|Jeremiah Wright’s “God Damn America”
©March 16, 2008 Asher Intrater
Israeli press briefly covered the story of Barak Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ, preaching a sermon in which he repeatedly shouted, "God damn America, God damn America!" (There is no word in Hebrew for "damn" and the statement had to be translated as "God curse America".)
It is not my purpose in this article to deal with the political implications of his connections with Obama, nor with the theological issues of "liberation theology," nor even from the question of Obama's personal faith – as he openly professed that he "found Christ" in that church. I would like to approach it from a perspective of prayer: the need for us to be PRAYING FOR America.
The Jewish people were commanded to pray FOR the nation of Babel (Iraq) when they lived there in exile in the 6th century BC – Jeremiah 29. All Christians are called to pray FOR those in authority – I Timothy 2.
No doubt it was difficult for the Israelites in Babel to pray for the nation they felt had abused them. Yet in their generation, Babel was the world leader, just as America is the world leader today. Although it seemed to them paradoxical, praying for Babel's well being would result in their well being. So today, America's well-being is still beneficial for most Christians, Jews, and suppressed peoples around the world.
It is easy to feel resentful against America, even for those who live there. The entertainment industry has spread sexual immoralityand licentiousness; the people are often over-fed, comfort-worshiping, and self-indulgent. And yet, would you really want a world without America?
America is the only nation that has made a clear stance against Islamic Jihad. It is the only nation that has consistently supported Israel in the U.N. It is the nation which has produced most of the biblical and faith-based literature that is available. It is the nation with the best form of elections, court systems, and law making in the world. (On Friday, Iran held national elections in which all of the candidates who stood for reform against Ahmadinejad's regime were disqualified before the voting began.). America guarantees civil rights and freedom of religious expression more than any nation.
Over the last six months the U.S. dollar has fallen almost 25% on the international market. The majority of Christian charitable organizations, as well as evangelistic missions, receive their financing through the dollar. That means this year all those ministries have effectively lost 25% of their support base.
While most true believers in Yeshua (Jesus) would never voice such harsh statements as Reverend Wright, the spirit of revenge and resentment against America has had a subtle influence on many. Much so called "prayer" or "prophecies" concerning America have been nothing more than complaining and accusations before the throne of God. The result has been an inadvertent cursing of the nation and its leadership. Others have had their prayers simply neutralized, figuring it is just best not to pray for America at all.
I believe it is urgent to pray for America right now. Here are a few key pointers:
1. Moral repentance – May there be a sweep of revival across America, resulting in a sincere turning to God, integrity in government and business, a breaking of the spirits of Jezebel, rebellion and lust, a flourishing of true communities of faith.
2. Politics – May godly and righteous people be elected for the presidency, the Congress, the Senate, governors, mayors and judgeships in this year's election in November 2008. May President Bush have an effective and fruitful last year in office.
3. Economy – May the dollar stabilize and rise again on the international market, and may all the charitable and missionary organizations have their budgets met. May godly men and women arise to prosper in the business world.
4. Military – May there be a clear victory in Iraq, with the international terrorist forces being broken and scattered, with a stable and just government coalition of local Iraqis arising to run the country, and with the return of American troops. (And I personally would hope for Bin Laden to be captured or removed approximately 60 days before the elections in America.)
5. Israel – May the U.S. continue to be a loyal friend to Israel in these End Times. (The Israeli papers were quick to note that Wright's "damning" of America was partially connected to America's support of the State of Israel.)
Note: President Bush and other world leaders will be in Jerusalem for the celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary at the same time as the Global Day of Prayer and "The Call, Jerusalem" scheduled for May 11. (In fact, they will be meeting immediately after us in the same auditorium at the Jerusalem Convention Center.) Perhaps you should plan to come take part in this sacred assembly, or at least take the day to fast and pray together with us.
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