Dr. Randy White
In my last post, I wrote what I hope is the most off-base, hair-brained article I’ve ever written. In that article, I predicted Obama’s triumph in the Polls this November. I predicted Obama would win because there is a pervasive appetite for an All-providing State, a desire that is deeply held if not widely spoken. Should I be right and we lose, it is time for those of the minority point of view to make preparations for an apostate future. In this article, I want to give some suggestions for those who wish to remain faithful.
Find Convictional Conservatives
In days of trial ahead, finding like-minded believers will be essential. We are instructed in Hebrews to avoid forsaking the assembly of believers, and to, “… consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24, NASB95). Just as Bonhoeffer saw the need for a true “confessing church” in the days of Nazi Germany, there will also be a need for a network of individuals who hold a Biblical world view, a network that can care for each other in need, grieve with each other in sorrow, and “stimulate one another to love and good deeds.”
Sadly, in the future that is to come you will not find many of these people at church. The church is already mostly filled with pie-in-the-sky ideologists who refuse to consider reality. They are too consumed believing that every day is Friday, and too preoccupied making sure that “never is heard a discouraging word” to actually allow reality to disturb their daydream. The church will continue to proclaim its modern gospel (which is no gospel at all) that Islam is a religion of peace, the Palestinian conflict is about Real Estate, if we will just show love the world will love us in return, education and solid anti-poverty initiatives will solve our problems, and most theological issues are secondary—so we can ignore them and focus on “common ground.” In short, convictional conservatives will be in short supply, both inside and outside the church.
I live in what most would consider a conservative area of the country. Most of my neighbors—churched or unchurched—will vote “conservative.” However, even in this conservative corner, real conservatism is hard to find. We are not as far from Greece-type rioting as we would like to believe. Remove our prescription-drug plan or mess with our Social Security, and see how the conservatives roar. A local school issue highlighted for me the pervasive nature of our Nanny-state mentality. When the school district cut bus service for those less than one mile from the school, hundreds of parents—conservative, right-wing parents—demanded answers. “We moved here expecting our kids would be picked up for school; the district is obligated to continue this service.” Sadly, few noticed the irony of conservative parents clamoring for bigger government. On a local level, we’ve gone Greek!
I would suggest that you begin to take note of truly conservative and Biblical neighbors, family members, and preachers. Begin building relationships with these like-minded travelers. These relationships may come in very handy someday soon.
Release your dream that politics will save us
Since the days of the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition, conservatives began to adopt a view that political action and involvement could save the day. Personally, I am all for Christian involvement in the political system. This involvement ranges from consistent voting to working the precinct to running for office. In the past, such efforts were effective in securing the healthy life we have lived as Americans. Even so, it is now time for us to realize that Americanism is never coming back and is not going to save us. We’ve known all along that Americanism didn’t literally save, but we sure americanized our religion so much that the Gospel and the American way came to look eerily similar.
One particularly dangerous form of salvation-through-politics is Dominionism or restoration theology that is becoming more and more visible among pro-family, pro-American Christian groups. This theology believes that someday, somehow, there will be a great awakening, and true believers will stand ready to rescue society from its self-created mess. This believed-to-be-coming awakening is what fuels many of the family-rebuilding, American-history proclaiming, abortion-ending, Supreme Court Justice-sending movements that are so prominent in the American conservative movement. The movement, sometimes called Christian Reconstructionism, grows out of a “Kingdom now” theology that is incompatible with the Dispensational theology I hold, and which was held by many of the great preachers of the past 200 years.
While a Main Street USA lifestyle would be a welcome return for most of us, reality causes us to believe that we’re never going back.
Release your need for secure and silent living
One of the things that wealth has instilled in our American psyche is a secure future and a quiet life. We don’t have much of a revolutionary spirit anymore. In its place, we have a privacy-fence, don’t-call-me, I’ll-call-you way of living. We have been taught the uniquely American financial plan of a three-month emergency fund, six-months of living expenses, and millions set away for retirement and the future inheritance we will give to our children for their welfare. Personally, I think it is time to release this kind of hoarding mentality.
Those of us old enough to have taken a typing class in school doubtless remember that ubiquitous typing-class sentence, “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.” The words were used, so I understand, because the sentence was 70-characters in length and thus filled a line. Regardless of their origins, they contain some truth for our day. Can we really sit behind our privacy fence and sip our lemonade when it is time for good men to come forth? These are the days in which heroes are made—let us rise to the occasion rather than shrink back in isolationism. Heroes typically die young, and often broke, but they nobly try to make a difference. Perhaps it is time for you to begin thinking about divesting of wealth and obligations of time to invest in ministry that will be faithful to speak truth and gather true believers in the dark days ahead. I think the words of James are strongly pertinent to our day, “Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!” (James 5:3, NASB95). Those to whom James wrote were just a few years from the destruction of Jerusalem, and James warned that it was no time to gather gold and silver for themselves, such treasures would become “a witness against you.”
Become a literalist in Biblical interpretation
I don’t really know too many church-going people or their pastors that admit to spiritualizing and minimalizing Scripture. I do know, however, that much of the preaching and theology I hear coming from today’s pew and pulpit does exactly that. In days of real crisis, this kind of make-it-up theology is simply going to ring hollow and prove worthless. Now more than ever, you need to be in a church or under a ministry that teaches the Bible literally—every word of it. In the last days, the Bible teaches that there will be an apostasy (falling away from the faith) and a luke-warm church. This means that every believer and every church will have to be increasingly more diligent to “preach the word, in season and out of season.”
What does a strictly literal interpretation of the Bible look like?
- It believes in a young earth.
- It believes in a distinction between Israel and the Church.
- It believes in a pre-Tribulational rapture.
- It believes in a literal millennial earthly reign of Christ.
- It believes that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
- It believes in justification by faith alone.
If you have a literal interpretation of the Bible, you will find the answers, guidance, and direction you need for challenges ahead. The Word is the Sword of the Spirit, and without it, you will find yourself in a defenseless position.