It is sometimes hard to tell when a politician is speaking from the heart or when they are playing to the crowd. It is hard because most of our politicians are professional liars. I am not seeking to be mean, but history has proven that what I am saying is true. So when we see a politician at a prayer breakfast, we should be a little leery of what he says. We should curb our enthusiasm.
So when Rand Paul explained the First Amendment to a group of pastors at a prayer breakfast, it is hard to get too excited. I do not mean to sound as though I do not like what he had to say, I just do not want to jump to conclusions. Had he said this in a public speech or during a debate, I might be tempted to give an amen. So what exactly did Paul say?
Christian News reports:
“The First Amendment says keep government out of religion. It doesn’t say keep religion out of government,” Paul told the approximately 50 persons gathered at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington D.C., “So, you do have a role and a place here.”
I think that Paul is dead on with his assessment of the First Amendment, but this is not what really caught my eye. What really got me was what Paul said about the country.
“I’ve said this before: We need a revival in the country. We need another Great Awakening with tent revivals of thousands of people saying, ‘Reform, or see what’s going to happen if we don’t reform.'”
Now, this means that Paul, like scriptures, does not think that things are going to change top down. There has to be a change in the people. We see this same thing many times in the books of the Kings. Several times in I and II Kings we see that God raises up a reformer king, and they tear down the high places. These kings call the people back and restore true worship. They execute the false teachers. God, then, in turn, blesses the people and the king. Then the king dies, and the people return to the wicked state they were in before the reforms.
True revival is a work of the Spirit upon His people. We are not going to see changes in Washington until we see changes in ourselves. Not until American Christians truly seek the face of God in Christ, repent of their sins, and obey God’s word will there be any lasting change in this country.
I do not know if Paul meant what he said, or if he was playing to the crowd. Either way, he hit the problem square on the head. We are commanded by God to recognize where we are and how we arrived there. We are in Babylon because of our disobedience. Christ said that the Church is to be the salt of the earth. And when we are not, we will be trampled under the feet of men.
But, if we repent, He will hear from Heaven and heal our land (II Chron. 7:13-15):
If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.
Notice that God does not say that the nation is to call on Him or repent, but that His people ought to. Christian, if you want this country to throw off sin, you must stop looking to see what your politician will do to deliver us and cry out to God in repentance and faith. It is Christ alone who will hear and save!
I sincerely hope that is what Paul means.