The ultimate unimportance of the US Presidential election is a difficult position for many to grasp. The emotions involved in politics and patriotism are so strong that to say it was irrelevant is an open invitation to much ridicule and name calling. The following is a brief outline of the concept that the election was mainly irrelevant due to it’s relative unimportance in comparison to the real issues impacting our country and culture. It was a complete distraction.
The dust has settled and the hope espoused here is that the Christian community will not slip into further hopelessness, but rather be roused to action…but the right kind of action. Before appropriate and useful action can be taken some reflection on the state of our country and culture, and maybe more importantly – what our role in that ought to be – must become a priority.
“Radical” is not a scary term, though its often used in a derogatory way. It simply means getting to the root of any issue. Any faithful Christian could hardly argue that the state of the country and culture have any resemblance of fidelity to Biblical Christianity. So what must be done? Lipstick on a pig incrementalism? No. Radicalism is the only approach which should be embraced by any right thinking Christian. Why mask symptoms while the disease continues its decay when one could address the root cause of the illness?
But what is the root?
It was a disheartening thing to see the emotions involved in a Presidential election. The duty of voting is elevated to a level of sacrament in the great liturgy of the American process. It’s not as if allowing a people to choose its own leaders is an intrinsically bad thing. The rub comes in when the people have grown so ungodly that evil is regularly embraced as good, and vice versa. The Republic hasn’t failed, the people have. Vast amounts of the voting populous on all sides welcome tyrannical evil in one degree or another, whether it be the legal plunder involved in distributing wealth via social programs on one side, or the empirical war machine on the other. This has rightly been described by some as the welfare-warfare state. Whatever phrase is used it is most clearly the epitome of a socialist state where power is granted to the government, by the people, to achieve ends which would be perceived as immoral if done by any other means. Otherwise moral and religious people can sleep at night while having a civil government do something that if done by any other group would be illegal. There is something fundamentally wrong with this perspective. While it is true that God has given the civil government the power of the sword to execute justice, He has not given them authority to run and regulate nearly every aspect of our lives. Their authority is limited by God’s law. But when the people grow immoral the definition of justice and authority become quickly perverted as God’s law is rejected.
The logical fallacy of the democratic process is the built in assumption that might makes right, or majority makes right.
So the root of the issue is the source of law and morality. An immoral people will make immoral laws. The oft quoted Founding Father reminds us that the Constitution was designed for a religious people, and it could not hope to govern a people who cannot govern themselves in righteous self control. When the source of Liberty, King Jesus, is dethroned and rejected in a culture, that nation will slip into tyranny.
We will either define laws and morality according to God, or man. This is not a false dichotomy. It is a genuine either/or. Natural Law libertarians would disagree – but there is simply no legitimate source for what is “natural”. What’s natural for you may not be natural for me. The root issue is the source of Law: God or man.
Effects of rejecting King Jesus
As the moral decadence of a people grow, minds and culture become darkened. We get exactly what we want. We want darkness. Therefore “We the People” receive the option of socialism on both sides of the political aisle because the people embrace socialism on both sides of the political aisle. They have larceny in their hearts. They believe the Darwinian lie from hell that they can get something from nothing, so they embrace Keynesian economic theory of wealth from printing, and apply it in different spheres to appease the sin in all men’s hearts. Justice is perverted, and God’s wrath is continually growing.
The root issue with our country is not the economy, or the war, or which party gets the White House or Congress. It is, quite simply, an immoral people who have turned from the authority of God’s word in allowing it to define good and evil. The people have turned to the idol of prosperity, and want something from nothing – or at least something paid for by their neighbor. They have larceny in their hearts.
What’s to be done?
The obvious is repentance starting with the house of God. But the church is simply unable to deal with this huge cultural issue of wealth idolatry and larceny because it’s fully liable. Sure, it knows and teaches in some abstract way that stealing and envy are wrong, but it seems wholly unable to apply that in any concrete way to how this heart issue is applied legislatively in the civil realm. They teach “do not covet” and “do not steal”, but God forbid they apply it to a social program such as “Do not take your neighbors tax payments to fund your children’s education”. Church leaders are responsible, first and foremost, in disconnecting in a dualistic fashion the abstract from the concrete application, the spiritual from the physical, the eternal moral laws from the ethics which guide our civil laws today.
In many Christian circles the repentance needs to begin with the flawed concept that the church should not, or can not, affect any real change in culture. The whole “in not of” concept of worldly things is grossly misunderstood and misapplied. Christ commanded His followers to disciple the nations with all of His word, and Christians are often too busy tearing down anyone wishing to do that due to their own faulty and self-fulfilling prophecy of inconsequential defeat.
This flows from the dualistic mindset relating to material and spiritual; and it sure sounds more spiritual to say we should only be concerned with the spiritual – saving souls!
Christ said occupy till He comes, not assume defeat.
And even Christians who would espouse some form of victory relating to the growth of the church are quick to limit its impact in any meaningful way over the culture. They see the church growing in numbers and in faithfulness. Yet they see a growing force of evil which ultimately runs the world.
To this it must be asked: In what universe does a growing and faithful church allow secular and evil powers to prevail? Only a church committed to the philosophy of inconsequence. Only a church that is committed to rehashing, ad nausium, the very basics of the faith – the feeding of spiritual milk – and then stammer around perplexed as to why it doesn’t mature.
A different vision
What if instead of assuming inconsequence or defeat, the church grew a vision of faithful victory oriented application of faith to all of life and culture?
Our source of Liberty comes from King Jesus ruling and reigning over a Christian people with such a vision. The ideas, and the very nature of the faith of the church must change.
What if Christians got busy applying Biblical solutions to the world’s problems instead of wondering which politician would save the day? The Messianic character of the Presidential elections is surely something that the church should recognize as an affront to the commandment to have no other gods. Salvation and Liberty come from God and the faithfulness of His people, not from a tweaking of the tax code or a new pile of regulation in favor of your favorite special interest group.
Presidential elections are so infinitesimally insignificant in driving the change that is required that the amount of time, energy, and emotions that most Christians put into it surely categorizes elections as an epic waste of wealth, resources, and time. The differences offered between the candidates were so small with respect to Godly standards and Christian culture that nearly anything done on Election Day to further advance the Kingdom would’ve been a better use of time than voting for one of the two wastrels.
Get busy thinking correctly about the need for Christian culture, and figure out how to move in that direction. Buying time is certainly an important strategy. In the mean time think of solutions that individuals, churches, and businesses can make to our broken culture, and do your best to avoid the impact of the continual growth of regulation from the parasitic politician-class, and wait for them to go broke.