Beck and his followers ought to be careful about calling on God, because they may get just what they are asking for!
by Charlie Leck
Glenn Beck gathered with followers of the Tea Party movement in Washington on Saturday. The crowds were big. They were ready for some religious fervor. Glennn Beck announced what they wanted to hear: “America today begins to turn back to God!”
The entire gathering smacked of a religious revival, including plenty of gospel music and conservative sermons.
“For too long this country has wandered in darkness,” Beck proclaimed.
Sarah Palin talked about restoring, rather than transforming, America!
This was a rally that was calling America back to something – as conservatives do – and away from change and progress. The hard right wing of American conservatism has always been afraid of changing. They don’t want change. Instead, they want to return to something that never existed, except in their imaginations, in the first place. Change frightens these conservatives and they usually oppose it as ungodly.
They believe that America was once a “Christian nation.” They believe that God was at the center of American ideals and that stability in America came from the nation’s deep belief in and faithfulness to God.”
These are people who do not understand American history. America, you see, has never been a stable and static nation. America, from its founding, has always been a nation transforming itself and evolving along with changes in technology and the changes in the global situation.
On the heels of the revolution and election of a first President, the nation had to defend itself almost immediately in the War of 1812. Then the brief and highly questionable Mexican War came along and it would be difficult to believe that God would want anything to do with that contest. One of the bloodiest wars in the history of mankind was our own war between the North and the South, where fellow-countrymen fought against each other and where kin killed kin. God? Please!
One could go on and on and show America growing, changing, evolving and transforming itself.
My point here, however, is that those who are calling now upon the name of God don’t really have a solid idea of who or what God might be. To them, God is like something that could be purchased in a chocolate store. It’s good and easy to get and makes us feel groovy and satisfied.
Instead, I think, God is more bitter than that and what He asks of us is not easy to swallow. God disturbs us and agitates us and challenges us. Do more! Make peace. Care for those in need.
“Help of the helpless,” the old hymn calls Him.
Glenn Beck calls us to more “faithfulness to God.” Be careful what you ask, Glenn, for you may get it. For now you must struggle with the question about what it means to be faithful to God. If you are talking about the “God of the Ages,” Mr. Beck, you are not talking about a God who will protect us while we gather wealth and material abundance for ourselves. Lord, no!
God, I believe, is out there with the community organizers you so disdain, Mr. Beck. God is driving them to work harder and harder to solve the problems of poverty and violence. God wants to see less accumulation of wealth and more sharing of the abundance of grace he has shed upon us. God, I think, wonders about 9-figure corporate bonuses and unjustly low minimum wages.
God calls all men to be brothers and all women to be sisters and all people to be of one world family. There is no hatred within God. All people are his children – Muslims, Buddhists, Jews and even Christians.
The real God is not the God of revival pastors who promise success and abundance in return for believing in Him.
Those who accept God accept a heavy burden in the call to restore righteousness and fairness among all the people of the world.
The real God has no favorites, Mr. Beck. He doesn’t favor America over other nations. He doesn’t favor white people over other people. He doesn’t favor Christians over people of other faiths or even people of no faith.
Be mighty careful about calling this nation back to God, Mr. Beck; for God, I think, is enchanted with many of the ideas and concepts you oppose. You may “sow the wind,” Mr. Beck, and “reap the whirlwind.” (Hosea 8:7)
I promise you this: God is not the possession of the born-again Christians. I think God is even a little disturbed by them and would like to rattle their cages and tell them to stop yappin’ and start doin’ the deeds of kindness to which he has called them.
Stop claimin’ God is somehow in the conservative camp, Mr. Beck, because you are dead-wrong on that count.
Take away from me the noise of your songs;
to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing steam
You can email Charles Leck
or you can sign-in to post a comment on the blog
or you can click on “follow” in the top right hand corner