What can we do at this point in time? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
I’ve been mulling things over a lot after the election. Actually, my wife would tell you it was extremely depressing for me. The way I see things, our country is heading into financial ruin and immorality is on the rise. To make matters worse, we have enemies in the Middle East who are closer to getting a nuclear weapon and who knows what havoc they can wreck on us or another country if they happen to develop one? Personally, we’re not in good financial straits as jobs cannot be found and I currently still lack health insurance. It’s not a good position to be in.
But sometimes, the darkest moment is just before the dawn. It is when things are their darkest that the light can shine the most.
I am conservative in my politics, morality, and economics. I do believe that good capitalist principles are the way to economically grow our society and provide the best way that we can all care for the poor. I do believe Romney would have installed such principles, but I also do not believe that would have been enough. It would have been a good buffer, but the change needed would not come through just that.
When we review the election, we realize that one state legalized marijuana. Also, there were states that for the first time decided to redefine marriage. There was celebration elsewhere that the country had elected an openly gay senator. We have spent much time in our country looking at the financial situation that we are in, and there is no fault in that, but what connection could all of these have?
The connection is all of them are about people seeking to make the government give them what they want.
The root problem is hedonism.
Hedonism is the belief that pleasure is the highest good. Of course, there is no doubt that pleasure is a good. To say something brings pleasure is not to say that that something is bad. On the other hand, if something is good, we can expect it to have a connection to pleasure. It does not work the other way around. There are many things that we consider pleasurable that we do not consider good, hence our term of guilty pleasures.
In fact, this is what Harold O.J. Brown wrote of when he talked about sensate cultures. These are cultures that no longer pursue the great ideas. There is no concern of truth or goodness or beauty itself. There is only the satisfaction of our own desires because we have nothing higher to look for. There are no ideals. We want what pleases us. Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.
Gone from this is any notion of work. It is wanting to reap the fruit of success without having paid the price for it. The reason I am where I am in apologetics is for the price of buying books, going to conferences, seeking an education, etc. It cannt be done secondhand. The reason many people in this country are wealthy is not because of inheritance or lottery winnings, though those do apply, but because of hard work. Many resent that, and they seek to bring the rich down to their level.
Consider this passage in Amos 2:12
“But you made the Nazirites drink wine
and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.”
Nazirites were forbidden to drink wine in showing a holy lifestyle for a vow. Prophets were supposed to, well, prophesy. The people wanted to silence these beacons of holiness and bring them down to their level rather than raise them up. For a contemporary example, consider the debate on redefining marriage. Are we getting a rational debate in the public square when we present our view? No. We are told that we are bigoted discriminating homophobic haters, and that’s just including terms that I can use in this blog!
No debate. It’s just an attempt to shut you down, and the sad reality is that it usually works. An insult is not an argument. It should not be taken as one.
What is the answer to this hedonism?
The last time I wrote on this, I said that Jesus did not show up. The church did not do its part. For those worried about the future of our country, we have only one answer. We must be Christians. Only Christianity can save our country. Only Christianity can save us from our hedonistic lifestyle. Only Christianity can stop us from seeking entitlements more and more and going into financial ruin. Only Christianity can build up our defense enough that we are more than ready to handle any threat from a nuclear Iran, or even better, make sure that that never happens.
Great preaching has changed societies. John Wesley’s work was instrumental in changing England. Many places in the world have seen change when they have heard the gospel for the first time. Most of all, there is the Roman Empire. It was there that Christianity first showed up, and in the end, Christ defeated Caesar. Now when I say this, I do not mean a theocracy. This should still be a country where everyone is free to worship how they see fit, but it should be one permeated with Christian values.
Some might think God has judged us and there is no stopping it. Sometimes that happens. We cannot know that. We must go on and do the work of an evangelist. Last night in fact, my wife and I were doing nightly Bible-reading with the verse-a-day app and the first verse we had in a short passage was this one:
“But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”
Paul’s advice to Timothy still applies to us today. This is a dark hour, but it is also the finest hour for apologists. Too long have we let the world bully us into submission and silence us. Now it must be the time where we rise up and say “No more!” We all seek to make a difference in the kingdom and that starts with our own backyards. Those of us living in America can see the way we’re going. If we love our neighbor and see them making a foolish decision, we will warn them. How much more should we do so if we love our country?
I challenge you, let the Christian revolution in this country start today! Let it be that the church of Christ will refuse to be beat down any more but will stand up for the precious truths that Christians have died for since the time of Christ. If we die in the battle, then we die, but let us have what happens with Tertullian happen to us. Our blood will be the seed of the church.
We can do this. It will take work, but we can fight this, and we can win.