Blessings on America Depend on Christians

by Stephanie Carter

The key to God's blessing of America is the obedience of Christians to His teachings, according to Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Land spoke from 2 Chronicles 7:14 before a chapel audience at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary last year. He recounted the conditions God has placed on Christians in America so that the country may receive His blessings. "God is not going to bless a people who continually disregard His teachings," said Land, who has represented Southern Baptists' interests the nation's capital, and in the larger cultural milieu, since 1988 and has been featured in Time magazine as one of the nation's 25 most influential evangelicals. The 2 Chronicles theme is a familiar one for Land, and is the blueprint for achieving God's blessing of America, according to his book, Real Homeland Security: the America God Will Bless. The book seeks to convey how to view and interact with the events of the world in a way that invokes God's blessings. Christians cannot pull out from the world, Land said. Instead, believers are to be "salty salt" and "burning light," so that the world's decay may be stopped and its darkness penetrated. But before Christians can serve as salt and light in the world, they must first get their own lives in line with God's standards, Land said. "Far too many Christians are trying to live as schizophrenic Christians with one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom," he said. "When we live lives like the world, where the world can see no difference between ours and theirs, then we have nothing to say." Christians should view Christianity not as a religion but as a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, an outlook that brings about a new worldview, Land said. In a Christian worldview, for example, believers see the world's problems as "God-sized problems," Land said. This should cause them not to pull away from the world and its issues but instead get "close enough for the world to see the light and feel the heat." Land added that the responsibility of seeking the blessings of God does not fall to the world but to born-again believers who are willing to humble themselves, pray, and seek after God.
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