As the old expression goes, I’m neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. Yet the election results we saw on Tuesday from Virginia are pretty much what I predicted would happen. This isn’t because I have some higher-than-average knowledge concerning these things. I just wanted the polls and and followed where the money was going. Make no mistake–these election results are the worst Virginia has seen since the dark days of Reconstruction. That is no exaggeration when you consider the wickedness exhibited by the two men who were elected to the top offices in the Commonwealth.
Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam were elected Governor and Lt. Governor, respectively. Both of these men are fiercely pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, and advocate the idolatry of statism. During the campaign, both men made it very clear that the Christian worldview espoused by their opponents is not welcome in their version of Virginia. The race was a close one to be sure and it’s true that a majority of Virginia’s voters didn’t support McAuliffe. That has to do with the fact that the Libertarian candidate for Governor, Robert Sarvis, took over 6 percent of the vote. But like McAuliffe, Sarvis is also extremely pro-abortion and pro-homosexual. That means that about 54 percent of Virginians voted for an agenda that is thoroughly anti-God, anti-life, and anti-family.
As one commentator said, “This ain’t your daddy’s Virginia.” Indeed, it is not. Historically, Virginia has been greatly blessed by God. The Old Dominion saw an explosion of Baptists and Presbyterians going back to colonial times. Our State was one of the starting points for the great revival that swept across the South during the antebellum period. Virginia was the home of the powerful slave-born preacher John Jasper as well as the monumental theologian Robert L. Dabney. Yet how many Virginians today know this history and those names? This is certainly a sad state of affairs and I say this as a native Virginian myself. The greatest question we have to ask right now is this: how is the church in this land going to react to this?
In this post, I’m going to lay out various ways the church ought to react to the sweeping cultural changes around us. To be sure, I’m not saying that elections are the central focus of the church. We are to be focused on God-centered worship and spreading the Gospel before we delve into these other areas of life. I’m simply pointing out that elections are important litmus tests of where society stands and what people are willing to tolerate. It’s also a major indicator (among others) of how influential Christ’s church really is in our land. I humbly argue that we as the church ought to react as such:
There is no question that this election represents the judgment of God upon Virginia. Scripture is very clear about this (Proverbs 14:34 and 29:2). As the church, we need to accept that reality. The effects of His wrath will be felt by believers and unbelievers alike. The fact that an apparent majority of Virginians were compelled to vote for an antichrist agenda is, by itself, a form of judgment. God has given our people over to a debased mind (see Romans 1). We shouldn’t back away from stating this truth.
This cultural reality should invoke repentance across our land. As Christians, we need to repent of much. We are far too worldly. We don’t lead God-centered lives. We don’t spend nearly enough time on the things that matter and waste too much time on trivial things. We ought to be wearing sackcloth and ashes. We need to be on our knees, pleading with the Holy Spirit to reveal our sins to us more and more. We must turn from our sins, asking God’s assistance to purge us of iniquity. We need to be in the Word and meditate upon it all the day long. Repentance, both corporately and individually, is absolutely necessary.
One thing Christians in the West lack (almost universally) is a life of prayer. Scripture tells that that we are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). There are plenty of Christians out there lamenting the results of this election. How many of them were on their knees prior to Election Day, praying that God would be merciful to us? Prayer is vital for the Christian life and our relationship with God suffers without it.
Concerning those who rule over us, we need to earnestly pray for them. If McAuliffe and Northam are as bad as we think they will be, then that’s all the more reason we need to humble ourselves before God and ask Him to restrain these men from doing evil. Pray that the Holy Spirit would turn their hearts, even unto salvation. As the Apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:1-3…
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior…
We need to ramp up our prayer lives. The church needs a fresh army of prayer warriors, praying for our families, churches, pastors, elders, deacons, civil leaders, our bosses, and so forth. Without prayer, we are literally doomed. How many times a day do we check Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media? We should have plenty of time to beseech our Lord.
4. Reforming Families
Reformation begins at home. How many Christian homes practice some form of family worship on a day-to-day basis? How many fathers are actually leading their families? I’m not talking about saying a prayer before each meal. It’s sad that male-leadership is a taboo topic even within the church. We need a resurgence of men who actually act like men. Biblical manhood needs to be a priority again. We must not neglect the importance of biblical womanhood either. God’s order of the family must be upheld.
Christian parents need to remove their children from the government schools. God has entrusted our children to us, to raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Yes, I know there are a handful of Christian teachers left within the public school system. But they are the exception rather than the rule. How can Christian parents possibly compete with a system designed to indoctrinate students with the religion of secular humanism? We need to stop sending our children to be educated at the temple of Baal.
5. Reformation & Revival Within the Church
This is badly needed today. As far as most of my readers are concerned, I’m preaching to the choir. The chaotic state of the modern Evangelical church speaks volumes to this necessity. I’m talking about everything from a need for God-centered worship to the need for a biblical form of church government. There is a great hunger among genuine believers for sound, expository preaching–bringing the pulpit back into its central place of importance. Today we have too many churches which are focused on entertaining the goats rather than feeding the sheep. Greater doctrinal depth and meaningful application are desperately needed.
6. Submission to Civil Authority
Even if a leader is acting wickedly and promoting evil, this is not an occasion for the Christian act rebelliously against the office he holds. The election happened and we need to recognize the consequences of it as I said earlier. We must remember that God has placed these men in authority over us. This doesn’t mean that we excuse their immoral acts, but we are still supposed to show them respect and dignity. We are to obey what the Governor says so long as it’s consistent with the law of the land (which he is subject to just like the rest of us) and–most importantly–consistent with the law of God.
Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17 speak to this. Yet if a civil ruler asks us to disobey God, then we are to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). We must give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is His.
I didn’t put this last on the list because it’s the least important. Quite the contrary, this is perhaps the most important response we can have to a dying culture. This aspect of the Christian life has also taken quite a bit of a nosedive over the years. We are no longer an evangelistic people. Most within the church have succumbed to the idolatry of individualism, refusing to understand that evangelism is the responsibility of everyone within the church. Am I saying that everyone is called to open-air preach? Absolutely not. However, the church as a whole can certainly support those who are. You don’t have to be a gifted evangelist to hand out tracts to people, have one-on-one Gospel presentations with unbelievers, and pray alongside the evangelists.
The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is not to be fulfilled by only a select group of men. This is a command that Jesus gave to the entire church. We’re not responsible for the results, only for obeying His command to spread the Gospel to as many people as possible. We must remember that we are citizens of God’s kingdom before any other. Whatever the results of any election, we are duty-bound to labor on behalf of the Lord’s eternal kingdom.
I pray that these suggestions I’ve offered will be well received and edifying for everyone who reads them. I know that not everyone in the church will agree with every point. So be it. If I am in error, then I take full responsibility as such. I submit the above suggestions prayerfully, not willing to stir up strife. My hope is that the church may benefit by following suit.