Posted in Contributors notes
Calvinism in the face of Catastrophe
07 November 2012 by Frank Turk
Tom Chantry actually wrote this last night, and sent it to me. I am posting it as I endorse it entirely.
Although I’ve been worried about this election for months, only in the aftermath did I realize that I never really thought our country would re-elect a President who has been such an abject failure by any and every measure. It just didn’t seem possible that we would do so, and so at some level I didn’t expect it at all. As the results rolled in, I found myself reeling, unable to take in the enormity of what has happened to our nation. I scarcely slept, unable to stop running through the implications of the disaster. I was, to put it mildly, knocked down and stunned.
But God is gracious, and eventually I slept, and this morning I find myself back up off the mat. Looking back, I can see what it was that took me so by surprise. I allowed myself to think too highly of my country - to imagine that the American optimists were right and that there is something exceptional and wonderful in the American spirit which pulls us through the worst crises. That smugness was knocked out of me by a series of blows as I realized anew that we are a culture of sin, a culture of stupidity, and a culture under judgment - none of which really surprises me in the light of day. Those blows absolutely leveled me last night, but today I’m standing. Here’s why:
The reelection of President Obama demonstrates the wickedness of America. Make no mistake about it: a vote for the President was a wicked act. It is not sufficient to say that he is pro-abortion; the man is in favor of offing unwanted kids outside the womb as well. He not only celebrates the lifestyle of perversion; he wishes to deconstruct God’s institution of marriage for the benefit of the perverts, one of whom he appointed as a judge over us. On every point of American policy in which there is a clear side of righteousness and a clear side of wickedness, he stands with the devils rather than the angels.
Most Americans, though, did not vote for him for those reasons. The majority does not hold his extreme position on infanticide, and every referendum shows that the majority does not agree to the institutional legitimizing of perversion. But on the issues of this election his position is also on the side of evil. As I wrote two years ago in my political credo, fiscal policy is also moral in nature. The unavoidable reality of this election is that when Governor Romney ran on fiscal sanity, the majority decided to cast their votes in favor of more free stuff from the government.
In other words, last night’s vote demonstrates one fundamental evil that has overtaken our society. Today’s voter is unimpressed by the biblical ethic of work and responsibility; neither is he too ashamed to engage in systematic theft. We have become Greece. Only a nation of wicked thieves could have produced last night’s results. So if I imagined that my countrymen were too good to re-elect this man, I was brought to a rude awakening.
But the second blow was even more unexpected:
The reelection of President Obama demonstrates the stupidity of America. I know, I should be using a softer word than “stupid,” but as I said, I didn’t sleep much. The Scriptures teach that sin makes us stupid. Paul’s argument in the first chapter of Romans is essentially this: there is no fact more obvious than the existence of a Creator who deserves our worship, but sinful men refuse to see it, and in their wickedness they become driveling idiots. Paul said it much better, but that was his point.
Moreover, we see this truth enacted all around us - and in our own lives - every day. How often have you continued in a self-destructive sin, all the while knowing that it can only bring you to grief? How often have you tried to convince a friend or a child of the obvious error of his ways, only to discover that his sin has too great a hold to be broken by common sense. In fact, this is why “common sense” isn’t common; it is countered on every side by common iniquity.
Yesterday the prevailing sin of our nation led to an electoral suicide. Never in our history have so many voted against their own self-interest. Retired seniors voted for a President who will destroy their health care system and bankrupt their social security. Out-of-work college graduates voted for a President who considers 7.9% unemployment a huge victory. Black Americans voted overwhelmingly for a President whose policies left them far worse off than they were before.
How do we account for this electoral lunacy? It’s simple, if you’ve read Romans 1. Sin makes you stupid, and we are a nation of gross sinners. So if I thought my countrymen were too smart to re-elect this man, I was predictably wrong again.
But even this realization did not rob me of sleep last night. The knockout blow was yet to come:
The reelection of President Obama demonstrates God’s judgment on America. It’s pretty hard to overstate how bad this election is. For starters, the President’s policy remains to raise taxes, raise regulations, and deplete the nation of energy. We’ve been calling this downturn a “recession” for a long time; soon we’ll recognize it for what it is. As more businesses are shuttered, as loans dry up, and as greater and greater numbers are out of work we will have to start calling it the “Second Depression.” By the end of this term there is expected to be a severe shortage of doctors as we actively demolish the world’s greatest health-care system. China is now free to continue manipulating its currency, Russia is free to point its nukes wherever it pleases, and Iran is free to continue being Iran. It’s bad - very bad.
But what did we expect? As I said in my earlier article, it’s all very well and good to have a fiscal revolution, because fiscal policy is a moral issue, but it does nothing to address the deeper problems of our body politic. Did we really think that God would be content to allow us to continue ignoring his laws - to continue embracing perversion and executing our infants - and that He would never bring an end to our wealth? Did we think he would take no notice of a nation descending into vileness while His churches churned out a perpetual circus act? In fact, judgment was predictable, and now we know the form that it has taken.
In Romans 1 Paul explained that sometimes God’s judgment comes in the form of allowing us to descend into greater wickedness. Complain about His manna and He will force-feed you quail until you are nauseated by it. Love evil, and God will give you your fill of it and more. What we are seeing is the judgment of the American populace. We have loved wickedness, and God has elevated a Degenerate to rule over us. The Lord is just, and we are about to discover exactly what that means.
So I was staggered and overcome. The thought of the horrors that we must now undergo was too much for me. So why am I up off the canvas today, ready to resume my responsibilities as a Christian man?
The church has the only answer to the sin and stupidity of our nation, and the only response to the judgment of our God. Now, don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean to suggest that as Christians we have the gospel and so we should retreat into a neo-monasticism in which we refuse to take part in the political life of the nation. We were right to cast a vote for a man who is relatively upright and who espoused relatively upright policies. We are right to weep today over the destruction that has come upon us. In fact, if you are unready to get up off the mat today, I don’t blame you. If you cannot smile, I sympathize. Ultimately, though, it’s true: we have the only answer.
Policies can address political circumstances, but they cannot address the fundamental weaknesses of the American soul. Where we stand today is not so radically different from where we stood in, say, 1980. We don’t need another Reagan; we need the Holy Spirit. If men are to turn from their sin and discover the wisdom that comes from serving God, they do not need better government, but the message which has been entrusted to the church.
This election was a catastrophe; there is no reason to pretend otherwise. Furthermore, it demonstrates the far deeper perils which threaten us. But we are Christians, and we know the answer, and He is the Prince of Peace. Let’s be busy about the work of His kingdom today.
Labels: Contributors notes
- Calvinism in the face of Catastrophe
- Did he fail miserably?
- More thoughts on Covenants
- Potent Proof Text: Nothin' from Nothin'
- We Must Do the Impossible
- Potent Prooftexts: the exception to the rule
- Potent Prooftext: He Watcheth Me
- Potent Prooftexts: it stands fast
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