Tag Archives: civic duty

Fear, Faith, and Politics

The 2016 Election is unique for me, in that it is the first in which deciding my course of action is a matter of spiritual crisis rather than politics. Now content to consider myself a Christian first and a conservative after, I was previously aligned with Republican positions. This was a result of Ronald Reagan’s second term being my first election after reaching voting age. Those were good days, when faith and admiration in conservatism were rewarded with quantifiable gains in American culture and the economy lasting two wonderful decades.

Things were as they should be. So we thought then.

What happened, slowly, and cyclically, was the degradation of character in the children of America’s success. Affluence sired distraction culminating in the arrival of the Internet, after which it was possible to find a peer group to affirm and reinforce any level of substandard thinking.

Faith and Christian witness should have found a foothold there in the arena of ideas as well. It hasn’t, at least to prominence, and there’s a particular reason why; such can be called consensus censorship.

The sense of community enabled by long-distance collaboration discovered a powerful mechanism to avoid facing criticism of their behavior. It was for the few to assume the appearance of many, and thereby control discussion through threats, intimidation, and economic sanctioning.

Too many bought into their specious arguments and let their false premises ride. Left-think occupied cultural ground faith should have contested, and territory was lost. Defining sin was labeled intolerant by those who identify with and advocate for sinful behavior, and conversation was chilled by force. We became mired in an intimidated, secularized national culture.

Since then we’ve degraded into the nation whose choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump made our democratic process a laughingstock. In this tiresome time, when many are contemplating fateful courses of action and pondering the nature of civic duty, I am reminded of a foundational premise from long ago. In this I concluded our primary concern is to deliver back to God our soul in some semblance of order after a lifetime of formative experience.

Fear will not do that, nor compromise, nor faithless pragmatism. Those are vices: grand delusions cast as a veil to guide us away from our potential and our work.

A statist Congress of one flavor or another will not save us. Neither will a Supreme Court stocked with the same affliction of compromise and willingness to consider expansive government an established paradigm. The only power able to redeem our nation is the Spirit making the longsuffering seedbed of virtue overcome the lure of vice. Easy answers, lesser evils, and incremental reduction to nominality are not and never were the path toward a better tomorrow.

It’s a time for a revival of faith in a nation in which the gift of the Spirit seems to be withdrawn. When this episode of history is over, we each will have at best held our ground, or diminished into compromise, or at worst embraced reprobative thinking and provoked predictable, disastrous consequences.

It is evident that someone is going to have to rebuild. Only those who appreciate concepts of the level, square and plum and who know how to live will prosper soon. Those precepts have been available for millennia. For as long, we’ve been presented case studies of nations who forget the God Who Is and lapse into idolatry, and the thought we live in another such epoch is sobering. Unfortunately, it is also an increasingly unavoidable conclusion.

Faith, as I’ve said elsewhere, is given to overcome fear. That gift from God allows us warn and advise while opportunity remains. Faith invites the Spirit, who brings discernment as a gift in return for our hospitality. Clarity follows, where we see God remains dominant throughout Creation, and the noisome discordance of the enemy fades in comparison to divine glory.

All is not lost with an election cycle. One need not align with Baal to hinder Moloch. Even with things as they have been before, and as they were predicted long ago, God will be glorified in the days to come. No device of the enemy, no weapon formed against His plan will prosper. The decisions of our days should reflect our sure knowledge that it is so, and that He will keep enough of his own people for Himself, if we hope to be numbered among them when this is over.

It’s a time when everyone will have the opportunity to define themselves in the ordering of their loyalties. Mine are defined: The God of Israel bought me with the blood of Christ long before I was, and better men defined the righteous and descendant principles of just governance through the American Constitution. Afterward follow my marriage and loyalties to the ones I love.

People whose perception culminates at the level of human government might see things differently than I, and it seems much of the right wing acts out in just such a way these days. Fear those as much as you do the secular leftist; in each camp is the temptation toward pragmatism that has marred humanity in the past. I’m no prophet—only someone who pays attention.

Choose to love, for the road to redemption begins there. -DA

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