As I look at the moral state of our nation I see not one country, but two.

Modern-day America reminds me of Old Testament times when ten tribes rebelled against the oppressive leadership of King Rehoboam, Solomon's son, and formed a new country known as Israel. Sadly, they also abandoned their faith by worshiping other gods. The nation they left was Judah, where worship of God became hit-or-miss, depending on the king. Prophets warned both nations to repent and return to God or face the consequences. Nobody listened and the people of both nations eventually were dragged away into exile by their enemies.

America today is two nations. The northeast corridor and west coast look a lot like Old Testament Israel, abandoning against God without apology, while “worship” of God elsewhere is, at best, a mixed bag of sacrificial obedience and self-righteous bombast.

For most Americans, “freedom of religion” now means we are free to pick and choose how, or whether, to really worship God. Some Americans create moral norms to replace those that God gave us, while others who claim to worship God still refuse to hear him calling them to deeper trust in him, much less to prayer that the misguided be healed.

Rather than address our own failures we castigate our fellow Americans as the source of all our perceived injustices and abuses of power. We thus ignore Matthew 7:4-5 (Never mind the speck in your brother's eye; take the log out of your own eye first). That's what fuels our uncompromising politics and an addiction to guns so strong that not even a tragedy like Newtown can break it. But rather than give God our fear and rage, our impatience and mistrust, we treasure, elevate and worship them because they make us “right” and others “wrong.”

My question: What happens if we find out – too late – that we're the ones who were wrong?

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Mark Azzara

Mark Azzara

Mark Azzara is active in his church and a non-denominational prayer community. He also facilitates two Christian study groups for men.

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