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Engage exists to provide perspective on culture through the eyes of a Biblical worldview, showing how that worldview intersects with culture and engages it.

We are a team of 20-somethings brought together by a common faith in Jesus Christ and employment in our parent organization American Family Association.

Spirit of Stupor

Wil Addison
Director of Special Initiatives for AFA

When we look at the history of Israel, we see that they went through cycles of being delivered in miraculous ways, vowing their allegiance to God, reneging on those vows, being chastised by God, and then a repeat of the same. In a lot of ways, this cycle mirrors what we do individually as Christians and what the church in America does collectively. 

Studying a particular topic that God laid on my heart pertaining to Romans 12, I decided I needed to go back to chapter 11 to see what the therefore was there for. In reading chapter 11 I came to verses 8-10: 

[J]ust as it is written, God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes to see not and ears to hear not, Down to this very day.” And David says, Let their table become a snare and a trap, And a stumbling block and a retribution to them. Let their eyes be darkened to see not, And bend their backs forever (Romans 11:8-10 NASB). 

The moment I read that the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said this is what's happening to America. I was curious as to where Paul was quoting from and from what I can tell it's a combination of thoughts from a couple of Scriptures. One is Isaiah 29:9-14

Be delayed and wait, Blind yourselves and be blind; They become drunk, but not with wine, They stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, He has shut your eyes, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, the seers. 

The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed [a]book, which when they give it to the one who [b]is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” Then the [c]book will be given to the one who [d]is illiterate, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I cannot read.” 

Then the Lord said, 

“Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men will perish, And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed.”

 Another Scripture is Deuteronomy 29:2-6

And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land; the great trials which your eyes have seen, those great signs and wonders. Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear. I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot. You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the Lord your God. 

These passages are very interesting in that it was the Lord who was to cause blindness and dullness on account of the disobedience and infidelity of the people! 

So what is a stupor? It is a condition of greatly dulled or completely suspended sense or sensibility. A chiefly mental condition marked by the absence of spontaneous movement greatly diminished responsiveness to stimulation, and usually impaired consciousness. A state of extreme apathy or torpor resulting often from stress or shock. 

America has been given a spirit of stupor by God. The dullness within the church is palpable. 

Let's consider our country and the spiritual significance of why America was created. I believe with everything within me that America was formed to champion the propagation of the gospel worldwide. God raises up nations for a purpose. He raised up Israel to display His love and provide salvation for the world. He raised up Egypt to display His power. He raised up Babylon to chastise His people. He raised up Rome to display His sovereignty and to provide a fitting backdrop in which the Savior of the world would be born and He raised up America that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would spread like wildfire to the ends of the earth. 

America has done much good and we can't deny that it was built upon biblical principles. Our founding documents are filled with biblical influence and Christian thought. The acknowledgment of Creator God and references to morality are throughout. Does this mean the nation is perfect? No! Neither were the Founding Fathers but even Israel has a history of sinfulness. 

The question is what happens when something created with a purpose either fails to continue in that purpose or if what is done begins to be perverted. We can stick out our chest and say things like America was founded on biblical principles and that's true, or even say America is a Christian nation. But this brings about needed discipline from God when there is a turning away from His standard. 

We can make the claim to be a nation under God. Yet, if we realize that our formation was a miracle itself and that it should not have been possible we also have to recognize that when we disobey God we will fall under His judgment. 

For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking. But one has testified somewhere, saying, 

“What is man, that You remember him? Or the son of man, that You are concerned about him? “You have made him for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And have appointed him over the works of Your hands; You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”  

For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. 

But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. 

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren (Hebrews 2:5-11 NASB). 

God disciplines nations and I believe God considers that America was founded with a respect for His Word. This is why we have experienced so many years of blessing. But what happens when a nation not only turns from God but sticks the proverbial finger in His eye? How does God respond? 

 “Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves,” declares the Lord God. “If I were to cause wild beasts to pass through the land and they depopulated it, and it became desolate so that no one would pass through it because of the beasts, though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters. They alone would be delivered, but the country would be desolate. Or if I should bring a sword on that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the country and cut off man and beast from it,’ even though these three men were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their sons or their daughters, but they alone would be delivered. Or if I should send a plague against that country and pour out My wrath in blood on it to cut off man and beast from it, even though Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, as I live,” declares the Lord God, “they could not deliver either their son or their daughter. They would deliver only themselves by their righteousness” (Ezekiel 14:13-20 NASB). 

When a nation that touts its very existence on God’s providence turns away from Him, God gives them over to their own desires. 

 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them (Romans 1:18-32). 

And God gives them a spirit of stupor that even if they wanted to see and hear they can’t. Sin makes you stupid! 

Let’s look at some headlines:

- Church to start counting non-binary members

- Abortion Is Not Only A Woman’s Right

- More than 230 people fatally shot in shootings over the Fourth of July weekend

- Most Christian Colleges will never be a safe space for LGBTQ students. But they must still do better to affirm and support us

- America’s largest teachers union backs teaching CRT to children

- New CPS program puts free condoms in nearly every school - including elementaries  


In the headlines listed above we have: 

- Sexual deviance and confusion affirmed by the church.

- More confusion through using gender pronouns for women who want to abort babies but not be referred to as women.

- The affirmation of killing babies.

- Lawlessness - a state of disorder due to a disregard of the law.

- Persecution - Christian institutions being bombarded and harassed into accepting the godless spirit of this age to make room and allowances for sin.

- Teaching children to hate and rebelliousness against parents and authority.

- Indoctrination of children to be sexualized. 

We are definitely under the judgment of God as a nation. We’ve been lulled to sleep as the people of God. There’s a dullness that’s not even perceived by a lot of us. Things are happening and we can’t discern. 

Why is it that so many stupid ideas are not only being offered but being accepted by the professing church? How in the world does something like CRT get a foothold in the house of God? How is something just a few years ago described as a mental health disorder now is something celebrated by culture without and some segments within the professing church? Why aren’t we outraged at the moves to indoctrinate our children and why are we so lax in our mentality towards the discipleship and the education of our children? 

These are features of a nation under judgment that has been given a spirit of stupor. There’s no other answer! 

The hope is for repentance. When we realize the situation that we are in it is only God who can awaken us. It’s the Lord who gives a spirit of stupor. 

We are not Israel but God has definitely formed America, kept her, and has provided for America as one of His own. The only way for this country to be redeemed is for true repentance to sweep the land. Not only do we need to confess but we need to confess and forsake our sin. 

This was originally posted on The Stand.

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