Yesterdays victory by the Democratic Party in the mid-term elections has been greeted with elation around the world. Everyone, from the UN to EU has weighed in, and the consensus is that this is a good thing. Certainly the US has not made many friends in going after Saddam Hussain, but one cannot help but feel that even if there had been no war in Iraq, the Republican administration still would not have met with approval from the rest of the world. Even though Bill Clinton went out of his way to get along with other nations, the US was, and is still hated.
It boils down to the underlying principles of how people define themselves, and how they perceive others through that worldview. The US is still seen as a Christian nation, and a nation that protects, nay, encourages freedom for its citizens, that leads to prosperity. Those two facts alone are enough to not only make the US the envy of most of the world, but also an object of hate.
And there is nothing the US can do to change that, unless it becomes an impoverished secular dictatorship. I don’t think that is going to happen.
What does yesterdays election results mean for Christians? There is some good, and some bad. Firstly, in 7 out of 8 states the marriage amendment legislation passed, making it a total of 27 states that have now defined marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman. On the bad news side, the sanctity of human life seems to be at an ever increasing risk, with the passing of several embryonic stem-cell research bills, and the voting down of a comprehensive anti-abortion bill in South Dakota.
I am somewhat indifferent to politics, most politicians are self-serving, while pretending to serve “the people”, and are generally not held to account. Having said that, someone must govern, and in my opinion, that someone should always be as conservative as possible. It obviously is not possible, and I also wonder if there are any real conservatives left, and even if there were, will they ever win an election?
While watching all the posturing, negative ads, self-promotion and inflated egos on display during this campaign, I wondered what happened to the honest, down-to-earth, morally responsible candidates? Politics have undergone a fundamental change in the last 20 years. I listened to a few clips from Ronald Reagan last night, and his emphasis was on his clear vision. Once again I came away impressed by his ability to inspire people to believe in that vison and follow him accordingly.
Lately it seems as if election campaigns are run as “Hey, look at me, I am better than that scumsucking sewer rat, he is stupid and lies all the time.” No strong issues of principle, no clear vision and most certainly very little visible faith. Sometimes there is the token mention of God, just to rally the “evangelicals”, but very little of that translates into action. It is all about personal greatness, that promises grand achievement and offers hope for a future not as bad as the one the opponent was creating.
Dare I say it, are we on the verge of a total moral collapse? It has been finely balanced for the last 30 years, but this campaign, with the victory of those who have been obscenely badmouthing their opponents for the last 6 years, may just be the tipping point that, if unaddressed, sends our country into the moral dark ages.
As a result of the changes in societal behavior, even churches have become temples of self-worship, where the occasional invocation of God is merely to tell Him how much we have given, and that He should now honor His promise of a bountiful life. To tell God that He’s actually an ok guy, and that we love Him for that. To find self-actualization through self-elevation before God.
The results are clear, self-importance rules, everyone does it. What is even more shocking are the attempts by so-called Christians to rationalize this type of behavior, not seeing the larger effect that it reinforces in society.
Jesus says this about the Pharisees(ESV):
Mat 15:8 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
Mat 15:9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'”
When we start looking to the ways of society, and the examples of those who oppose sound fundamental doctrine as the pro-forma for acceptable behavior to make church more attractive for the masses, we are launching our own hate ads against God. We are petitioning for the fall of the King, because we are more important. God is served by hearts, not lips. We are spreading the human commandment of “Thou shalt love thyself more than anything”.
Our Christian mission is clear, spread the gospel. Tell people who God is, who man is, and why he needs God. If the people do not understand why they need God, how can they not but exalt themselves?
The only way to stop this country sinking into a vacuum that can be filled by whatever the world desires is the urgent and committed spread of the gospel. Egos thrive on acknowledgment and praise, and further inflates them. The worlds praise and reward for this carnival of egotrips is not lost on either the electorate or the candidates. The bad behavior has been reinforced.
Evangelize, or prepare to pray at the altar of worldly vanity.