Russell Moore, President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, recently published a provocative article: “2 Chronicles 7:14 Isn’t About American Politics.”
In this video from Southeastern Seminary, Moore explains what 2 Chronicles 7 is about — and why we need to crucify the idea of “God and country.”
Here are a few key highlights:
On the prevalence of “God and country.”
“God and country is much easier to teach and preach than Christ and him crucified. That’s one of the reasons we will often see [2 Chronicles 7:14] preached very often on 4th of July services, or on Memorial Day services or on some sort of a political rally that is seeking to merge God with country. As one scholar put it, 2 Chronicles 7:14 is the John 3:16 of American civil religion.
“And that is possible when our focal point is something that has transpired in the past in American history. It requires a focal point in an imagined past in the founding era. Or an imagined past of the colonial era, in which God comes into covenant with America. Or an imagined past of the 2oth century, in which the United States of America was supposedly in concert with God and has fallen away from that. Now if you and I are going to be faithful in the 21st century, we need to confront this text.”
Why 2 Chronicles 7:14 isn’t about America.
“This text is not about a bloodless civil religion. It is not about a country acting better, or a country praying to a generic God more. This text is about the cross.”
On the importance of knowing who we are.
“The fundamental question we’re going to have to ask and answer about ourselves in the next generation is ‘Who are we?’ When we think about ourselves, what is the first thing that we think about? 2 Chronicles 7 answers that question. Because in 2 Chronicles 7 we see a message here that is not about getting America in step with the church; it’s about getting the church out of step with America. A distinctiveness that is there with the people of God that defines them…. We are defined by the cross.”