Normally in a situation like this I would have had an article up long ago about the election results – in this case the Victorian election. I certainly would not have gone to bed without writing something. But I did not, for at least two reasons.
One, I was away speaking, and did not get home until quite late. But two, the main reason was this: I always end up saying the same thing in these pieces. I have discussed plenty of state and federal elections now, and I always say that no matter if the good guys win or lose, at the end of the day, politics is not everything.
Yes, politics is very important, and all Christians must be reasonable in engaging in the social and political realms. And some political victories can unleash very great evil. So copping out and staying aloof is not how biblical Christians should operate. But having said that, I always remind my readers that politics does not ultimately save.
Only Jesus Christ saves. So we dare not pin all our hopes on anyone or anything else than Christ. But we live in this fallen world and we are called to be salt and light, and make a difference – and that includes in the political arena as well. So we must be realistic about our expectations of what politics can and cannot do.
As to yesterday’s election, just a few brief points. Labor is back in, incredibly. The simple lessons of history tell us what most voters seem to forget: usually when Labor gets into office, whether nationally or at the state level, they have a habit of wrecking the economy. Things then get so bad that they finally get booted out.
The Coalition gets back in and sets itself to the task of salvaging a destroyed economy. It does the hard yards, makes the tough decisions, and gets the economy going again. But the various cuts and other difficult measures upset many people, especially those with an entitlement mentality, so the Coalition gets punished at the next election.
Pretty simple really. And pretty depressing really. As far as more specific political commentary on this, I have little to say here. Although much can be said, I think a few lines from Andrew Bolt captures much of my thinking:
There are lessons for the Abbott Government. Stand for something. Do something. Don’t let Labor off the hook. Go local. Don’t do as the Victorian Liberals did for the first two years under Ted Baillieu – do nothing and say less. The danger? Abbott’s enemies in the federal party will claim instead that this shows the Abbott Government is too radical….
Yes, Abbott is unpopular. Yes, he must change. Yes, there are lessons to learn from the Liberals’ stupid loss of Victoria. But most of the lessons are the opposite of what many commentators and Abbott haters would like. Above all, the Victorian Liberals lost not because they were too radical or too Right wing, but because they were too timid and too bland.
This was really a wasted three or four years. Indeed, we had four different Premiers in this period. The Libs simply wasted their opportunities, refused to act like a conservative party, ended up standing for nothing, and got the boot as a result. What a lousy waste.
But enough politics. I wrote elsewhere that God is still on the throne, and we know who wins in the end. Yes, depression and discouragement is a natural response here. But these things come and go. Certainly prolifers are hugely disappointed with this election result.
But we must recall that under six years of the most evil, pro-death POTUS ever, there have been many significant gains for the prolife cause in America. So there can be some hope for us here. But as I warned, the anti-Christian agenda of Labor will now be allowed to roll on.
Things will now get much worse for religious freedom and the cause of Christ. Those who are the real deal for Christ will find further state crackdowns on their work. If things do get better eventually, they will get much worse before that.
Those of us who did all we could to sound the alarm and make urgent warnings again feel like our words fell on deaf ears. Oh well, our job is to be watchmen on the wall – it is up to others whether they will pay heed or not. So, if you are a real disciple of Jesus Christ, prepare for some very hard times ahead.
Let me just finish on a more positive – and spiritual – note. As I said, God is still in control. I found it quite interesting, and consoling, that late last night as I viewed the tail end of the election results on TV, one station was airing the third part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King. So I watched the tail end of that as well.
I have often spoken about this set of books and films, and how they so greatly encourage me, especially during the really dark times. They present so very well how despite all the evil, all the setbacks, and all the attacks of the enemy, good does prevail in the end.
And it tells us that a small band of committed individuals can make a tremendous difference. So just a few quick lines from the film version as I close this off. As you know, things are looking very grim indeed by the end of this story. It looks like there is no hope.
In the tradition of great story telling, we have a number of incredible threads being played out concurrently. Aragorn and others are fighting off large armies of orcs and creatures of evil while Sam and Frodo attempt to get to Mount Doom to destroy the ring of power.
Earlier on an Orc commander proudly proclaims, “The age of man is over. The time of the orc has come.” Yep, it sure does look that way. It seems like all is lost, but Aragorn summons the troops for one final battle, one which they cannot possibly win, but which just might give the hobbits more time to make it through Mordor.
Although they have just completed an exhausting, epic battle, Aragorn knows that more must be done, as we learn in this bit of dialogue:
Gandalf: “He has suffered a defeat, yes, but behind the walls of Mordor our enemy is regrouping.”
[Gimli sits on the steward’s throne, puffing on a pipe.]
Gimli: “Let him stay there. Let him rot! Why should we care?”
Gandalf: “Because ten thousand Orcs now stand between Frodo and Mount Doom.”
Gandalf: “I’ve sent him to his death.”
Aragorn: “No. There’s still hope for Frodo. He needs time, and safe passage across the Plains of Gorgoroth.”
Aragorn: “We can give him that.”
Aragorn: “Draw out Sauron’s armies. Empty his lands. Then we gather our full strength and march on the Black Gate.”
Éomer: “We cannot achieve victory through strength of arms.”
Aragorn: “Not for ourselves, but we can give Frodo his chance if we keep Sauron’s Eye fixed upon us.”
Aragorn: “Keep him blind to all else that moves.”
Legolas: “A diversion.”
Gimli: “Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?”
And when they are surrounded by a vast army of evil, Aragorn leads the charge, looking back to his friends with these words: “For Frodo!”
In the meantime, as Sam and Frodo struggle up the mountain, Frodo drops in exhaustion, and says he cannot go on any more. Sam knows that the ring bearer is to be Frodo alone, and says: “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.” So he carries him up the rest of the way.
Back to the final battle scene, Aragorn is mustering his men to stand against a massive enemy army, encouraging them with these words:
I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come, when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of Fellowship, but it is not this day! An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you, stand, men of the West!
And after even more setbacks and diabolical struggles, Frodo is at last able to drop the accursed ring into the fires of Mount Doom. Just afterward they say:
Frodo: It’s gone! It’s done!
Sam: Yes, Mr. Frodo. It’s over now.
Frodo: I can see the Shire. The Brandywine River. Bag End. Gandalf’s fireworks, the lights, the party tree.
And in one of the final scenes, with Frodo and Bilbo getting ready to set sail into the West, Galadriel says, “The power of the Three Rings is ended. The time has come… for the dominion of Men.”
If all this has some ring of biblical truth to it, well it should. Tolkien was of course a Christian, and his Christian worldview is well reflected in this trilogy. As I say, reading the books or watching the films always encourages me greatly – and brings tears to my eyes as well. This is especially so when the days seem so very dark.
Finally, the closing song (actually played during the credits of the film) also always produces the water works. Have a listen, and be encouraged: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvF31-2bVNE