You might be a political junkie. You might be a hard-working dad who doesn’t have time to pay much attention. You might be a stay-at-home mom, diligently raising the next generation, barely having time to catch up with the news.
And you might be a dedicated Christian who understands the liberty upon which this nation was founded, and last week’s election results have you fearing the worst for our future and for the future of your children. It is a justifiable fear, based in facts. You are frightened. You are angry. You are bitter. You are lashing out. You read much, yet it doesn’t help but to add to the fear.
I know. I am that person.
Of all that I’ve read, though, there are three articles that stand out to me.
The first is by Dan Phillips of "Biblical Christianity" blog. Dan reflects on the wholly proper Biblical example of mourning for our country in light of what has happened. Our response shouldn’t be fear, anger, or bitterness, as much as mourning and crying to the Father for mercy.
The second is a link I found on Dan’s post to Betsy Markman’s blog, “Just Another Clay Pot.” She carries the idea of mourning and grief farther, and brings out the very important point that America is not in mortal danger because of who we have elected to office, but rather, America elected these people to office because we are in mortal danger! We are no longer a nation under God.
The third is a sermon by John MacArthur that was originally preached at one of the National Day of Prayer gatherings in the spring of 2008. (The transcript and the audio are available HERE.) In this sermon, MacArthur discusses the devolution of society when God removes His hand as illustrated in Romans 1 and shows how American culture has moved significantly down that road. He Scripturally backs up the contention found in Markman’s blog that we are no longer a nation under God.
If you read these resources, you will find they are not pleasant thoughts, for they illustrate a culture that is hurtling headlong into the abyss and anyone with a Biblically informed worldview living in this culture will see the future with trepidation. How could anyone not be concerned, especially parents who see a bleak future for their children? I know the arguments about Christians having their hope in heaven, and as a believer, my ultimate hope truly is in Jesus Christ… but I still live in this world and envision how it will be turned upside down in very short order. I am still mourning as Jeremiah did.
So what to do? What would a person who trusts his life to God in Jesus Christ actually do in this case?
Maybe we ought to get more involved in politics, fighting to take back the Republican Party from the moderates! Let’s flex our political muscles as a group!
While that’s quite appealing to me in the flesh, I know it’s not going to work, for it is like a million people attempting to bail out the ocean with teaspoons. No matter how hard they bail, the water is being replenished faster. If MacArthur is correct, God has removed His hand of protection from our country and it is only a matter of time before we lose all this country once was because our culture has already changed. Nothing we do politically will work. More confirmation of that thought comes from an eye-opening book I am reading entitled, "Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture" by Herbert Schlossberg. The author does a fabulous job of showing how far our culture has drifted from the authentic Christian faith. Humanism is the rule of the day, even in most of our churches, influencing and affecting most everything we do, whether we realize it or not. Many Christians aren’t even aware how much we really don’t follow a Biblical worldview, even when we say we do! The results of this election are wholly in accordance with the humanistic cultural viewpoints Schlossberg brings out in his discussion. As our culture drifts farther and farther from the remnants of our Christian heritage, we will move closer and closer to socialism, decay, and loss of freedom. While battling in the political arena may postpone the inevitable, it will not stop it from coming, for our culture has changed to the point of demanding this change occur.
Is there any good news? In a word…Yes!
This is a wake-up call to the church, not to more and greater political involvement, but to more and greater reliance upon God and His claim on our lives. We are about to have our reliance upon the material world shattered. It will be painful, but if we will turn to God now, confess our sins, conform our lives to Scriptural principles, we can minimize that pain.
Even more importantly, though, is the church that is actually being the church expands God’s Kingdom by witnessing loudly to a culture lost in darkness. This is a church where Christians aren’t just cultural, but are Biblically informed, doctrinally sound, living lives directed by God’s laws and commandments. Puritan Samuel Bolton in his book, “The True Bounds of Christian Freedom,” wrote the following: “The Law sends us to the Gospel for our justification; the Gospel sends us to the Law to frame our way of life.”
You don’t have to look very closely to see that virtually all of us “frame our way of life” according to the culture instead of according to the Law of God.
This has to change! As people who know the Lord of all, we need to frame our lives around the Word instead of around the culture. This isn’t in order to be saved, but as a result of our salvation. We need to live in Christian community, involved with each others’ lives in love. John makes it clear in his Gospel that it is by our love for each other that people will know we are Christians. Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr. at the Highlands Study Center says it best in their mission statement: “Simple, Separate, and Deliberate.” The Christians in their churches strive for lives that are simple. That way they have time for each other, both within the individual families and between families. They are separate in that they separate from the culture, not in a monastic fashion, but in the fashion that a life lived by Biblical principles will necessarily not follow the trends, but live in a manner that seeks the approval of the Father. This necessitates a Christian culture that is distinctly separate from the pagan culture of America. And of course, to do both of these, they must be deliberate in taking all things captive to the Word of God. This makes them a light on the hill that shines forth brightly in their little corner of the world. Imagine that being recreated all across this land! Imagine how the Kingdom would be expanded through true witness and conversions! Imagine how the culture would be impacted!
How about us? We go to our Bible Studies. We talk about being salt and light, but honestly…how’s that working for ya? Have you had many converts? Has your culture changed at all? Have you personally grown in holiness and sanctification? Salt is different than the surrounding food; light is different than darkness. If we continue to look like the culture, not only will we have no hope in changing that culture, but we will go down with them as God brings His judgment.
Let’s use these perilous times to call us back to the lives our Father would have us live: lives that are humble, repentant, growing in holiness and dependence upon our God, lives that every day reflect a new aspect of obedience to the commandments of our Lord, lives that live in Christian community and express Christian love for each other. In doing so, our Lord in heaven will be pleased, and maybe, just maybe…He will show mercy to our land.