2 Chronicles 7:14 Is All About American Politics

Are the promises in 2 Chronicles 7:14 applicable to every nation, including America?

Let us never forget that America was originally a nation defined as a confederation of states.  Most of these states were officially Christian.  Church steeples still permeate the landscape of America as a witness to the influence of Christianity in this country.  Therefore, there is nothing wrong in preaching from the pulpit that the promises of God in 2 Chronicles 7:14 are for all nations who repent of their sins and seek to live under the Lordship of Christ, and this includes the United States of America.

 

Most modern reformed teachers would wholeheartedly agree with Russell Moore’s thesis that 2 Chronicles 7:14 is not about American politics.  He is a theologically consistent Baptist, but he also represents the views of most Presbyterians I know.  However, his views do not represent mine at all.  I am an Old School (before the Civil War) Presbyterian.  One thing that makes me Presbyterian is that I recognize that the promises of God are not just for individuals, but they are also for corporate bodies such as families and nations.

My spiritual ancestors preached from the pulpits in America that the promises in 2 Chronicles 7:14 were applicable to every nation, including America. That was one reason for the multitude of “Election Day Sermons” that bellowed forth from the pulpits of American churches before and during the Revolutionary period. Godly preachers called out for the civil magistrates to honor the Trinitarian God who put them in their high positions, with promises of blessings to those who were faithful to Jesus Christ and curses to those who were defiant.

Israel was indeed a covenant people, and yes, she was also the church in the Old Testament; but, too, she was a nation defined by language, borders, and religion (not just culture). The wonder of the New Testament is that the promises made to Israel are now promises to all nations who choose to live under the flag of Jesus Christ. The gospel is not just good news for a few elect people from various nations, but it is a promise to the entirety of nations themselves who publicly confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ and seek to obey his law.

America in the beginning was a confederation of states, and states like Delaware confessed the Triune God.  For example the Delaware State Constitutional Oath of Office in 1776  required civil magistrates to profess “faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, One God, blessed for evermore; and to acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration.”  Was the United States a Christian nation?  If she is viewed as a confederation of states then yes, she was a Christian nation. Because most state constitutions required an oath to some major Christian doctrine for office holders, she was also covenantal.

Let us never forget that America was originally a nation defined as a confederation of states.  Most of these states were officially Christian.  Church steeples still permeate the landscape of America as a witness to the influence of Christianity in this country.  Therefore, there is nothing wrong in preaching from the pulpit that the promises of God in 2 Chronicles 7:14 are for all nations who repent of their sins and seek to live under the Lordship of Christ, and this includes the United States of America.

Larry E. Ball is a retired minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is now a CPA. He lives in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Read another perspective on this topic: The Sermon That Helped Push The Colonies Toward Independence