2020 Vision Entering a New Year with Eyes Wide Open by PETER JONES
The impeachment of the 45th President of the United States shows us that the rift between “right” and “left” has widened almost irretrievably, while the gap between “right” and “wrong” has, for some, virtually disappeared.
The root of the Trump Derangement Syndrome, however, is not so much political as it is ideological. In the name of liberation, the Left marched through late 20th and early 21st century America, taking captive academia, Hollywood, television, the news outlets, social media, big business, and many highly placed leaders in the FBI, the CIA and the Washington bureaucracy. All it needed for unimpeded control was the strong hand of one of its own on the levers of political power.
On the eve of the November 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama declared: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”1 Obama made a start to that transformation by subtly stirring up racist animosity and enthusiastically promoting same sex marriage. But the underlying goals of the radical Left threaten the entire American way of life: the Constitution, the Electoral College, protected borders, freedom of speech, rules of evidence, defense of life, natural marriage, human sexuality, religious liberty, limited government, and God given individual rights. All these precious cultural treasures – and more – were crumbling in the public square while ordinary citizens went blithely about their daily lives.
President Obama no doubt expected Hillary to bring his work to fruition, but, then Trump happened. Now Trump is a sinner like the rest of us, but all Americans can be glad that he began flushing the Left out of the shadows, revealing its radical Marxist and socialist motivations. He stood firm, barring the way to the “fundamental transformation,” and the forces of the Left decided to take him out by whatever means necessary.
IMPEACHING A WORLDVIEW Impeachment has been called weaponized politics. During the inquiry hearings, lawyer John Turley reminded us how dangerous it is for our country to be full of intense “rancor and rage,” which blinds us to opposing views. One can mull over the many flaws of this event – its obvious one sided presentation; the premeditated determination to take down Trump; the rush to judgment; the lack of either witnesses or evidence; the carelessness (if not dishonesty) of players in the FBI and the CIA. Some argue that those charging the President may have been guilty of the very misbehavior they levied against him – deliberate lying to the courts, for example, as Inspector General Horowitz’s report seems to indicate in relation to the FISA report scandal.
Christians must dig beneath the news reports. The impeachment machinations are a political embodiment of an ideological conflict that divides our nation and stifles debate. Sharp disagreements about policy are ever present in politics, but civility can be maintained if both parties agree on deep underlying principles of fairness and honesty. As respect for these principles has eroded, raw conflict has erupted through a thin veneer of politesse. We have, in cultural terms, a conflict between self defining Oneism and God honoring Twoism.2
Once the ultimate authority of God and his laws are dismissed, is it any surprise that politicians would feel completely free to rewrite the rules for an impeachment procedure without respecting the spirit of our founders’ documents? Or that in the same breath, they would scold others for failing to respect those same documents? This is the illogic of self defining Oneism. As we launch into 2020, the rules governing just about everything have changed in a drastically anti Christian direction. Definitions of everything have changed – even our God given nature as male and female. Merriam’s dictionary recently added a definition for the pronoun “they,” which can now be “used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.”
No, impeachment isn’t about Donald Trump. It is about impeaching a worldview that holds life sacred, as a gift from God the Creator, and that maintains a belief in right and wrong. Donald Trump’s election was a rejection of the Left’s radical agenda. Since November 2015, the ideological Left has been angry that their successful stampede to “transformation” came to a screeching halt through the oddest of persons: Donald J. Trump. Even Christians have been surprised to see that he has perhaps accomplished more for conservative America in his first three years than has any other president during a full two terms of office.
The increasingly radical nature of today’s progressive worldview and the extremist positions now taken – such as abortion up until birth, sex change drugs administered to children, Drag Queen story hour in public libraries, yoga and Mindfulness Meditation taught in our schools – make Christian opposition seem very old fashioned.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO? In this context, what is the responsibility of the Bible honoring Christian believer?
• WE MUST TRY TO BE FAIR WHEN WE READ THE NEWS. We must hear both sides and try our best to assess the truth. Insisting on truth is not popular and we may, like many Christian brothers and sisters, be taken to court for following our conscience. We may, like our Savior, be treated unfairly, put in prison, or lose our jobs and homes. Animosity to Christians is on the rise, fed by the instruction our young people are receiving in their universities and colleges.
• WE MUST NOT GIVE UP HOPE. The end game is not political, at least not in the human sense of the word. God has his own kingdom and all those in it are secure. No lies, no lawyers, no leaks will ever take us down, for we have the righteousness of Christ on which to stand before the final Judge of the earth, who has promised to use us to accomplish his purposes. Christ will reign over all things, forever.
• WE MUST NOT AUTO CENSOR. Fearing ridicule, hostility, or pecuniary consequences, we often compromise, rationalizing our conformity to laws that contravene the law of God or require us to speak or live untruthfully in relation to the Lord of the universe. We must speak Christ’s name with courage and deep love – first for God and then for our neighbor.
• WE MUST PROTECT OUR CHILDREN. God is the Creator of beautiful babies and we must involve ourselves in some way to protect their helplessness while in the womb, in the face of a ruthless culture intent on murdering them, harvesting their body parts while they are still alive for the sake of monetary gain. We have taken over God’s prerogative to give and take life and to define the meaning of our existence. In addition, we must protect our school aged children. The programs being introduced all around the country under the guise of sex education have become horrifyingly perverse. Every Christian parent who still has children in the public school system must insist on reading the actual curriculum the school is obliged to teach to our children and then take action.
• WE MUST PROTECT TRULY CHRISTIAN EDUCATION. Christian schools and colleges are vulnerable to anti Christian influences through curriculum, counselors, Christian life staff, teachers, board members, presidents, parents, alumni, or the students themselves. Any or a number of these influences can bring a Christian school to its knees theologically. The risk of no longer receiving government funds,
• WE MUST EXPLAIN THE THEOLOGICAL REASONING BEHIND POLITICAL ISSUES. We can expect increasingly determined opposition, but our arguments cannot appeal to tradition: “We’ve always done it this way,” or refer back to “the good old days” (pre 1973 Roe v. Wade, for example). In the face of “identity politics” we must declare the nature of our Creator, who revealed himself as “I am who I am” – the only self defining being. It is he and he alone who gives us a dependable source of identity: we are made in his image. We have an intelligent word about life that must be heard, especially in this time of unbelief and irrationality. The statement of the Apostle John, “In the beginning was the Word” (John 1:1), gives us a sure word about both creation and redemption, providing us with an apologetic that is both cosmological and soteriological.
• CHRISTIANS MUST USE THE LAW, BUT REJECT VIOLENCE. We may not resign from political debate or from the legal use of our constitutional laws to defend God given free speech. To speak up will become increasingly difficult. Our cultural situation has already become tenuous and may degenerate into full fledged opposition, especially from the LGBTQ forces that seek to deny to biblical truth any hearing in the public square. Already the Christian voice is consistently black listed as “hate speech” by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center. On the basis of this designation, platforms like Amazon, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook refuse to publish Christian content. Tax exemptions for churches and Christian non profit organizations are threatened, and some banks are refusing to process donations to Christian ministries that oppose same sex marriage. The strident, well funded and well organized LGBT forces recently shamed Hallmark television into restoring a lesbian wedding kiss, which had been removed due to pressure from conservatives. The public arena is beginning to feel like the current impeachment inquiry – no discussion, only the use of legalized, forced silence. The situation will no doubt become worse for Christians. But we must not be silent.
Let us be inspired to speak bravely and graciously the unchanging gospel to a world “progressing” into godless meaninglessness. The darker the culture, the brighter shines the light of God’s truth. Let us speak with great faith, like Päivi Räsänen, a Christian politician who has been a member of the Parliament of Finland for almost 15 years. Recently the Finnish police investigated her for her social media post, in which she used Scripture to criticize the participation of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church (of which she is a member) in an LGBT Pride festival. She was not intimidated. She stated:The more we keep silent about difficult and controversial topical themes, the narrower the space for freedom of speech and religion gets. I have a completely calm mind about this. I am going to use my freedom to believe and to speak accordingly, whatever the outcome of this process may be. Many, especially the young people, are afraid that if you are labelled as a Bible believing Christian, it will hinder your career and social acceptance. I was convinced that now is the time to try to wake up the sleeping ones, not to jump out of a sinking boat. I see it as a wonderful privilege that so many are praying for me and my family.3
Following Päivi’s example, as well as that of the many martyrs who have gone before us into the presence of the Lord, I pray that the Lord will grant us courage and wisdom to defend the truth whatever the cost, knowing that whatever we do for the glory of God is not in vain.
FOOTNOTES 1 http://cms.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2019/11/prager doesleft hate america dennis prager 2 Oneism believes that All Is One and we can, therefore define ourselves as well as our own moral system. Twoism recognizes that God and his creation are separate and that human beings are called to conform to God’s definition of our existence. His laws and his love must determine our thoughts, actions and feelings. 3 https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/cwn/2019/october/ christian speech a hate crime politician faces police interogation for posting bible verse
Copyright (C) 2020-21 The Abraham Kuyper Christian Citizen Foundation John Van Dyk, Editor