There is a “destructive, man-made tide that is deteriorating our country at a frightening pace,” and the only way to reverse it is to turn to God, not politicians, says bestselling author Charles Stanley.
As the 2012 race nears, Stanley tells Christians in his new book, Turning the Tide, that real hope and true change for the United States comes when they get on their knees in prayer.
The In Touch Ministries founder acknowledges that Americans are currently suffering from a number of financial, social and moral ills, and what America is facing is a tsunami. “It’s coming,” he says.
The problem is, the nation has turned its nose up to God, the well-known preacher laments.
Turning the Tide has reached the New York Times' Hardcover Advice Best Sellers List for the week of July 31, 2011.
The book, one of more than 35 published by the First Baptist Church of Atlanta pastor, is a call to arms for American Christians standing on the sidelines. Stanley reminds Christian that while their allegiance is to the God of Heaven, they are called to make an impact in their earthly home.
Americans need to feel Christians' impact now more than ever, he emphasizes.
In his book, Stanley lists 20 problems affecting the country's legacy of prosperity. The list includes high unemployment, war, natural disasters, corrupt leaders, terrorism, divorce, redefining of marriage, abortion, and single-parent families. The list also features spiritual problems such as challenges to America's Judeo-Christian values, false prophets and toleration of immorality.
America, Stanley urges, needs Christians to "speak up, stand up and pray as never before" for serious change.
Christians, he emphasizes, should not cast their hope and confidence in a presidential candidate, either Republican or Democratic.
"Hope founded upon a human being, a man-made philosophy or any institution is always misplaced ... because these things are unreliable and fleeting," Stanley states, noting that one politician cannot permanently change the nation on his/her own strength or party.
The late President Ronald Reagan, he points out, turned around a bad economy and led amid conflicts with the Middle East and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. But even Reagan did not permanently change the nation.
Stanley said of Reagan's tenure in office, "It would have been unfair for the millions who voted for Reagan – or any person, for that matter – to think his election meant that all of the nation's problems would be solved the moment he took office or in the eight years he served."
God alone is the origin of real hope and the only one worthy of our confidence, he stresses, and His hope transforms the lives of those who embrace it.
Rather than urging Christians to rush to the polls, the influential preacher is calling them to first take an introspective look at their lives.
"The Bible is clear that those who fail to heed the Lord's discipline – whether nations, cities, or individuals – suffer devastating consequences."
Christians, therefore, must repent of unresolved sin, he states. Once that has been done, Stanley urges Christians to help turn the tide in this country by making time for prayer and obeying God unequivocally.
"If you desire the ungodly trends in our nation to be reversed," he declares, "understand it will happen only if you and I and others who believe as we do fight this battle on our knees before the father and obey him wholeheartedly."