POST-INAUGURATION DAY–A PERSPECTIVE

For those of us who believe the Trump-Pence Administration based its policies on conservative political principles and Christian moral principles, the advent of the Biden-Harris years feels like a dead weight. The Bible tells us our hope is in the Lord, not in man, and Jesus Christ will prevail. Our earthly lives will worsen as the time grows short for His return. The Lord tells us that those who persevere will be blessed with life.

  • PSALM 118:8 (ESV): “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.”
  • JEREMIAH 17:7 (NKJV): “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD.”

THE DARK FIRST DAY 

TODAY IS DAY ONE of the new Biden-Harris Administration, and already we are seeing evidence of the deepening divide within our country. More ominously, we are seeing a deeper divide within the body of Christ.

 The four-year reign of Trump-Pence has ended, and each man — and scores of top-level government officials — will begin the next phase of their lives, but we should take a moment to reflect on a few of their key accomplishments:

  • Full support for the lives of pre-born children
  • Support for male-female marriage as designed by God
  • Lowest ever unemployment rate among minority racial groups
  • Development of energy independence and exporter of energy
  • Transfer of US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, its capital city
  • Signing of peace treaties between Israel and Arab countries
  • Support for alternative schools and school choice to give parents the opportunity to send their children to schools that will educate
  • Forcing NATO countries to pay their share of mutual defense costs
  • Securing our southern border to halt the trade of illegal drugs and inpouring of illegal residents
  • Rebuilding our depleted military
  • Pulling back troops from long-term foreign engagements
  • Fully transparent administration with unrivaled press opportunities 
  • Oversaw development of potential life-saving vaccines in “warp speed” to combat the ravages of Covid.

Perhaps the sweetest of all was a return to wishing our friends and acquaintances “Merry Christmas” instead of the vapid “Happy Holidays.”

According to the Biden-Harris game plan, all of those measures are now under assault.

Apart from the disgraceful platform this duo brings to power is the legitimacy they will bring to ending any form of, or attempt to, dialogue in a civil manner among competing interests in any public forum. 

ALREADY THERE ARE CRIES TO:

  • Silence the voices of those who supported the Trump-Pence Administration in any way, 
  • Boycott private companies that hire anyone who worked in the administration or who voiced support for the administration in social media, 
  • Censure elected representatives in Congress those who raised legitimate concerns over the mishandling of mail-in ballots during the election,
  • Imprison those who are “science deniers,” i.e., anyone who disbelieves the political left’s views on energy consumption, energy production, climate change, efficacy of lock-downs and mask mandates,
  • Label as “racists” anyone (white people only) who do not bend to the accepted meme that American institutions are fundamentally and systematically biased against minority races,
  • Name white men (both a racist and a sexist claim) as the “problem” with American society, even though it was through white men that the “idea of America” was formed, established, and defended over the years.

A FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE

A FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE between the way the political left and the political right view their policy differences, and each other as fellow  Americans, is also coming into sharp focus. 

In 2017, political columnist Charles Krauthammer opined the divide this way: “Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.”

The proposition easily can be put to the test. Simply talk to one another. 

The liberal will quickly move to an emotional argument around feeling, while the conservative will gravitate to a rational argument. That does not automatically make one side “right” and the other “wrong,” only that their methodology differs.

The liberal will make sweeping denunciations without support and offer policy proscriptions rift with error. Here’s an example: Biden-Harris want to stop development of the XL Pipeline from Canada, despite the fact that construction brings with it harmonious relations with our largest trading partner, thousands of high-paid union jobs, and a ready energy supply. By halting construction on unfounded environmental concerns, the liberals jeopardize all three points.

Rational? Not really. Placing displaced workers on food stamps and Medicaid may increase their dependence on federal government, but it does nothing to strengthen our country.

Try to make that point and see how quickly the liberal will engage in name-calling and attempts to make you “go away” and “shut up.”

Once a conservative voices a perspective different from the liberal’s, the liberal will begin the personal assault: “You’re racist, you’re fascist, you’re a science denier, you’re homophobic, you’re (whatever can be inserted here).”

That’s it. That’s their argument. They’ll boycott your business, slam you, embarrass you, assault you in restaurants, shout at you, and demand you give obeisance to whatever their particular grievance is at the moment. If you won’t salute “Black Lives Matter,” they see that as license to spit in your food and upend your table.

They can spend an entire year excusing left-wing violence in major US cities, treating the mayhem as “mostly peaceful” and necessary, yet go unhinged when a few people of mixed intent storm the Capitol while the President is speaking to his supporters at another location.

Again, try to point out the hypocrisy of their position, and they’ll threaten your children. 

You think that’s an exaggeration? Try having a discussion with a liberal and see how quickly they pivot from their argument to a personal attack. It’s what they do.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

WHAT ARE WE to make of all this? What are we to do in light of the changing of the guard at the White House?

Whatever solution one posits emanates from one’s core values. Those who believe that “might makes right” may try violence, force, or verbal assault. That would be a very harmful response, and we should all condemn those instincts.

Those whose values are secular conservative will engage the argument around economic and political issues, writing letters to their congressmen/women, engaging in debate forums, encouraging people to register to vote and turn-out when the day arrives, and patiently enduring until the next election. 

We can commend those instincts, but for those of us who are social conservatives, we find that approach shallow and missing an important  component.

Social conservatives — often dubbed the “religious right” — draw their values from the inerrant and infallible Word of God, the Holy Bible, comprised of 66 books, authored over a 1,600-year period in three languages (Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic) by 44 authors inspired by the Holy Spirit into creating a unified whole in which the Creator of the universe reveals Himself to mankind.

For us, it’s the foundational values of society that are most compelling. Yes, we can weigh in on energy policies and corporate tax rates and educational goals, but it’s the family unit — mother, father, children — that is the centerpiece of a sound society, and we believe those values are now under attack, fueled by liberal ideology and backed by government power.

God has designed us as either male or female and created marriage as an institution to bring us together into a whole. Look at it this way: God fashioned Adam in His image and gave Adam human characteristics patterned after God’s — we have thought, emotions, wills — although not to God’s extent.

When God created Eve, He took some of the characteristics He had given Adam and gave them to Eve, leaving Adam with a portion of the whole while giving Eve a portion of the whole. 

For Adam and Eve to be unified, as God is, they would need to come together as husband and wife in marriage.

That is foundational. There is no political or economic issue that rivals in importance the structure of the family.

When the very foundation of a structure is threatened, so, too, is the integrity of the structure.

That is where we are now. 

POSTSCRIPT

 O LORD, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, we give thanks for Your great mercy, Your patience, Your kindness. We also know You are just and call us to separate from the world’s values, which are self-centered, vicious, and destructive. We ask that You mold us into the men and women you intended in creation, and that we call on Your name so we can be healed. O Lord, we repent of our evil. Forgive us, Lord, and take us under Your wing. In Jesus’ holy and matchless name we pray. AMEN

THE ELECTION & THE AFTERMATH

Now that the US election 2020 is over, except for the lawsuits and mandatory recounts, what is the role the body of Christ should take in word and deed to bring glory to God and distinguish ourselves from unbelievers in both major parties? Jesus told us to be His witnesses and assured us of His continued presence in our lives, so our marching orders are clear: We are to stay “in His will,” remaining in prayer, and testifying by word and deed what the Lord has done for us.

Romans 13:1 (NASB): “Each person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority  except from God, and those which exist are established by God.”

Daniel 2:21 (NKJV): “He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding.”

Romans 14:12 (ESV): “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

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GLORIFYING GOD EVEN IN DEFEAT

NOW THAT THE VOTING IS OVER for the President/Vice President in the 2020 US election, how should the body of Christ react when many of us believe the wrong team won?

In the flesh, we’re as capable of temper tantrums as our non-believing neighbors, but as voting_signfollowers of Jesus Christ, we are called to a higher standard.

He told us that the world would know we are His flock if we love one another (John 13:35; John 15:17). He told us we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matt. 5:44). He told us to care for the least of these (Matt. 25:40), to proclaim the Good News (Matt. 28:19), and to store our treasures in Heaven, where they will not be stolen or damaged (Matt. 6:19-20).

He also told us (John 15:5) we would not be able to do any of that in our own power. We would need His help.

DISCERNING GOD’S WILL FOR US

SO, NOW WE’RE ABOUT the job of discerning the Lord’s will. We read in Daniel 2:21 that God “changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings,” and we wonder, Did God just remove the king and replace him with another?

Wasn’t it just four years ago that we praised God for raising up a president and vice imagepresident who pledged to honor the sanctity of life from conception to natural death, to honor marriage as a gift from God uniting female and male into one unit, and to proclaim not just the freedom to worship but also the freedom to live out our faith?

If so, then, what happened?

Did God change His mind? Not likely.

Did God give us a brief window to get serious about our faith and find us wanting? Maybe.

Why would God elevate to the highest two offices in the land a duo committed to:

    • extending abortion to include allowing born babies to die,
    • extending LGBTQ+ rights over the rights of normal males and females,
    • quenching religious liberty in subjection to the state, and
    • upending the first institution installed by God, that of marriage between a man and a woman?

WHY??

Why, Lord, why?

STAYING FAITHFUL DURING TRIALS

AT THE MOMENT, I feel sick. I see the country I used to love and still have hopes for turning into a hate-filled narcissistic shell of its former self.

Yes, I see the threats launched from the victorious forces declaring their desire to silence opposition to their rule, to continue their assault on our civil liberties, and, if necessary, to destroy us.

Yet, God tells us to “rejoice always” (1 Thess. 5:16), to “give thanks” in all situations (1 Thess. 5:18), and even to rejoice and persevere in “tribulation” (Rom. 12:12).

Okay, we’re there. Tribulation, defeat, rejection. We’re there, Lord. Now we’re supposed to be patient and … what? Quietly endure? Suffer? Seek revenge?

No, our Lord answers. Keep praying, He says (1 Thess. 5:17; Rom. 12:12; James 1:2-3). Besides, our trials are nothing compared with what the apostles suffered. Check out Paul’s trials (2 Cor. 11:24-28).

BELIEVING GOD’S PLAN IS GOOD 

NOT ONLY MUST WE focus on God’s plan being good, we must realize that His timing is not the same as ours. We want answers yesterday; He provides them 500 years later … or 50 years … or maybe five years.

He has to prepare people for the future He has willed. Moses needed 40 years growing up in Pharaoh’s court, 40 years tending sheep in the wilderness, and then enduring the trials of facing Pharaoh with a series of plagues before God considered him ready to lead His people out of bondage.

So, why should we expect an immediate answer to all of our questions by the evening news or tomorrow’s newspaper?

The answers are in His Book, and we can sustain ourselves by reading it and learning from it.

My conclusion: Stay in the Word, remain in prayer, fellowship with the saints, and testify to the world that God is in control, and His plan will occur in the timing that He decrees.

POSTSCRIPT

I DON’T KNOW WHAT the Lord is doing in this election. He doesn’t owe me an explanation. However, I thoroughly trust His judgment and His plan for my life. He will let it develop in His time, and I might live long enough to see some of it play out.

What is very clear to me is that I am to call on the name of the Lord everyday, to seek my refuge in Him, to confess my sins to Him, to ask His will for my life, to engage in intercessory prayer, to be temperate in my comments, to be patient in my demeanor, and to show love and compassion to my fellow man, even those I dislike.

38. God's.MercyThat looks like a pretty full plate, and, no, I am not capable of doing half of that well without the strong arm of Jesus Christ wrapped around my shoulders and the Holy Spirit indwelling my heart.

May my heart cry mimic the covenant prayer of Pastor John Wesley 250 years ago: “I am no longer my own, but thine; Put me to what thou wilt; rank me with whom thou wilt; Put me to doing; put me to suffering. … So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen”

Those are amazing words and an awesome responsibility. I am not up to it, but the God I serve is bigger than any obstacle I face. May His grace lead me and sustain me during the trials ahead.

I’m going to need His love to get me through until the next election … and beyond.

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PRAYER

O LORD GOD, our merciful Father, we come to You humbly and repentant. We know that image-17we have failed to proclaim the Good News as vigorously or as often as we ought. We know You will confront us with our failures when we reach Glory. Help us to see clearly the pathway You’ve laid out for us to follow and give us the strength, and the desire, to obey. Your way is perfect at all times, and we rest comfortably knowing You, Lord, are in control. May we be Your faithful servants. In the loving and mighty name of our Lord Jesus Christ we lift this prayer. AMEN