It's been a couple of days since election day. Trying to figure how to think about it has not been easy.
Falling into extreme pessimism has been most tempting, and not without reason. That such a person was chosen for our highest office is something that I still cannot comprehend. Although I say that the media is complicent in it because of how they tried to hide and spin all the things about him, in the end the people knew what he was. They knew what he said to Joe the plumber, and knew what it meant. They knew his stands on abortion and even infanticide. They knew the type of person he was, and they chose him anyway.
Very well. The people have spoken. Now we shall see what comes of it.
I am not completely pessimistic. For one thing, he is, after all, a politician, and one of the cheapest currencies in the world is a politician's promise.
Also, I am not forgetful of things in Scripture. Although not a king, perhaps there is something to be said for "The king's heart is in the hands of the Lord, and He turns it wherever He wills". I have consoled myself a time or two with that thought that "What has been intended for evil, God can turn to good".
But let us not be naive and dreamy, either. Even if he only accomplishes a bit of what he has said, it will be quite damaging enough. If he sets up the economy the way he wants, the damage will be serious. If he gets something like the Fairness Doctrine passed, free speech will be damaged, and I can't help but think that hate crimes laws will not be long in following and will be used to further restrict speech. If he passes the abortion legislation he wants, then any gains done in recent times will be set back. If he makes immorality normal and legal in marriage, then we will have lost all claims to being a moral people.
So, what now???
It is easy to use Scripture out-of-context here. I could pull out "If my people...will humble themselves, and pray...then I will forgive their sins, and heal their land". And there is much to be said for what is being said there. We do need to humble ourselves, pray and seek God's face, and turn from our sins. We need to repent.
I'm not going to say that passage is necessarily applicable to us. If we do those things, perhaps God will heal our land. If we repent, he will forgive our sins. But I think that promise was given to a certain people, a people called Israel, and we the church aren't them. But the passage still gives good advice.
Now, if the repentence were to be truly national, then maybe our land could be healed. But I'm not a pollyanna, and if anyone reads this, they are likely already Christ's, or at least think they are.
We need to repent. I couldn't care lesser about having big services in large churches or stadiums with lots of people gathered and weeping on each other's shoulders. I couldn't care less about the theatrics. We need real repentence, not a show. And by 'we' I mean myself as much as anyone reading this.
We, the church, need to repent. If others who are not Christians can be led to repentence, then all the better for them and for us.
We need to repent of abiding the presence of wolves among the sheep. No small list could be made of those wolves, and no doubt disagreements would arise in some cases of which is which, but let us start with some that are obvious--those who are ecumenical to the degree of saying that all religions are ways to God; those who would deny or abide the presence of those who deny basic biblical doctrines such as the Godhead and Christ's death and resurrection and ascension; those who make the Gospel about health and wealth and manipulating God into blessing them; those who would trade eternal life for some kind of supposed utopia on earth.
How often have we seen the dark and ugly side of things like the Word of Faith preachers? It is to our shame and those scam scum can not only still do their thing, but get wealthy doing it.
How often have we seen how shallow and wrong this new apostolic and prophetic movement is? I wish there were prophets, but if there are any, they aren't in Kansas City, or Pensacola, or Toronto, or any other such place. How many more trainwrecks like Bentley do we need to see that there is something deadly wrong with what their saying and doing? It is to our shame that we have abided such things, falling for their supposed manifestations, trading in sound doctrine for barking like dogs in church aisles.
There are no doubt other things that we need to repent of. Some may point out how divorce in the churhc is no better than in the world, and maybe they are right, but I am cautious about that. How many of those people turned to Christ after being divorced? How many are cases of Christians who fell but have repented and been restored? We must be wise in how we view such stats, while also considering that they may be showing us a problem.
We need to return to the Bible, and what it says, and preach that.
I cannot promise the same blessing that the passage above promises, except the part about God forgiving those who repent, because I do not think that will happen, at least at this time, and I've already given one reason why, that those promises are not really directed to us. Perhaps a day will come when our land will be healed, but it will not come until Christ returns. But I'm not speaking to a nation, but to the church.
I am not a Word of Faith sycophant, nor a dominionist of any stripe. What I see in the Bible is "If they hated Me, they will hate you as well" and "All those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution". Some I have heard and read seem to say that if we get right with God, we can expect favor with the world and even a sort of christianization of the world. I think that much the opposite is what would happen.
I am not a bold man. I am not a preacher. I don't know how all of this will work out for any of you, or even myself. The threads that surround us are huge, I would even say worldwide. The fact that we may have a bad and even ungodly leader is not new in history, but the seeming global quality of it all is new. And we shouldn't ignore that.
Before our God, we must be humble and pray and turn from our sins. Before people, we must stand firm, and expect persecution and ridicule and rejection. Some will hear, and repent and believe. Many will not. Let's go ahead and accept now that it will be so.
The time is short. I can give no advice on what specifics any of us should do outside of what I've said above. God will be with us, though, if we are with Him.