Home > Uncategorized > Some thoughts about the 2008 election and God’s Sovereignty

Some thoughts about the 2008 election and God’s Sovereignty

Okay, the election results are in, confirming once again that America as a nation is doomed and is experiencing God’s wrath of abandonment. Like others, I don’t recall any previous election that attracted so much attention, with such a large turnout at the poll. The news itself is upsetting in the general sense — and knowing on the front end the near-certainty of Obama’s win, I did not want to listen to the detailed numbers being reported in; nor could I, like my spouse, casually liken the election to a sports game with a continuously updated score card. Yet I have found much more peace this year as I purposely reflect on the word of God and focus on it rather than on the circumstances around us. Certainly I did not lose any sleep Tuesday night, as apparently one Christian co-worker did. Reading several sermons on the subject, such as Phil Johnson’s “Politically Incorrect” (click here to listen to the MP3 version) from earlier this year helped bring a proper biblical perspective.

It’s easy to get caught up in the alarmist news, even the scare tactics of conservatives and Christians, and here again I must take a step back lest I get too absorbed, and consider that so often the worst does not happen. For all the talk about the fairness doctrine, for instance, and how repressed Christianity is in Canada and Canadian radio, I checked a few things regarding my favorite radio program, John MacArthur’s “Grace to You.” The radio program actually started in this country a few years before the fairness doctrine was repealed, and the program is still regularly aired on many stations in Canada. To be sure, the fairness doctrine could very well put a damper on political talk radio — the very things that did develop and grow in the last two decades — but, contrary to the alarmist claims of some, will not likely make an impact on traditional Christian radio programming.

In this election neither candidate was Christian, and for all the bad things predicted under Obama, I realize that the trends would continue even under McCain, who along with Palin favor homosexual civil unions among other liberal trends. Abortion continues only because lost sinners desire it. As Phil Johnson’s sermon (mentioned above) points out, Christian political activism has been a dismal failure throughout history, everywhere it’s been tried. Consider Cromwell in 17th century England, also the failure of the Prohibitionist movement in the early 20th century. John Calvin’s great Geneva experiment also failed, because external moral rules cannot restrain the unregenerate. All of these efforts depend on outward conformity to the law, whereas the real issue is transformation from within by the Holy Spirit. Also, during the 35 years since Roe v. Wade, Christians politically have been unable to accomplish their primary stated objective, to overturn Roe v. Wade, so that we now have an election year in which neither main candidate represented the Christian view. Yet during this same generation of increased Christian political activity, expository preaching of the Word (in general mainstream evangelical churches today) has been increasingly watered down to the point that it is rendered ineffective; the message is weakened with sound-bites and entertainment, post-modernism and the Emergent Church movement all taking the place of the one thing that does have the power to transform society: the gospel and its effect on individual lives in that society. Thus by its actions, mainstream Christianity shows that it really doesn’t believe the truth and power of the word of God, but that it really places its hopes in human institutions (government).

As MacArthur says, a political moral focus makes enemies out of our mission field. The lost behave as they do because they are lost (as we once were), and we cannot expect them to behave differently until or unless they are saved, which is accomplished solely through the preaching of God’s word, not through energy spent on any political agenda.

Certainly life in this United States may not be as pleasant in the next several years — and as the downward trend continues so rapidly, it goes beyond even the Obama presidency, to the rest of my life here in this world — but such things exist to remind us that this world is not our home, to prevent us from getting too attached to what this world can offer. As the saying goes, prosperity is the worst temptation — because we fear it so little. We grow more in times of trouble than in times of plenty, as I have found so clearly during the last several months of stock market losses and generally bad economic and political news.

Rather than focusing on the evils of America, I rejoice that indeed God’s word is being preached and heard, through the national ministries of great men of God such as John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, John Piper and many other Reformed Christian preachers. Also I thank God for the greater interest in Calvinist, Reformed teaching among young people as highlighted in “Young, Restless, Reformed”, and that the Master’s Seminary is teaching and preparing the next generation of pastors with a solid biblical foundation in all areas of God’s word, including a proper view of scripture and biblical interpretation. This is what we all need to pray for, the proclamation of the gospel, which alone has the power to transform lives.

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