THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
Transform or Refound America?
May 11, 2010
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:14 NASB)
This issue is not about Paul’s goal; this will be taken up in another issue. I start with this verse because
it seems that, in general, mankind is continually pressing on toward some goal and some reward for
achieving that goal. Whether it is on the level of the individual, the family, the community, the city, the
state, the nation, or the world, people are often driven to bring about change based on their view of how
things should be. Consequently, they expend a great deal of energy, time, and resources planning and
plotting how to bring about their idea of change, which is often based on what is called a worldview.
Now, as Christians seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness, we need to discern change based
on a biblical worldview, one that places God and His Son, our Lord Jesus, at the center and not man. In
particular, when we hear of political leaders seeking for change, we need to ask ourselves a question.
Is the change they seek based on the wisdom of God , the wisdom from above, which is pure,
peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy (James
3:17), and righteousness; or is it based on the wisdom of man , which is foolish, earthly, soulish,
demonic, disorderly, and full of evil, jealousy and selfish ambition (James 3:16)?
At first, it may be difficult to discern the answer to this question until we see what kind of fruit, if any,
comes from the change. However, if we seek God, His spirit of truth will lead us into all truth and we
Now, this leads to the thought that is on my mind for this issue, and that is the change being sought for
America. Of course, there are those who are quite content with the status quo, at least, as long as things
do not dramatically alter or change their life. Aside from the church, which has its own multifarious
view of change, there are two political forces at work today in America that are seeking for change. We
could say that it is a fight for the heart of the nation. One force wants to transform America
into something very much different from its past, as if to move our nation onto a new foundation, and
the other force wants to refound America by returning to the principles upon which our nation was
founded. We could say that one wants to lay a new foundation, and the other wants to clarify an old
foundation. Is one better than the other for America? Or, is there a best way? To answer these
questions, let us look at the two forces for change that are at work today.
We have a president who is trying to fundamentally transform America (see issue #04-1030,
March 23, 2010, Fundamentally Transform ) by moving us away from our founding principles into
what is called progressivism . Others call it liberalism . In a sense, it is like saying that we can do better
than our founding fathers; we know best because our thinking and understanding has progressed
beyond theirs. For them, the US Constitution, which is one of the most profound documents ever
produced to govern a nation, is not a static document but a living one that must change with the times.
There is some good in the president’s idea of change. For example, it is good to seek for peace and an
end to nuclear weaponry; it is good to try to make peace with our enemies; it is good to have an open
and honest government, if it is truly honest; and it is good to have a heart for those who are in need.
However, it is not good to call evil good and good evil, to support abortion, to speak falsehood, to shout
down criticism, to continually accuse others of doing things that he calls evil or bad that he himself is
doing, and to repeatedly blame others for things that go wrong on his watch.
Reject it if you will, but it is my opinion that the president’s transformation is a counterfeit to God’s
kingdom transformation . The fundamental transformation that Obama seeks is a counterfeit to
what God is going to do through Christ’s conquerors. Obama seeks to build Babylon, just as the ancients
sought to build the Tower of Babel . He is trying to build with bricks and tar. His transformational
change is part of mystery Babylon , the great city, which is the counterfeit to the real city , the holy
city of God, New Jerusalem . But, it is also my opinion that this is all part of God’s end-time plan.
Further, his progressivism is based on man’s wisdom, with man at the center, not God. It is a
progression from freedom to bondage, from righteousness to unrighteousness, from true justice to
social justice, from impartiality to partiality, from order to chaos. It is antichrist in spirit and lawless in
heart, for it rejects Jesus as the King of the nations and the law of God as true justice. It says its way is
better than God’s way, even though the words god and religion might be periodically injected into the
conversation. This people honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me
(Matthew 15:8 ASV).
The second force at work in America today is a grassroots movement of people who are seeking to
refound America, that is, to clarify the foundation upon which we were built and reestablish us on it.
It is a move to restore us back to the vision of our founding fathers and to reaffirm our unalienable
rights endowed to us by our Creator. God is acknowledged in this movement as foundational. It appears
that many Christians are engaged in this movement, which is primarily labeled as conservatism .
To be sure, our founding fathers were men of great wisdom, honor, and faith who were inspired and
guided by the Almighty God who rules over all the nations. We have been a blessed nation and a great
blessing to the nations. This is without question or doubt. It is hard to quantify all the good America has
done in the world, such as setting people free, feeding the world, enhancing lives through amazing
technology, and being a beacon of hope to so many immigrants, to name just a few.
However, consider this: America has fought in 13 major wars, including our own civil war and the
current war on terror; nearly 1.4 million Americans have been killed in all conflicts and wars that have
cost the nations close to $49 trillion. We are the only nation that has ever released two atomic bombs on
civilians, justifying it as the only way to end a costly and bitter war. Since the lawless Roe v. Wade
Supreme Court decision, over 49 million of our unborn have been aborted (killed), egregiously breaking
the sixth commandment of God (Exodus 20:13). We have been through 2 great depressions and 44
recessions in which hundreds of businesses have gone bankrupt and hundreds of millions of Americans
have lost jobs. We are driven by a banking system based on usury, which goes against God’s law. We
have a judicial system that incarcerates and punishes over 2 million people each year at a cost well in
excess of $60 billion, even though God’s law requires restitution, not punishment.
Let me ask. Do we want to repeat this part of our history? Do we think that we will avoid following in
the footsteps of our forefathers? Do we think that our wisdom and human nature has changed to the
better in the last 200 years or the last 2,000 years so that we will not make the same mistakes? Based
on the 6,000-year history of mankind and as long as we all continue in mortal bodies, it should be clear
that, in time, we will simply repeat the same mistakes and failures. There is only one answer; we need
immortality and the kingdom of God to take root among the nations. Only then will there be a people
who have all the wisdom and righteousness and impartiality to lead the nations into righteousness. We
need the kingdom of the world to become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ
(Revelation 11:15). The world needs to be established on the foundation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Undoubtedly, both forces believe what they are doing is right, but we need to reject both of them.
The transformers are more correct in seeking to press on toward a new goal; however, their goal is not
the kingdom of God but a counterfeit to it that is destined to fall. The refounders are more correct in
their acknowledgement of the need for God; however, their goal does not go far enough to establish
God’s kingdom on earth and is destined to repeat history. Both forces fall short and miss the true goal,
the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. We need Jesus as King! And, we need to be like Him, immortal.
It is striking that the president’s phrase fundamentally transform is quite biblical, for this is what the
coming kingdom is all about. It is about transforming the whole world into the kingdom of Christ, to
bring all the nations willingly into the reign of Christ where righteousness and true justice dwell.
Essentially, it is built on an entirely new foundation, not of man but of God. For no man can lay a
foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11 NASB).
The Upward Call: #04-1049
by: Stuart H. Pouliot