Posts Tagged With: culture wars

Why I’m Not Voting

In next week’s election, I do not plan on voting for any federal or New York State officials, obviously including President of the United States of America. I have been asked by a friend to explain my choice. To my best understanding, the reason he is asking me to explain is because traditionally we conservative evangelical types see voting as a civic duty. We have learned from when we were wee lads and lasses that voting in democratic elections is a near-sacred duty, wrapped in all the somberness and ritual of a religious sacrament.

And therein is my first issue with voting for federal and state office holders. As a Christian, my primary citizenship is in heaven, where Christ is. He is preparing the New Jerusalem—the eternal city of God—and He will bring that consummate kingdom upon His appearance and judgment of the living and the dead. You’ll notice I said “primary” citizenship, and that’s because of course we are also citizens of the nations on earth as we live here. In simple terms, Christians are dual citizens, and we have duties in each realm. And what is our most important duty in the civil realm of this age? It is to be salt and light—to stand out. We are to be a different, holy people, and we are to be the fragrance of Christ everywhere we go, and in all we do.

What am I getting at? Only that in all areas of our lives, we are to show our pagan and post-Christian neighbors that we have a better hope, a higher kingdom, and accordingly, a fearless posture toward the evil in this world. Now of course none of us does any of this perfectly, which is why we keep returning to the church gathering each week where we hear of our sin, the forgiveness we have received, and the promises of the age to come. We are often fearful, though our Lord commands “fear not.” We are often mired in the same idols as the Gentiles, though our Lord commands “come out from them and touch not the unclean thing.” I think many wonderful Christian people in America have succumbed to the fear of man, namely, the liberal and Progressive man, and are placing their hope in democratic elections as a temporal salvation. In a narrow sense it is true that good civil policy saves us from lawless men, so I understand the need for the State in our present world; however, I think the manner in which our politics have become all encompassing and overwhelming shows the idolatrous fear and rage intrinsic to this present system.

Today we can and should repent, re-form the line if you will, and face the world as a fearless, holy people.

And I believe abstaining from the vote is one of the more powerful means to do so right now. nopeAsk yourself what drives 90+% of the voting in federal and state elections today. You know what it is: fear. And not only fear, but jealousy, rage, insecurity, and tribalism/racialism (in all directions). Why are Christians blending in with this portrait of ungodliness? I’ll tell you what I think—I believe we’re in a rut of tradition that we can’t see from above. We think voting always helps secure liberty and justice for all.

We think it’s our sacred duty to cast our ballot because men shed their blood to give us this right. We think we owe it to the brave guys who charged the machine gun nests on Normandy’s beach, we think the 58,000+ who never returned from Vietnam cry out “go! Go to the voting booth and vote! We died in a jungle ditch so you could do so!”

We think we must make our voices heard.

And on that last point, I fully agree. We must make our Christian, fearless, faithful voices heard to those in power, and I propose our message be something like this:

We are not your slaves, and we are not afraid of you. Do what you will to us, but we will serve the Lord Jesus Christ, promote His kingdom, and speak out against your ungodly policies. We will no longer be complicit in propping up this sham democracy.

This nation is captured by an oligarchy of lifetime politicians, corporate pirates, and usurious thieves on Wall Street, and voting has only distracted us from your injustices, as if we ever had a chance in a rigged game. We are tired of having our income stolen to propagate antichrist doctrines in the schools, violence in the womb, violence throughout the world in conflicts that are unjust and unnecessary, and general economic discord domestically.

We protest the system of credit and debt that is forced upon us, we protest the postmodern worldview of our leaders, and we refuse to participate in a system that fingers the wind in making law. Our vote will not save the United States of America, only mass waves of confession and repentance in the churches will begin to turn the tide of evil in this land.

We now turn to our families and to our churches to each show the way of confession and repentance, and to take responsibility for all the injustices that we have allowed in our name, and worse, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that to any longer participate in this democracy is to betray our profession of faith in the One who is able to protect, provide for, and to keep His people while in the valley of the shadow of death during this evil age. We will submit to the authorities as He has commanded, but we will no longer sign our names to the vile means and aims at work in the places of power.

Justifying this View

First, the old Christian republic has long since passed away, and the Enlightenment constitutional republic that replaced it is also long dead. We have been living in a straight-out democracy for a long time; we are at the mercy of the majority of voters, and the rule of law is a mere phrase in the imaginations of optimistic, flag-waving patriots. Ever since Lincoln denied the South the right to secede, we’ve all been living in a post-constitutional democracy, now fatally compounded by 1,001 unjust decisions by the Supreme Court and Congress.

Second, what is left of law and order in this society is rapidly being folded into the tyranny of a man-centered foundation for law and justice. From the time merchants began arriving on the heels of the first Puritan pilgrims, the law of man (unjust and ghastly in any society) has been warring with the law of God for the central place in American law. We have always been a flawed, inconsistent nation whose lust for happiness has led to countless crimes against God and man (think chattel slavery); yet there has also been a remnant of the Christian instinct to hold our society to the standards and mores of the Scriptures. Now in 2016, this instinct has been suppressed and defaced to the point of utter mockery—we have pretty much fully embraced a culture of corruption, radical subjectivism, and self-serving. Sure, there’s a remnant of Christian and civil people who wish no harm to their neighbor, but we’re outnumbered, and we have almost zero representation in the halls of power.

Even where decent men and women inhabit an office or two somewhere in Washington DC, the system as a whole is oriented toward injustice at every level. There is no saving it. There is no political solution left in these United States. Let’s read that again. There is no political solution left in this nation, or in our individual states. We have been given over to the full measure of our wishes, to have the riches and blessings of freedom and liberty become the slaves of our lusts and evil desires. The only outcome possible for such a people is total slavery and war.

And so let’s talk about what it means for a Christian to vote in 2016. When we vote for federal and state officials, we are explicitly stating with that vote:

–          I believe that participation in this democracy will somehow promote justice and equity under law.

–          I believe that choosing new individuals to occupy these specific federal/state offices will create better representation for me, my family, and my clan of people.

–          I believe that by my vote I am securing my right to redress of grievances, representation in legislation, and financial entitlements.

–          I believe that without my vote I am somehow made responsible for the injustices of the tyrannous majority.

–          I believe that voting pleases my Lord.

And I do not agree with any of these points. I hesitate to attempt to fully bind other Christians’ consciences with this same conviction, so I will simply state how I see things, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in you as He does in me.

We are Samson with his eyes scooped out, pushing the Philistine grinding wheel. We have been with the Philistine prostitutes, and our Christian souls have clung to them under the sheets of comfort, entertainment, career, prestige, cultural acceptance, and academic clout. We have been fooled—we have been fools. In this last hour of the American experiment in democracy, I would wish for us to press the pillars of the Philistine temple, to bring down the weight of this corrupt nation upon its head… but unlike with Samson, I am not wishing for the death of our enemies, but only for the end of their sin against our holy God. The only way this world will see its sin is for the church to be the church, and that will require a great cost be paid by us, as it was by Samson in his last act.

If all true Christians in America quit voting, within a short while we would be standing in the place of greatest influence of all people, even while the roof of prosperity and comfort was falling on our own heads. The voting booth is a substitute for Christian courage in this day of moral anarchy.

If I am wrong in my framing of the issue, you are welcome to bring a loving rebuke in the comment section.

In Christian charity,

Adam

 

Categories: Interpreting Christian Hypocrisy, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Living in a (Western) Corpse

Although Theonomists are generally derided for their minority viewpoint on biblical law, their cultural analysis often provides clarity where other Protestants tend to live in murky gray areas.

fire

In his 1991 critique of the faculty of Westminster Seminary, Gary North gave a scathing rebuke of the Enlightenment.

In his view, everything blessed and glorious about the Calvinistic Reformation was forfeited by the 17th-18th centuries:

From 1660 to 1789, the humanists took the fundamental doctrines of Calvinism and secularized them. They stripped
these ideas of all biblical theological content and produced a
new man-centered worldview, which became dominant in the
West.

First, they took the doctrine of the sovereignty of God
and made it the sovereignty of nature and nature’s finest product,
autonomous man. The twin idols of nature and history
again became the idols of man, as they have been throughout
pagan history.

Second, the Calvinist doctrine of the priesthood
of all believers became the foundation of modern democratic
theory, beginning with the Levellers in the Cromwell period.
Calvinism’s concept of the right of the laity to vote in church
elections became the model for politics.

Third, the Calvinist view of God’s law and man’s God-given ability to recognize it and apply it to this world became the foundation of modern
science and technology.

Fourth, Calvinism’s doctrine of God’s sanctions in history – blessings and cursings – became, in the writings of the anti-Calvinist Scottish common sense rationalists, the concept of the impersonal market forces of supply
and demand.

Fifth, Puritanism’s unique concept of the triumph of the kingdom of God in history became the foundation of the Enlightenment idea of mankind’s inevitable progress. [1]

Rotten Fruit

Although I am not a scholar of the Enlightenment, I know enough of what came about throughout that period to know how we got to where we are today. Man is always attempting to set himself above the throne of God. The present visible breakdown of Western civilization is the inevitable result of our tower-building autonomy; our idolatry of technology over humanity, our idolatry of progress over preservation, our idolatry of markets over justice. We are reaping what was sown centuries ago, decades ago, and yesterday.

Humanity may not replace the law of God with itself without deadly consequences – and yet the only institution equipped to deal with brazen idolatry is the Church of Jesus Christ.

Ed Young Jr

And what is she now experiencing in the West? The rotten fruits of compromise with the world. In the hour of clear need for an unequivocal call to repentance and grace in Jesus Christ, the churches are busy preaching about… well, themselves.

Perhaps Calvin’s Christendom was also a misapplication of (Old Testament) biblical law, but could we have ended up much worse off going down that road? Yes, modern life has its amenities and perks, but even those things are the product of the Christian worldview in motion – the Christian worldview presupposed by every single scientist, doctor, and engineer who puts pen to paper in search of a better world.

But the Church sinks deeper and deeper into irrelevance as the professionals attempt to construct terribly relevant sermons, and the culture turns toward us with sharper teeth and bloodier claws, sickened by pastel church clothes barely covering up our shameful bigotries and hypocrisies.

They are going to subdue the Christian remnant in the West, if it’s the last thing they do. Our only strength is the gospel truth of Jesus Christ the King – and as we capitulate our precious treasure to the politically correct censors of godless media, we are left with impotent, pagan mouthpieces to speak for us (hello Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter).

As Dr. R. Scott Clark put it:

We may well be coming back to a time like that [with persecutions against the church]. The Enlightenment was not so much really an Enlightenment as it was a repudiation of Christian theism and an elevation of rebellion against God. It took time for the effect of that rebellion to sink it and work out its principle but it has happened. We’re there. We don’t live in Israel. We live in Babylon.

And Babylon was a time for God to cleanse the ranks of His people from idolatry.

Are you trusting more in your money and status than in the Lord of glory? I know I struggle with that – and may God have mercy as the pagan culture overthrows the last remnants of the Protestant heritage in the West, completing the revolution of the counterfeit Enlightenment.

Must it be inevitable?

Thanks for reading,

-Adam

[1] Gary North, Westminster’s Confession: The Abandonment of Van Til’s Legacy (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1991), x-xi.

Categories: Humankind in Distress, Interpreting Christian Hypocrisy, Understanding the Culture | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.