Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ten Things to Keep in Mind After the Election - Doug Wilson

By Doug Wilson. :

I write at the very beginning of election day, not knowing the outcome. These are things that we should remember regardless, and they will be applicable regardless.

1. God is still Father, Christ is still at His right hand, and the Holy Spirit is still abroad in the world, recreating that world according to the image of Christ. When the nations conspire against Him, He laughs at them.

2. The most important thing we can do for our nation, and for the world around us, is to gather for worship every Lord's Day. The privilege of voting in presidential elections comes to us every four years, while we are graced with the opportunity to take the Lord's Supper week to week. Right worship reforms the Church, and is therefore God's central instrument for remaking the world. For this reason, we must insist on worship that is in accordance with Scripture. Judgment begins with the household of God. Our generation is fatherless. In the power of the Spirit, in the name of the Son, we must therefore worship the Father.

3. The first and greatest command is to love God, and the second is to love our neighbor. When the question arises, as it will, as to who is our neighbor, a good policy is to always begin with the smallest, the least, the most defenseless. Never apologize for a crawl-over-broken-glass pro-life stance. Live in such a life-affirming way as to expect apologies from those who would redefine the lives of others (always the lives of others, isn't it?) into expendible insignificance.

4. Honor women. Honor your mother, your wife, and your daughters. We live in a culture that despises women, and which has engineered a vast machinery of propaganda designed to get them to surrender to it. If you don't know how to honor, on a day-to-day basis, the women in your life, then learn. Make it a priority.

5. Don't doubt in the dark what you knew in the light. The late Francis Schaeffer taught evangelical Christians to think like Christians as they engaged with unbelief in the public square. But a goodly number of his proteges, disciples, and name-appropriators have begun to "engage with the culture" in a way that looks more like going native than it looks like missionary work. Melancthons fall apart more rapidly than they used to. Get used to it, but don't you do it.

6. While pro-life work is at the very center of all mercy ministry, it should not be allowed to distract from the broader kind of mercy ministry that offers gospel help to those who have contributed to their own misery -- addicts, convicts, the uneducated and the unemployable. Such mercy ministry must be consistently tenderhearted and hardheaded. Sentimentalists are never able to give themselves away in the ongoing way that bleeding (but thinking) Christians must.

7. Learn something about economics. Please.

8. Cultivate a godly sense of proportion. My family, living in the UK, are encountering evangelical Christians who think that "lack of socialized medicine" is just as bad as abortion-on-demand, because in both cases people are dying. This is as wrong-headed as it is possible to get, even for evangelicals, and on two counts. In the first place, deliberate murder cannot be compared to well-intentioned negligence or incomptence. In the second place, to the extent that we do attack death-dealing incompetence -- as we must -- we must begin by attacking the species of incompetence that lets people die after many months on waiting lists because some people don't like accurate pricing mechanisms. Water won't run uphill just because you can arrange for three bishops to say "Trinitarian" or "incarnational" over it.

9. Count the cost. Freedom of expression is part of our Christian heritage, and one of the things we are fighting for is the right to that expression. We cannot lose the tree and keep the fruit of it. When the laws come, as they will, prohibiting (for example) condemnation of homosexual behavior, then count the cost. And the very next Sunday, start your sermon series on the sins of sodomy. The first message should provide the introduction, and allow the congregation to count the cost as well. They might want a heads up -- some of them might think it prudent to head over to a more docile church, one with a kennel-fed pastor. Whenever the state yanks on his lead, he always heels, and then waits expectantly for his treat. A much more sensitive and sensible ministry, don't you think?

10. Fight in the culture wars as those who gladly serve the triune God of heaven. We are not dogs fighting over a piece of meat, and we must never allow the surly or shrill attitudes of the self-righteous to creep into anything we do. We must be puritan cavaliers, and merry warriors. Fight like a regenerate D'Artagnan, and not like a thug with a Bible he stole from the motel, or a like prim and censorious Miss Grundy, she of the pursed lips. We are Christians, not wowswers.

President Obama

From Justin Taylor:

With Ohio being called for Senator Obama, it appears that he will be our next President.

It's very easy to forget--especially for those of us who are on the younger side--that it was only a little over 40 years ago that there were Jim Crow laws in the US. Just a generation ago, many African Americans were segregated from whites in public schools, transportation, restrooms, and restaurants.

Tonight, the United States has elected a biracial man to serve as its leader.

It would be an understatement to call this a watershed cultural moment in our country's history.

No matter who you voted for--or whether you voted at all--it's important to remember that, as President, Barack Obama will have God-given authority to govern us, and that we should view him as a servant of God (Rom. 13:1, 4) to whom we should be subject (Rom. 13:1, 5; 1 Pet. 2:13-14).
There are many qualifications to add to these exhortations--for example, see this excellent post by John Piper--but it's still important to remember that these are requirements for all Bible-believing Christians.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

An Exhortation on the Eve of the Elections

This is by Douglas Wilson from Sunday:

In the colonial era, ministers used to preach what were called artillery sermons--messages leading up to elections in order to teach and inform the saints on their duties in the civil realm. The message today is an artillery sermon to prepare you for the election, and for what comes after, regardless of what that is.

But this exhortation is a bit more focused on the process of voting itself. First, all that we do is to be offered to God at the fundamental. Ask God to count your vote, and it does not matter who else does. Give what you do to Jesus, and let Him do with it what He wills. You should be like the small boy who surrendered his fish and bread for Jesus to multiply, and not like someone who tried to feed the multitude himself by giving everyone a crumb.

Secondly, confirm it in your heart and soul that the day after the election, God is still on His throne, and Jesus is still at His right hand. Certain things are not on the ballot, as the sovereignty of God is not. When Christians react to elections with despair and panic, they are demonstrated that their faith is in the wrong place. If the election goes badly, do not soak your hair with lighter fluid, set it off, and then run in tight, little circles. Be a Christian. If the election goes well, do not act you have just been saved. Salvation is not something that Caesar holds in his hand, whether to give or withhold.

Third, vote with a clear mind and clean heart, doing so confidently and with boldness. Stand up for the unborn. Strike at every idol. Love God, and hate sin. Stand against every throne built on a foundation of lawlessness. And return here next Lord's Day for the real work of Reformation.