Earlier today a friend of mine posted 2 Chronicles 7:14 on his Facebook page: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” It caught my attention because I had been thinking about that very verse earlier this week after having some conversations with friends who hold to a more postmodern worldview. I tried to run the verse through the worldview filter of some of my postmodern friends in an effort to understand the verse from their perspective.
With a bit of tongue in cheek, I posted these comments on my friend’s Facebook page:
1. Gary, a majority of the people I know have a few problems with this verse.
2. They do not like the idea of humbling themselves.
3. They do not see the need to seek God's face.
4. They do not think their ways are wicked; therefore there is no need to turn from those ways.
5. Since they do not think their ways are wicked, they also see no need for forgiveness.
6. Since most of them do not believe in the hereafter, there is no need for them to hear from "heaven."
7. So all that leaves from that verse is the phrase "heal their land."
8. My friends like that part of the verse.
9. From my interactions with friends it seems that many of them feel that if God could just give them all the money, fun and fame they want while they continue to live however they want without any consequences from their choices, then they will believe in God and follow Him, or Her (let's not be sexist). So how about it? Can we cut that kind of deal with God (or goddess)?
10. Playing the devil’s advocate, I asked rhetorically, “That is how it works right? We get to negotiate with God and tell Him (or her) how to run the universe, right? We are so smart, so intelligent, and so logical that we can out think God and correct His (or her) old fashioned out of date thinking with our more postmodern mindset. And all will be right with the world, when God finally runs it "our way." And if anything does go wrong, it's God's job to fix it. After all, it could not possibly be OUR fault; we are too smart to make a mistake.”
Though many of my friends would be uncomfortable saying these things out loud; it is what they declare by their actions. Sadly, too many Christians act this way too. Perhaps instead of trying to pick apart this verse, we should just take it at face value. Perhaps we should actually trying humbling ourselves, repenting of our sins and seeking God’s face. If we did that, God would begin to change our hearts offering healing to us both as individuals and as a nation. On this July 4th holiday, that sounds like a great offer to me.