Monday, November 15, 2010

Romans 11 (Germany and Other Speculations)

Reading Romans 11, one can’t help but think in terms of specific “branches.” What churches and nations have faced similar fates as Israel? Traveling through places like Turkey, it is hard to imagine that that land used to be the center of Christian activity in the world. There were churches there that even got a mention in the Scripture. Today, many of the sites of those churches don’t even have a town anymore, but where towns are, the church has long since died.

Who would have predicted the turnaround in Germanic Christianity? The land that brought a return to the Biblical faith and took steps to save the Church universal from deep, deep corruption brought some of the worst suffering against God’s people just a few generations later. Today, less than 1.5% of the population knows anything about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That branch may have fallen, but there is still hope and a remnant being reached in Germany. Many see signs that a new revival could be coming to Germany.

Many think that the United States was also a nation being used by God, and certainly Christianity was strong in the US at one time. That influence has declined. However, Romans 11 is an important passage for those who would call America “back” to its Biblical roots. Political efforts or trying to legislate morality into the culture is not the path to take. The Jewish branch was rejected for this time due to their pride and legalism. They misunderstood their position with God as one of right and not grace.

The church in America needs to live out its faith and spread the Gospel through their lives and in love, not “force” a return to a legalistic “theocratic” past that never really existed. Or—if it did—one that was quickly rejected by the likes of Baptists and other expressions of faith that saw the importance of a strong separation of the church and the state.

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