Like many of you, I am deeply concerned about the direction America is heading, including the left’s position on abortion and even infanticide, their extreme $4 trillion “Green New Deal” policies, their advocacy for “transgender rights,” their embrace of socialism, their open border/globalism ideas, the ridiculous “defund the police” mantra, their desire to obliterate our First and Second Amendment rights, pack the Supreme Court with like-minded liberals, and their potentially destructive dealings with Iran and China. But I am wondering if the shady outcome of this last election might not prove to be a divinely-sent “good thing” for the Church of America! Yes, I realize that sounds contrary to what most of us anticipate during the years of the next administration, which will include increased persecution of our faith and our values, with over-reaching attempts to silence us, but can these things not be “evil” God uses for “good” (even though it is a painful process)? Is not that particular “modus operandi” His specialty? It is, and we call it “The Genesis 50:20 Principle”.
Should We (the Church) Look to Man to Solve National Problems?
Let’s look at the trend (a “trend” refers to a general direction; there are always exceptions) of conservative Christians during the last four years. Many of us tended to place far too much hope in a man. Many of us put our trust in a man and those he placed in our court system to right the wrong of Roe v. Wade. Many of us tended to look to a man to preserve our religious freedoms, to be our “voice,” and to fight our battles. We were prone to trust this man to be our “wall” against the evil agendas of the radicals of this land. Was this wise? To know the answer to that question, we need to see what Scripture says about such an attitude. Here are a few passages on the subject, and they tell us such a trend is not healthy:
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8).
“Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly; for He it is that shall tread down our enemies” (Psalm 60:11–12).
“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm[his strength], and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath[shrub] in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh, but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is”(Jeremiah 17:5-7).
As we know only too well, multitudes of campaign signs ubiquitously appear before each election, bombarding us with names of people who want our vote. The best sign I saw this past election cycle (and I only saw a few of them) simply said, “JESUS 2020”! That is absolutely the truth! JESUS is the only One to Whom we should look to “do valiantly” and in Whose ways we can always and fully trust.
Should We Look to the Military to Solve National Problems?
“There is no king saved by the multitude of an host[army]; a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. A horse[war horse] is a vain thing for safety[a false hope for salvation]; neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that hope in His mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the LORD; He is our help and our shield (Psalm 33:16–20).
How Do We Pray about National Problems?
When we wanted the 2020 election to go a certain way politically, we turned to God in fervent prayer. But were we praying for the victory of a certain man and a certain party, or for God to bring many souls into His Kingdom through His sovereign orchestration of events regardless of which man or party won? Did we think to pray, “Lord, Thy will be done! Do whatever it takes to bring much people to their knees in repentance for having rebelled against Thee and having rejected the authority of Thy Word and the salvation of Thy Son”? Did we pray for forgiveness for having taken God’s generous blessings on our nation for granted? Did we confess our serious national sins, as Daniel did in his powerful prayer of chapter 9? NOTE: Listen to our podcast on Daniel Lessons 31 and 32 entitled “A Super-Powerful Prayer” to learn how an extraordinary man of God prayed! www.caldwellcommentaries.podbean.com
Did we confess the sins of the Church, God’s people (see Second Chronicles 7:14) in having compromised with the world on so many issues, including moral and doctrinal ones? Did we ask the Lord to do whatever it might take to shake the Church out of her lukewarm complacency? Or were we praying as though it was all about a certain man, and it was his victory alone that stood between America’s freedom and her collapse? Were our prayers more fervent for our next president than they are for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world (oh, now, that’s convicting)? What about our prayers for the Lord to stop the pandemic or to use it to bring many people to Christ, including those who advocate for things we know are evil? The way to conquer evil is by way of changed hearts, one at a time, and it is the proclamation of the Gospel by the Body of Christ (the Church) which the Holy Spirit uses to convince and convict the unredeemed of their desperate need for the Saviour.
Would Four More Years of Trump Have Helped or Harmed the Church?
It is a very real possibility that four more years of the current President (as of January 17, 2021) would have brought greater complacency to the Church of America. Those extra years might have led her (the Church) to a place of even greater trust in a man, which is a very dangerous trend; one that comes close to being labeled idolatry. Four more years of Trump may have kept our focus on government, trusting the White House or the Supreme Court to slow the downhill moral and spiritual slide our nation has been on for decades. With things going “our way,” the witness of the Church might have further weakened as Christians (especially evangelical Christians) became more associated with Trump than with Christ.
At this point I want to quote from an article written by Pastor Daryl Cornett of First Baptist Church, Aberdeen, NC, on the matter of “Christian Nationalism” In his article, Pastor Cornett (whose lovely wife Cindy is a pre-COVID member of our Living Word Bible Study) writes, “I would suggest that Christian Nationalism is dangerous because it is a form of idolatry. God spoke through the prophet Isaiah saying, `I am the LORD [Yahweh]; that is My name; My glory I give to no other, nor My praise to carved idols’ (Isa 42:8). Even more basic, God commanded, `You shall have no other gods before [besides] Me’ (Ex. 20:3).
Simply put, it’s wrong for a Christian to put country and politics with their symbols alongside devotion to God and Christian symbols. It’s idolatrous to infuse worship of God with devotion to a political platform. Christian Nationalism leans toward idolatry because it conflates devotion to country or a political ideological camp with devotion to Christ. These devotions become essentially one and the same. What is needed is clear distinction between the two.
“NOTE! Christianity is not antithetical to genuine, proper patriotism. Appreciation for one’s country, serving one’s country, and being involved in our democratic republic is not in conflict with our devotion to Jesus. Scripture teaches us to be good, law-abiding citizens of our country, honoring our leaders, paying our taxes, and being submissive to whatever leadership God providentially has in place. Our only cause for peaceful insubordination is if our government commands us to do something God forbids or forbids us to do something God commands. Yes! It is totally appropriate to be an activist against legalized abortion or racial oppression or inequality.
What’s the Answer?
“So, what is the answer? We need to examine our hearts. We need to be honest about what captivates and motivates us to say what we say and do what we do. If my heart is truly being transformed by God’s grace in Christ and my mind is being constantly renewed by God’s Word, then my words and actions should be congruent with biblical Christianity, not some blend of cultural Christianity and political ideologies and personalities.
“I can stand for what I know is biblically right. I can be involved. I can call out what I know is biblically wrong. But, I don’t fly the Christian flag and then justify a selective, biblical amnesia that ignores God’s commands because I think the other side is so terrible and threatening. I must remember Jesus’ command to love my enemies and even pray for those who persecute me (Matt. 5:43-48). I can’t forget that Jesus told me that others will know I truly belong to Him by how I love others (John 13:34-35). I can’t ignore the fact that God commands me to live peaceably with all people as far as it depends on me and never to seek personal vengeance (Rom. 12:17-19). I can never diminish that Jesus said, `If you love Me, you will keep My commandments’ (John 14:15).
“Right now the church must keep it’s focus on the proclamation of the Gospel and being faithful to the instructions of God’s Word. We need to be the source of hope and the example of peace. And this starts with how we treat each other in the household of faith when we have disagreements among ourselves. We need to stand with strong conviction and clarity against the godlessness of our time and call people to surrender their lives to God through faith in Christ, Who is our great God, Savior, and Lord. We are called to be light of God’s truth to a dark culture that loves the darkness. But we must always remember God’s design is for that light to shine from His Church House, not the White House or the Capitol.
“As we enter into this time of transition in regard to leadership at the federal level, please pray for these leaders and for our country. Remember the Scripture that commands us, `that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and this is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, Who desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth’ (I Tim. 2:1-4).”
Should the Church’s Focus be on Saving America?
Without saying, it is clear that we (the True Church) certainly don’t want more innocents slaughtered in their mothers’ wombs (or even killed freshly out of their mothers’ wombs). Such a practice is self-centered murder! So, doesn’t the incoming administration mean that even more babies will be slaughtered? We surely know God cannot be on the side of such an administration! That is true, but the statistical facts also tell us that innocents were slaughtered at a monstrous rate during the 24 years of the Republican presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump! There were 22 million babies killed in those years in America. Surely God cannot be on that side either! You see, folks, God is on “the side” of Truth and Holiness, which are non-existent outside those who are “in Christ” positionally because of their faith in Him.
What about the threats to pack the courts, the fears regarding the end of fair elections, the “progressive” plans to legalize all kinds of drugs and sexual perversions (even pedophilia), etc? Though the situation does not look good, believers in Christ do not need to go into depression or become fatalistic. God is still God. Our souls are still saved! Truth is still Truth, and God’s promises never fail. His Word does not return void! Furthermore, America’s end is not written in stone. We are definitely under divine judgment, but we do not know how things end for us, as nothing distinct is mentioned of this land in Scripture.
Therefore, let us make it our prayer that most of our fellow Americans will not support the increasingly radical leftist agenda. PERHAPS the best thing to happen is for those extremists to really “show their fangs” (which they are beginning to do already), so that even those who have had their heads in the sand or who are simply not paying attention will realize things have gone much too far. PERHAPS the more criminals who are let out of jail, the more terrorism done in our cities, the more dictatorial lockdowns, the more illegals who flood into our land and take jobs away from our own citizens (new caravans are now on their way to our borders), while getting all kinds of “freebies” off our increased taxes, and the more homeless who desecrate our once beautiful cities, the less popular the radical left will be. PERHAPS the more people begin to see where AOC’s Green New Deal leads when it comes to their paychecks and freedoms, the less popular it will be. PERHAPS the more that people discover how Silicon Valley and Big Tech are trying to rule their lives and how the mainstream media and our public education system are doing their best to brainwash all of us with lies, lies, and more lies, naïve people will begin to wake-up to the hostile takeover of this nation. PERHAPS the more that the socialists and communists seek to remake America, the more Americans will not want them in power.
How Should the Church Deal with National Problems?
As for the Church, the more we realize we should not be looking to the White House, our Congress, or our Supreme Court to do our bidding, the more we will get back to Gospel basics. It is truly only the Gospel of Jesus Christ that can save this nation – or any nation! “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes” (Psalm 118:9). And, “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save” (Psalm 146:3).
These verses from the psalms do not mean we are to become passive or complacent when it comes to our political system and our laws and policies, but they do tell us not to put our full trust in earthly leaders and powers! It is trust in the Lord that will be rewarded. It is often true in life that the worst things can turn-out to be the best things.
Remember these truths: (1) God uses evil to work all things out (ultimately) for His good purposes for His people and for His glory! (2) He is Sovereign! (3) He is the One Who puts kings (and presidents) in power – and takes them down, as well. (4) Jesus told us that even the gates of Hell will not prevail over His Church! Could it be that an adversarial administration in the White House and Congress could be the best thing to happen for the Church in America in a long time? Could this be what it takes to wake us up? Let’s pray it is because an awakened Church is the hope of this country we love! We need to be living out the Gospel before our fellow citizens! They need to hear the Gospel and see the Gospel (in us), for it alone can change hearts. People with changed hearts can reconstruct a nation! But, even then, we must realize that America (or any other nation) is not going to last eternally (after the Millennial Kingdom), but the souls of people do live forever! Thus, our emphasis is to be on seeing souls saved for eternity through salvation in Jesus Christ!
Here is a is a great discussion on Bible Prophecy in view of current events betweenAmir Tsarfati (an Israeli Christian) and Pastor Jack Hibbs (Calvary Chapel, Chino Hills, CA). I highly recommend listening to it. The program is called “Happening Now with Amir Tsarfati – January 14, 2021 (YouTube).