As my Facebook newsfeed again erupts in the latest outrages (real or hyped) I have been reflecting on the larger picture that fuels our responses as people who believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and trust Jesus as the only source of salvation.
Many times, we have been looking around at “our” country with one eye closed I fear.
Remember the “good old days” of our Founding Fathers who had regular Bible studies together and founded this “Christian nation?” We just can’t look at the fact that many of the founders believed in God as watchmaker, that Jefferson was a humanist who had taken a razor to his Bible to “fix” it. Some of the Founders had put their faith in Christ, and most of them admired Biblical principles, and those principles were good for our country. But if you were not white and male the picture was different.
But we fixed that right? Civil war, emancipation, suffrage. So then we have the “good old days” for sure, right? But keep the eye closed that might see systemic segregation, child labor, exploitation.
So now these are the “better days”, right? But still one eye must be closed. We still have racism, just more hidden, we have abortion, we still have the poor, and our culture is further and further from the Good Book.
So the liberal side says the old days were bad and now we’re progressing. The conservative side celebrates the old days and says these new days are bad.
I think both are right. This is a sinful world, and it has been. We live in a sinful country because we are a country full of sinners.
What we call “lawlessness” today is just the latest manifestation of what happens when man lives for himself and doesn’t make Christ the center of his life. As a church we need to spend less time trying to fix politically what can only be fixed through Jesus. We need to proclaim the good news. Living in a democracy (or democratic republic, or however you want to put it) our well being as a country depends on reaching as many people as possible with the Good News of Christ’s love, life, death, and resurrection for our forgiveness and redemption.
We, as followers of Christ, need to remember that the old days were sinful too, just in different ways. Our society has always abided evil, because man in his heart is evil.
Don’t look back at the days of slavery or racism and say that those were better because abortion wasn’t legal.
Don’t look at today with its abortion and anti-immigrant hatred and say its better because we’ve become more tolerant and enlightened.
Our hope is not in princes, presidents, laws, or morality. It is in the risen Christ who transforms us out of our selfishness and wicked hearts. Our whole world is in trouble, and always has been. That’s why Jesus came. That’s why He has placed us here. To be lights in the midst of this crooked and perverse generation.
Footnote: Because some will try to twist this, let me say that I am not arguing against Christians voting, or advocating for truth in politics. I’m not against standing up against unjust laws. But if we place that as our primary strategy, we are missing the heart of Christ and the means to truly change our world. Christ’s redemption.