Seeing God In The Current Political Situation

I don’t want this blog to be about politics, so I’m not intending for this post to be political – but it is going to venture close to that edge. And especially in light of how perilous I think it is to misrepresent God in a matter, note that these are thoughts I hold lightly – theories of what I think I’ve observed, not to be taken as true without weighing and testing.

Relatively early on in the 2016 election season, I believe I got a word from God from the Book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk’s story is of crying out to God about how awful the Babylonians are, and God not only agrees, he says they’re even worse than Habakkuk knows – oh, and God is using them to bring judgement to Israel. It’s definitely not the answer that Habakkuk is expecting from God. Coming back to now, the word I got wasn’t so much about destruction as much as change – God was very much actively at work in the world and going to shake things up quite a bit. And watching the 2016 election season and the early years of the Trump presidency, there are events and aspects of what I saw that I very much believe was God at work. Please understand, I’m NOT saying anything about whether Trump and his policies were good or bad, but that God had decided to put Trump in place precisely as a foil to expose issues and elements of our society to deal with. This seemed especially apparent with things like the #MeToo movement getting created specifically to try and take out Trump, and ending up exposing a whole bunch of people close to the creation of the movement. Interestingly, one of my pastors a few years later admitted that he got a very similar word of God regarding Trump during the 2016 election.

In this direction, I think the biggest way that God used this entire period is almost like that old Latin saying, “Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad.” I see this as somewhat true on both sides of the political aisle, but especially most apparent with the incredible insanity of how far from reality many with Trump Derangement Syndrome have gotten. Certainly not everyone who opposes Trump has TDS, but his very presence somehow broke many of his opponents (although I would say it also broke some of his more fervent supporters, too). On top of that, he caused such polarization that the Democrat party has pushed to its extreme and radical fringes. The previous big-tent party that could have disagreement on issues is gone, and has kicked out almost everyone with a moderate voice (such as Tulsi Gabbard). What is left are the politicians who embrace the policies on the left (and yes, there are policies on the right that would meet this criteria as well, but they’re not in power right now) that are the most evil and demonic. Dismissal and disdain of God, late-term (or even post birth!) abortion, freeing felons from prisons (while locking up people for failing for follow COVID protocols) and removing punishment and penalties from theft and rioting, the wink-and-nod that causes floods of illegal immigration, or the blatant embrace of false narratives that deliberately seeks to divide people, specifically as a bid for political power. There are a lot of policies and positions on all sides that I’m perfectly willing to debate what’s best, what’s moral, etc…but the policies leading the way with Democrats right now are demonstrating just how malicious and evil they (the policies) are by the absolute human misery they’re causing in the real world, right now: Incredible crime spikes in our cities, and rape, misery, and death at the border up almost 10x. And here’s where I see God: those evil, fringe positions are now front and center. And here’s the other place I see God: everywhere I look, Christians are now realizing they need to step up in society. They can’t try and live a quiet Christian life on their own, but need to engage in their communities, at all levels. Finally, the last year has upset so many things in our world – I can’t help but see that, just from the opportunities for change available, God’s hand is everywhere.

The Mind-Blowing Magnificent Brilliance Of Jesus

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:1-5

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1:1-4

I’ve pretty much always associated the “Let there be light” moment as an incredibly apt and poetic description of the big bang – an immense explosion of light, so much light that it coalesces into all of the matter of the universe. Incredible. Also, as a side note, almost directly observable – our telescopes can pick up what the universe looked like starting from about 30 minutes after the big bang. Only pretty recently have I started to associate Jesus as “the Word of God” with God’s words, “Let there be light”, and this has been kind of blowing my mind recently – Jesus as the created light so good and brilliant that indeed all things were made through and of it.

Random Thought About Bearing Arms In Luke 22…

When Jesus is talking to his disciples at the last sword and he tells them to prepare themselves by buying swords and such…one could interpret that as what they did when they then have two swords. But I think instead it’s telling us a little bit about society back in the day: a reasonable number of people went armed for self-defense, such that several of the disciples already had swords. This would line up with a lot of what the rest of history has looked like with respect to people defending themselves.

A further interesting and amusing question about this chapter in Luke is regarding when the swords get used a bit further, and Jesus then heals the ear that was cut off…did they just leave an ear on the ground for someone to discover the next day?

The Things Of This World Are Less Real Than The Next

I’ve talked a bit about cosmology and simulation theory, and this has some interesting ramifications for how we think about our current world: everything in this world is LESS real than the next. The purpose of this world is, in some ways, to be training wheels for the next – and God loves to teach by analogy, metaphor, simile, and the like. There’s a lot to think about here, but a few of the things that I think about most in this direction:

  • God loves the physical-ness of this world, and called it good. Heaven will not be some ethereal ghostly environment, but real, substantial, and physical.
  • Most of our desires in this world, even the more carnal ones, are reflections on some aspect of what we’re truly desiring in the world beyond. God has built those into us for many reasons, but one of those is to whet our appetite for what’s to come.

Living In Fear Is Sin

The bible’s most repeated command is “do not be afraid”.

This has been a crazy year. And in the first few weeks when everything was in a fog-of-war situation there was a lot more justification for being cautious about…just about everything. But it pretty quickly became obvious that this entire pandemic was being sensationalized, and politicized. And unfortunately I’ve seen all too many people – and many of them Christians – who are absolutely terrified, and living as if they could be stricken down at any time. Even if that were true with this disease – and unless you’re in a few very specific demographics and have multiple comorbidities (not just asthma) it’s simply not – you should not be afraid. God is in control. That doesn’t mean be reckless for no reason, but throughout history Christians have often done things that the world considers reckless. To be a Christian is to understand that death is not to be feared.

The Sin Of Misrepresenting God’s Position On A Matter

Taking the Lord’s name in vain doesn’t just mean what most people think it means. The more important meaning is to not misrepresent God’s position on a matter. This applies to all sorts of things that Christians take stances on, but I think most of all when Christians take a stance on political issues. Be very careful when doing so. Sadly, you see all too many people side with political correctness and claim that positions contrary to what Christians throughout all of history have believed are now what God believes. That’s not to say that the church has always been correct about everything…but I wouldn’t be so quick to discard conventional wisdom without going through significant examination on how those positions came to be.

Where I do think that the Christians have often erred on issues is not in what the moral position is, but in how it should be enforced in society.

Have You Ever Heard Of Simulation Theory?

One of the things I’ve heard the more academic atheist types discuss occasionally is simulation theory, specifically the idea that we’re all in a simulation of some sort. The amusing thing to me about this idea is that it’s almost a scientific theory way of ending up at Christianity – in fact, I’ve written about Christianity’s view on cosmology here, and it’s pretty close. Of course, what Christianity has that simulation theory is lacking is an understanding of who is running the simulation, and what the purpose of the whole experiment is – and here’s the answer: we’re the entire reason for the simulation. This whole grand reality we all live in is an experiment in trying to raise up people who seek and love God.

That also raises up the interesting question of what happens when the simulation ends – for any or for all of us, it’s the same thing. At a certain point, our run in the simulation is done – and the Bible also promises that at a certain point the simulation will be done for everyone. What happens then? Well, what we’re promised is that we don’t end – God brings an immortal part of us out of this simulation into his higher level reality. And what happens then to that immortal part of us that he’s preserved is up to us. In our simulation, he is letting evil exist, but in his reality, everything impure and evil is not tolerated, and is cast out. So the choice is really with you: do you choose to embrace God’s reality, or not?

John Wesley’s 250 Year Old Advice On How Christians Should Vote:

“October 6, 1774
I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them

  1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy
  2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
  3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”

― John Wesley, The Journal of John Wesley

On number 2: realize we’re all sinners. You’re voting for a sinner, and you’re voting against a sinner. And on number 3: we’re all made in the image of God. Don’t let politics put up a wall against connecting with other people.

I think it’s legitimate to criticize policies and actions, but one should refrain from attacking the person. And even the criticisms should be done in a Christian manner.