Moving Forward…

Published November 14, 2012 by Elspeth

This is a wonderful post from Catholic columnist Elizabeth Scalia. I think you should take the time to read it. It’s time for us to accept that whatever the path we are on as a nation, that God is not wringing His hands, or wondering in speculation about what will happen next.

We are, like all the other people of the earth today and from ages past, subject to the reaping of what we have sown. By that I don’t mean reaping the consequences of making the wrong choice as an electorate. That would be superficial, short-sighted, and frankly stupid of me. I refer to something much deeper: reaping the harvest of our prideful idolatry, which has very little to do with who we do or don’t vote for:

I’ve been praying for it for a long time, and it seems to me we’re about to enter a season of penance that, like the old Israelites, we have partly earned through pride and idolatry, and partly comes to us because the princes of the world continue to do what they always do.

I know some say “America cannot end.” But that is the first illusion we must put away, because it is all about pride — all about idolatry. It says America is eternal, when nothing is but God. Some say “we just need the right message,” but who had the right-er message than Christ, and the crowd still called for Barabbas. Who was more blessed than the apostles and saints, but they still were set upon and slain. Who was given a greater commission than Moses? And what kept him from entering the Promised Land?

God’s blessing, if it is truly upon America, does not mean she survives forever, the Dudley Do-right of Nations. In fact, if she is truly blessed, it means she gets to suffer for the sake of clarity — to spend some time in the crucible, in order to be refined.

Perhaps part of that refinement means we must rid ourselves of the impurities of our own fascinations with all that is false, or fantastic or merely distracting. I have mostly divested myself of television and pop culture, which keeps all of us both attuned to and somewhat vulnerable to the movement of conventional wisdom (read: sentimentalism) that runs the mob.

Now, with this election over, and the writing on the wall, I believe it is time to divest myself of my too-enthralled-attention to politics, which just a glance at Drudge will tell you is all-illusions, and has been for a very long time. I’m done giving attention and credence to the princes of the air, and the daily theater. I’m setting my attention and my eyes where they must go to prepare for what is coming; what I am feeling called to at this point has nothing at all to do with politics and everything to do with helping to prepare and mature our spirits for what lies ahead.

I think she’s on to something, don’t you?

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8 comments on “Moving Forward…

  • My mom and I had a similar discussion before the election. I mentioned America’s national “pride” as a potential source of her downfall. And have considered for years that perhaps the current situation is an opportunity for Westernized Christianity to experience purification from all the worldly contamination we’ve allowed to creep in. She agreed, saying (I’m paraphrasing) “I’ve been thinking: I want to be ready to accept the possibility that Obama getting another 4 years is God’s will and we need to be prepared to obey Him regardless.”

    We American Christians sometimes hinge our ability to be Christians on whether we have a favorable governing body. But my mom made a simple yet profound statement, as the elected leader of our country, no matter how “unAmerican” he may be, does not alter my own duty before the Lord. Christians are still called to be law abiding, to pray for our rulers, to live peaceably as much as it depends on us as individuals, and to do good to all men.
    And, as Peter said.

    Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?
    But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,
    but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
    having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
    For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:13-17 (ESV)

  • It has always been my opinion that whomever was elected to be the ruler of the nation was the person God meant to rule, for whatever His Sovereign reasons might be.

    I’m surprised that more Christians don’t view it that way. Whether you see it as the moves on a chess board where God is orchestrating things certain way to achieve a certain end, or if you view it as the natural progression of a nation’s following a path to an ordained end for those who disobey or obey, it is all in God’s hand.

    Daniel Chapter 2 comes to mind as well:

    20 Daniel said,
    “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
    For wisdom and power belong to Him.
    21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
    He removes kings and [ab]establishes kings;
    He gives wisdom to wise men
    And knowledge to men of understanding.

    I suppose that’s why I was never overly invested in nor overly upset with the result.

    Good comment Heather. Thanks as usual for your insights.

  • I agree. Another point that comes to my mind often is that it’s not the end of the world. People have lived and currently live under harsher regimes than…Obama. I think things will get harder in this country, but there is nothing new under the sun. My grandchildren may have awful things happen to them, but it wouldn’t be the first time someone had bad things happen to their grandchildren. I really get psyched up and start thinking that I just shouldn’t have had children at all so they wouldn’t have to “suffer” but it doesn’t take long for a small voice to remind me that my children and i aren’t the center of the universe and that God has the past, present and future in his hands. Maybe it’s the unknown that’s got me worried.

  • Hebrews 4:12 seperating the bone even from the marrow….I have felt this strongly and the ladies at 2 bible studies I attend also say they feel this seperating has come, I even feel joyful that it has come , and I see plainly where I belong , not on the “good” side but on the side of Christ! i am so easily distracted “likely to leave the God I know” that I need to stop paying much attention to the worlds ways.

  • Why is she so enlightened after the election? did she have a vested interest in the outcome? as a christian, i wish so many did not get entangled and had the constant reassurance that God was in control regardless of the outcome.

  • Why is she so enlightened after the election?

    Why are any of us so enlightened only after we’ve experienced a huge disappointment from having our idols fail us?

    The Lord is patient and gracious to unearth our hidden errors in His timing. And He gives us opportunity to repent and embrace His reality.
    I suspect most of us at one time or another will hold to some belief that is not in accord with the Lord’s Word…It is cause for joy whenever any professing believer comes to a knowledge of the truth-even if (s)he is slower to see it than *I* happened to be.

  • Why is she so enlightened after the election? did she have a vested interest in the outcome? as a christian, i wish so many did not get entangled and had the constant reassurance that God was in control regardless of the outcome.

    The thing is Nysle, and let’s be honest here, people in this country-Christians in this country, on both sides of the political divide- tend to be heavily invested in the political. It’s the American way. This woman just happens to be conservative, so she’s re-evaluating her heart in the wake of “defeat”. Had the outcome been reversed, liberal Christians would be doing the same. Do you doubt it?

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