Stay the Course

As you have watched/read the news the past few weeks, have you felt outrage? Despair? Resignation? That's exactly what our godless elites want you to feel. With the legislature, the executive branch, Big Tech, and the mainstream media, they think they have a free rein to "save" our country by imposing their compassionate policies upon us (pay attention to the all the religious terminology on both sides of our political discourse these days). They think they are god, and they want you to think that too. Instead of being embarrassed, they want you to see their brazen hypocrisy, appalling double standards, and flagrant lies so that you know that they are untouchable. They want you to get with the program, shut your mouth in shame, or lash out in foolish anger. What they really want is for Christians to stop acting like Christians.

That is why it's more important than ever that Christians stay the course and pursue ordinary, everyday faithfulness. As Psalms 9-10 remind us, the wicked will eventually get their just desserts. The wheels will eventually fall off, and the whole thing will eventually come crashing down (Ps. 1:6; Matt. 7:24ff.). Stupidity (rebellion against God) is not a long-term plan. Insanity (losing touch with the reality of God's world) never turns out well. Instead of putting our heads in the sand or shrinking back in fear, the Church needs to be the Church. The Church is the future of the world, because Jesus always does what's best for his Church. Christians need to get serious about the basic habits of discipleship and lean in to the fellowship of the local church. One of the chief ways we encourage one another toward love and good deeds is by assembling together in worship, fellowship, and service (Heb. 10:24-25). The fellowship and camaraderie that we share in fellowship together is what will empower and embolden us for faithfulness in every other aspect of our lives. You can't do much of anything about what you see on the news or on social media (besides the important work of prayer), but you can have a direct impact in your immediate relationships.

In his magnum opus The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Book III.10.6), John Calvin--himself a refugee from religious persecution--gives us some very wise pastoral counsel about what Christians should do when living under a hostile government: "The last thing to be observed is, that the Lord enjoins every one of us, in all the actions of life, to have respect to our own calling. He knows the boiling restlessness of the human mind, the fickleness with which it is borne hither and thither, its eagerness to hold opposites at one time in its grasp, its ambition. Therefore, lest all things should be thrown into confusion by our folly and rashness, he has assigned distinct duties to each in the different modes of life. And that no one may presume to overstep his proper limits, he has distinguished the different modes of life by the name of callings. Every man's mode of life, therefore, is a kind of station assigned him by the Lord, that he may not be always driven about at random. So necessary is this distinction, that all our actions are thereby estimated in his sight, and often in a very different way from that in which human reason or philosophy would estimate them. There is no more illustrious deed even among philosophers than to free one's country from tyranny, and yet the private individual who stabs the tyrant is openly condemned by the voice of the heavenly Judge. But I am unwilling to dwell on particular examples; it is enough to know that in every thing the call of the Lord is the foundation and beginning of right action. He who does not act with reference to it will never, in the discharge of duty, keep the right path. He will sometimes be able, perhaps, to give the semblance of something laudable, but whatever it may be in the sight of man, it will be rejected before the throne of God; and besides, there will be no harmony in the different parts of his life. Hence, he only who directs his life to this end will have it properly framed; because free from the impulse of rashness, he will not attempt more than his calling justifies, knowing that it is unlawful to overleap the prescribed bounds. He who is obscure will not decline to cultivate a private life, that he may not desert the post at which God has placed him. Again, in all our cares, toils, annoyances, and other burdens, it will be no small alleviation to know that all these are under the superintendence of God. The magistrate will more willingly perform his office, and the father of a family confine himself to his proper sphere. Every one in his particular mode of life will, without repining, suffer its inconveniences, cares, uneasiness, and anxiety, persuaded that God has laid on the burden. This, too, will afford admirable consolation, that in following your proper calling, no work will be so mean and sordid as not to have a splendour and value in the eye of God."

This sort of ordinary faithfulness is not an escape from the conflict—it's the key to winning the conflict in the long run. Things in our nation will probably get worse before they get better, which is why we need to preparing ourselves and future generations for cheerful faithfulness in the face of intense social pressure. 

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