In a world with an “us versus them” mentality, it’s always “them” that are the problem… right? We’re never the cause of our own troubles, that would be unthinkable. It’s always the other guy who fouls everything up. We’re innocent. If only the whole world were left to us, it would be a utopian paradise.
The same phenomenon exists in the political arena where the “us versus them” mentality finds that it is always the other political party that is the problem. You name the trouble, the other party caused it. Whether we’re talking Democrat vs Republican, left vs right, liberal vs conservative, one thing is certain, the other side is the root of all evil. If only the country were turned over to our side, to our favored “ism” or political party, we would make it a utopian paradise.
While I can’t speak for those who identify with the liberal-left or Democrat side of this equation, I do spend a lot of time around people who identify as Christian, conservative or who faithfully and unquestioningly vote Republican and who know for certain that they’re not the problem. They couldn’t possibly be responsible for any of America’s ills as they’re on the right side, profess the right “ism” and vote for the candidate with the right initial after his name. If only the Christian side, the conservative side, the “right” side could prevail at the ballot box and fill the halls of power with people who have the right party initial after their name, America would become a utopian paradise… right?
The error of this kind of thinking was recently made glaringly obvious in an article by my friend, America’s Patriot Pastor, Chuck Baldwin. His article, titled “Corruption,” relates the story of a drug task force officer and a deputy county attorney that were caught red handed (with audio recordings to prove it) engaging in witness tampering, obstruction of justice and malicious prosecution. The motivation behind it all was a prejudice held against the defense attorney by the county prosecutor’s office. The stated reason for this prejudice? The defense attorney is a “constitutionalist” and he “doesn’t just ‘go along’ with the prosecutor’s office.”
So what was the result of a law enforcement officer, a prosecuting attorney (both who later perjured themselves) and an elected county attorney being caught engaging in punishable offenses and subverting fundamental principles of our system of justice? Well, the case in which the officer and prosecutor engaged in the misdeeds was immediately dropped and upon receiving a complaint against these miscreants, the state attorney general promptly announced that there would be “no criminal investigation.” (Read the full article at chuckbaldwinlive.com)
Of course as good Christians and conservatives we decry such corruption and cronyism among elected officials. In fact, you might even be tempted to say “if only ‘our side’ were in power, this kind of thing would never happen.” Well that depends on what you consider to be “our side,” as the county attorney and state attorney general in this case are both Republican elected officials.
You see, this didn’t happen because “they” are in power. This happened in one of the most conservative states in the union (Montana) where the Christian-conservative-right has prevailed at the ballot box and “we” are in power (acknowledging that most Christian voters identify as “conservative” and vote Republican).
Now you might want to believe that this is an anomaly, an isolated incident, that not every Republican county attorney harbors such animosity towards “Constitutionalists” and not every Republican state attorney general engages in cronyism – and hopefully you’re right. However, the much more telling matter is not the deeds that have been done by two elected officials, but how the Christian-conservative-right who elected them is responding. Where is the conservative-right who elected these two Republicans? Why aren’t they marching in the streets and demanding justice the way they would if these deeds had been done by Democrats? Every Christian and conservative who voted for these men and who is not actively seeking their removal from office, has by their silence consented to their corruption and become complicit in it.
But this isn’t just about two elected officials in Montana. This is about the danger of an “us versus them” mindset and the error of automatically assuming that the problem is “them.” If the problem is “them” and the answer is “us” and our favored institutions, isms and political parties, then America, or your state, should become a utopian paradise of liberty, justice, morality, peace and prosperity whenever people with the right party initial after their name are elected to office.
So let’s put that hypothesis to the test. We can do so because currently fully half of the states are under complete Republican control with Republican governors and Republican majorities in both houses of the legislature. That’s twice as many states as are controlled by Democrats. So assuming that conservatism is the answer and electing more Republicans is the key, let’s ask ourselves which of the “R” controlled states has returned the educating of children to the God ordained authority of parents? Which has dismantled the socialist institutions of the Great Society’s Welfare State? Which has obeyed the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that only gold and silver coin be used as tender in payment of debts? Which has restored Biblical presuppositions of jurisprudence? Which has so much as significantly reduced taxes such that the common working man can measure the difference in his personal prosperity? Which Christian, conservative, Republican controlled state can be objectively weighed, measured and proven to be substantially different from a Democrat-controlled state when the measuring stick used is that of God’s word, the U.S. Constitution and the principles of liberty espoused by the American founders?
The same test can be applied at the federal level as well, as the Christian-conservative-right was the prevailing force that elected George H.W. Bush in 1992, the Republican-controlled House and Senate from 1994-2006, the Republican-controlled House from 2010 to present; and from 2000 to 2006 the Christian-conservative-right, through their surrogate, the Republican Party, held all the power of our federal government from the House to the Senate, the Presidency and even a majority of appointees on the Supreme Court. Yet not one unconstitutional agency or program was abolished. The welfare state, the warfare state and the police state all expanded, the borders remained breached, fiscal responsibility was scorned as deficit spending skyrocketed and the unconstitutional Federal Reserve pumped out fiat currency like never before.
The point is that liberals have been in power and conservatives have been in power. The left has won and the right has won. Republicans have held the reins and Democrats have held the reins. Yet no matter who wins at the ballot box, things gradually keep getting worse. In the battle of “us versus them,” the electoral outcome doesn’t seem to affect the political outcome.
You see, the problem in America isn’t that the other side is winning. The problem in America is that the political state of the nation is intrinsically tied to the spiritual state of the church – God’s people. The politics of the nation are a reflection of the spiritual condition of God’s people in the land. If God’s people are failing to affect the political climate of the land for good, it is because our spiritual state is compromised, weak and lethargic. How can we deny it when, as I’ve just pointed out, the Christian-conservative-right wins at the ballot box at least half the time, and half of the states are under the complete control of the people and/or party that Christians have elected! Those states, and the federal government when the Christian right has prevailed in national elections, are the fruit that manifests the spiritual condition of the root: the church in America.
We’re fond of quoting 2 Chronicles 7:14 and saying “if we pray, God will heal the land.” But we misquote and misunderstand the passage. The text actually says that if God’s people (not the other guy) will “humble themselves (not humble the other guy), and pray, and seek my face, (i.e. seek His presence) and turn from their wicked ways (not the other guy’s wicked ways); then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin (not the other guy’s sin), and will heal their land.”
We tend to have this misguided notion that if we just pray real hard, then one day we’ll wake up and God will have supernaturally, spectacularly, “whizzbang” healed the land and it will all be over and we won’t have to do anything. In reality, everything that God does on earth He does through men. He is waiting for “His people” to seek Him, draw near to Him, press into and contend for His presence and be changed by Him into instruments fit for His use – vessels that He can fill with Himself, then pour blessing out through those vessels and bring healing to the land.
If the land isn’t healed, it isn’t the unbeliever’s fault and it isn’t God’s fault, it’s our fault – we’re the problem.
I cannot state more clearly what is needed in America than did Pastor Alec Rowlands in a recent interview with my friend Cynthia Davis on her “Home Front” program. Pastor Rowlands addressed the need for God’s people to become “desperate” for His presence.
If you truly desire healing in the land and want to see America restored, then please listen to the interview with Pastor Rowlands at cynthiadavis.net/alec-rowlands. Hopefully it will encourage you to purchase his book (or DVD), “The Presence: Experiencing More of God” and join others in saying, “Oh Lord, I’m the problem, I’m the one who needs reviving, I’m the one who needs to draw near to You, seek Your face, walk in Your presence and be changed by You into an instrument of blessing in the land.”
I will continue to be politically active, but not because I mistakenly think that politics can save us or that electing enough people with the right initial after their name will make a difference. Besides, I don’t even vote “D” or “R,” I vote God, Bible, Constitution and liberty and invest most of my political efforts in the Constitution Party.
My primary purpose for political activism is not to try to save the country by it, but to offer my fellow countrymen a choice, to paraphrase George Washington, by raising a standard to which the wise and honest can rally. When the church decides again to earnestly contend for the presence of God and become His instrument for the healing of the land, I intend to be there waving the banner and reminding us of the ancient paths, the Biblical paths and the Constitutional paths – the paths that can lead a nation back to THE BLESSED PLACE.