“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
It is no small thing to observe the world we are living in now is not worthy of bequeathing to anybody – let alone our children. The most obvious sign is the fear and panic that seem to undertone everything we behold in life right now. We are fearful of outside forces that profane our sense of order. We watch our flat screens and see amazing news of people who forbid others to speak without threats of violence; who instead scream and curse at anyone who disagrees with them. Political rallies and gang battles are indistinguishable from one another. Rioting is the new protest. It should make any respectable 60’s anarchist cringe. But then “respectable anarchist” is clearly an oxymoron.
What do we tell our children now that we are wrapping the gift we are about to leave them? According to Dennis Prager, “There was never a darker time in American history.” He further writes: “Every distinctive value on which America was founded is in jeopardy.”
How can any clear-thinking, sensible person disagree with that? The answer, sadly, is this: There are simply too few clear thinking, sensible people who are willing to say or do anything of value to object or protest.
It must seem to many of us in fact that protest is the province only of liberal, left-wing political activists. History reveals they would be right. But they should be wrong. David French’s May 2nd article in “National Review” (Small Acts of Cowardice Are Destroying Our Culture) points to the “reasonable” people when he writes:
“I’ve often found myself thinking of William Butler Yeats’s classic poem, “The Second Coming.” In it, Yeats ponders societal collapse, writing: “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.” In our nation, the center didn’t even try to hold. The “reasonable” people made the easy choice to go with the flow of cultural upheaval. These are the “best” people, those with good jobs, good families, and sensible thoughts. But, as Yeats understood, there are times when the so-called best fail. They “lack all conviction,” surrendering the field to the worst, those “full of passionate intensity.”
CS Lewis describes it all this way in The Abolition of Man: “We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”
So here we are, the truly polarized, firmly impaled on the horns of a horrible dilemma. “Clinton or Trump:” writes Prager, “Nothing more clearly exemplifies the dark time in which we are living than this political version of a tragic Sophie’s choice.” Agreed.
The question is this: Are we surprised? Apparently so. Some, if not many supporters of the newly defeated Republican Party candidates who were buzz-sawed by the Trump phenomenon, now filled with rage and vitriol, are in shock.
They are taking to Facebook, which is the “reasonable” people’s forum of choice for angry protest, to declare: “Never Trump”.
Perfect. Waiting every four years for just the right presidential candidate to attempt to float the sinking hope for a return to the sanity, or at least, the “good old days”, is hardly what I would call a reliable action plan. I’m reminded of the statement attributed to Einstein that says, “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results”. Harsh? Yes. But how better to explain people’s habits the last several general elections?
Volumes can be written on the whys and wherefores of a diminishing values-based life, and the loss of a society-binding, Christian cultural world-view; a world-view that promotes whole families above blended families; a strong, assimilating culture above diversity and multiculturalism. (After all, multiculturalism means next to nothing as a desired outcome, because it is only a condition, never a goal.)
Those who support the Trump nomination can be excused when saying, as Ann Coulter did, “A guy just won the Republican nomination for president by spending no money, hiring no pollsters, running virtually no TV ads, and just saying what he truly believed no matter how many times people told him he couldn’t say that.” She can be excused because she’s right. The last person to run for the office who demonstrably said what he meant (and there is no attempt at comparison here) was Ronald Reagan. Try airing that name in a room full of the diverse and multi-cultured and watch what happens.
There should be no surprise that after decades of increasing erosion of moral clarity, purposeful enterprise and cultural cohesion, America has taken the track to the proverbial cliff. And mixed metaphors notwithstanding, It won’t be long before the fat lady makes her entrance. (And no, this is not a hate remark aimed at women who are overweight. It’s an expression.) It seems the finale is imminent more than ever now.
The last seven and a half years of unbridled and unrestrained presidential tyranny, congressional impotence and media irresponsibility has possibly awakened the sleeping American populi. Maybe. Are we too late? Probably. Let’s admit the obvious: America has been fundamentally transformed. Incalculable damage has been done.
This time, few are willing to predict the election outcome let alone the next four years, but everyone is increasingly shrill in saying it doesn’t look good. So the question now is, “What do professing Christians do in such a season as this?” This is a time America has never really experienced before… a time when consensus and conformity are completely absent.
If the answer doesn’t begin with “pray” we had better rethink our response. Only God can straighten this mess out, or conversely, only He can deliver his judgement. We had better start getting real humble, real quick and pray like Hezekiah. 2 Kings 19:14-19. At most we can beg for God’s forbearance and use what time remaining He may grant to turn and face the task at hand as disciples of Jesus Christ; knowing full well we are His church – this same Church against whom the gates of hell will not prevail. Matthew 16:17-19
If we take seriously the commandment to make disciples of one another, imagine how different the landscape of the public forum might soon look. It shouldn’t matter how late the hour is, our Lord is returning for us one day or another and we should be found doing as He commanded: bringing in the harvest and making disciples.
What passes for our happiness is not portioned out by a president’s pen or his phone. Our real joy and true peace is found by our portion in God. Lamentations 3:24
Regardless, let’s be working out our faith as God guides us; in the world – but not of it, capable of leading and following alike – with wisdom. Above all else, we need not be afraid or angry – but righteous. (Psalm 37:7-11)
Then, and only then, we do what our antagonists have been doing all along – we object; strenuously and persistently.