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Anne Graham Lotz spoke at the Family Research Council’s Pray Vote Stand Summit at First Baptist Atlanta, warning that America had “rejected God.” The 74-year-old daughter of the late Billy Graham spoke openly of America’s fall from God’s favor, citing Isaiah 5:8, which says, “Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!” Lotz also compared the current situation of the United States to that of the nation of Judah. “A nation that, in a way, like Judah, we’re a covenant nation dedicated to the glory of God by President George Washington when he was first inaugurated, and we’ve rejected God,” she said. “We’ve turned away from Him.” She also stated that, like Judah, despite a time of relative peace and prosperity, instead of thanking God for its blessings, the country has turned away from Him and into sins like premarital sex and sexual confusion.

Lotz compared the current state of the nation to a time in her childhood when she had received a gift from her mother, which she’d thrown away because of its wrapping. She later found out it was a gold ring from Queen Esther’s palace. “I had thrown away a priceless treasure because I didn’t like the way it was wrapped,” she said. She stated America was missing out on great treasure, simply because it didn’t like how it was wrapped. However, Lotz stated she didn’t believe the country was completely lost, encouraging her listeners to respond like Isaiah, who looked to God in Isaiah 6. “And I believe we need, as a Church, people who call ourselves by God’s name; we need a fresh vision of Jesus,” she said.

Lotz’s words echo the growing tension Americans are dealing with when it comes to their faith and its role in society and in politics. On the one hand, there is a growing push for a person’s faith to remain private, insisting it has no place in the public square. Here the line separating church and state is extremely solid and many see such recent rulings like the overturning of Roe vs. Wade as faith values imposing themselves on the public. On the other side is the catchall phrase of “Christian nationalism.” It’s the sort of faith that has people like Doug Wilson, pastor at Christ Church in Moscow, ID turning heads when he speaks about turning his small town into a “theocracy” on “Meet the Press.” With such a swinging pendulum of options, it seems Americans are confused about the role their faith should have in their daily activities, worried that too strong an insistence on America as “covenant nation” may push them in the Christian nationalist camp. Lutz, however, left that decision in God’s hands. She concluded her speech with a call for prayer and revival in America. “Please, God, it’s the only answer, other than your return. So we do pray, even so, come, Lord Jesus, and it’s in your name and in your glory that we pray, Amen.”

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