If the Second Isreal, Perhaps We Should Have Anticipated the Long Term Implications?
Updated: Jan 22, 2022
You may have heard that comparison between America and the early Jewish state of Isreal, God's chosen people. That statement is both good news and bad. If true, (though I must admit some sense of tongue in cheek) that same choseness comes with accountability. As I study the Book of Acts from a more contemporary perspective than typical, per my Pentecostal orientation, I can see a correlation between the struggles of our country today and the challenges faced by the most devout Jews in Paul's day. As a former evangelical, or at least having difficulty with what the term now implies, I have so many acquantances caught up in a deep frustration. Some, rather than addressing what has happened to the evangelical movement, are now overly focused on end times, frankly, that's escapism. Many of my fellow white evangelicals still are passionate about "soul winning," spreading the Good News, though blatantly in denial of any sense of racial superiority. Meanwhile people of color swim upstream against racial undercurrents growing stronger by the year. Fortunately for them a growing majority are emerging as national leaders. That too seems a threat to many, given an ever diminishing white dominance, even among those under-served Caucasians who could truly benefit politically and economically from alliance. Meanwhile, the economic engine that used to float the church's endeavors, typically from middle and working class folk, along with old wealth endowments are now dwindling. If she were the moral compass, our nation is surely adrift. Philanthropy is still active, driven more by tax law than Christocentric responsibility. Often the larger gifts move through community foundations, the church having demonstrated a lesser ROI than desired by those who see charity as a tool in a fight for justice. Meanwhile, churches desperately tweak their siloed methodologies, more willing under duress to collaborate, though often for survival rather than an openess to change. Back to Isreal and Paul. Introducing the Gospel of Jesus was so contrarian to the religious power brokers that they often employed mob violence. Paul and others sufficiently beaten that Roman guards must then step in to contain any modicum of civility. This is sounding like the streets of our city and sadly at times, todays mobs may even carry signs that make reference to scripture along with armaments. Unfortunately in that chaos, looting seems appropriate for those who have little recourse for clothing and goods. Meanwhile, the wealth gap is growing right in the face of a working class pay that is far less than liveable. When state backed cash distributions, funded by debt are staged to offset the deficits of the working class, those that recieve their meager bonus find not working a more comfortable place of resort. A far greater threat to the economy then ricochets through the marketplace. The middle class has almost disappeared, while the uberwealthy control the state and her power brokers. This is not free market capitalism, but evidence of a crumbling republic. One tiny virus particle has almost brought us to our knees. Isreal learned some very hard lessons shortly after their encounter with these people of The Way. Perhaps these crises moment will awaken a new spiritual transformation in our land as so often was the case for Isreal. Mike Kangelaris <mkangelaris@