Barack Hussein Obama has been returned to the White House. At this early stage he has won 275 of the 538 Electoral College votes. He took around half the 50 states with him, although he lost the popular vote overall.
Republicans continue to control the House of Representatives, while the Democrats continue to hold the Senate. The dust has not yet fully settled of course, so final details will not be fully known for a little while yet. But it seems clear that we will now have four more years of Obama and his failed policies.
I am a Christian and a realist, therefore I am under no illusions here. I certainly did not believe that paradise would somehow be ushered in with a Republican win. Romney was not the Messiah. A Republican win would not have resulted in a new golden age of peace on earth and good will toward men.
But it would have meant one thing – and a very big thing at that: it would have meant the end of the reign of terror by Barack Hussein Obama. That would have been enough for the time being. Simply to get rid of the worst US President ever would have been a great step forward. He has been the most anti-faith, anti-family, anti-freedom President to ever occupy the White house.
And he has made it clear that if he gets back in, he will really go to town pushing his radical agenda. So this is very bad news indeed for America. He now has no fears of voter backlash so he can go full steam ahead with his destructive policies. It will not be good for America or the world. Politically speaking this is the worst possible outcome. How America can survive another four years of this man is beyond me.
Christians of course cannot and should not pin all their hopes on elections. While politics is very important, it is not everything. While having a pro-faith, pro-family and pro-freedom leader in high office would have certainly been very important, it is not all there is. Righteousness clearly does exalt a nation, and we need godly government at all levels. But we also need a vibrant church, an obedient people of God, and a Spirit-filled faith to make a real difference.
Government alone can never save us. Indeed, all that we can expect in a fallen world is for some governments to be not as corrupt as others. And that was always the case here. As Malcolm Muggeridge once wrote, “There can never be good governments that are less bad than others. The quest for a perfect government ends infallibly in anarchy or the Gulag Archipelago.”
And again: “As Christians we know that here we have no continuing city, that crowns roll in the dust and every earthly kingdom must sometime flounder, whereas, with knowledge of a king men did not crown and cannot dethrone, we are citizens of a city man did not build and cannot destroy.”
As noted, even if Romney had gotten in, it would not have been the beginning of the new heavens and the new earth. It would in many ways have been business as usual. A Romney administration would not and could not usher in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Moreover, it will take a lot more to turn America around than just one man or just one election. Ultimately America’s fate is bound up with the faith and character of its people. A free society cannot last without a people of strong faith and strong character.
This theme is dealt with at length in the new volume by Os Guinness, A Free People’s Suicide (IVP, 2012) in which he reminds us that the “problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor”. He writes, “If the founders were correct, contemporary America’s pursuit of political leadership without character, economic enterprise without ethics and trust, scientific progress without human values, freedom without virtue and negative freedom without positive freedom can only end in disaster. It rings the death knell of sustainable freedom, and as it works itself out socially and politically in countless areas, it makes the decline of America only a matter of time.”
He continues, “In short, sustainable freedom depends on the character of the rulers and the ruled alike, and on the vital trust between them—both of which are far more than a matter of law. The Constitution, which is the foundational law of the land, should be supported and sustained by the faith, character and virtue of the entire citizenry, which comprises its moral constitution, or habits of the heart. Together with the Constitution, these habits of the heart are the real, complete and essential bulwark of American liberty. A republic grounded only in a consensus forged of calculation and competing self-interests can never last.”
So getting Obama out would have been only part of the answer to America’s woes. Whether the matters discussed by Guinness can actually be dealt with remains to be seen. But without these additional elements, a Romney win by itself would not have been enough to rescue America from its downward slide.
Also, one could point out a few imponderables here. My main one is this: if all the purists in America (those who did not vote for Romney because he was a Mormon, or because he was not pro-life enough, or conservative enough), had in fact voted sensibly and morally, instead of like the Pharisees of old, we might have had a quite different outcome.
For example, there was one “Internet evangelist” who claimed he got one and a half million evangelicals to do a write-in vote for Jesus Christ! This sort of utter foolishness – along with all that of the other purists – has simply meant one thing: they allowed Obama to get back in. They will feel smug about this, thinking they somehow have clean hands, but all they really have is blood on their hands.
We must keep praying for the president and his administration. That is something we are clearly told to do in Scripture. But my take on this all along has really been quite simple actually: America is well overdue for the just judgment of God. The nation’s sins cry out to heaven for recompense. Had Romney gotten in I would have seen this as simply four more years of God’s grace, God’s mercy, and God’s patience. That does not mean judgment would have been averted altogether – it just means it would have been postponed.
But because Obama did get back in, I can only see this as the clear judgment of God on a nation which has lost its way. Sure, there is always hope with God. If Americans, but especially God’s people, repent and come back to God and fervently seek his face, then America might have some more time.
But if the rebellion continues, the sin continues, the hardness of heart continues, and the rejection of God continues, then there can be no other option but judgment. It will then be a question not of if, but of when, it fully falls. As James R. White has put it, “God grants the blessings of freedom and liberty by grace, and He removes those blessings in justice.”
Some years ago David Wilkerson made this warning: “Noah’s generation is gone. Sodom is gone. Nineveh is gone. Tyre is gone. Babylon is gone. The Grecian Empire is gone. The Roman Empire is gone. The British Empire is gone. And now, the United States of America has begun its slide into oblivion, just like all the others. They were all judged and humbled because of the violence, godlessness, homosexuality and pride.”
He could very well be right.