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    Entering the Bleak Winter

            The failure of the grand experiment which was the American republic cannot be blamed entirely on Barack Obama.  The post-Christian movement which has increasingly exerted its influence in popular culture, academia, the press, and government over the last century or so has had many other key players.  Nevertheless, the re-election of this remarkably arrogant socialist (remarkable because his arrogance is based on so little merit) may well go down in history as the beginning of the end – the November event which ushered in America’s “bleak winter.”  The lighted city on the hill prophesied by John Winthrop, saved by Abraham Lincoln and cherished (though perhaps even then in its twilight glow) by Ronald Reagan is about to go dark.

            The election serves as a barometer, a revelation of the current condition of the country by which we can reasonably forecast future events.  And so I begin by suggesting that November 6th blew away the antiquated, wishful thinking held by most conservative pundits that the majority of citizens in the United States were center-right in their political disposition and basically decent, patriotic and intelligent.  They are not.  They are instead a people who have embraced the allure of socialism and the redistribution of wealth despite the abounding (and alarming) evidence of history that such a system is bound to fail.  They are a people to whom economics is a boring abstraction, a problem willingly left to the politicians who make the biggest material promises.  Free college tuition.  Free medical care.  Free food.  Free birth control.  Free insurance.  Free phones.  Free dough. 

            But who pays for these things?  Half of the Americans who voted last week have no idea.  And they don’t care.  They obviously trust Barack Obama and the Democrats to requisition the money from what they believe are the bottomless pockets of the despised rich.  Fairness and economic facts be damned.  Just give us our stuff.

            These post-Christian Americans do not believe in Jesus.  But they do believe in Santa Claus.  However, the Santa Claus of their imagination doesn’t simply provide a toy or two for morally deserving kids.  No, the socialist Santa Claus they believe in doesn’t make anything.    He redistributes.  Before he comes down the chimney to leave stuff under your holiday tree, he’s gone down Donald Trump’s chimney and filled his bag with Trump’s stuff.  And the socialist Santa doesn’t limit his generosity to toys – he hands out everything you’ll need from cradle to grave.  Oh yes; that list of good little boys and girls?  Forget it.  The socialist Santa is a post-Christian elf who has dispensed with those old-fashioned moral qualifications.  He gives to everyone in equal shares – except those “more equal” shares he gives to government workers, union members, students, and undocumented immigrants.  Happy Kwanzaa, folks.

            It must also be emphasized that the election results revealed more than a foolish trust in an ever-expanding welfare state.  Our electorate’s post-Christian ideas of morality also became clear.  Examples?  Referenda protecting marriage were defeated.  A woman who had been exposed as an unrepentant liar about her legal career and ancestry was nevertheless elected to the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.  An “open lesbian” was elected to the U.S. Senate in Wisconsin.  A felon who was holed up in a mental institution the day of the election was voted back into the Congress for Illinois.  Marijuana for “recreational use” was legalized in two states, for “medicinal use” in another.  Furthermore, several men and women of sterling character, experience, skill and dedication were denied political office principally because they voiced their pro-life, pro-family, and patriotic convictions.

            Tuesday night showed us not only how bloated a behemoth the entitlement-oriented Nanny State has become (a monster far bigger than anything FDR or even LBJ dared to envision), it also revealed just how far the decades of revisionist history, self-indulgence, pop culture decadence, government freebies, judicial incompetence, and aggressive secularism have brought us. 

            Many conservatives will blame Obama’s re-election on the press and that criticism is certainly appropriate.  The media’s complicity in covering up Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the zealous assault on religious freedom, the truths about Obamacare, the lack of transparency, the lavish lifestyle, the lack of work ethic, the arrogant indifference to the Constitution, and any one of two hundred scandals, mistakes, lies and acts of incompetence – the media all but guaranteed Obama’s second term.  Where the mainstream press plays “gotcha journalism” with conservatives, they play much different roles with Democrats: ostrich, puppet, pulling guard, BFF, water hauler, rodeo clown.  There’s no doubt about it, Barack got by with a little help from his friends.

            And finally, there’s another critical danger in the “bleak winter” which this election will inevitably usher in.  And that’s shown by the gleeful, almost giddy, responses it drew from the most sinister of America’s enemies.  For instance, one of the headlines the morning after read “Kremlin Cheers Election Results.”  How can any American with a shred of patriotism, awareness of history, or, for that matter, even self-preservation be pleased that the man we re-elected as the U.S. Commander-in-Chief was the man championed by Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chavez, the Castro brothers, the despots running Iran, and the Muslim Brotherhood?  It boggles the mind.  Is the American citizenry as dim-witted and indifferent to geopolitical realities as they are to economics?  Placing Barack Hussein Obama back in the White House after what he’s done to our military strength, our defense strategy, and our national honor is, I’m afraid, proof positive.

            So where do you and I go from here?  Well, we must first honestly admit the jam we’re in  – and it’s a bad one.  Barack Obama’s Nanny State will steal more of our religious freedom, further our economic ruin, insure more abortions and human experimentation schemes, redistribute our money to Planned Parenthood and other wicked organizations, appoint young leftists to the Supreme Court and other parts of the judiciary, imperil our national security, increase our dependence on foreign energy, and greatly expand the powers of federal government at the expense of those personal freedoms that used to be protected by the Constitution.

            We’re entering a dark winter, to be sure…a dark winter that is a fearsome, ugly contradiction to our heritage and even to the America in which I was raised.  But hear this  clearly – Christians can thrive in dark winters.  We bear a light that overcomes the darkness, a light that warms the heart and energizes the spirit, a light that finds its source in the supernatural, beautiful, and timeless Light that shines from Jesus.  I have been blessed to make many friends in places like Belarus who have inspired me with how brilliant and joyful one’s witness for Christ can be even when lived in a culture that persecutes His faithful servants.  We must learn from such saints and realize that the darkness cannot defeat us.

            But we can defeat ourselves.  And if the church continues its feckless flirtations with the world, that’s exactly what will happen.  If we continue to desire popularity, comfortability, and amusement more than careful and comprehensive faithfulness to God’s Word, we will warrant His judgment.  And America will have lost its only hope.

            The priorities we need to embrace to experience revival aren’t hard to figure out.  A dedication to personal Bible study and intercessory prayer.  A cleansing of our lifestyles from laziness, cowardice, materialism and pop culture decadence.  And new leadership from our pulpits – leadership that provides more intensive Bible teaching (for the youth as well as the general congregation), a stronger voice in the culture wars, a greater emphasis on equipping the congregation for the work of the ministry, and a more enlightened, mature realization that the “worship” part of church life should not center on guitars, raised hands and endless choruses but rather on lifestyles which reflect purity, faithfulness, and daily investments in the things of God. 

            There is no escaping the truth that America is entering a dark winter and the American church must naturally move into the same.  But if the church repents and gets serious about putting first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, this could actually be its finest hour.  For our own families, for our love of country and, most of all, for our loving obedience to Christ, let’s make sure we’re doing our part to make this so.