Election Reflections and the Big Picture (With Apologies to LOTR)

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.”
Gimli: “How?”
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!”

sam-and-frodo-mount-doomIn 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 

[1606 words]

20 Replies to “Election Reflections and the Big Picture (With Apologies to LOTR)”

  1. Hear hear Bill.
    How quickly we seem to forget and then punish the responsible ones for making us eat our greens (not sure if there is a pun in that).

  2. Seems the peasants were bought off with shiny baubles, little do they realise how much it will cost them in the long run.

    Fortunately if you are a true disciple of Christ Jesus, you have nothing to fear, because you have the peace of Christ with you, not the world, but Christ.

    You are free to choose your actions, you are not free to choose the consequences of those actions. Victoria is in for a difficult time indeed, I almost feel sorry for them.

    When the people choose wise leaders, there is peace in the land, when the people choose evil leaders, there is sorrow and tears in the land. The people have chosen evil, and must now reap sorrow and tears.

    Neil Waldron.

  3. What are your thoughts on these verses Bill? They are the ones that came into my mind when I heard the election results.

    Prov 28:12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding.

    Prov 28:28 When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.

  4. On a slightly brighter note, i am pretty sure the Family First Member will get into the senate. Hopefully he can proclaim the Christian agenda and keep them honest

    cheers

  5. Hi Bill, I don’t mean to nitpick, but probably it is better to say that Frodo ‘lost the ring in the fires of Mount Doom’ rather than ‘…able to drop the accursed ring…’ as the key symbol of the ring is that of sin. It teaches us, as in the books and movie, that we cannot wilfully offload our own sin. It was only Gollum’s biting off Frodo’s ring and finger, and his tragic jig, that see the ring tumble over the edge into the molten fires below.

    A great book that really captures the awe and wonder of LOTR, is Peter Kreeft’s The Philosophy of Tolkien. It really capture the underpinning of the rich Christian themes and undercurrent throughout the trilogy.

  6. I guess I was wondering if Christians in Victoria feel they need to go into hiding and what that would actually entail if they did?

    I am a keen believer in Christians being involved in politics from a biblical worldview – I was just wondering how to incorporate these verses, in light of the election result.. Thanks for your time.

  7. I can’t get my head around how the government is supposed to be responsible for how the economy performs.I thought they are supposed to make good laws around how the people interact with each other and build those infrastructures that are communally used by all the people such as roads utilities etc. Each individual needs to be as active a part in the economy as ability allows with governments making laws that keep our sinful nature in check. If those laws are in place, the economy should more or less look after itself. Am I missing something?
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  8. Dear Bill

    Thanks for your role as watchman regarding the issues we face as Australian Christians in the current season. I was disappointed upon hearing the news of the Victorian ALP winning the election; especially in the context of the warnings which had been so clearly given about the pending loss of freedoms over the promotion of the homosexual agenda.

    First is the call to faith. James 1 v 2, exhorts us to set our face to receive the news positively. God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to endure is another important verse.

    As I went to church this morning I was thinking of the story, from the communist era. The story went along these lines. A Communist leader entered a Russian church with an automatic machine gun in hand with a number of his men. He made strong threatening remarks, and said if anyone is not a Christian now is the time to get out. Large numbers of people left the building. He repeated the threats and a few more left until finally a core group remained. It was at this point that the Communist leader asked his men to wait outside. The leader put down his gun and said. “I wanted to make sure so I could talk with some real Christians.”

    My question is this: Is God wanting to meet some real Christians through the processes that are happening around us? Or to put it another way, is He wanting to form a core group of people, who He can use to bring real positive changes in the years to come? I am convinced He is.

    It was with these thoughts in mind that I drove to church this morning; When I got there something significant happened. The sermon was on Psalm 11; which says:

    “In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to me,‘Flee like a bird to the mountains; for lo, the wicked bend the bow, they have fitted the arrow to the string, to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do’? The LORD is in his holy temple, The LORD’s throne is in heaven; his eyes behold, his eyelids test, the children of men. The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, and his soul hates him that loves violence. On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and brimstone; a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.For the LORD is righteous, he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.

    A summary of the Pastor’s sermon follows.

    Verses 1 – 3, Life looks hopeless. Advice is given to run away. The pastor shared a story of missionary friends in Africa who were kidnapped. They had a fear response, until they realized this was happening and decided to pray. God used their prayers to deliver them. In this Psalm David knows not to run.

    Verses 4 – 5, God remains in charge. He is in charge. He is trying men. The reference to ‘eyelids’ speaks of God squinting, looking intently at us. Verse 5 tells us that he hates them with a passion. Who? The unrighteous! Those who oppose him. This was an opportunity for the pastor to preach the gospel and he ceased it with both hands! God cannot abide sin.He is a holy God of wrath. He is angry with the sinner every day. (Ps 7 v 11).
    If God hates sin, how can he love us? It was here the pastor preached the gospel. But he reminded us that God is a god who acts in history. And he reminded us of the following verse: “Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? says the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the LORD. (Jeremiah 23 v 24).

    Verses 6 – 7, Justice will come. God brings judgements in various ways upon nations, whether by drought or flood, by political change, or allowing wars to develop, or by financial or economic collapse. These are some of the ways. Such judgements are terrifying, and we should expect them to increase. They will bring about the downfall of leaders and even nations. But for the Christian, they provide the opportunity to move forward. Better still. The upright behold His face in the midst of it all; and beyond even better.

    Trust this encourages you as it did me.

    Sincerely, Chris McNicol

  9. Andrew S, the Family First candidate does not go to the Legislative Council to preach the gospel, but to apply it in the legislative affairs of the State.

    That’s the same as what I am called to do in my business, what everyone needs to do within their occupation.

  10. Yes you are missing something Ursula, did you not know that according to the left, “you didn’t build that”, “large and small business do not create jobs”. Only big gummit can make jobs you see, only gummit can be family you see, only big gummit can give you everything from cradle to grave.

    How dare you think to live by the sweat of your hard work, how dare you think that you can survive even one minute without lefty big gummit to step in and save you from that evil family, personal responsibility, etc etc.

    You see, the left does not believe you have the intelligence to even wipe your botbot, wipe your nosiepoo, or feed your widdle self, they must do it for you, which is why they believe welfare is a lifestyle choice and not a safety net to help you get back on your feet.

    The left hates, God, family, heterosexuality, and pretty anything that is Holy or good. The left loves satan, welfare sole parenting, anything not heterosexual, and pretty much anything that is vile and evil.

    Geez Louise, get with the program, before we have to send around the reprogramming team.

    Neil Waldron.

  11. Oh and Ursula, please stop finking, your moral and ethical superiors on the left will tell you what you are allowed to fink, otherwise you will be sent immediately to a re-education camp to have your brain washed of any independent thought processes.

    Now if you will just look at this little light, you will be rescued from any free will, any icky conservative thoughts, and you will then be placed on welfare so you don’t have to do anything for yourself ever again, see aren’t we on the left just soooooo nice.

    Note: please be aware that I am taking a dig at the left and not in any way endorsing their evil ways. have a nice day.

  12. After many years, after many battles and many disappointing election results, I have learnt to surrender all to Almighty God. Never to yield to discouragement, always to trust in God’s providence is the only way to move forward with energy and courage, enthusiasm and confidence knowing that the Lord will use us to fulfill what is trully His holy Will. I have witnessed many miracles as a result of prayer and holy witness, especially the amazing answers to prayer from outside the abortion mills

  13. Fascinates me that people think Jesus not only votes one way, but is actually wrapped in the colours of a political party. I thought the disciples he chose would have proved otherwise. Or do people think Judas Iscariot was an ALP voter/member? Amazing that so many people misunderstand so much about Him & His Kingdom. The day any person can’t pray His blessing over every person of every political party, colour, belief, and mean it, is the day that person has stepped away from first live of Him into first love of a political spectrum.

  14. Thanks Loree. My website has 3128 articles, with 425 articles on politics. Had you read some of these, instead of judging me on just one, you would see that I have often said that Jesus Christ ultimately transcends mere partisan politics, and that no one party will ever fully represent Christ. See here for example: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2006/06/01/christianity-and-partisan-politics/

    But because you did not, you lash out here without knowing the whole picture. It would be like me judging your brother and the entire Labor party based on just one of their press releases, and nothing more. That would be not all that helpful actually.

    And had you read a few other of my articles, such as the following, you would know that Labor made it crystal clear that it was going to greatly infringe on religious freedom in general, and Christianity in particular, if elected: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2014/11/08/labors-anti-christian-agenda/

    This was a major concern of Christians of all stripes, and we will now see this crackdown begin in earnest. If you think Christians should just roll over and play dead when such very real threats stare them in the face, well you have a different view of the faith than I do.

    And of course, we know that things like homosexual marriage and abortion on demand are official Labor party policy, but not Coalition policy. That alone tells us that not all political parties are equal, and some can be closer to biblical truth than others in various areas. Given that you in fact quit the Labor Party over their stance on homosexual marriage, it would seem that you are quite able to make these basic distinctions as well.

    And with all due respect, please tell us where I said that we should not pray for people from different parties? Creating a straw man to shoot down is not all that Christian either! But thanks for your thoughts. As I say, if you actually read some of those other articles, you might find that we may be closer on these matters than your first impressions would have you believe. Bless you.

  15. The times need more Christians to confront evil by ‘standing in the gap’ with one of my favourite lines from the trilogy, from the mouth of Gandalf – “You shall not pass!”

  16. OK, well Victoria is doing something, and it`s not good. Worse is, we`re letting him do it.

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