Thursday, November 8, 2012

Time to Face the Music

Last night was one of the more solemn nights that I can remember in a long long time. I'm sure many of you felt the same as I did with the announcement of President Obama's victory. Flipping through various cable news networks, I realized it was official once FoxNews made their announcement. Long after my lovely wife went to bed I sat there watching the news in disbelief. I just couldn't wrap my head around how the incumbent President would be re-elected with the economy the way it is, or with unprecedented Presidential support for wickedness. Today I woke up and filled my morning with more news programs trying to understand why this happened.

Political commentators are stunned; Democrats reveling in their victory; Republicans fumbling over themselves as they try to salvage the party for four years from now. This morning I was thankful more than most days that I have re-calibrated my Twitter feed to include primarily Christian news and apologetics resources. Amidst the barrage of groanings and complaints, Frank Turk posted a letter from Reformed Baptist pastor, Tom Chantry. His article expressed exactly what I was feeling, and I can endorse it 100%. Please read it when you have time - I guarantee it will be an encouragement to you and very worthwhile.

Chantry resonated with me, especially near the end where he says:

Policies can address political circumstances, but they cannot address the fundamental weaknesses of the American soul. Where we stand today is not so radically different from where we stood in, say, 1980. We don’t need another Reagan; we need the Holy Spirit. If men are to turn from their sin and discover the wisdom that comes from serving God, they do not need better government, but the message which has been entrusted to the church. (Emphasis MINE).
For a variety of reasons, I am still a registered Republican (though significantly more conservative than my Party's official views). It is astonishing to hear about the two paths being discussed for our party's future. First, that we need an even more moderate and/or left-leaning candidate that is more "in-touch" with the American people. Or second, we need to have a true conservative run for office. While my gut is to agree with the latter, I took a step back and considered what Tom Chantry said: "We don't need another Reagan; we need the Holy Spirit."

Our nation has voted twice for increased taxes, unwise spending, the promotion of homosexuality and abortion. The election of President Obama was a wicked decision on behalf of our fellow citizens, there are no two ways about it. The America I grew up believing in doesn't exist today (and perhaps didn't truly exist in the form I thought it did while I was a child either). Christian morality has been utterly abandoned and it is time for us to accept that. I don't think I understood that until this morning. Until today, I had hope that my fellow citizens, when presented with clear evidence and facts would be able to make common sense decisions.

But as the Apostle Paul in the Scriptures writes:

28 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, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 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 1:28-32, NASB; Bold MINE).
This national election was a demonstration of the judgment of God upon our nation. This is the only explanation for why our fellow Americans would have made the decision that they did. Even "common sense" to make decisions is a gift from God, one that He appears to have withheld at this time. I hear Christians talking a lot about how we are a small minority in our society, but I'm not sure we fully grasp how small a minority we are. I know of only two Christians at the workplace, and looking over some of the demographics and polling data from yesterday's election - it seems true Christianity in America is a lot smaller than we think.

I began to think about what all this means for me as a Christian in this kind of society. It seems reasonable that in the not too distant future, Christians will face forms of persecution probably in the form of financial discomfort - and we need to be ready to face that. Christ Himself said that we ought to count the cost of discipleship. But apart from any potential hardship, we have an abundance of opportunities to proclaim the gospel. My prayer today has been that I might be like Paul who was "eager" to preach the gospel to those in Rome. Where did the Apostle's confidence come from? He says, "16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16, NASB). 

There are changes I need to make in my life. I need to take my faith more seriously. I need to consider what it means to count the cost of being one of Jesus' disciples. I need to be more bold in my witness for the one true and living God. I need to not be ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, no matter their background.

As always, thanks for reading,


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