Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Case for Our Corporate Guilt

The Minor Prophets Speak to Today 

The Case for Our Corporate Guilt 

fresh baked bread

Hosea 13:14-16 NLT

14 “Should I ransom them from the grave?
    Should I redeem them from death?
O death, bring on your terrors!
    O grave, bring on your plagues!
    For I will not take pity on them.
15 Ephraim was the most fruitful of all his brothers,
    but the east wind—a blast from the Lord
    will arise in the desert.
All their flowing springs will run dry,
    and all their wells will disappear.
Every precious thing they own
    will be plundered and carried away.
16 The people of Samaria
    must bear the consequences of their guilt
    because they rebelled against their God.
They will be killed by an invading army,
    their little ones dashed to death against the ground,
    their pregnant women ripped open by swords.”

Yes, Corporate Guilt Exists!

When God came to bring judgment on the Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plains, Abraham thought it unfair. How can the Lord rain down judgment if there are innocent people, believers, among the guilty?

First, he argued with God to spare the cities if there were fifty innocent men. Then forty-five - surely for the lack of five God would not destroy the forty-five. Then forty, and thirty, and twenty, and finally ten. Surely ten was a safe number! Surely God would not destroy the city nations of the plains if ten righteous men were among them!

In the counting, we forget that God come to see for himself if the cries of sin reaching heaven's ears were as bad as they sounded.

God came down to assess corporate guilt. (Genesis 18:20-33)

But, as we find in Chapter 19, the two angel envoys found only Lot, one man, to be innocent. Apparently even his wife and daughters were not. In fact the men of the city -- young and old -- beat on Lot's door and demanded that he turn the two angels over to them to have sex with them. That is the degree of wickedness that the nations were corporately guilt of.

In America, we too object to anyone assessing corporate guilt. Each man and woman demands to be judged individually. In fact, we have sunk so low as to demand that we not be judged at all. How could a loving God judge, discipline, or destroy our nation? After all we, some of us, claim to be Christian. How could God bring judgment against us corporately when some of us think we are okay?

You can even find theologians who claim God doesn't do that any more. Perhaps they need to read the first three chapters of the Revelation. If God judges individual churches, and specific geographic areas of churches, even though there are some faithful believers in them, surely God still judges nations and people groups.

The Result of Corporate Guilt

We individualist Americans tend to think of national guilt as the sum of individual judgments against individual individuals. Cultural guilt is hard for us to fathom though we find that a bit more palatable.

Second Rise
But corporate guilt is not the sum of the whole. It is the wickedness which like yeast has infected the whole lump. Once the yeast has impregnated the lump it is no longer good for use as flour and salt or any of the other separate ingredients. 

God wants the unleavened bread of faithfulness and righteousness. A leavened nation is of no use to him. It poses a risk of infecting others around it and, if powerful enough, the whole world. 

If it is Americanism which has become leavened by wickedness, if it is Western culture that has become impregnated with the yeast of wickedness, indeed the whole world is quickly following suit, regardless of their native religions.

And what happens when corporate guilt rises in cries to the heavens?

Hosea 13:14-16 describes these results in detail.

  • God's ransom is withheld.
  • National redemption is withdrawn.
  • Death and the grave are loosed upon the land and people.
  • God himself blows an evil wind across the land turn its points of pride into waste.

And then --

And then -- the destruction described is to sickening to repeat.

Do you find this to awful to be real?

Review history! God's destruction reigned upon nations did not stop with Sodom and Gomorrah. It did not stop with the Northern Kingdom of Israel. And it has not stopped down to this very day.

Be informed! Be aware.

Be prepared to flee!

Photo Credits:
fresh baked bread by Jill M, some rights reserved,
Second Rising byRooey 202, some rights reserved,

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