Yes, life will go on, faith will endure, and God is still Lord of the Universe. But make no mistake: Jerusalem has fallen. Pack your bags, we’re headed to Babylon. Not simply because the Democrats have won a political victory, nor because Joe Biden presumably will be our next President. In our democratic republic, parties and Presidents don’t win without the consent of the people. And, whether consciously or not, the people have just given their consent to national moral rebellion (highlighted by a pro-gay, pro-abortion agenda) that — beginning with Biden’s ardent support for the LGBTQ Equality Act — will lead to the curtailing of religious freedom.
No surprise that folks would vote to dump Trump, who — despite laudable (even faith-friendly) policies — was his own worst enemy with his arrogant, rude, and petulant persona. One could also rationally disagree on issues of immigration, the economy, racial justice, the environment, or how best to manage the COVID crisis. But none of the above determined the outcome as fundamentally as a seismic shift in moral thinking that has ensnared liberal faith communities and even large numbers of Evangelicals. Despite Biden’s personal God-talk and biblical allusions, the day is coming when well-meaning, “socially aware” believers will be on the brutal receiving end of a party-embraced secular revolution that can’t wait to bite the hand that feeds it.
As Canada, Britain, and western Europe have already led the way, it’s a rule of history: Tolerance of wrong becomes popular acceptance, then enshrined law, then strict enforcement leading to suppression of dissent. Yet, the natural progression from benign tolerance to militant intolerance is the least of our worries. If God’s track record tells us anything, something divinely decreed may just have happened. Had it not been now, it likely would be at the next election, or the next. Why? “The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do” (Zech. 1:6). Note: That would be “us,” not the faith-hostile liberal Left.
Do you recall the curious law regarding “the unknown murderer” (Deut. 21:1-9)? If someone was found slain in a field and the killer was unknown, the elders of the nearest town were to sacrifice a heifer to atone for the murder, declaring that they themselves did not personally shed the blood, or see it being done. Why the nearest town? Given the closeness, there’s a good chance the murderer lived in that town. Why, then, should the innocent residents need atonement…unless maybe they weren’t quite so innocent? One wonders: Who were his parents, teachers, religious leaders, and public officials? What might they have done, or not done, to shape and mold this person into someone who otherwise never would have committed murder?
We don’t live to ourselves alone, but to our families, communities, and the nation. If as Christ’s disciples we have fumbled the ball, can we complain when the other team picks it up and scores? A secular culture triumphs over a once-God-honoring culture by pure physics: Every vacuum begs to be filled. So, IF God is wreaking vengeance on America, should we expect to be spared?
Far from this being a message of despair, the brightest recurring theme throughout Scripture is that of the faithful remnant — the keepers of the light in the midst of deepest darkness. On the road to restoration, our task is not about some political comeback, but a penitent about-face that once again fills this land with a captivating righteousness, taking even the captors captive. It starts, not in Washington, but in the town, the church, and — most of all — the family nearest you.
F. LaGard Smith is a retired law school professor (Pepperdine, Liberty, and Faulkner law schools), and is the author of some 35 books, touching on law, faith, and social issues. He is the compiler and narrator of The Daily Bible (the NIV and NLT arranged in chronological order), and posts weekly devotionals on Facebook, drawing spiritual applications from current events.