Diary

Having a spiritual perspective on the 2016 election and beyond

After following the 2016 presidential primary race since it started, and watching various developments unfold like the rise of Trump and the fall of the governors, I noticed one recurring theme:

The race has been dominated by fear and anger.  Fear of a changing world, of a changing country with changing demographics and changing values, of a corrupt and powerful federal gov’t that can ruin people’s lives, and fear of America electing another liberal in 2016.

The anger comes from the GOP not standing up to the politicians and interest groups that are behind all these unwelcome changes.

But I also noticed that many people in our party are letting that fear and anger completely influence their decisions and which candidates they support, and that shouldn’t be the case.  We still have to make rational and well-informed decisions about who is the most qualified and capable candidate to be president.

I think Marco Rubio summed up the situation best when he said, “We should allow that anger to motivate us, but we shouldn’t allow it to define us.”

I would take it a step further and say we also shouldn’t allow fear to motivate or define us.

I say this because I view everything, including politics, from a Christian and biblical perspective.

One thing Jesus makes abundantly clear throughout the Bible is that we shouldn’t be afraid.  He doesn’t make statements about this though, He commands us not to be afraid.  In fact, did you know that out of all the imperative statements Jesus makes throughout the Gospels, it is this command that He makes most often?

The reason for this is simple:  In the end, He wins, along with all the forces of good in the universe, and Satan and all the forces of evil lose.  We don’t know the time or place, but we know that He will come again, and when He does He will renew the Earth and punish those who do Satan’s work for all eternity, while rewarding His followers with everlasting life with Him in Heaven.

Furthermore, fear paralyzes us and prevents us from sharing ourselves, our time, and our talents with others.  It prevents us from helping others and thus making our nation and the world a better place.

Initially one might think this perspective only applies to spiritual/moral matters, but after listening to a radio show by Michael Medved describing how God has shaped and guided events in this country throughout our history, I realized it applies to politics as well.

 

God’s hand will shape events leading up to our coming presidential election in ways none of us can predict

 

The central premise of this diary is this:  We shouldn’t be afraid of the future as long as we have faith in God’s providence.

As conservatives and more importantly, people of faith, we should be concerned, but not worried to the point where we’re paralyzed by fear about the next election.

The justification for this is because the Bible tells us God has a plan for the world, which He devised before time even began. Each one of us, and each nation, is part of that plan. We can either cooperate with it by doing God’s will as we perceive it, or we can fight it, but either way, God’s will will be done, make no mistake about it.

So even if something that is obviously bad for the nation happens, like Hillary being elected to the presidency, we can’t lose faith or give in to despair. We have to understand and remember that everything happens for a reason, even the things that seem like the worst case scenarios.

God has a plan for the world, but also has a specific plan for our nation. God works in mysterious ways and often uses unspeakable acts of evil and tragedies to bring about a greater good.

For proof of this all we have to do is look back at our nation’s history. There are countless examples of God’s providence in both actively ordaining good things to happen, and also allowing bad things to happen.

The life stories of Teddy Roosevelt and his distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt illustrate this concept better than pretty much anything else could.

I won’t go through their entire life histories or how it’s abundantly clear in hindsight how God worked through them to bring about certain events and paths for our nation to take. Such a description and detailed background that paints this bigger picture can be found here.

I’ll sum up my point about them as briefly as I can.

 

Teddy Roosevelt escaped death several times. First, in the Spanish War, when the Spaniards shot at him many times and missed every time. Then, he survived an assassination attempt when he was running for president on teh Bull Moose party ticket. He was shot at with a gun at close range, and his eyeglass case and speech manuscript came between him and the bullet and slowed it down just enough to prevent him from dying from the wound.

Yet despite his apparent invincibility, he would end up dying at age 60 for no apparent reason. He died in his sleep one night, with the doctors calling it a pulmonary embolism, but they really had no idea what the cause of death was because he was in perfect health up til that point.

But the timing was everything.

Teddy Roosevelt, if not for his early death, almost certainly would have been the next president in 1920, and if he was, he would’ve prevented the 2nd world war, which would’ve taken America and the world on a very different path than the one we went down. For some reason it was part of God’s plan for that war to happen. Maybe if it didn’t, an even bigger disaster would’ve occurred, like a nuclear holocaust, and God prevented that from happening with the 2nd world war. We’ll never know.

We can also see God’s hand in the life of FDR and how it affected the country later on.  FDR survived an assassination attempt himself only to die in office in 1944 at the beginning of his 4th term as president.

Again timing was everything because he had planned on picking a liberal senator from Iowa named Henry Wallace for his VP who was a communist sympathizer. But at the convention the democrats decided that was too dangerous and picked Truman instead.

FDR died in office from his disease and VP Truman became president, and went on to fight the Cold War and prevent the Soviets from taking over Europe and Asia. This most certainly wouldn’t have happened if Henry Wallace was picked as VP and became president.

Once again we see God’s divine providence protecting our nation and the world.

However, despite all of the good things that have happened in our past, all of our victories and successes, every nation goes through times of hardship and tribulation.  We went through it during the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the Great Depression, among other things.

But we’ve always been able to overcome these hardships as a nation, and I believe it’s because until the past 40-50 years, we were a nation of people made up of strong morals, who were God fearing and had strong families and communities that taught those values and morals to their children.

I believe God protected us from bigger disasters because of our faithfulness to Him and our shared values.  No other nation on Earth was made up of such a group of hard-working and decent people, and God rewarded us for it.

But that all changed with the advent of the sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s.  We lost our values and our faith in God collectively.  Our families fell apart and with them went the shared morals and values that made this nation great.

America has been more prosperous and successful than the rest of the world for so long, but that can’t last forever. Furthermore, what have we done with the abundant blessings God has given to us over the decades, with the help of past generations who’ve sacrificed everything so we can lead the relatively easy lives we have today? We’ve squandered that wealth and abused our privilege and status.

As a nation we’ve turned our back on God and have begun worshiping idols just like God warned the Israelites not to do in the Old Testament. The only difference is that our idols aren’t golden calves or fake gods, they’re money, fame, sex, drugs, and anything else that gives us temporary pleasure or helps us escape our responsibilities and duties in life.

We’ve become fat and complacent. We live for ourselves instead of living to serve God and others. We spend tons of money on material things, things we don’t need, and waste countless hours on entertainment and gossiping on social media about trivial things instead of spending time with family or helping people who are less fortunate than us, or spending time in prayer and getting closer to God.

As a society we’ve declined culturally and morally, as the family unit has completely disintegrated. Abortion has become normal and accepted by a majority of the country, as has premarital sex, divorce, and many other immoral things that 50 or 100 years ago would’ve been unthinkable.

Given all of this, do we as modern day americans expect God to continue to bless us? Don’t we deserve punishment instead?

Now of course it must be said that there are still many good, God fearing people in this country who are doing the right thing and not living lives filled with selfish and evil acts. But they’re in the minority now. Unfortunately, when you’re in a group of people, when the majority of the people in that group are doing wrong, the whole group has to be punished and suffer until reparation is done for all the evil that has been done over the years by the bad people in the group.

I believe that’s the case with America. God won’t reward our nation for all the evil we’ve done collectively. In fact that would be cruel of Him to do so, because if He didn’t punish us here and give us a chance to repent and turn away from evil and back to Him, those of us who need His mercy and forgiveness the most would be punished infinitely more by going to Hell and being separated from God for all eternity.

So I believe our time of reckoning is coming, and it may be sooner than we think. So if Hillary’s elected president, in my eyes that will be a sign that that time is at hand, because she will lead us down a path of economic depression and foreign policy disasters the likes of which we haven’t seen since Jimmy Carter.

Does all this mean we should just give up or be passive bystanders and watch as our country goes down the drain? Of course not. We were born into this specific time in history and in this country for a specific reason, and we’re all called to make it a better place for our fellow citizens in any way we can.

But that doesn’t mean we’re guaranteed to succeed.

What it does mean is that if we stay faithful to God, He’ll reward us and our families, either in this life or in the next.  We’re called to be witnesses to the Truth, even if we have no control over whether or not others respond to that Truth.

Jesus said, “What good is it if a man gains the whole world but loses his soul?”

That can be applied to the current state of our political system, our country, and our role and engagement in the political process.

In this case, what good is it if we gain our country but lose our souls in the process?   We can’t get so wrapped up in winning this election and defeating the threat of progressivism, both within the GOP and elsewhere, that we lose sight of the bigger picture of eternity.

We can’t let politics consume us and make it our god the way the Left does, because then they’ve won, even if we win the election.  We’ll have become just like them in the process, replacing the one and only true God with false idols, even if those idols seem more noble than the typical false idols of wealth, fame, pleasure, and power.

The biggest thing that separates conservatives from liberals in my mind is that conservatives prioritize faith, family, and community over politics and ideals, even ones that we think will make the country a better place.  We know that in the end our system of gov’t only affects things of this world, but the way we live our lives, practice our faith, and interact with our family and community, that will determine where we end up for all eternity.

Keeping that perspective in mind should give us peace amidst the ups and downs of this election season, knowing that we might not be able to save our country, but that was never up to us to begin with, that’s up to God, it’s in His hands.

What we can do is use our knowledge and the unique skills and abilities God has blessed each of us with to save the souls of as many of our fellow Americans as possible, because saving even one soul is infinitely more important than winning one election-   and God doesn’t care if that soul identifies as a liberal or a conservative.

In His eyes we’re all His sons and daughters, creatures made in His image and likeness with infinite value and self-worth, so much that He was willing to send His only Son to Earth to die for all of our sins.  The next time something happens in politics that makes us question what will happen to our country or what our role is in it, we would do well to remember that truth.