The City of American Evangelicalism
September 25, 2020 · C.E. Carter
The title is a play on Augustine’s work “The City of God”.
Everyone, at all times in human history, has had a quiet nag in the pit of their stomach that the end of the world is imminent. Post-apocalyptic genres of literature and film play off of that instinct within us. After all, Christians know that one day, the whole show will actually stop: the curtains will be drawn closed and the Author of All Existence will make His appearance on stage, signifying the end to the performance. Even unbelievers know this to be true, though they fail to infer the manner of the end, and erroneously forecast the end of the world by examining current events, or less erroneously conflate the end of some thing in the world with the end of the world itself. No, the true end of the world will be something which cannot be forecast, for our Lord says “I will come like a thief in the night” and “no one knows the day or the hour” of His appearance. Christians are to anticipate this day, but only insofar as they anticipate an event like their own death, by accounting for it in their day-to-day life without staking any bets on its coming at any particular time. Are you looking to marry, or to invest in a business venture, or to embark on a great project? Do these things not because you are sure of their completion, but as the work which God has given you to accomplish, and don’t drive yourself mad worrying about what the future holds. Be found working and obedient when He comes, not worrisome or clever. You are not very clever anyway.
Nonetheless, there is great turmoil within American Evangelicalism over the coming election. The great fear, of course, is that democrats will squeak enough votes through the electoral college to elect a geriatric early-stage dementia patient into office to function as a trojan horse for his radical leftist counterpart. If that happens, it’s Armageddon; just ask the NRA, or evangelicals, or most Trump supporters.
Now, I’m being pithy. And for clarity’s sake, I think Biden and Harris are awful choices. I plan to vote for Trump again, just like I voted for him in 2016, and for pretty much the same reasons: he’s not Hillary Clinton, he doesn’t like killing babies, and he generally affirms moral convictions that are in line with Christianity. Like many political positions, of course, I have caveats to these statements; feel free to scream at me on social media, or, if you want to be a real champ, buy me a beer first and do it in person. Scotch Ale from Rohrbach’s or Genny, please, it doesn’t really matter.
Do I think it would be a bad thing if Biden was elected? Yeah, I do. But, let’s suppose the Democrats succeed with their Trojan horse plan, Biden is removed from office due to declining mental health, and a radical leftist assumes the seat of the executive. And, let’s say that the NRA and American Evangelicalism and all the neocons are right: that a whole truckload of bull excrement hits the fan, the First and Second Amendments are erased from the Constitution, the free exchange of ideas is an act of treason, assembly for the worship of the Living God is prohibited by law, the Bible is a banned book, the Green New Deal is ramrodded through the House and the Senate like a runaway locomotive, and BLM successfully usurps every court of justice in America.
So what? We no longer have the privileges of enjoying cushy American Evangelicalism? Our faith is a high crime, and our allegiance to King Jesus is high treason? Good! American Christianity is too puffed up with platitudes, shallow faith, chestless men, haughty women, and worldliness anyway! If we truly trust God with all things, in all of life, then it will manifest itself in two ways. 1) We will live, work, and fight, as if what pleases Him is of utmost importance. We ought not to lie down and be passive in the presence of sin, and this includes political sin. But more importantly, we will, 2) live, and work, and fight, as if God maintained sovereign control over all of the sin we find ourselves in the midst of, weaving together all the crooked works of man that were meant for evil, but which God meant for good. We trust so little in God, and hope so much that the little comforts of this life will continue to be sustained, year after year. We do so, to our own detriment: a life of ease does not bring about the character needed to judge nations. What does is faith, hard times, and a God-given desire to influence the world towards bending the knee to Jesus over a time horizon of 100 years, instead of only 4.