnant to rise above the self-focused cultural fray so that we will once again have prophetic “pulpiteers” instead of men-pleasing “puppeteers” who water down the message of the cross, repentance, and eternity so their crowds keep swelling and their offerings keep overflowing!
If Obama gets re-elected, look for more challenges to our freedom of speech and the First Amendment that could possibly squelch what is preached on the airwaves and from the pulpit. (For example, in Canada the pulpits and airwaves have already been restricted in the name of hate speech.)
In closing, sometimes a nation has to unravel and its people experience disorientation before they are desperate enough to open up their hearts for a spiritual awakening! It may have to come to that in America, especially if this nation continues to choose leaders and elected officials who snub their noses at God! At the end of the day, whether America stands or falls, His kingdom and government will continue to increase and will outlast every man-made nation, kingdom and government!
First published on October 31, 2012 on the Joseph Mattera website called Equipping Kingdom Leadership for the 21st Century. Check out Mattera’s book “Walk in Generational Blessings: Leaving a Legacy of Transformation Through Your Family” at the Colson Book Store.