"Turn on your TV." It was my dad.
I reached for the remote with a sinking sensation. The last time he called and said this was in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing.
"It's a terrorist attack," Dad said. "After today, America will never be the same, Heather. Our world has changed because of this."
Prophetic words from my father that have echoed in my mind when I stand at a security check-point in an airport, or have to allow strangers to search my purse at a ballgame.
If my dad were still alive, I think I would have received a similar phone call last night. Election night 2012. "Things will never be the same."
As a conservative, it is rather disheartening to see how divided our country has become. It makes me sad to look at the number of people that have left traditional values to embrace the ideals of Hollywood and are in favor of a socialistic standard. Are people really comfortable with the quicksand that we have been sinking in for the last four years? Skyrocketing debt and unemployment, bigger government and less take home pay—those aren't even the moral issues—haven't convinced the 'other half' that this is a failed experiment?
Yep. Things have changed. The saying, "If you repeat something enough, people will believe it," has been lived out. The liberal media repeats their pet-mantras of a "war on women," and "the rich get all of the tax breaks," etc. Hollywood promotes its anti-family, Christian-mocking agenda, and pours millions into the coffers of the democratic party. It's no wonder that the Obama campaign team has Tweeted multiple times about Jay-Z and Beyonce and once about the attack on the Libyan Consulate. Signs of the times.
Our ideals as a nation have been turned on their head. It's no longer "liberty and justice for all," but "Let me live however I want, regardless of its effect on the greater-good. And the government should pay for it."
We have become the "Divided States of America" to quote the headline from the Drudge Report this morning. I think those of us that hoped to reclaim what makes America great have realized that we are becoming outnumbered by those that want to redefine all that America stands for.
It is a bit chilling.
Contrary to the so-called "hope" offered by our 44th president, I do have authentic hope in the sovereign hand of God on our nation. As much as I'd like to blame Christians that didn't vote, or point a finger at the snow-job of the media . . . the truth is that God has used our election process to put into power His man for president.*
Romans 13: 1-7 tells us, "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor." (I note that the exception to this is when the governing authorities command you to disobey scripture, it is better to "obey God, rather than men."Acts 5:29).
I Timothy 2:1-6 says, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.”
In light of verses such as these, we can face the challenges of the next four years (and the aftermath) with confidence that God has everything well within His grasp. That's not to say that what Obama stands for are standards that the Lord is pleased with. Not at all. But one cannot read the Bible without noticing how God used corrupt and wicked governments to execute His purposes. Whether to test His people, to bring judgment, to display His miraculous power, or bring revival, the Lord sets the governing authorities in their place.
In America's case it may well be that He is allowing our nation to eat the fruit of its ways. Romans 1:18-22, 28-32 explains, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools . . . Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."
THAT is a pretty accurate "State of the Union." THAT is where we find ourselves this November 7th, 2012. The election has not caught God by surprise—unlike many of us—so we can be comforted in that truth.
Even so . . . it's still a bit chilling.
Where will we be on this slippery-slope in four years? What freedoms will we lose? I don't like the answers, to be honest. But I must accept them. I must pray for our country and its leaders and I must be faithful to lift up the truth of scripture and share the love of Christ, regardless of what it may cost. (And I'm pretty sure that it isn't just the cost of living that will skyrocket . . . our freedom of religion will also come with a price).
Am I willing to count the cost? Luke 14:27-30 warns, "And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish."
~Lord, prepare me to be able to carry whatever cross you choose to give. Prepare your people to stand for your truth in a land that no longer wants to recognize it.~
I'm glad my dad, a veteran of the Korean war, is not around to watch the demise of what made our country great. He isn't here to see the freedom he fought for trampled on by big government. He is not affected by the insolent apologies from the President of our country about our country. He doesn't need to wonder why President Obama would ignore meeting with Israel's Prime Minister so he can appear on Lettermen.
But every so often, when something "big" happens, I think of how my daddy would have called me to talk about it. Last night would have been one of those times. I know what he would have said:
"America will never be the same, Heather."
*On the subject of our civil responsibility as Christians, I'd like to share a Facebook post from friend Evan Taylor.
"Each one of us will be held accountable before God for how we exercise the governing authority that He has entrusted to us in voting. Fear God, and evaluate how well each candidate is seeking to honor the responsibilities of the office and the bounds of that authority. Note that, while legislation cannot solve the moral problems of any society, we are still obligated to seek the good of others through every opportunity afforded us, and law acts as both a teacher of the difference between good and evil as well as a mechanism for praising good and punishing evil. So then, where do the candidates stand on the most wicked acts taking place in the world and the role of law in those battles? When you come face to face with your judge, how are you going to explain the way you are prioritizing “the issues” in weighing the candidates?"
Click here to read more from Evan on "Citizenship." Or visit Evan's blog at: http://lockerroomtalks.blogspot.com/