Many Americans have the mindset that things that happen elsewhere just don't happen here, because of the inherent righteousness that exists in the United States.
That may have been true at one point in history, but America's righteousness has eroded—if it hasn't dissipated altogether.
New York City pastor Carter Conlon, who leads Times Square Church in Manhattan, an interdenominational church with over 10,000 people in attendance who represent 100 different nationalities, says God is lifting the veil and exposing America's unrighteousness—for our own good. Conlon, who is releasing his newest book, It's Time to Pray, next month, says prayer is the only answer.
"If you look at the pattern of God in the Old Testament, He pulls back the veil on nations who think they are righteous, but are not," Conlon says. "He pulls back this veil to show them what they really are. We have the illusion that America is righteous, that certain things would never happen here, but God gives us one last chance to see our true unrighteousness."
Just a few pieces of evidence of this unrighteousness, Conlon says, are the radicalization of youth, rampant gender confusion, out-of-control opioid addiction and absolute incivility in the political arena.
"God shows who we really are as a nation," he said. "He peels back the veneer and shows us we are far from God. He shows mercy by giving us chance after chance, but eventually, the chances run out for us to admit we have sinned against God, to realize we are no longer righteous, to say we have failed as adequate representatives of who God is."
Instead, Conlon says, our nation is spiritually and morally bankrupt, and he says America desperately needs grace and the commitment to pray again, to rediscover our identity and to learn through prayer who we are if our genuine concern is to see God's name lifted up in our culture.
"There is a foreboding darkness all around us," Conlon said, "and it's the last call to the people of God. That's why it's time to pray. This is a do-or-die moment for America. If we don't pray, we bear the responsibility of the darkness that will flood the nation from coast to coast."
Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of founding pastor David Wilkerson who launched Teen Challenge and wrote the best-selling book, The Cross and the Switchblade. Conlon was appointed senior pastor of Times Square Church in 2001.
Conlon continues to be a voice for God far beyond the pulpit of Times Square Church by speaking at numerous conferences across the country and around the world. His weekly radio spots air on 1010 WINS, the nation's longest-running all-news station, and his one-minute devotional and 30-minute program, called "A Call to the Nation," are currently syndicated on over 350 Christian radio stations worldwide. He is the author of several books, including The 180-Degree Christian, Fear Not and Unshakable.
It's Time to Pray is published by GPC Books, an imprint of Times Square Church's partnership with Charisma House. Charisma House has published books, including 14 best-sellers, that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians.
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