We live in times of inconsequential religion. That means most people do not believe God acts in the real world. If He does act, it is considered a personal, somewhat subjective matter. Impacting major world events are believed to be outside God’s sphere of activity.
Likewise, inconsequential religion holds that what we do on Earth has little effect upon God in heaven. We can do nothing that can offend, attract or move God one way or the other. It is as if an invisible yet very real barrier separates Church and state, human and divine, natural and supernatural, this world and the next.
Religion without consequences fits perfectly with the secular and liberal world’s way of reducing religion to irrelevance and empty sentiments. Liberals love it since it ends up erasing the notion of personal sin.
When Religion Has Consequences
Not all people follow this watered-down Christianity. Some believe that religion has real consequences. They believe in God’s very active role and loving Providence in shaping personal and public life.
They also believe we can influence, move and offend God. Thus, our actions can have good or bad consequences.
There is nothing illogical or bizarre about consequential religion; quite the contrary. Its adherents must only admit that a just and loving God is consistent; He rewards good and punishes evil. Thus, God acts in society, showering blessings and trials upon the faithful as a means for their sanctification. He can also confound the designs of the wicked.
The Only Logical Way to Believe in God
In fact, it is the only logical way to believe in a real God. A Christian who believes in a god that cannot act upon events worships a powerless god. A god who looks indifferently to his creatures’ good and bad actions is inconsistent.
Thus, the logical Christian worships an Almighty God engaged with His creation. This interaction between heaven and Earth is the only coherent position about God.
For this reason, consequential religion triggers the rage of liberal ideologues, who want to keep religion irrelevant. They seek to avoid any public manifestation of it. Whenever an important person takes religion seriously, we can expect a firestorm of protest.
Speaker Michael Johnson’s Testimony
Thus, a fire (and brimstone) storm erupted when it was revealed that Cong. Michael Johnson (R-La.) spoke out about the country’s dire situation using the language of consequential religion shortly before becoming Speaker of the House.
He spoke of a “time of judgment” for “a depraved America,” invoking the memory of the destroyed biblical city of Sodom. He asked, “Is God going to allow our nation to enter a time of judgment for our collective sins?”
In a prayer reflecting our ability to call upon his mercy, Mr. Johnson, now third in line for America’s presidency, reflected that “We repent for our sins individually and collectively. And we ask that You not give us the judgment we clearly deserve.”
The Collective Sins of the Nation
These and other references to the consequences of the nation’s sins clearly state that our actions offend God, and God can act upon us. Mr. Johnson also recognizes that sin is not only personal. Nations can collectively sin when they accept those things that go against God’s law.
Indeed, Saint Augustine teaches that since nations are not judged in heaven toward an eternal destiny, they are rewarded and punished on Earth for their collective good or evil actions. Those who want peace in society would do well to make that society practice virtue and avoid sin.
Such are the considerations of the new Speaker on consequential religion. His critics cannot think outside their liberal box and thus construct all sorts of nationalist conspiracies to explain Mr. Johnson’s positions.
Making Liberals Irrelevant
Statements like this are nothing new. The Church has always taken this stand about God and His actions on Earth. Such statements are consistent with Christianity.
Ironically, liberals confronting religion with consequences give themselves the same powers they deny to God. They brutally suppress this religion in the public square and prevent religious people from impacting public policy.
Consequential religion strikes fear in those who tragically have no faith. When they see that some believe firmly in a loving and Almighty God, they sense the power of religion, and they are the ones that suddenly become irrelevant.