‘Some Trust In Horses’: Christians and Conservative Politics

Where to now for Christian conservatives?

As things that we used to look to for security, for reassurance, for help, for protection, and for reliability and dependability more and more let us down and disappoint, proving to be fakes, frauds and empty vessels, that can actually be a good thing. That means we will then hopefully return to the one genuine source of these things: the living God.

Some very recent and glaring examples of idols which have greatly disappointed Christian conservatives and let so many of us down are the federal Liberals and the Victorian Liberals. I have of course written about both in the past few days. As to the former, see here: billmuehlenberg.com/2022/05/22/on-the-albanese-labor-win/

As to the latter, see this piece: billmuehlenberg.com/2022/05/17/dying-political-parties-and-dying-babies/

As so-called conservative parties become ever more woke and left-leaning, they are letting us down big time. It seems there is little hope to be had by relying on these parties to help stem the tide of cultural and political decline. While I am not yet calling for a full withdrawal from these disappointing parties, I may be getting close to doing that soon enough.

One simply has to look at how conservatives – and often Christian conservatives – have been treated during the last few years. Look at how politicians such as Eric Abetz, Kevin Andrews, Craig Kelly, Amanda Stoker and Bernie Finn have fared, to name but a few. They were all either kicked out, marginalised, demoted, or basically forced to look elsewhere for greener pastures.

Speaking of Bernie Finn, I have over the past week or two penned three pieces on this champion who was unceremoniously booted out of his own party. The most recent article appeared yesterday: billmuehlenberg.com/2022/05/24/a-tale-of-two-downfalls-finn-and-the-libs/

A few more things can be said about this disgraceful move by the Victorian woke Liberals. One, Bernie said this about the whole sad saga:

For those who have missed out on the events of today, this morning I was expelled from the Victorian Parliamentary Liberal Party. My crime is I spoke up for those who cannot speak up for themselves – and I refused to stop. I have been a member of the Liberal Party for more than 41 years. I have spent my entire adult life working for the principles of freedom and equality. Matthew Guy’s party has stomped on freedom – in particular freedom of speech.

 

In Victoria, the party of Menzies is dead. It is heartbreaking! Until relatively recently, such was the strength of my support for Matthew Guy, I would have taken a bullet for him. Today, he has decided to shoot one of his own through my head. Loyalty is not a word in his lexicon. The real tragedy is for Victorians: the fact is the leaders of both major parties in this State are as bad as each other.

And I have been saying over and over again that we must keep Bernie in our prayers. As I was praying for him last night it occurred to me what a rough road he is now on. Imagine waking up, suiting up, and going to work, fully knowing you will be surrounded by colleagues who treated you like dirt and stabbed you in the back. It would be so difficult for Bernie as he goes into parliament each morning. What a heavy weight to bear. Please keep praying.

Whither mainstream political involvement?

I am old enough to know that politics will not save us, and our only real hope is in Jesus Christ. Yet for many decades now I have encouraged believers to be involved in politics and all other areas of life. We should let the Lordship of Christ extend to every area. We must be salt and light in our culture.

So I have long asked Christians to be active in politics, including in the main political parties. But as they seem to be getting worse and worse by the month, one has to ask if it might be time for a bit of a rethink. I am not yet calling for a “Benedict Option” as per Rod Dreher – although that may become more of an option in the near future.

But I and many other Christian conservatives have been let down far too often, certainly by the Liberal Party here in Australia. Let me just mention two friends who have recently spoken on this, and how I replied to them. One friend who was in the Liberal party years ago objected somewhat to an article I wrote about the decline of the Libs, especially in the light of the Bernie Finn saga.

He spoke about all the great evangelical Christians that had been in the party, and all the good they had done. He said that he did not think the Libs were in decline and that “the party will survive and hopefully thrive into the future.” This is what I said in reply to him:

Thanks ****. Yes, you and the others did a good job back then – I knew you and them quite well. But that was 20-30 years ago now! So you might be living in the past. Things are different now of course. Today the Libs do not have as many Christians and conservatives sadly, and they increasingly seem intent on pushing out or supporting much less those who are, be it Kevin Andrews, Amanda Stoker, Bernie Finn, and so on. And given that Bernie is one of the few solid Christian conservative prolifers left in Victoria, while Atkinson is one of the most loony secular lefties around, it is rather sad that you seem to support the latter over the former. Political loyalty should never trump loyalty to Christ and biblical values. So I will stand with Bernie every day of the week thanks. We need many more champions like him, and not all the spineless wonders that mainly are to be found there now. Having said that, I of course do hope that Labor does not win the federal election.

And today on the social media another friend said something I had always tended to say:

I encourage MORE conservatives to actually join the Liberal Party, National Party, LNP.
Have a say.
Raise issues.
Influence debate & policy.
Be involved in preselections.
We need conservatives AND moderates in the parties – to respect each other, work together, develop policies together.
Running away, fracturing the parties/votes into more & more minor parties, just gives power to the Left.
Get off the sidelines.
Get involved.
Shape the future.

This was my reply:

Such advice was certainly true 40, 30, 20, maybe even 10 years ago, and I shared it often. And conservatives can still try I guess. But Christian conservatives need to really pray about this nowadays. Things are changing so radically, and the main parties are becoming so anti-Christian, that the chances of being salt and light there are becoming increasingly unlikely. If God is specifically leading a Christian in that direction, fine, go for it. But the days of seeing the Libs and Labor substantially influenced by Christian values may well be over, unless God does some real miracles in this area!

I know this fellow is both a conservative and a Christian. He went on to say we should also be involved in education and the like. I was tempted to reply to that remark as well, but did not. Had I done so, I would have said something like this:

Again, like the issue of politics, for decades now I have been saying the same thing. We need to be involved in all the institutions, be they politics, education, law, the media, and so on, acting as salt and light. While I still hold to this view more or less, I am becoming increasingly aware of just how dark things are getting to be out there.

 

How long before trying to become involved in these areas in fact become counterproductive and perhaps even harmful? Sure, we all must do what we can, when we can, and where we can. If God calls you into a certain area, then go do it. But it seems that as the darkness gets heavier, we need to think carefully and prayerfully as to what are our best options.

The two main texts dealing with government in the New Testament can be applied to other areas of life – and they present quite contrasting views. Romans 13 talks about how we should submit to civil government – within limits – because it is established by God. On the other hand, Revelation 13 talks about the demonic and nonredeemable nature of the world system, including the state, commerce and everything else.

Whether the present darkness is all part of being in the last days is not fully clear. Someone asked me a few days ago if we are living in the “last days” and I said the New Testament says that we have been – for the past 2000 years now! But yes, at times it seems the gathering evil and diabolical darkness is reaching epidemic proportions, and perhaps the end of all things is upon us.

But as I say, I have always challenged believers to be involved in all areas of life, including the world of politics. But a tactical, if not strategic, question arises: just how far can Christians now rely on political parties like the Liberals in Australia – and perhaps to a lesser extent, the Republicans in America?

While I have always worked with and appreciated many secular conservatives over the years, there are limits to this. For example, I have often spoken about Sky News, the one main conservative media outlet here in Australia. Christians are often disappointed with it, and for good reason: the majority of presenters there are NOT Christians – and some are even proudly atheists.

And it shows: most of them are pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality for example. The Christian conservative can appreciate them when they call for limited government, strong national security, and the like, but when the important moral underpinnings (provided by the Judeo-Christian worldview) are largely lacking, then they will only be of limited use and help.

So if Christian conservatives cannot fully rely on and be aided by a mostly secular conservative media, the same with a mostly secular conservative political party – especially those that seem to be growing less and less conservative, and often, more and more anti-Christian by the day.

In sum, Christians must think and pray about how they can best impact our world today. If God is calling you to join the Libs for example, then go and do it – with gusto. But we need to seek God carefully as to just what is the best path forward as those things we have relied on in the past become evermore unreliable.

The advice of Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3:13 still holds true: “And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.” The question is, in today’s political climate, what is the best and wisest way to do what is right?

[1836 words]

 

16 Replies to “‘Some Trust In Horses’: Christians and Conservative Politics”

  1. Is Andrew Hastie the next one to be cast aside? I pray not. He too stands in need of our earnest prayers. It will be a tough battle in the coming days. Thank God that there is mercy and grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16).
    Press on Bill. You have a timely ministry.

  2. There was a thought that COVID was the crisis to bring spirituality back into society but instead that turned out to be one of the most damaging events to ever happen to the church and society in general.

    My feeling is that the upcoming recession we have to have as Keating puts it, may hopefully be the event that focuses the mind back to God because hopefully we would then have seen the limits of government and our own plans. As it is the only way to switch this increasingly anti Christian and secular message that pervades the media is poverty. When people lose security in material possession, jobs and there is suffering all around, maybe then they will look to God for truth and meaning. At present there is not much light to be seen anywhere.

  3. I agree Bill that it is best to go with what one thinks is right for them and the Lord. My husband and I were invited to join the Liberal Party in Sydney when John Howard was PM and I became the secretary at one of their many little branches. I didn’t realize at the time that some of them were lefties and all for the Kings Cross Injection Centre, abortion etc until a Christian Democratic Party guy befriended us and showed us that abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage etc is wrong so we left the Liberal Party asap and joined CDP. The CDP under the leadership of Fred Nile has now dissolved this year so I have joined Australia One Party because they are all for Judeo-Christian values etc with their two main objectives to stop abortion and pedophilia/child trafficking.
    If the Liberal Party under Peter Dutton can attract people like Tony Abbot, Cory Bernardi, Matthias Corman back into its fold then conservatives will start voting for them again. At the moment it is a sinking ship but the Labor party is too, so when I found this message from Julie Green on 12 May 22 I just had to share it:-
    ‘Australia: you will see a big shaking in your politics and Nation. The world leaders were trying to manipulate what was going on there. It will be exposed and who their pick was. Do not fear. I am going to restore your Nation, and freedom will return to you like never before. So lift up your heads and say, “Lord, let the shake-up begin. We want this land for you, oh Lord.” My children, just cry out to Me and see what I will do to honor My Word and deliver your Nation, saith the Lord.’

  4. Pastor Bill, I am convinced that we are only a few years away from the appearance of the AntiChrist.

  5. Problem is politics became dirtier and more hostile to Christianity. In some ways I can understand not wanting to get involved in that. Especially when you see so many changed by politics you don’t want to be dragged through the mud have damaging and damnable lies spread about you in pursuit of an office or have old skeletons (indiscretions) brought up from childhood or colege years to destroy you and if you do manage to get elected you don’t want to become less of a Christian or even lose faith by being surrounded by unscrupulous people and political machines. I know I wouldn’t want to enter that colosseum fight myself. I think I would rather face a lion.

  6. Thanks Bill, I forgot to give you and your readers a warning about the Australia One Party. Although it is a morale party rather than a Christian party, the leader Riccardo Bosi has fought for our country over in places like Afghanistan and has seen or knows of terrible things like child molesting and trafficking, babies raped to death etc, while our judicial system and the associated Masonic filth doesn’t do anything about pedophiles, you will have to get ready for some offensive words that Riccardo knows he shouldn’t say but it just comes out of him, not at good people like us but those who do these things. Riccardo certainly will wake people up.

  7. Don’t lets delude ourselves that salvation comes through politics. Nor does it come through moral rectitude. What a Christian in politics should aim for is maintaining the public peace, and justice: the only real duties of government. These have effect in many domains of course, but all arguments that head in either of these directions can and should be made on their own logic, not pointing the Bible. We remain informed by the Bible, but non-believers are not persuaded by it, in most cases. Yet there are good and sound, and I think impeccable reasons for promoting what would be the outcomes of a Christian world-view on their own logic. That and a critique of the insanity we are heading towards is what we must continue to work at.

  8. Perhaps the focus of growth of the Kingdom is moving to Africa. I see a comment here that poverty might wake people up. I hope so but in Europe we would remember more what poverty did in 1930s Germany.

  9. Some titles for David:

    America’s Blessings: How Religion Benefits Everyone, Including Atheists

    Answering the Objections of Atheists, Agnostics, and Skeptics

    The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus

    The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity

    The Case for Heaven: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for Life After Death

  10. Unfortunately I don’t think the idea that things will get so bad under Labor that people will wake up is correct. Some may but the scriptures speak pretty clearly of the delusion that arises as people turn from God. Nikita Khrushchev, for example, could never understand, right to the end, why communism wasn’t working.

    I believe this is exactly what we see in Rev 17:8:-

    “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

    NKJV

    That word “marvel” means to be astonished out of one’s senses, awestruck or amazed (see Strongs 2296 ) and is related to the same words that described how people reacted to Jesus’ miracles.

    The ethereal nature of the Beast is to do with the free-will problem of people (and angels) wanting to govern outside of God the concept of which has no real substance yet causes major problems.

    Unlike poor modern translations people are not awestruck by the Beast “because” it was and is not and yet is. There is no “because” in the Greek. People are in awe because of the apparent miracles that are done exactly as we see with modern technology.

    People are already worshipping the Beast.

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