Reading Time: 4 minutes
The housing market wasn’t the only bubble which burst in 2008. It was the first time many Christian conservatives realized just how much had changed and how far afield we had corporately strayed. Not only were our most stable assets, our homes and banking institutions, vulnerable to predation and illusory in their permanence, but our friends, neighbors, and even family members were gullible enough to drool over a nebulous politician from Chicago who planned to harness the political machinery in Washington to heal the planet.
For many, this was the first inkling that something was rotten in Denmark. Not that all was peaches and cream up to then. September 11th was only seven short years prior. But until the fall of 2008, the case could be made that we were fundamentally untransformed, despite the horror of 9/11 and the emotional strain of multiple “military engagements” overseas. November 4th, 2008 would change all of that.
Looking back, it almost feels like ancient history. It’s difficult to remember a time when good wasn’t castigated as evil and evil wasn’t celebrated as good. Together, we have fought the good fight for the past seven years, winning a few but losing more. And the entire time, we’ve keyed on specific guideposts, trusting them to pull us through, while our freedoms visibly eroded under the waves of a progressive tsunami.
“We can survive to the 2010 elections. We must.”
“2012 is only a couple years away! Let’s do what we can to slow things down until then.”
“If we can win big in 2014, we can limit the damage which can be done before the next Presidential election.”
“Check the calendar, I think Lame Duck Season is open! Bring on 2016!!”
Marking time until the next election was instinctual, almost a survival method for the habitually-abused; but in doing so, I believe we might have done ourselves a disservice. After all, there is no guarantee that things will get any better after the 2016 election cycle. As happened in 2010. 2012, and 2014, it’s possible that the conservative base will once again come out in startling numbers to sweep more Republicans into office on a cresting wave of outrage. As also happened in 2011, 2013, and 2015, this will make very little difference in our nation’s capitol. We have an Establishment Party which has already decided to marginalize anyone who breaks rank. This party resembles a coin with heads on both sides, one elephant and one donkey. Two heads—one coin. Two sides of one overarching agenda: to do whatever it takes to grow the federal leviathan and restrict individual liberty.
Like many of you, I pray that we will elect representatives who believe in the rule of law, inalienable rights, Constitutional fidelity, and American exceptionalism. But even if the 2016 Presidential ticket featured Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley Jr., the political headwinds would still be prohibitive. Our nation is firmly under the direction of the Establishment Party, operating under the approval and protection of an adoring media. The Party has plenty of means to gum up the works and the lapdog reporters will spin it in the most favorable manner for the ruling class. All of this assumes a best-case scenario next November, that God-fearing conservatives actually make it into office…
So where does that leave us?
Forlorn? Dejected and unmotivated? Hardly.
As the Koheleth reminds us in the eleventh chapter of Ecclesiastes, the crops will not be planted if we wait for the winds to cease. The harvest will stand unreaped if we tarry for the sun to shine. There is a time for reading the weather and there is a time to plant and harvest. We have seen the dark clouds and we feel the wind growing stronger each day. Now is the time that we must plant. Now is time we must prepare for the harvest.
What does this mean, specifically? It means we use the opportunity which encroaching darkness provides. A lamp never shines brighter than when it is lit in complete darkness. Our nation is growing dark and just might continue to darken, despite all our efforts over the next year. This should not deter us from standing together and continuing to plant with the seeds we’ve been given. Will our efforts be rewarded with another Great Awakening? God willing and the creek don’t rise.
But if the creek does rise or God’s righteous judgment falls on our land, we can consider ourselves even more splendidly blessed. As when Elijah was set against 400 prophets of Baal, God was not content to simply spark a fire from the wood which was stacked in front of His prophet. Instead, He led Elijah to douse the wood with water three times before accomplishing His purpose and setting it alight. If we too are stacked in front of a jeering mob and drenched with water, may we too have the privilege of blazing with His flame, made more astonishing and remarkable thanks to the adversity of our circumstances and the strength of God’s provision.
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