Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bring It On

I was determined not to write about the election this morning, no matter what the results.  But the despair floating around my FB newsfeed from conservative friends prompts me to speak -- although I'm not sure what to say.  My own emotions are feeling a little raw, but I think they would have felt this way even with a Romney victory.

Yesterday morning, I almost wrote a friend of mine (one my husband and I have recently dubbed my RLF -- "Reasonable Liberal Friend") to ease his mind of his anxieties over a Romney administration.  If Romney wins, I was going to say, it's a small victory.  I'm quite confident your side will win the war.  I didn't write it, because it sounded so defeatist and pessimistic, not qualities I like to encourage in myself.  But the truth is, there is some optimism in my defeatism -- I'm just having a hard time explaining it.

Several ideas from my readings and all have been swirling and converging in my mind in the last couple days.  I've been searching frantically for the ultimate "aha" moment in their convergence, but I don't think I'm there yet.  They still swirl . . . the idea from one book that we are bondservants of Christ, and the many things that title entails.  The premise from a book I'm reading with my youngest encouraging teenagers to defy the low expectations of our culture and "do hard things".  The memory of a man I heard from a former Soviet block country speaking of how weak and shallow the faith of the church in his land had grown since the persecution subsided, and his cries to God, asking, "Why did He take away the blessing of persecution?"

I've read -- and re-read -- a book this year called Radical: Reclaiming Your Faith from the American Dream.  It opened my eyes to how much we have tried to mesh the holy and separate life God calls his bondservants to with the unholy, carnal life that America glorifies.  How our country, in whatever image we create our ideal country, has become an idol, replacing the true God who calls us to something else entirely.

And I'm remembering a speaker from many, many years ago, talking about planting an evangelical church in Salt Lake City and going in with a Daniel form of ministry, as opposed to a David-and-Goliath approach.  David fought Goliath as a warrior attacks an intruder.  Daniel, on the other hand, was a guest in a foreign, pagan land.  He simply lived his life of faith quietly and courageously, praying for an opportunity to testify to truth when his neighbors noticed the difference in him.  This rings true to me more and more every day.

Here's where I am, I guess.  I fully expect the Obama vision to continue its march in America.  I fully expect the U.S. to eventually lose most of the great qualities that distinguishes us as Americans.  Like Israel asking for a king to be like all the other nations, we will cry out for Western European lifestyles so we become like everyone else . . .  kidults that we are.  This makes me sad for my country. 

Yet, I'm not in despair, because while I'm proud to be an American, my true citizenship is elsewhere.  And somehow, deep down, I suspect that this may be what needs to happen for the church.  The church in America is soft, wimpy, indistinguishable from its various counterparts in anything but the most surface level, meaningless qualities.  I think we could use some genuine persecution.  I think we need to do be forced to do the hard things.  I think we need to humble ourselves and "be made new" again.  And I think it will take a dominant secular culture to re-define us -- to separate the true bondservants from the faithless sycophants.

I awoke this morning sad that our wimpiness is revealed.  I awoke this morning ready for revival, whatever is necessary to make it happen.  And I awoke this morning ready to polish my armor and weaponry.

Bring it on.

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