Too Big to Fail?
I saw a marquee the other day on a business across the street from the church, “God Bless America: Too Big to Fail.” That seems to be a popular sentiment these days. The banks are too big to fail, so we assume their debt. The auto-makers are too big to fail, so we bail them out. Now our nation is too big to fail, so we ask God to bless us. My understanding of what they are saying is that our country’s role in the world and the government’s role at home is so pivotal that only disaster would follow from their sudden disappearance. The same goes for the banks and the auto industry – their role in our economy makes them indispensable, and so their problem is our problem and our problem is the world’s problem. I suppose church leaders can be tempted to assume that they play a similar role. Their position in the ministry, all they are responsible for, and all that people look to them to perform, makes them absolutely indispensable. Our pastor: too big to fail.
One of the ways God guards His glory is to prove every such statement a lie. A lesson we are to learn as Scripture records kings failing and priests failing and nations failing and banks (their temples were their banks!) failing is that no one and nothing is so big or so powerful or so connected or so gifted that God cannot advance His agenda without them. The public exposure of the sins of prophets and priests and kings, from Old Testament times through to today, is meant to remind us of this fact. God gifts and uses us to advance His purposes on the earth, but at no time do we serve Him as if He needed anything. He will not resort to a double-standard or wink at the requirements of His righteousness or cook heaven’s ledger in order to keep us in our place. He uses weak and strong, poor and rich, raw and refined because He supplies what they all need to serve Him. He raises up kings and removes nations from their place because they are accomplishing His purposes.
There is only one Being in the universe who is truly too big to fail. There is only One upon whom all weight rests and to whom every eye should look. If God should fail, there is not a pastor or a president or a nation or a piece of legislation that could save us. But since God is perfect, and therefore it is impossible for Him to fail, there is not a person or an organization or a nation that is “too big to fail.” When we assume that God will bless America because it is “too big to fail,” or when we (as the church) have our faith shaken by the implosion of another high profile pastor, we evidence how small a view of God and how a great a view of man we have. God gets glory by proving Himself, time and again, the only Indispensable!
So if we are going to put anything on our marquees, may it read something like, “America, Bless God! Too Big to Fail!”