How To Keep A Nation From Turning To God

As someone who spends a fair amount of time thinking and reading about societal revival, sometimes I like to engage in thought experiments [1].  In this particular case, I would like to engage in a bit of devil’s advocacy.  Assuming I wanted to prevent the United States (or any other nation) from turning to God and repenting of their wicked ways in order to escape a judgment that everyone can see coming in some fashion or another, how would I go about doing it?  I want to state at the outset that these are not the sort of activities I want to engage in personally nor do I support this sort of behavior, but I do believe it is necessary to understand our enemies, and ultimately, no matter the sort of divisions we find in our institutions, the enemies we have are first in the spiritual realm rather than in the physical one.  People are only our enemies to the extent that they are motivated or influenced in the spiritual realm in a demonic fashion, after all, and our warfare is against principalities and evil in high places, not against other human beings like ourselves.

That said, let us ponder how it is that we might, if we were so inclined, seek to prevent a nation turning to God.  One of the more underhanded things we might do is to encourage a feeling of despair among those who had sinned in obvious and massive ways by viewing God as so just that He could not possibly forgive us for our sins.  Alternatively, we might encourage a view of God as nothing more than a genie who is to grant us wishes and to give us prosperity or to support our side.  Either way, an attack on God and on the authority of God is key to keeping a nation from turning to God.  Attacking the legitimacy of the scriptures and keeping people in ignorance of what the Bible says except when we wish to scare people by pointing out how the Bible is hostile to our own lusts would also be a part of this strategy, so that we demonize God and make it seem impossible or unnecessary for us to repent and turn to Him at all.

How else might we prevent a nation from turning to God?  For one, we might encourage massive corruption of all kinds on the parts of our leaders and our elites.  Those who can be lured into corrupt habits and ways can easily be made to feel that God is their enemy and thus might resist the pull of repentance and revival from below.  Whether this corruption is financial or sexual or any other kind is somewhat irrelevant, as either way will create difficulties between elites and the people they are governing, preventing the sort of oneness of purpose and servant leadership that inspires people to engage in self-sacrificial behavior.  This has the additional benefit of encouraging those whose standards of behavior are noble to despair of choosing among the various corrupt candidates for office, and of encouraging those who would seek office to engage in corrupt behavior themselves so as to better identify with their intended supporters, many of whom can be encouraged to engage in immoral behavior of some kind themselves simply because it is encouraged and endorsed by cultural, economic, and political elites.  In addition, we would destroy families by pitting husbands and wives and parents and children against each other so that the family could not nurture those who might bring about a societal revival from the smallest levels to the highest.

Related to this, preventing a nation from turning to God would be aided by pitting societies against each other in a series of false dilemmas.  Personal morality and social morality might be seen as being hostile to each other, and that which might be sensible in moderation could be taken to extremes.  Additionally, we might encourage people to make red lines that justify the treatment of those they are opposed to as something less than human, preventing people from coming to terms with opinions that are different from their own but that have at least something worth considering or a perspective worth taking into account.  It would be an easy thing to encourage people to divide up by identity rather than seek identities that unified people, and encourage people to avoid forgiveness and dwell on ancient wrongs which can be blamed on no one but whose repercussions may be obviously seen to endure into the present, so that people do not engage in the hard work of releasing themselves from the bitterness of grudges and grievances which only serve to divide others and pit people against each other.

Having done all of this, having thoroughly corrupted the institutions of a society, having led its leaders and its elite aspirants into evil ways, having pitted people against each other and pitted different parts of the true way against each other bit by bit, discouraging those who were good from being involved and subjecting historical tradition itself to withering hostility and contempt, we might additionally seek to prevent a society from turning to God by encouraging its desire to escape unpleasantness through drugs, alcohol, video games, overwork, or by anything that prevents people from reconciling with God and with each other.  We might encourage shallow ties between people as well as the manufacturing of false narratives of our lives that encourage envy among ourselves and prevent a genuine and honest discussion of our struggles and issues because of fear that no one would be interested or able to provide encouragement or wise counsel.  By atomizing a society and isolating everyone within it, we could easily prevent a turning to God that by necessity would involve developing communion with God and others, which would be something feared and something society as a whole would be incompetent at engaging in.  In short, if we wanted to prevent a nation from turning to God we would do what has been done to our society and others at present.  How to undo or reverse the damage is, alas, a much harder matter.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s