“In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord
seated on a throne, high and lifted up….”
June 6, 2004
It is not possible for me to let the word of President Reagan’s passage into eternity go by without comment. For any believer raised in America older than 35 and who ever desired to see a national righteousness established, the influence of Ronald Reagan is without comparison in our lifetime.
If one understands and believes—as I do—that the Lord particularly anoints and raises up some national leaders for specific purposes in their generations—regardless of whether they actually know Him—then he will understand when I say it is possible that not since Presidents Washington and Lincoln was an American leader more anointed, suited, guided and protected to be the leader of this nation’s people as a gift from the Lord for their good. He was more than a president. He was a national father and an elder statesman.
As a young believer zealous for national righteousness from youth, I was raised in the faith under the rising political star of Ronald Reagan. These were in the days before I could fully discern between the “visionary” righteousness of American idealism and the true spiritual righteousness of God’s kingdom. I deeply admired—yes, loved—Ronald Reagan. I believed he could “turn the nation around,” and fervently prayed for him in the earliest days of his campaign for the presidency—as did so many thousands and perhaps millions of American believers.
- The Goodness That Leads to Repentance
Prior to Reagan’s ascendancy, those of us committed to see a national righteousness (re)-established lived with a deep grieving burden and bondage under the rapid moral decline that had begun in the 1960’s and matured with the Vietnam disaster. We were like the Hebrews groaning and sighing under the unbelieving Egyptians. We also lived under the constant threat of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, as the Soviets continued advancing and fomenting revolution in all the nations of the earth.
But the Lord heard our prayers. God met us where we were. In the very late 1970’s, we began perceiving real hope for a new wind of change. Something happened to begin motivating American Christians to take a forceful vocal stand for national righteousness. And Ronald Reagan was elected President, together with many many other national senators and local leaders who seemed bent on national change. Moreover, the president was protected from his enemies. The politicians and media could not lay a tongue to him and were turned back in shame. He was protected from assassination. We even overcame the zero-year curse on the presidency since 1840.
But at the same time, the Lord began purifying my own sense of what true righteousness and identity in God’s kingdom is all about. I began to repent of my Americanism. I realized that Americanism is only a poor shadow of the true goodness found in Christ alone, not in any nation or through national leaders. As much as I loved President Reagan and felt burdened for him, I realized by the Spirit that his sincere idealism could not bring the kind of change necessary for true righteousness in society. This could only come through a repenting church—specifically, a church that would repent of its compromised identity with and allegiance to the nation in competition with Him.
With this I came to understand that in answering our prayers for a righteous leader, the Lord had given us a good leader, under the gift of whose presidency He expected repentance from us if we indeed wanted righteousness. The goodness of Ronald Reagan was meant to lead us to repentance. And through repentance, we would find righteousness. Through repenting of our own false romantic attachments to American life, we could begin to see the deep reversals in the moral situations regarding abortion, homosexuality and the rest of society’s evils that the President was unable to touch with his idealism.
- But We Did Not Repent
But the goodness of the Reagan years did not lead the church to repentance. The church squandered its window of reprieve under President Reagan. We indulged in the new prosperity that came to the American economy and became softer than ever. (Gas for $.85 a gallon was wonderful, wasn’t it?)
The church remained committed to the proposition of righteousness through more political power—specifically the Republican Party. The church retrenched her commitment to the faith of Americanism and faith in a man. We coasted on President Reagan’s coattails and under the limelight of his favor. Evangelical and charismatic leaders took leading roles in U.S. Government—only to see nothing for it. President Reagan was everything to us. Jesus was simply our sponsor.
Meanwhile, America’s deepest social ills were not changed or cured. They were only checked. Instead, our own social ills came out of the closet! Yes, many wonderful works of the Spirit took place in American churches in the 1980’s. The worship movement was born. So was the prophetic movement.
Yet by the end of President Reagan’s tenure, the church’s lasting legacy was to be the slick outrageous televangelistic money crusades and sex-capades of Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart with the downfall of many similar religious empires nationally.
- Our Minds Have Been Darkened….
The passing of President Reagan after a ten-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease—a disease of the mind—is a picture of the American church and is a message to the church about the gift that God gave us in President Reagan. In failing to repent under President Reagan, the church of the 1990’s and the new century has since been dying a slow disease of the mind. Spiritual ineptitude, idiocy and stupidity reign everywhere.
Meanwhile, in spite of the presidency of George W. Bush and our intermittent recovery from the preceding immoral presidency, we remain among a grossly unrighteous and evil-ly divided nation, under grips of the most provocative immorality and rejection of God known in national history, and under greater slavery to the powers of socialist bureaucracy than we were before President Reagan.
Yet to this day, America’s leading evangelical and prophetic spokesmen still tout the glory of Americanism, chanting the mantras of the American dream. We still look back upon President Reagan’s era with pain, wondering what went wrong in those days of God’s gift to us, unaware that we suffer from the same spiritual disease of mind that marked his sunset years. We would not repent. We could not hear. We worshipped our gift rather than turning to our Giver. We loved our nation as our God. And now all our minds are imbecile.
- Seeing the Lord High and Lifted Up
But here I’m reminded of Isaiah’s vision of the Lord in connection with the death of Uzziah. Isn’t it interesting that Isaiah’s landmark for seeing the Lord is the death of a king? This day, President Reagan has died. And with him, the symbolic window that was opened through his presidency 24 years ago for our repentance and for true righteousness to begin to flourish.
But perhaps with the death of this noble man, the Lord is ready to give us a new vision of Himself, one that truly touches the coal to our lips and purifies our hearts for the courts of His kingdom alone. It is not the first time the Lord has had to remove men so that He might be revealed.
With the passing of Ronald Reagan is the passing of an era and a generation. A new generation is in the wings and is waiting to take up the leadership of the church straight to the Kingdom of God. There is a leadership for whom the vision of men and of human ideals has been removed. We want to see the Lord.
Perhaps you belong to that new generation. Though my own heart still secretly cries over the loss of Ronald Reagan and what might have been had our generation repented, you in the new generation need not make the mistakes that we made…
Let’s share together in the hope of seeing the Lord high and lifted up…
Let’s let Him take Americanism out of our hearts once and for all...
Let’s become the people that He can live through to bring true spiritual governmental power and authority, not only to America, but to the whole earth.
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created June 15, 2004