Do Our Pulpits Flame in America?


“I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors;…in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institution of learning.  I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless constitution.

Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Alexis de Tocqueville


Amos 8:11 - 12 (NASB) 11    “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD,     “When I will send a famine on the land,     Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water,     But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. 12    “People will stagger from sea to sea     And from the north even to the east;     They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD,     But they will not find it.


Since coming back from the Philippines where God showed up in miraculous power to save, heal and deliver I have talked with scores of people about my experiences.  The one question that inevitably arises is this.  Why don’t we see such things in America?  I don’t believe the answer is simple, but perhaps very complex.  But I can tell some of the answer even if I cannot tell it all.


It has come to my attention that John McArthur has spoken on the Focus on the Family show and his theme is: God has left America.  Now I have a lot of respect for much of what John McArthur says, but I also know that John McArthur is also part of the problem.  His treatise is, I believe, primarily intellectual and the intellectual is primarily knowing ABOUT God and not KNOWING God.  See my article on this subject Our Kingly Authority.


I for one don’t believe God has so much left America as America has left God.  But the real question is American ripe for God’s judgment and wrath?  Is that what John McArthur is saying?  Are we Sodom and Gomorrah on the verge of a holocaust?  Well, let’s examine that in the larger question of why we don’t see the miraculous in American today to the extent we see in the third world countries.


I believe part of the answer is the American church has gone a long way down the path of unbelief in God as the truly Living God!  We have a head knowledge of Him but no real heart knowledge.  After 9-11 the churches were full for several weeks, but the church didn’t raise to the challenge and the people drifted back to their secular world.  Pastors are primarily to blame for this condition.  They are not hungry for the Living God as much as they are hungry for their next pay check or for a bigger church for a bigger offering.  Many operate in pride and what to build a large church for their ego.  Ted Haggard built a 14,000 member church while toying with homosexual sin.  How could that be?  When the intellectual with the gift of charisma and an eloquent tongue, but a heart full of self and sin can build a large church something is wrong.  Pastors!  Your pulpits must flame with the wonder and power of the Living God!  When your pulpits flame your pews will flame and the Church will rise up and become Gods tool to shake America!!


We don’t see God’s wonders in American because of Trust issues.  First of all we don’t trust God.  We think we can run our lives pretty well and really only need God when the going gets a bit rough.  Many people leave the church on Sunday morning feeling good that they have done their duty and now they go back to their fundamentally secular lives.  Many don’t understand that a Christian’s life is wholly sacred in every part.  The sacred haunts our beings at all times and we cannot escape it.  We would not escape it!!  Oh heavenly flame, burn our dross!!


But God demands our all and will accept nothing less.  That brings us to the second issue of trust.  God doesn’t trust us.  He will not trust a half hearted people with His power and glory.  People that are half hearted are inherently glory stealers and God will share His glory with no man.  He simply will not work through people who hardly know Him.


For almost 1,200 years the Church lost the truth that salvation was in the atonement.  That Jesus on the cross saved us.  That may be hard to believe for many, but it was the Pietists and Martin Luther and finally Wesley and Whitefield up into the 1700’s that brought that truth back to the church.  Today in most churches we know that if we acknowledge that Jesus paid our price on Calvary we can have our sins forgiven and He will come and indwell our spirits with His Spirit and save us.   That is very good. 


But we have not really gained all the truth the early church believed.  They believe that healing and deliverance was also part of the atonement and that Jesus saved us completely on the cross.  See my article on The Healing God.


So is American ripe for judgment, wrath and destruction?  Most people look at the scenes of sexual impurity, creeping secularism, abortion etc. and say surly God will judge us.  My heart cries out because of these things as well.  But it is the Churche's fault that this has happened.  The real question is do we have a remnant left in the Church that really cares and wants God to use them to cause a flame to burn in the Church?  Do we have pastors that are willing to give it all up to God and let Him burn them up with His consuming fire and make their pulpit their altar of sacrifice?  Is their a remnant of those in America who have not kissed nor bowed the knee to the Baals of today?


Remember the story in Genesis 18 verses 16 – 33.  God and Abraham have an amazing conversation.  God is heading to Sodom and Gomorrah to destroy them because of their sexual perversion.  Abraham, probably concerned about his nephew Lot, bargained with God.  He said, “Surely God will not sweep the righteous away with the wicked” and God agreed with him.  The bargaining goes on for a while and finally comes down to the number 10.  If 10 righteous are in the land God will not destroy.  Abraham must have thought that was a pretty sure thing.  Lot, his wife, his two daughters and their husbands were 6, all the needed were 4 more.  But it was not so.  You know the rest of the story.


My point is that there is a remnant in the land.  I am one my brothers and sisters.  I am wholly given over to my Lord.  He owns me and I am His and He is mine. 


So now we come to what the crux of this all is.  I was praying tonight and I asked the Lord if American was destined for destruction and the Lord said this: “No Evan, but America is in perilous times.  There is still a remnant of which you are a part that hold back my hand.”


Oh people, we must pray, we must flame with the consuming fire of God.  Come and join the band of the wholly redeemed and burn for His glory!!


Evan Wiggs