Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles” (1 Samuel 8:19,20).
Please read the following as a commentary on this election day.
Whatever happens, Jesus Christ, and not man, is king.
When Israel began to apostatize and fall away from God’s Law, they began to cry out for a tyrant, a king “like all the nations.” The prophet Samuel reminded them that they would pay the price for their idolatry in wars, tyrannical suppression and taxation, and ultimately the division of their nation into two separate entities.
Finally, the invasion of foreign pagan powers brought Israel under the enslavement of a foreign power. The slide into total apostasy began with this call for a king, so they could be “like all the nations.”
Like the children of Israel, we have a sinful tendency to clamor for “a king … like all the nations.” Then when our rulers refuse to do the job that Christ himself has ordained for the Church, we complain that they failed to do our job that we elected them to do. Our national obsession with the presidential race speaks of this idolatry. Israel ultimately paid the price and we will too if we don’t turn back to rule under God’s Law.
It is important to understand that in the beginning of America, the president did not have the power he has today. In fact, some feared that the American people would make George Washington their king. Wisely, unlike Saul, Washington refused that title and declined to serve past two terms in office. He understood that America was founded as a Republic and not a kingdom. Up until the passage of the 17th amendment, our Senators too were elected by the state legislatures. This guarded against the modern phenomenon of “career politicians,” who are always re-elected due to their ability to rob the national treasury to provide their home state with entitlements from pork barrel spending.
I agree with my Christian friends who support Romney in that he is “better” than Obama. Having said that, I have deep concerns with the Republican Party as a true alternative to liberalism.
There are some good Republicans out there. The problem is that wherever we see a Republican majority, there is rarely reform. In fact, George W. Bush expanded the national debt as a ratio to GDP more than any president so far, including even Obama. He did that with six years of Republican majorities in both houses of Congress. The Republicans used their majorities to increase funding to groups like Planned Parenthood each year. To raise funds for their re-election, they also have to take endorsements and money from all sorts of special interest groups. Once elected, they return the favor by doling out entitlements and federal social program spending for their home states – even while they decry socialism.
One of the contributing factors to this vicious cycle of corruption is that we have supposedly pro-life special interest groups, such as National Right to Life, who endorse pro-abortion candidates, such as Scott Brown of Massachusetts, whom they gave a “100 percent pro-life rating,” merely because they are the Republican frontrunners or incumbents. Many “pro-life” organizations have become enemies the sanctity of life and mere shills for the Republican Party. They believe that by delivering a voting bloc to these compromised candidates, that they have attained the status of “king-maker” and then may be able to call for political favors.
I decided long ago that a candidate must be pro-life without exception to deserve my support. The reason that I use this “litmus test” is that I find that if they are not principled on the sanctity of life, they will not be principled on any other matter. We need to set the standard and make the politicians reach for it in order to get our vote. Gone are the days when we can coronate kings and hope they will vote for the sanctity of life some of the time.
In reality, the Grand Old Party has become the enemy to true reform on every issue that truly matters. I supported John McCain in 2004. However, I think that a McCain win would have been devastating to the conservative movement. Assuming that McCain agreed with the same stimulus package that both he and Obama voted for as Senators in October of 2008, the economy would have continued to falter. Right now, we’d be looking at Democratic majorities in both houses of US Congress. We’d likely be looking today at Obama or Clinton in the White House — and what’s worse — a galvanized liberal movement.
I believe what we are seeing instead in the Obama presidency is the “death rattle” of liberal humanism. Like Soviet socialism, Obama has been promising “hope and change” (which is uncannily similar to glasnost and perestroika – “openness” and “restructuring”) as a mere slogan with no real plan for reform. That will spell the death of western humanism, but not of America itself.
Bush, McCain or Romney could never have reversed that slide because they too are socialists. But the seeds of destruction are already sown into the liberal movement in America. It is a house of cards collapsing under the weight of its own sin.
The counter reaction to the Obama presidency did more to bolster the pro-life movement than any other presidency we have seen. This has been a blessing in disguise. We also saw the Tea Party movement as a result of that. In short, we don’t need a Republican majority as much as we need a grassroots movement for true reform. The concern I have is that under six years of Republican majorities under Bush, government expanded to all time proportions. They did not stop or even slow the expansion of government, but rather increased spending to the greatest amount in history.
I have heard from many conservatives that an Obama win today will spell the death of America. They tell us that although he does not have solid conservative credentials, we need Romney to buy us a little more time. However, I have heard that same argument in every election cycle. America will not die in the next four years. Instead, the covenant-keeping Christian remnant in our culture must seize a great opportunity to rise to greater influence in a time of growing crisis.
History is full of examples of Christians who were called upon to compromise in order to retain power or else lose everything. The heroes of the faith are those who lost everything and as a result gained not only a reward in heaven, but an eventual victory for the kingdom in the earthly culture as well. For example, Athanasius’ fight was not only an ecclesiastical struggle, but a political struggle as well. The entire Roman Empire was lost to the heresy of Arianism and the only bishop who could have fought for reform was exiled because he refused to compromise. Wouldn’t it have been better for Athanasius to have stayed and compromised with the civil powers in order to continue his fight? No doubt many of today’s Christians would have encouraged him to do so.
Today, as a result of Athanasius’ stance, there is no Roman Empire. We don’t count that as a loss for the kingdom of God. Like Athanasius, we ought not to see our fight as to preserve Christian America, but as “against the world.” If we compromise with the world, we will lose America anyway, whether it is through our support of anti-Christian rulers such as Obama or Romney — or through the abdication of our responsibility to resist. The kingdom of God is among us and is advancing in the whole world. We need to work within civil politics, but we can’t think that the eventual success of Christ’s victorious kingdom hinges on the next election.