A Nation Divided

The 2012 election was one of the closest in American history. The slight margin in the popular vote tells us that we live in a deeply divided nation. The huge voter apathy and growing antigovernment sentiments only deepen the division. 

Bill O’Reilly made some excellent observations about the outcome of the election in his talking points.

Al Mohler rightly observed that,

“The nation is divided politically, but that divide points to a division at the level of worldview. The 2012 election makes clear that Americans are divided over fundamental questions. Americans are divided into camps that define and see the world in fundamentally different terms. The election did not cause this division, it merely revealed it. This deep division at the level of worldview presents President Obama with a daunting political challenge, but a worldview crisis is an even greater challenge for the church.”

“Clearly, we face a new moral landscape in America, and huge challenge to those of us who care passionately about these issues. We face a worldview challenge that is far greater than any political challenge, as we must learn how to winsomely convince Americans to share our moral convictions about marriage, sex, the sanctity of life, and a range of moral issues. This will not be easy. It is, however, an urgent call to action.”

“Christians must never see political action as an end, but only as a means. We can never seek salvation through the voting booth, and we must never look for a political messiah. Nevertheless, Christians do bear a political responsibility, established in love of God and love of neighbor.”

How should the Church respond?

“Our Christian habit is to bewail the world’s deteriorating standards with an air of rather self-righteous dismay. We criticize its violence, dishonesty, immorality, disregard for human life, and materialistic greed. ‘The world is going down the drain,’ we say with a shrug. But whose fault is it? Who is to blame?”

“Let me put it like this. If the house is dark when night fall comes, there is no sense in blaming the house, for that is what happens when the sun goes down. The question to ask is ‘Where is the light?’ If the meat goes bad and becomes inedible, there is no sense blaming the meat, for that is what happens when bacteria are left alone to breed. The question to ask is ‘Where is the salt?’”

“Just so, if society deteriorates and its standards decline, till it becomes like a dark night or stinking fish, there is no sense in blaming society, for that is what happens when fallen men and women are left to themselves, and human selfishness is unchecked. The question to ask is ‘Where is the church? Why are the salt and light of Jesus Christ not permeating and changing our society?’”

“It is sheer hypocrisy on our part to raise our eyebrows, shrug our shoulders or wring our hands. The Lord Jesus told us to be the world’s salt and light” (John Stott).

Two different ways of responding

“The Church is responding in one of two ways: The Church has and is losing cultural power and prominence. One side of the Church is sort of responding by throwing a tantrum. It’s demanding that the culture still respect what the Bible says, Christian theology, and morality, without question. And when the culture doesn’t respect it, when they don’t want the Ten Commandments posted in public, or they don’t agree with our ideas about sexuality or marriage, it just becomes a culture war.”

“The other side of the Church, as seen sometimes in the younger generation of Christians, recognizes that we are not going to win these battles simply by out-powering or out-scaring people, or getting people to the polls. Instead, we need to influence more persuasively from the bottom up. By engaging in the culture, by engaging in the arts, engaging in politics and business, and education. And allow the Spirit of Christ in us and the callings and vocations in the world to work from the bottom up. And recognize that we no longer have a privileged position. And that’s OK because Christ is still building His church, the Gospel will still go forward, and we don’t have to be afraid and posture in our culture from a position of fear and anger” (Skye Jethani). 

Steve Cornell

About Wisdomforlife

Just another worker in God's field.
This entry was posted in 44th President, Barack Obama, Bill O'Reilly, Call to ministry, Citizenship, Democracy, Democrats, Government, Political Correctness, Politics, Republican. Bookmark the permalink.

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