Enough With All the Rhetoric. Only God Can Save America

By Michael Brown Published on October 16, 2018

I’ve heard it from the left and I’ve heard it from the right. “Vote our way and save the nation!”

Most recently, in the context of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s announcement that she was roughly 1 percent Native American, it was Jim Messina, President Obama’s campaign manager in 2012 tweeting,

Argue the substance all you want, but why 22 days before a crucial election where we MUST win house and senate to save America, why did @SenWarren have to do her announcement now? Why can’t Dems ever stay focused???

Yes, the Democrats must win the House and Senate “to save America.” If the Republicans hold their majorities, it is all over for our nation. There’s even a “Vote Against Trump. Save America” t-shirt for sale on Amazon. And there’s a website called VoteSaveAmerica.com (it warns against Republican tactics).

As an August 30th headline on the (liberal-leaning) Daily Beast proclaimed, “Citizens of Good Will, You Must Help Save America in These Midterm Elections.”

But the elections will not determine the destiny of America. Only God can do that. Only God can save our nation.

On the flip side, many conservative leaders have emphasized the critical nature of these midterm elections, stating that we need to vote red to save the nation. (I wish I had kept copies of the e-blasts I have received with this basic message: “The fate of America is at stake! Vote Republican and save the nation!”)

Granted, the 2018 midterms are very important, and I’m strongly encouraging folks to get out and vote for conservative principles.

But the elections will not determine the destiny of America. Only God can do that. Only God can save our nation.

And ultimately, transformation will come to America from the bottom up more than from the top down. Put another way, the political scene reflects the mood of the people more than it determines the mood of the people.

‘We the People’ Make the Decisions

When Trump was elected, I saw comments from educated people saying, “Donald Trump is the antichrist!” Not long before that, others were proclaiming, “Barack Obama is the antichrist!” And just today, I received an email asking, “Is Mark Zuckerberg the antichrist?”

Can we let up a little with this rhetoric? Can we adapt a more realistic tone?

You could argue that the media is far more influential than politics. You could argue that our schools are far more influential than politics. And I would certainly argue that the life of the Church is far more influential than politics.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream »

After all, it is “we the people” who make the decisions about the direction of our nation. And if the Church did its job to reflect God’s light and make disciples, America would be transformed. In turn, politics would be transformed. The courts would be transformed. The schools would be transformed. Even the media would be transformed.

The Culture’s Effect on Politics

Again, this is not to downplay the significance of the 2018 midterms or the 2020 presidential elections. (Can you imagine how intense things will be in 2020? Can you imagine how crazy the news cycles will be and how pitched the emotional battles?)

I totally recognize the momentous decisions that could be made in the next two years. I understand what could happen with a blue wave or a red wave.

It’s easy to list the consequences either way: the courts, from the Supreme Court down; the economy; national security; international relations; immigration; and on and on it goes. These are massively important issues, issues that affect us and our children and our grandchildren and beyond.

The only reason our news media, universities, and entertainment industry are so far left is because the larger culture has allowed it or encouraged it.

But let’s the face the facts. The main reason the Supreme Court redefined marriage is because of massive cultural shifts. The main reason we still have abortion on demand is because of spiritual complacency and moral stupor.

And the only reason the mainstream news media is so far left and many universities are so far left and so much of Hollywood is so far left is because the larger culture has allowed it or encouraged it. Without that cultural market, these institutions would either dry up and die or make dramatic changes. The clientele simply would not be there.

Politics is Not the Gospel

Personally, I plan to vote conservative next month, and I hope millions of evangelicals will do the same. But we could have a massive red wave, and we will not be one inch closer to national revival and renewal. Conversely, we could have a massive blue wave, and it could drive Christian conservatives to pray, producing more lasting fruit than all the votes in the world.

The bottom line — to repeat one of my mantras — is that politics is not the gospel. Political decisions are very important in the life of the nation, and our votes do make a difference in determining many aspects of our national direction.

But politics, in itself, is not transformational. Rather, in a democratic republic like ours, politics carries out the will of the people whose votes prevail.

So, while we should vote and stay involved politically, let’s not take our eyes off the prize, which is the transformation of our nation. That is the work of God, and He recruits us to be His fellow-workers, one life at a time.

 

Dr. Michael Brown recently joined Stream publisher James Robison in our studio to discuss Brown’s new book, Donald Trump is Not My Savior. You can watch the videos at the #TrumpIsNotMySavior series page.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • stan schmunk

    Please define conservatism and describe its history in our nation.

    • For a request of that magnitude — book-length, if it’s done halfway right — it seems to me we should be able to expect a person at least to say, “pretty please.”

      🙂

      • stan schmunk

        Pretty please and it can be done in a few sentences.

  • Paul

    “But politics, in itself, is not transformational. Rather, in a democratic republic like ours, politics carries out the will of the people whose votes prevail.”

    The courts have too often upended the will of the people for this to be accurate.

    • Kevin Quillen

      Thank you Paul. Lincoln also said something very profound….”the philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next”. The future is bleak.

  • Amen, thank you.

  • Dave

    “And if the Church did its job to reflect God’s light and make disciples, America would be transformed.”

    If Dr. Brown’s motive to preach the gospel is because he thinks it will transform his beloved America, then that’s ok with me and Paul. The important thing is that, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    • What about preached against the powers and principalities of the devil exemplified in marxism?

  • John Flaherty

    Sadly, this column reads like the comments of many Catholic prelates. They’ll say “we aren’t political!” even as they march leftward in step with Democrats. It’s true that we won’t save the nation in one election and that God will save the nation…or not. It’s ALSO true that We, the People, must actively seek to promote virtue in law and in culture if we expect God to save Our nation from sinful intentions.
    Outside of crazed efforts at “alienating people”–which are prone to alienate people themselves–let’s face it: We DO have serious problems if the Democrats win. If the Republicans have hardly been saints, Democrats have, in my lifetime, pressed distinctly for sinful attitudes and behavior to be instilled in public law. For this reason, we can safely say that the nation will suffer tremendously if the Democrats win. THAT is why we have the nastiness in the campaign.

    • Baronsamedi1925

      I don’t think that we would have serious problems if the left gain power because they won’t be able to do much and they would have to impeach a few people before you get a democratic president. Chances are they won’t get a lot done.

      • John Flaherty

        Even failing to get much done would be a partial victory for the Left. Even if they can’t press a Leftist agenda, they CAN bring Congress to a standstill, they CAN delay and deny almost anything Pres Trump might propose. By doing so, they can portray Pres Trump and Republicans as racist, do-nothing, bury-the-poor-and-downtrodden trash. Certainly that’s what they did with Bush and every Republican candidate since, including Pres Trump. If they do that for the next two years, they stand a decent chance of defeating Trump in 2020, thereby being able to impose progressive ideals on the nation. I’m not sure this nation would survive that; We, the People, have already been bitterly divided for some time. We might devolve into either civil war or anarchy if forced to tolerate more Leftist nonsense.

Inspiration
Splinter Versus Beam — What Did Jesus Mean?
Dustin Siggins
More from The Stream
Connect with Us