Barack Obama has won the election, and he will continue to rule over America for four more years. A lot of my Christian friends think that this means the end of the world is imminent. But, this is not the low water mark for Christianity in the history of the Christian Era (AD), nor is it a sure sign of the end times. For sure, there are many other things that have occurred in the past century that give rise to speculation that the end may be near. For instance, with the advent of computers, the possibility is now there for a one world government. Also, Jesus’ words that the Gospel must reach all corners of the globe are now fulfilled or very nearly so. But the fact that we elected a president who spits in the face of Christian values should not come as a shock to Christians.
The more shocking thing in the history of the world is that a country like America was ever established. Ever since the apostles set out to bring the peace of God to the world, the uplifting influence of Christianity has been at work in the world. But, almost as long, the spirit of antichrist has also been at work in the church. By the time Christianity had swept through the Roman Empire and become the “official” religion, it has already been greatly undermined by antichristian influences from within, so that true Christianity was already a small subset of the overt church.
Always, in the history of the Christian church, there have been men of great courage and true conviction who have showed the compassion of Jesus to the world, who have won souls for the Other Kingdom. But they have always been the minority. They are always overshadowed by the majority who seek to use Jesus and his Gospel for some personal gain. To that end, they weren’t afraid to “bend” the truth to suit their needs.
After the Renaissance, the idea of human logic and reason began to grow. Men rose up who challenged the stranglehold of the official church on the affairs of the common people. They had a desire to reform the official doctrine in order to restore the truth. But, political winds did not cotton to the idea of giving up any authority. So, eventually, these people sought a new destination where they could be free to practice Christianity as they saw fit. Many came to the shores of America to forge something new.
Around the same time, philosophers such as Hobbes and Locke were crafting their theories on the sovereignty of Man. These ideas quickly gain acceptance in the new colonies. In one sense, it was a natural fit. The Gospel, after all, is the story of freedom–freedom from sin and eternal death. It is also the story of men and women in a right standing with God, which gives them the rights of heirs–makes them princes and princesses. So, Christianity is all about giving rights to the individual, just as Hobbes and Locke were about giving political rights to the individual. The marriage of these two eventually led to the demand for self-determination in government, just as, through Jesus, every person has the right to be free from sin and death. The united States of America became reality.
But the spirit of antichrist was not devoid from the American continent. Wolves in sheep’s clothing found the biblical basis for all kinds of un-Christian things. Africans were bought as property. Native Americans were treated as infidels who should either be Christianized, removed or annihilated. Biblical excuses were found for Manifest Destiny. Power and money hungry entities forged around the world, forcing trade on other nations with the excuse that they were opening these lands for the Gospel.
During the period from the Civil War to WWII, millions of new immigrants from every nation came to this country seeking a better life. Most of them also brought Christianity with them, or they quickly assimilated into the rich Christian tradition of America. So the churches grew, large, beautiful buildings were built, and everyone prospered in a land run by Christian standards. It was the heyday of Christianity in the world. But all was not as rosy as it seemed.
The spirit of antichrist never left the churches in America. Throughout the decades, it has continued to erode the values of the church from within. Many people in the churches were only too happy to listen to the spirits of antichrist. As with any other period in Christian history, or, for that matter, in the Israelite history that preceded it, only a small percentage were really getting the whole idea of the other-worldliness of the Gospel. Most people would genuflect to the church on Sunday, but their hearts weren’t really about to put God above ALL things. After all, there were homes to build and cars to buy, educations to provide for children, taxes to pay, country clubs to join. All these things required MONEY. And so, as with all other times in history, antichrist arose. He whispered loudly in the ears of the Christian people, “Get your money. After all, you’re giving some of it to God, so it’s a good thing to be greedy. It helps God out, too.”
In the 1950’s and beyond, the children of the churches began to sense the hypocrisy. They sat in church, went to Sunday school, and learned the Gospel. But they watched their parents actions, and they discovered that they did not match up with what they were professing in church. They became more and more disillusioned with the church. But, Christian morals still governed the country. So, in order to get along with society and be able to get their part of the prosperity, they continued to play the game.
Along came the 60’s. The children were fed up. The hypocrisy was too great. (And, the hormones were surging.) Something had to be done to stop the hypocrisy. So, they tore down all the bulwarks of Christian society. This was their answer–not to purge the church from hypocrisy, but instead to purge America of the church. They did not seek to restore the first love of the Christian people that brought about the wealth and prosperity of this nation. They chose to opt out altogether. They chose to tear down the structure of this nation, and they rebuilt it with nothing.
In the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, the voices of the reactionaries grew louder and louder, but still people chose to outwardly play the game of society, all the while working silently for its overthrow. With the dawn of the new millennium, however, has risen a generation who knows not even the slightest hint of the church, and who no longer feels any need to genuflect to the traditions of Christian society. This new generation is bold and fearless. And, the old guard who would hold them back is either dead or about to die. As I heard one college child blurt out the other day, “Those old people are just, like, done, aren’t they? I mean, why don’t they just die and get it over with?”
Oh, little girl, you should be very careful what you wish for. These old folks will soon be gone, and with them the last vestiges of competence and reason. You will soon replace them, and be subject to the whims of your progeny. And, when that happens, there won’t be any Christians left to buffer their blows. None of you is old enough to remember Logan’s Run. That is quite ironic, because, some day it will be true, and then you will never make it past thirty. How ironic, also, that the very children of the 60’s who sought to destroy society are now the old people who are being discarded by the young upstarts.
Some people tell me that Christians are not subject to persecution. I tell them that they don’t see any of that because they don’t see many real Christians. Wherever Christians actually stand up and are counted in all the issues that are against Christianity, there is persecution galore. But, Christians are persecuted where it counts, in their conscience. We have to live in this new world of slop, filth, graft and abomination. Nevertheless, it is not the job of the Christian to clean it up.
Jesus didn’t come to make the world a better place. He told us plainly that the world is never going to get better, and, in fact, it’s going to get progressively worse. (Always loved the term “Progressive”. This is where that term really fits.) But, he also told us not to worry. There is another kingdom. And that one remains ours, where we will live like kings and queens. That is the one on which we are supposed to focus. That is the one that is going to last for eternity, long after this puny little America Empire has crumbled in the dust.
So, my fellow Christians, take heart! Though you are in the world, you are not of the world.
Though things may look bleak for this nation, this nation is only our temporary home. Though you may have to suffer inwardly or even outwardly for your faith, it’s just for a little season. Your future is as bright as the noon day sun. It is as bright as it has even been, and it will never diminish.
Though devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us,
We tremble not, we fear no ill, they shall not overpower us,
This world’s prince may still scowl as fierce as he wants,
he can’t harm us at all! He’s judged, and he will fall!
The Kingdom’s ours forever!
- A whirlwind of post-election thoughts (markkelly.wordpress.com)
- Christian Church History (revivalandreformation.wordpress.com)
- Why the Word of God Will Not Let Me Vote for Mitt Romney: A Gentlemanly Response to Dr.Joel Beeke (gentlereformation.org)
- Christianity and Politics Still Don’t Mix (justonetouchfromtheking.wordpress.com)
- 8 Little Known Facts about The Antichrist (shazereverquar.wordpress.com)
- My Reflections on the Defense of the Faith (conmakhalira.wordpress.com)