Since early civilization it’s been true that the rule of the land can change with an edict, a signature, even a preference as to how strictly to enforce certain laws over others.
In our country, a republic, those we entrust our governance to can change as the results of an election – or remain in power. I’ve watched our most recent election process with keen but near-silent interest these last eighteen months. One reason I’ve not said much is that I noticed some time back that I’m observing all this from a different hill than some of my friends and neighbors. So I’ve kept it to myself.
I’m convinced that the composition of our governing bodies; the blend of personality, integrity, experience and vision we send to Washington D.C. or to our state capitals, is a reflection of us, the people who send them there.
We choose who we want to represent us on local, state and national levels. We elect and trust major decisions to them. If they reflect our values, we invite them to continue. If they fail, or if another shows greater promise from our position, we replace the former with a new voice.
I’ll admit I’m disheartened today. not so much in who won or who lost our presidential race, but in what America has become, and what we are fast becoming. We showed our true colors yesterday:
- We are a nation divided; not along geographic, ethnic or racial lines, but along value definitions.
- Enough of us believe it is okay to live beyond our means that we said “keep doing what you’re doing.”
- Not enough of us believe that the borrower is slave to the lender (Proverbs 22.7) to say “no more”.
- Enough Americans believe that what humans think about life is more important than what God says about it to say “unborn life is no big deal; don’t worry about it.
- Not enough of us believe it’s vital to be a man of your word (.period.) to say “you’re disqualified”.
I’ve read with mild interest and watched with some curiosity the post-election perspectives about where Washington is going to go in the next four years.
I suggest to you that Washington is going to keep going in the direction we, the nation, have been going for the last 25 – 30 years or more!
- A dichotomy between what we say is important and what we actually do
- A neglect or unwillingness to spend time with others in prayer
- An erosion of biblical absolutes under the guise of tolerance and being “nice”
- An indulgence in self-interests at the expense of commitment
I’m disheartened but I’m not surprised today. We are reaping the results of what we’ve been planting and cultivating for several decades.
Two years ago, sitting in an auditorium of thinking pastors, I saw and heard Australian historian and minister, Dr. John Dickson, stop, look us in the eyes, lower his voice and raise his intensity. “When you finally admit America is no longer a Christian nation, Brothers, it will change how you evangelize.” I felt the air go out of the room.
We were founded as a Christian nation and for a time we did comparatively well as such. But over time we have failed to defend, neglected to teach, and chosen not to enforce biblical directives in our land. We have forfeited –abdicated if you will– God’s rightful place.
And now we live with the results.
I am not giving up. Don’t misunderstand. I am instead going to sow even more of the seed some of us have been scattering all along. I am going to prayerfully water and nurture the spiritual health of the lives I touch here in western Nebraska. I’m going to look for and celebrate multiplication in the harvest. Some ten-fold, some thirty, some a hundred-fold. Others will do similarly in their respective places. The day will come, by God’s grace, and with His enabling, that we will find the best of these, men and women who have earned our trust, people we want to represent us in Washington D.C. The climate will change in our capital city; not because we forced it, but because we grew the values we send to oversee our governance. We will again reap what we have been sowing.
The psalmist and king, David, ended Psalm 144 with the words:
How blessed (happy) are the people
whose God is the LORD.
That’s not true of the US. Not today. But it can be again.
It starts with a return to compliance; living in agreement with Scripture without apology, without political correctness, without fear. And it spreads intentionally, winsomely, with dignity and class, inviting people, as Jesus’ followers did, to “Come see. Come follow!”
I know of several in Washington who are doing this now. One such congressman is from my hometown in Nebraska’s 3rd district. His dependence on prayer is without apology. His quest for biblical wisdom to apply to the bill on the table is constant. We need more who think and govern like him – but I think we’ll have to grow them locally and then send them to D.C. And while we wait, we pray for those who could make a difference right now – if they’d let their gentle boldness be known.
Looks like we’ve work to do.