Whoever you voted for yesterday, Chuck Colson has a few words of wisdom for you, words he spoke after the presidential election in 2008. Please listen closely:
Whether you’re recovering from your all-night celebration or drying the tears from your pillow, today’s a good day to remember the words of the apostle Paul: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
Chuck went on to point out that the next president would face enormous challenges. First among them back in 2008 was what is now called the great recession.
Now dare I say that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump (and as I record this I don’t know who won the election) face even greater challenges? Ninety-four million Americans are not in the workforce—more than ever before. The nation is in the grip of a heroin and painkiller epidemic that’s destroying lives across the country. To say racial tensions are high is an understatement. Domestic terrorism and cyber attacks threaten us daily.
And there’s a real effort to push religious and moral conviction out of the public square, and enshrine in law a dehumanizing vision of sexuality and identity.
Overseas, ISIS fights on. Vladimir Putin and Communist China thumb their noses at the U. S. in Eastern Europe and the South China Sea. Iran continues to violate the ill-conceived nuclear deal and openly provokes and threatens our military forces in the Persian Gulf. Waves of Muslim refugees continue to swamp Europe.
And yes, the new president and the country need our prayers.
But how have we gotten to this point? Well, once again, here’s Chuck Colson:
I can only think of what Alexandr Solzhenitsyn said about the catastrophic consequences of the Russian revolution. ‘I recall,’ he said, ‘hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’
Solzhenitsyn was right. Indeed, I can’t find any better explanation for why we Americans find ourselves in the state we’re in. We have forgotten God.
We’ve also forgotten that American democracy—indeed western civilization itself—is the product of the Judeo-Christian understanding of God and humanity. Without that revelation that man is created in the image of God, our founders never would have recognized the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Indeed, as I and others like Rodney Stark have argued, modern science and education, liberal democracy, capitalism—all flourished in western civilization precisely because of the Judeo-Christian worldview.
The attacks on Christianity these days are only going to intensify in the months ahead. But we must press on all the more to make a winsome witness. Those who would banish Christianity from American life are risking the very survival of American society.
Again, Chuck voiced these words eight years ago, before the Supreme Court imposed so-called same-sex marriage on the nation, before Christian businesses would be forced to conform with sexual absolutes or be fined to the brink of bankruptcy, before the attempt to force Christian organizations—including nuns—to pay for abortifacients and contraceptives.
So in other words, culturally, things are even worse today. So what now? Let’s give Chuck the final word on that.
So this is no time for Christians to go into the bunkers . . .This is a time for the Church to get serious about Christian discipleship. Enough cheap grace.
So pray for the new president …. But most of all, brothers and sisters, this is a time to love our neighbors and hunger for God and His righteousness.
by John Stonestreet
Publication date: November 9, 2016