Living as Christian Exiles
Something has changed in Western culture. It has shifted away from its Judeo-Christian roots. But what can be done?
The question of the day seems to be, how can we move things back?
How does a nation change – through political action and elections? Or through something else?
How Does a Nation Change?
The late conservative journalist, Andrew Breitbart, had a saying, “Politics is downstream from culture.” In other words, a nation’s politics is a symptom of its people. And if you want to change the politics of a nation, the easiest way to do that (though it does take time) is to change the people – especially in a democratic republic like ours. When people’s hearts begin to change, the laws will change on their own.
On the other hand, if a minority of people try to force their will and worldview on the rest of society, it isn’t going to work in the long-term. The Left has known this for years. This is why they’ve been hard at work in the education and entertainment sectors, changing the hearts and minds of people. The political shiftings that we’ve seen in America over the past several decades didn’t come out of nowhere. They came as a direct result of changed hearts and minds.
For thirty or forty years, Christian exiles in America have put too many of their eggs into the ‘Political’ basket. We’ve had this idea that if we could just elect the right president, appoint the right supreme court justice, or pass the right constitutional amendment then all would be well. But it hasn’t worked. And it never will. Not as long as the Kingdom of Darkness is shaping the hearts and minds of our citizens.
Watching Our Resources Burn
Regardless of how tomorrow’s election goes, Christian exiles need to spend less time worrying about future elections and more time working to change hearts and minds. Consider this…
In 2008, $39 million was raised to support California’s Proposition 8 – the state constitutional amendment that said, “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid.”
And it passed! So, you may be thinking, a $39 million well spent, right?
In 2010, it was ruled unconstitutional and in 2013 the Supreme Court famously declared all such state provisions invalid.
$39 million down the drain.
The culture had already changed the hearts and minds of people to see marriage as simply a contract between two adults who are in love. And since hearts and minds had changed, it was only a matter of time before the politics would too. No amount of money could stop it.
And remember this: that $39 million was raised and spent in one state, over one issue. Can you imagine the time and money spent over the past 30 or 40 years trying to change the politics of this nation without addressing the culture? It has to be astronomical! And yet, how much better off are we than 40 years ago?
What’s our return on investment been? I’d say pretty abysmal.
So do we throw in the towel? Withdraw from politics completely into Christian communes?
No, and no.
The Church’s Task
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results, then we would be insane to continue thinking that real change will come as a result of an election. The political changes which have taken place over the past forty years may have been consummated with an election, but they were the result of years of cultural work done in schools and through media.
Jesus sent out twelve apostles as ambassadors for his Kingdom – ambassadors who would build structures to carry on Kingdom culture, to educate in Kingdom thinking, and to spread the Kingdom message. He didn’t encourage his disciples to work for political change because he knew that you don’t change a nation by changing its politics. You change it by changing its people.
This is the Church’s task today. We must relearn how to build structures that will transmit Kingdom culture, educate in Kingdom thinking, and spread the Kingdom message.
But before we can do any of these things, we must see the stark difference between the Kingdom of Darkness and the Kingdom of God.
We must realize that we are Christian exiles in an American Babylon.
And we must see the value of our citizenship in God’s Kingdom.
Once we understand these things, we can start the work of being God’s people in a foreign land.
And one of the things that each of us should do, as Christian exiles, is educate ourselves on our elections and then vote our principles! So, educate yourself and vote tomorrow – then come back here and read the next article in this series.
Oh, and remember, if you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll get a free copy of ‘A Disciple’s Manifesto: A Vision for Christian Discipleship.’