Though we don’t know what lies ahead in this new year, & we anticipate the wide range of possibilities, Christians should be neither overly pessimistic nor optimistic. What’s going on in American society is neither normal nor OK. But we don’t succumb to despair. As much as society as we knew it may be crumbling, the Church of Christ will stand. Many empires have risen & fallen before us.
It’s incontrovertible that the U.S. was founded as a Christian republic. Not to say that everyone was a biblical Christian, still, it was grounded in biblical principles. Yes, some dispute what is incontrovertible, but it’s either due to ignorance or to an anti-Christian agenda to erase it. It was never a perfect society, with the most egregious example being the practice of slavery. Yet it was also the first nation (along with England) in all of history to abolish slavery. As a Bible-literate, church-going society, it was a stronger one & was getting better.
But we’ve witnessed a descent into further grievous sins. It’s just so frustrating to see how much of our Christian heritage has been squandered. It feels like the Adele song when she sings, “We could have had it all!” But like ancient Israel who enjoyed such prominence & dominance during the Davidic & Solomonic reigns but then spiraled into division, depravity & destruction, America has forfeited so much promise.
You can’t expect to sustain the kind of society envisioned in the Constitution without the religious principles that made it possible. Those principles were never really enshrined in law–they were informally & generally adhered to. But without those assumptions undergirding behavior, society inevitably drifts from its moorings. We’re presently living off the fumes of our forebears’ intentions.
The foundations have been rotting for some time, but the slow-motion suicide has accelerated. The curtains have been pulled back more & more on the corruption of this crooked generation (Acts 2:40). We’re seeing how much we’ve been betrayed & sold out on nearly every front. There’s little to commend or be proud of in today’s culture. The days are evil (Eph. 5:16). The scene around us reflects more of Sodom & Babylon (2 Pet. 2:6, Rev. 18:9-11) than a Christian “city on a hill” (Matt. 5:14).It seems the majority is content & even anxious to continue in a path of vice instead of virtue. Maybe it’s beyond redemption. But maybe not.
I recently re-watched the “Black Widow” Marvel movie where the heroine is an Avenger who previously escaped her brainwashed conditioning as a villainous assassin. Her sister who was also one of the villainous “Widows” comes into contact with a vial of gas that frees her from her mind control. The sisters join forces in a mission to free the other “Widows” held captive to delusional upside-down views & values. All the Widows, however, attack the sisters, never realizing that they’re only trying to free them. But once they become exposed to the antidote, they become different. They’re transformed into right thinking.
We need to see people as “Widows” who are entrapped by the world’s deceptive programming & delusional indoctrination. We were just like everyone else before coming into contact with the Way, the Truth & the Life (John 14:6). Jesus is the only answer. What’s needed is awakening & revival. There’s really no hope for society without a turning to the Lord. So whatever God decides to do with this present society, we will continue to try to bring redemption to it. We can resolve to do less fretting & whining about how bad things are, and start doing more to fix, build & grow things. The Church is a subculture that should not get pulled into the chaos, drift into bitterness, or resort to personal attacks. We don’t give up on people (& society) because people can change when exposed to the antidote.
Our time here is very short as we play a very small role in the history of God’s unfolding plan. We are the small minority counterculture who continue fighting the good fight as happy warriors in whatever culture wars come. This is a long-term battle, & it’s not a losing battle. Even in defeat we still win. Sometimes a setback is only a setup for the next move. All idols will eventually be toppled. If it all collapses under God’s righteous judgment on our watch, no matter. We remain faithful & keep praying because God is in control & Jesus is King.