Following the mid-term results, we need to reflect again on matters of faith and politics:
Well, the American mid-terms have come and gone. Yes, counting continues, and some results – including a likely Georgia run-off election to be held next month – will take some time to unfold. But we do know that the red tide amounted to little more than a red trickle. See my write-up here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2022/11/09/on-the-us-mid-terms/
Republicans and conservatives were rather disappointed, although as I said in yesterday’s piece, there were a few bright spots scattered throughout. Of course the big DeSantis win in Florida is one of them. I will speak more about him in a moment.
Given that I offered some political analysis yesterday, I will not have much more to say on the mid-terms here. But one point is worth exploring. We have been told that the Republicans won every age group on Tuesday except one: 18-29 year olds.
And why might this be? Obviously the near complete takeover by the left of American education must go a long way toward explaining this. When you have an entire generation of young people going through high school and college where overwhelmingly they are presented with indoctrination and proselytising, and not real education, we will of course lose them real fast.
Even kids who grow up in Christian and conservative homes will likely not withstand this secular left tsunami and jihad. Children getting flannel-gram lessons in Sunday School, or colouring in pictures of Noah’s Ark, will be no match for 15,000 hours of secular schooling, and then ungodly university indoctrination as well.
So our young people have been very successfully targeted by the left, and they have mostly fallen for what they were exposed to. No wonder they overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Politics flows downstream from culture in other words. When the reigning cultural paradigm as found in education, media, the arts, and even much of the church is mainly secular left, that will of course show up big time in politics and elections.
The sad truth is, the left has been far better in capturing the culture than conservatives have been. As a result, we are losing our children. As Robert A. J. Gagnon just recently posted on the social media:
Things are not looking good for Republicans in the Senate races in Pennsylvania and Georgia (Fetterman and Warnock are typical Dem extremists). Sadly, the Republican “wave” may not materialize. Republicans might not take either house of Congress. If that is the case, it is further evidence for the inordinate influence of Democrat control over sources of information: search engines, social media, the entertainment industry, colleges and universities, and most of the news media. This is the great threat to the Republic. Please prove me wrong about the election results, God.
But let me look at a few more big-ticket items.
Already both Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, are looking ahead to the next presidential election. Had the Republicans gotten a really big red wave, most Democratic strategists would now be talking about how to move Biden along, and get fresh blood for 2024. But with very little changing in the mid-terms, Biden will now likely stay on, and the radical left agenda of the Dems will keep being pushed.
The GOP is also looking ahead to the run for POTUS. One thing so far is quite clear: without a doubt the best Republican performer in the mid-terms was Ron DeSantis. He had a whopping 20-point win over his rival, and huge gains in former blue districts. This is not to say DeSantis is perfect – he is not. But he is now the front-runner, if he should decide to run in two years – except for one man.
Next week Donald Trump will almost certainly announce he is running again for the top job. In good measure we can tell this because of all his recent attacks on DeSantis. Many conservatives are already worried about this. It really is not a good move Donald.
When the top two are in combat mode, that does not help. Sure, DeSantis has yet to fire back at Trump, and who knows how things will pan out. But when one turns on the other instead of seeking to work together as best they can, that helps no one. And if a poll were held right now, I wonder who would be the most preferred candidate.
While neither Trump nor DeSantis have officially said yes to a run yet, Trump’s dislike of DeSantis and his public attacks on him are a worry. The bottom line is this: Sadly, in politics, as in so much of the church, wanting to be top dog, wanting your ego stroked, and wanting to get all the glory, is an ever present danger. Pride always kills, but humility goes a long way. At the very least, we need to keep both these guys in our prayers.
And if push comes to shove, and I was asked right now who I might prefer, well, I would say this: Much of the West is ruled by weak, woke and basically worthless leaders. That is why when a good one comes along, the contrast could not be greater. Ron DeSantis has been a champion for freedom and common sense. His war on woke has been a joy to behold. But whether he could translate his Florida success to the national stage is a moot point.
God and politics
Three things I want to emphasise here. One. We are not to be fatalists. Just because we believe in a God who is sovereign does NOT mean we believe his people should sit around and do nothing. Active and energetic Christians, not passive and fatalistic Christians, is what the sovereign Lord expects of us.
The old meme about a guy just standing around with a shovel in his hands, praying that a hole would be dug, makes my point here. We can pray all we like for certain things, but very likely the hole will not be dug unless we start digging.
This is true in the political and social arenas as well. Abolitionists like William Wilberforce prayed like mad to see the end of slavery. But he also worked like mad. One without the other would not have gotten him very far. Thankfully he knew that both were vitally needed. And we have all seen the good results of this.
Two. As always, Christians must avoid two extremes – both of which are unbiblical and untenable. One extreme is to think we can forget all about politics and just float around in a hyper-spiritual cloud where our faith has no impact on the world that we live in.
The other extreme is to think politics will solve all our problems, and we just need to get the right parties or right politicians into office, while ignoring the necessity of prayer, spiritual warfare and the like. Putting all our faith in an election is as vain as pulling out of politics altogether.
As I said in yesterday’s article: “Politics matters, but politics is not all there is. Political realities must be seen in the light of spiritual realities. And almost always, when we have poor or bad political outcomes, that is because our spiritual condition is poor or bad as well. Ignoring the latter will not help us improve the former.”
Three. Related to the above, we must realise that getting involved in the social and political battles of our day is not a waste of time. Instead, it is a biblical calling. We are commanded to be salt and light. We must roll up our sleeves and be willing to get our hands dirty in the various battles of our day.
As the American Christian leader Owen Strachan put it:
Holding back evil is good.
Standing against decline is good.
Preserving what is left of civilization is good.
Speaking for the voiceless is good.
Protecting religious liberty is good.
Defending the free market is good.
Securing national borders is good.
Saving unborn babies is good.
Preserving marriage and the family is good.
STOP APOLOGIZING; depend on Christ; keep standing; don’t quit until God turns the lights out.
Many Christians and conservatives may well feel quite deflated after the mid-term results came in. I know I was a bit bummed. But I also know that standing up for what is right, and being willing to fight against what is wrong is never a lost cause. It is never in vain.
We must keep fighting, We must persevere. We must never give up. Political battles will always be a mixed bag. We will win some and we will lose some. But the believer knows that politics is not the final or most important arena that we fight in. Our real war is in the heavenlies. but of course it manifests itself on this earth. So we engage at both levels.
And we must not despair. Let me conclude with some words from a letter sent to Wilberforce by John Wesley on February 24, 1791:
Unless the divine power has raised you up to be as Athanasius contra mundum, I see not how you can go through your glorious enterprise in opposing that execrable villainy, which is the scandal of religion, of England, and of human nature. Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God is with you, who can be against you? Are all of them stronger than God? O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God in the power of His might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.
I certainly believe that his wise words of advice fully apply to all of us today.