Important elections are those in which you are deciding whether to go north by northeast or south by southwest. Important elections are the ones in which you decide whether to go thissaway or thattaway. Important elections are held on Mount Carmel, with the candidates being Jehovah and Baal.
Important elections are not elections in which millions of people are deciding how to pick up the only available turd, and their dispute is over which end is the cleaner end. Ours is the kind of election that only occurs when all the crucial decisions have been made decades before.
Important elections, in other words, are elections in which decisions are actually made. This election is nothing more than a slow motion manifestation of the decisions we have already made, decisions we began making many decades ago. Trying to come up with a “responsible choice” at this stage in our cultural devolution is trying to choreograph a judgment, trying to turn a full-blown riot into West Side Story.
So in one sense, this is the least important election in our lifetime. When it comes to elections, we have already made our decisions. In another sense, this is a crucial time in the life of our nation.
Maws What He Saws
As the Scots Bible puts it i the Buik, God is not mocked. There is nae begowkin God. A man maws what he saws. A man reaps what he sows. A man reaps now the very same thing he sowed back then, back when the lies were a lot shinier. The lies were that shimmery gauze that covered up the festering pit we have now fallen in.
You cannot sow disobedience, pride, insolence, mammon worship, lust, relativism, and confusion for half a century, and then reap a government filled with modesty and decorum. If we wanted a harvest of barley, we shouldn’t have—and this is just a thought—planted all those mutant thistles.
Now this is going to be dismissed as a form of quietist despair, but it is nothing of the kind. It will be said that I am saying there is nothing we can do—don’t bother voting—and this is also false. There is plenty we can do. But the only truly potent thing we are called upon to do at this juncture is repent. And like I said, with the mountains of iniquity we have accumulated, do we really think there is nothing for us to do?
I dare say there is plenty we don’t want to do, but there is plenty to do. When a generation repents, that is not retreatist quietism.
The Fact of Antithesis:
At the very beginning of cultural history, God established a deep antipathy between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. There is nothing you can do that will erase this antipathy. It undergirds everything we do, and it explains why our public discourse has become so toxic.
“An unjust man is an abomination to the just: And he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked” (Prov. 29:27). We are loathsome to them, and they are loathsome to us. There is not much that can be done about that. The one thing we believers should stop trying to do is pretending that this is not the fundamental reality.
Up to God:
When God delivers His people, He uses them in that deliverance, but He does not need them for it. Everything that is currently happening to us is from the hand of God. He uses the secularists to chastise us, but it is their delusion that they are in control of this business. He uses the wicked to chastise His people, but He doesn’t need them. He could, if he wanted, chastise us with crashing asteroids full of aliens scorpions, but has decided to do it instead with bloviating politicians. He uses certain men called from among His people as agents of deliverance, but He doesn’t need His people to have their act together before He delivers them. If they had their act together, they wouldn’t need deliverance.
Think about it for a moment. When Jochebed disobeyed Pharaoh’s edict through her technical compliance, the way the story is told indicates that many of the Israelites, if not most of them, were complying with the infanticidal order. It was under duress, but they were complying. They did not deserve the deliverance that was coming, but it was coming nonetheless. Year later, when Moses was going in to confront Pharaoh, he was met by Israelite officers coming out who were angry with him (Ex. 5:21). The Exodus was not a parade drill deliverance. The whole thing was a glorious mess.
This brings us down to our plight. John Calvin put it well.
“When God wants to judge a nation, He gives them wicked rulers.”
Whether or not a people have righteous rule is a function of whether or not they are righteous. And whether or not they are righteous is a function of what God has decided to do with us. He could grant us full repentance as an encouragement to others, or He could allow us to choke on our own follies as a warning and example for others.
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: But when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn” (Prov. 29:2).
“Righteousness exalteth a nation: But sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34).
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever he will” (Prov. 21:1).
Note that in Scripture, righteous is an adjective that can used appropriately as applied to kings, generations, nations, peoples, or societies.
We currently have wicked rulers because we are wicked. The only one with complete control over whether or not this will continue is the great Jehovah. He could nod His head, and the king’s heart could simply turn and go in the opposite direction. He could simply give His assent, and what future historians would call the great Reformation would immediately occur.
But make no mistake about it. The future plans that God has for this planet do not require the United States. We are not the essential nation; we are, like every great power, the superfluous nation. If God restores us and uses us wonderfully, it is nothing but His great mercy. If God sets us aside, and accomplishes His purposes through others,
And the People Cried Out
So then, what are we supposed to do? I will get to the practical side of it in a moment, but let us start with what the Bible teaches. What should a people do when they are in great distress? What should they do when the choices before them are simply appalling?
One thing they should not do is kick the can down the road in order to find out if the choices before us four years from now are even more appalling.
“And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord” (Ex. 14:10).
“And when we cried unto the Lord, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border” (Numbers 20:16).
“When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place” (1 Sam. 12:8).
“And they cried unto the Lord, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee” (1 Sam. 12:10).
“Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies” (Neh. 9:27).
As we should all well know, such passages could be multiplied many times over. So when you go into the voting booth in a few weeks, whatever else we do, we must cry out to the Lord. We must tell Him that we acknowledge that our own folly and wickedness is what has brought us to this point, and we must cry out to Him in the name of Jesus.
If you go into the polling place, and you do not cry out to the Lord, but rather simply mark up your ballot, you are performing what your secularist masters are telling you is a most important task. You are exercising your right to vote so you know who to be angry with when absolutely nothing changes. Do not go in there and pray to a deaf and dumb idol.
Register to Vote in Heaven
Practitioners of realpolitik tell us that we should make sure that our vote is counted. I do believe that voting is important, and that believers should vote. Despite the circus maximus at the top, there are many important issues and candidates down ballot. But even with the more sober races, do not make the mistake the democratic idolaters always make.
Do not vote in a way that you think will “work.” Do not vote so that your vote will be “counted.” Do not vote in any way that would seem to indicate that you believe that massive generational repentance is somehow unnecessary. You cannot go into the voting booth and manipulate anything. It won’t bend that far.
So you should vote in a way that you can in good conscience ask God to bless. The actual vote you cast at the top of the ticket might vary, and I am not here to bind anyone’s conscience. But I am planning on writing in Ben Sasse because that is a vote I could in good conscience ask God to bless. I don’t expect anyone to count it, but I do want to ask God to bless it.
And that blessing is what matters—because without His blessing we will continue that slow counterclockwise circling of the drain that goes down to what we call the sewer of empires.