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Habakkuk and the Church in America

“We are in the midst of a revolution, only bloodless as yet.”[1]

If you are vigilant, you probably can’t help but notice how our nation seems to be on a course of destiny. No matter how hard or how much we pray our course seems to be fixed. It feels like being on a runaway train headed toward a canyon where the bridge is out.

After almost eight years of an Administration that’s been less than friendly to Christians, it seemed like the end of the horror show was all but over. But, in a few short months our high expectations have quickly been turned into extreme disappointments.

The battle over marriage was one in which we never had the upper hand. We owned the logic. We ruled the history. We even held the majority (most of the states had voted to make traditional marriage Constitutional). It didn’t matter. With the stroke of their pejorative pens, five unelected judges overruled all of that in a decision that defies logic, history, and the Republic.

We thought there might be a pleasant surprise in all of the bad news though when Planned Parenthood was exposed for not only killing unborn humans, but also selling their body parts to recoup their cost. Video after video came across the Internet. Even the mostly liberal news media carried some of the atrocities. Nothing was clearer to Americans than this was a gross crime against humanity as we watched Planned Parenthood employees drink wine and laugh as they told potential buyers just how they could target specific body parts of unborn babies-for sale.

In an ironic twist, several months later, after Congress had failed to act and the President vowed to protect Planned Parenthood, a Federal DA charged the reporters who exposed them, with using false identification while doing their investigation.

Oh, but we’re going to elect a new President next year, we thought. He will pick new Supreme Court Judges and stop so-called same sex marriage. He will prosecute Planned Parenthood as the Executive of our Federal Government. Then Antonin Scalia passed away.

A once five to four conservative court became four to four. Barak Obama is still in office and nominating a new judge. The Congress says it will stop him but their record says otherwise.

Finally, although we have a true conservative, a strict constructionist, running for the GOP nomination for President, one who actually has chance to win, the populist is electing, despite all reason, a lifetime liberal with a poor political record and seemingly a total disregard for the Constitution or the separation of powers that protects our Republic. Whispers of a potential tyrant float along the smoky halls and back rooms of our capital along with the ghosts of our Founders while the elitists lay their plans to buy him and revolutionaries wait to crown him.

Evil is prevailing and God is inattentive…or so it seems.

In the first chapter of the little book of Habakkuk, the prophet prays…

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,

and you will not hear?

Or cry to you “Violence!”

and you will not save?

   Why do you make me see iniquity,

and why do you idly look at wrong?

Destruction and violence are before me;

strife and contention arise.

   So the law is paralyzed,

and justice never goes forth.

For the wicked surround the righteous;

so justice goes forth perverted[2]

Sound familiar?

It should. It’s been this way before…

“We are in the midst of a revolution, only bloodless as yet.” But every day the complications assume a more angry aspect; a fatal current seems drifting all parties with frightful rapidity towards the bloody arbitrament of the sword. Daily the public heart stands still, expecting lest the next breeze which sweeps from the South come freighted with the resounding crash of civil war, which may soon be reechoed from all other quarters. The counsels of our rulers seem to be turned into disappointment, and the lover of his country knows not whither to look for refuge, except to God[3]-Several Pastors and Professors at Southern Seminaries and Universities January 14, 1861

Habakkuk loved his nation, a nation God had favored, but saw evil prevailing. He prayed. He cried out to God. “Are you going to let this go on forever?”

Our ancestors have sailed times unsettling seas, just like Habakkuk.

Now, we travel a similar corridor, one that’s littered with uncertainty but should lead us to a greater faith.

For the next few weeks, I’d like to take a look at the little book of Habakkuk. I’d like to study his prayer, God’s answer, and Habakkuk’s response to God’s answer.

It’s a book of uncertainty and anger, prayer, judgment, promise, faith, and praise. It’s the history of the Church conjoined with the judgment of a culture, purified by fire and beautified by God.

[1] Dabney, R. L. (1891). Discussions by Robert Lewis Dabney: Evangelical. (C. R. Vaughan, Ed.) (Vol. 2, p. 413). Richmond, VA: Presbyterian Committee of Publication.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Hab 1:2–4). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[3] Dabney, R. L. (1891). Discussions by Robert Lewis Dabney: Evangelical. (C. R. Vaughan, Ed.) (Vol. 2, p. 413). Richmond, VA: Presbyterian Committee of Publication.

I was born in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, born again at a very young age, married a beautiful and likeminded woman, moved to Tennessee, and raised two children in the Southern traditions of loving God and neighbor, exercising manners, and being stewards of the land and its bounty. After becoming involved in youth ministry in our local church, the need of teaching people "what they believe and why they believe it" became painfully apparent, especially in my immediate context (rural Southern churches). We began an apologetics/theology ministry there but have since moved on. After serving in church leadership and being called to faithfulness and duty to protect our congregation from a rogue pastor under church discipline of his previous church, my experiences in this biblical process shape much of what I believe about how churches in the South have become weak and why nominal Christianity is prevalent. I love the Church and Southern culture so you can expect to read about apologetics and theology as well as church and culture here, written southern style, by the grace of God. Deo Vindice

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