My Response in this format.
by Father James Reuter, S.J.
The signs are clear. Our nation is headed towards an irreversible path of economic decline and moral decadence. It is not for lack of effort.
We can label the above description as: The Second Law of Thermodynamics. To understand this law better, here’s a definition of it.
Heat can never pass spontaneously from a colder to a hotter body. As a result of this fact, natural processes that involve energy transfer must have one direction, and all natural processes are irreversible. This law also predicts that the entropy of an isolated system always increases with time. Entropy is the measure of the disorder or randomness of energy and matter in a system. Because of the second law of thermodynamics both energy and matter in the Universe are becoming less useful as time goes on. Perfect order in the Universe occurred the instance after the Big Bang when energy and matter and all of the forces of the Universe were unified.
In layman’s terms, this universe is spiraling down to destruction. I believe that this law is applicable not only to the physical realm but even to intangible realms like morality. The Apostle Paul described this tendency of men for the worse in his letter to the Romans chapter 1. Peter even declared to the churches that
He understood the temporality of this world. The question “what will happen to the ungodly?” that we raise today might have been raised in the first century. Peter responded,
The circumstances that we experience at present is normal and is to be expected. This however, does not mean that we resort to apathy. What it does mean is that a Christian who knows his Lord and reads his Bible can recognize the signs of the times.
Another precise description of the situation here.
Here is where we can find agreement. The physical efforts we exert are just not enough. The battle is beyond what we see and feel.
Here is where we start to part ways. Reuter has a different assumption on Who God is and What he does; albeit a confused one. We who are familiar with our Scripture know that he is alluding to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Reuter is quick to equate several contemporary things with that verse without qualifying the equivalence he put up.
First he equated the ancient Israelites (i.e., God’s people) with today’s God’s people as if there’s no problem with that. His argument is that since the promise is to God’s people, then it must follow that today’s God’s people can claim that same promise. But who are God’s people?
Reuter did not elaborate on the composition of God’s people. Being a Catholic himself, I believe he means Catholics all over the world. I am not sure if he includes evangelicals or muslims to that category. Born-again Christians would raise protests regarding this categorization. God’s people for today is the Church (not the Catholic Church) composed of regenerate believers around the world.
Second, he equated “the Land” (i.e., Israel) with “our nation” (the Philippines). This is quite a stretch. This same argument is used by the Iglesia ni Cristo to prove that the sugo will come from the Philippines.
If we take that text out of its context, then we can do with it whatever we want.
Reuter needs to be careful in his exegesis of the text.
This is a noble deed, i.e., praying for economic recovery and moral reformation. However, is it really our number one obligation as God’s people? Or is it tangential to the mandate of the church? I am not advocating the neglect of such. Jesus was also concerned with the physical state of the people he was ministering to. He ministered to the people of his time holistically. The apostle James spoke in practical terms when he encouraged believers to practice the right kind of religion. So there is nothing wrong about this. However, we need to always remember our commission from the Lord Jesus
We can turn around and ask the question “Answer to what?” From the context of this article, Reuter is positing that prayer is the answer towards economic and moral recovery. If we think that God’s hand would move this nation towards greatness because we prayed, then we have to stop and think about its implications.In the following sections, he would show several “proofs” of this theology.
England’s ascendancy to world power was preceded by the Reformation, a spiritual revival fuelled by intense prayers. The early American settlers built the foundation that would make it the most powerful nation today – a strong faith in GOD and a disciplined prayer life. Throughout its history, and especially at its major turning points, waves of revival and prayer movement swept across the land.
In recent times, we see Korea as a nation experiencing revival and in the process producing the largest Christian church in the world today, led by Rev. Paul Yongi Cho. No wonder it has emerged as a strong nation when other economies around it are faltering.
These proofs are to be expected. Although we can agree with Reuter about the historicity of the events, we cannot fully agree with his interpretation of it. Reuter equates God’s answer to prayer the ascendancy of England to world [political] power and the United States’ being the most [politically] powerful nation in the world today. Then in the case of Korea, the revival (whatever the area, he did not mention) brought about economic prosperity. Again, there is nothing wrong for a nation to seek economic revival. But the church seeking prosperity is a questionable one.
If we again examine Reuter’s examples, we will wonder about the spiritual condition of the two world powers right now. Let us just take England for example.
The logic is flowing that there seem to be no seams joining them. And that is,
- Genuine humbling and seeking in prayer results in,
- Moral reformation which in turn will lead to,
- General prosperity.
I don’t disagree with number one and two. I have a problem with number three. Reuter is bold enough to use the words “will lead to …” as if it is always the case. In my entire Christian life, I have practiced both number one and two. I have yet to experience number three. Yes I am blessed immensely by the Lord. But I am not that prosperous as Reuter defines prosperity.
We need to be careful with this kind of thinking that Reuter espouses and is trying to promote.
I was just wondering why the Lord Jesus missed this item when he prayed for the saints in John 17. And I think, you should be, too.
Prayer to the Father by the true believers in Christ, who does the will of the Father, done through the Spirit, in Jesus’ name MAKES the difference. Reuter is dangerously assuming that all people, especially Filipinos who would receive his email-article, are Catholics just like himself.
I don’t think that it will be an exaggeration if we quote the apostle Paul at this juncture
Hope to Economic prosperity I presume. Christians have a different hope.
Here goes Reuter’s appeal.
I thought he was to ask 5 minutes of prayer from each one. He is asking that you sit for 5 minutes in front of a computer and start forwarding his article to close friends and relatives. Reuter here sounds like one big Spammer to me.
We have tried people power twice; in both cases, it fell short. Maybe it’s time to try prayer power. GOD never fails. Is there hope? YES! We can rely on GOD’s promise, but we have to do our part. If we humble ourselves and pray as a people, GOD will heal our land.
See discussion above about Reuter’s mishandling of the Biblical Text.
Reuter has just exposed the kind of salvation that he is hoping for.
 2 Peter 3:7 NASB
 2 Peter 3: NASB
 Matthew 28:19-20 NASB
 2 Corinthians 6:14-16