Robert Meyer
Think biblically rather than politically
By Robert Meyer
August 10, 2016

In these days and times, it is difficult for Bible-believing folk to see anything positive to cheer about in the culture or via the political process. Many are very discouraged and apprehensive regarding the near future. I think much of that state of mind comes from an improper focus on how things are accomplished politically rather than biblically.

This record of the prophet Elijah comes to mind whenever it seems that the chips are down.

1 Kings 19:2-4

2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.

3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.

4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

Notice that things look so grim that Elijah just wants to get it over with and die. I can identify with the prophet here. I've felt very depressed many times and I've had a lot less to worry about than Elijah did. Elijah feels like he's standing alone, but God later reveals that he has reserved a loyal remnant of followers.

In Genesis 18: 23-25, Abraham pleads with God to save the city for the sake on a few righteous inhabitants.

"Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city. Will you then sweep away the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?

Frequently I here the assertion that judgment is coming to America for forsaking biblical values and the like. The flip side is that God may be quite willing to extend his grace because there are a few individuals standing steadfastly.

What's the point of these two passages for my purposes? It's so important to point out and remind others that God accomplishes what he does through a committed minority of believers or followers. In politics we talk about building constituencies and achieving voting majorities. We talk about compromise; giving up this to get that. In Christianity the object is to finish well and to make sure your own commitment is not in question.

Politics is inherently a a dominionist enterprise. Take Donald Trump's motto about making America great again. No politician can get up and say that America's best days are past and it's time to get in your bunker and prepare for the siege. Yet preachers routinely draw conclusions of this tenor from the pulpit. This is a normative practice in some Christian evangelical traditions. If any politician said those things he/she would commit immediate political suicide, and be more controversial than Trump is now.

There are two distinct factions within Christianity, as it pertains to eschatology. One suggests that the world will become better as more people are evangelized into Christianity. By sheer numbers, all institutions of culture will be Christianized. This was largely the worldview of the Pilgrims and Puritans who saw America as a type of new Israel. One of the slogans used by Ronald Reagan, "The shining city on a hill" came from this perspective.

While I understand and appreciate a movement for cultural reformation, I see little evidence of the improvements that should issue from expanding populations of Christian civilization. One of the reasons for this is that there are large majorities of nominal or cultural Christians in countries like America, but there are fewer and fewer people who articulate or can reason from a biblical perspective. Humanists speaking under a Christian banner in many cases.

Another faction says that things will only become worse. This group sees any cultural improvement as temporary reprieves from the general downward spiral. They might argue that one needs to be salt and light in a culture that shares the same fate as the Titanic, but the fate is certain. Cultural stewardship is a responsibility, but it cannot ultimately prevail against a disintegrating society. The chief problems here is that such an outlook without a complimentary foundation of Christian hope leads to apathy and fatalism. The "bunker mentality" and the conflation of secular doomsday predictions with legitimate biblical prophecy are commonplace.

All this emphasizes the importance of believers to think biblically, not politically.

© Robert Meyer


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Robert Meyer

Robert Meyer is a hardy soul who hails from the Cheesehead country of the upper midwest... (more)


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