America is not the same. Barack Obama is gone. We’re in a new era, with a new president, Donald Trump. Some Americans feel like they got their country back, while others think it was kidnapped. Show any sign of excitement and risk being called a bigot. Express your bewilderment and you may be branded a baby, someone who needs to get over it and move on.
If you don’t recognize that America has changed, you’ve got your head in your bucket.
What are Bible-believing Christians to do? Christians in America now have a lot of decisions that prove even more important, unless we want the 2016 election to become the new norm in our nation. Will we allow ourselves to further detach or will we reevaluate what happened and re-engage with each other, and within the political process? How are people of faith supposed to get along after such a polarizing presidential election whose outcome is still being processed by the entire nation?
And that doesn’t even take into account the intense discussions and debates that are certain to occur as far different policy positions from the last eight years emanate from the White House for at least the next four. Every hot button issue will retain its heat – only the flame igniting it will be different. So how will we followers of God engage the policymaking process as it pertains to abortion and immigration, the economy and education, health care and foreign policy?
First of all, I’m not going to recite the “God is sovereign” mantra. We’ve beaten that theological horse so hard, and so often, that it now means absolutely nothing from a practical standpoint of how we Christians should live our lives. Pastors, professors and allegedly mature Christians responsible for the watering down of that sacred solace are in need of serious repentance. The “God is sovereign” argument has caused an entire generation of Christians to embrace fatalism and futility rather than faith. It’s not simply sad, it’s sin and we need to forsake it entirely. It’s resulted in an overwhelming majority of the “faithful” to be anything but salt and light. The idea that God is sovereign is not supposed to make us check out, detach and move on. It’s supposed to make us dig in, press on, and be the change God wants to see in the world.
Think about it: salt and light change distasteful, dark things. Most of us have mistaken the sovereignty of God as a spiritual escape clause for engaging culture – and seeking to change it. We need to repent from our nonsense. We can’t wait for the National Week of Repentance, coming September 24 (RevivalMatters.com). We cannot afford to throw onto God’s back what he has placed squarely on our shoulders. If we want real hope and change, to be stronger together and greater than ever, it will only come courtesy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Real change that America needs will not come from the White House – it will come from God’s house, among Christians – if and when we stop this irresponsible nonsense of using the sovereignty of God as our excuse to be truly committed to Jesus. Christians in America, it’s time to repent. This call is not for your brothers and sisters in Christ. It is for each and every one of us. It is for you.
Second, this is what America looks like when we Christians detach ourselves from local and national involvement. It’s what happens when we let the Bible stimulate our minds but not our hearts. We’ve become so heavenly minded that we are of little earthly good – and we have the audacity to complain that things have deteriorated? This is what America looks like when we Bible-believing Christians remove ourselves not only from the political process, but also our communities. When we do, the only people left to steer the ship are those who don’t embrace Judeo-Christian values. Why in the world are we shocked when we don’t see our values upheld, defended or protected? How’s that working out for us? How’s that working out of our country? If we are to experience the truth of Proverbs 14:33, that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people,” it’s not going to happen if we watch from afar. Nobody catches the winning touchdown by standing on the sidelines. Winning requires getting up off the bench, getting out on the field, and being part of the action. If you don’t do these, winning is impossible.
Finally, we need to repent – thoroughly – of thinking the government, or any government official, is God. Barack Obama was not our Savior. Donald Trump is not our Savior. Our federal government is now so gigantic, with so many Americans receiving some form or financial assistance from it, that we expect the government to fill the needs that can only be met by God. Sadly, we’re okay with that – and so is the government. Our malaise is perpetuating a cycle of reliance that is not only idolatrous, but also Orwellian in nature – and should strike us with the fear of God. But no such fear is to be found. If America is to be saved, we Christians need to be awakened. Don’t you think it’s time the sleeping giant, we Christians in America, arise, on our knees?