Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Our Sovereign God, II

In the face of such sweeping defeats for conservatives, let us not forget that our God is sovereign. God willed that the Democrats should take control over the House, that the very strong pro-life bill in South Dakota should fail, that Arizona should fail to ban homosexual "marriage", and that Missouri should decide to fund the highly immoral embryonic stem cell research. As of this writing, it looks as though Jim Webb will defeat George Allen for senator in Virginia (quite the voter turn-out, it seems; you can't claim that Virginia was half-hearted about this election!). Montana's senator race is still too close to call.

That God is sovereign doesn't prevent me from poking fun at Americans whose memory is rather seive-like. Have we forgotten that the House voted to go to war with a vote of 296-133, and the Senate with a vote of 77-23? That's an overwhelming majority. To then turn right around and claim that the deaths in Iraq (faithfully reported by the extremely biased liberal news media) are the President's fault is much too simplistic. Bush could not have gone to war without the Senate backing him up. Furthermore, to claim that Bush withheld information prior to the war in order to expedite a decision to go to war is ludicrous. The reasoning goes like this: Bush purposely hid information about Iraq so that he could go to war (almost never popular after Vietnam) in order to make his approval rating... plummet. That makes sense. Or did Bush think the war in Iraq would be easy? An easy win, like his father, and therefore the approval ratings would go up. Alas, the Iraqi insurgents learned all too well the lessons of the 1991 war. It would not be so easy this time. I somehow seriously doubt that Bush thought this war would be easy. That he hoped it would be easy is certain: who would not? Bush is smart, so I think he knew it would be difficult. And he did it anyway. And the Senate did it anyway. And now, when the going gets tough, everyone backs out and claims they were never for the war in the first place, or that they were misled by the Bush administration.

Surely even they can see that backing out of Iraq is not the way to go. That will make things much worse. The correct strategy here is carefully to train the Iraqi police and military so that they may defend themselves and their new government. If we back out now, we will have another Vietnam, along with loads of security issues cropping up regularly. That reminds me of a story about Nixon, who got us out of the Vietnam war: a pastor in Vietnam wrote Nixon a letter after the pull-out, telling him that evangelism was now nearly impossible in a nation which resented this incorrect move. He told Nixon that he was praying Nixon would be removed from office, an imprecatory prayer. Then along came Watergate. Interesting, isn't it?

While I wouldn't wish any terrorist attacks on anyone, I will say that Al Qaida is no doubt rejoicing that their staunch allies, the Democrats, have taken the House. If the Dems get the Senate, we can expect Al Qaida to rejoice at that as well. They will be emboldened, and I predict attacks on American soil. I hope that doesn't happen; but if it does, I rather think the Dems will get egg on their face. The Democrats simply have no clue how to fight a war! They do not understand security (as evidenced by Clinton and his treasonous actions with the Chinese), and think that the terrorists will just go away if we don't bother them.

The terrorists are motivated by envy. Most terrorists these days are Muslim, despite what the liberal media would have you believe. Muslims, naturally, believe that their religion is correct and that Christianity is wrong. Ergo, Muslim nations should prosper and Christian nations should not. Muslims believe America is a Christian nation. *snorts* They're wrong, but that's how they view us. America is the most spectacularly successful nation in terms of economics that the world has ever seen. Therefore, Muslim terrorists (I refuse to call them extremists. In terms (solely) of how they interpret the Koran, Muslim terrorists are to Islam what fundamentalists are to Christianity) will attack the United States to show the world that Christianity is wrong, and Islam is correct.

In the final analysis, however, even though I'm mightily disappointed with this election and could wish the American people had been a bit more far-sighted, our God is sovereign. I cannot despair when I think of that. We are in the palm of His hand, and nothing can harm us without His say-so. Since He works everything out for our good (that good being to become more and more like Christ), we can rest easy.

Furthermore, another reason not to get all angry and despairing is that politics is simply insufficient to solve the problems of the United States. Politics could help: we could eliminate the thieving welfare state, we could outlaw abortion and homosexual "marriages", we could get the government out of education and such. But even those things will not change men's hearts. For that you must have the gospel. Praise be to God, even the Democrats right now cannot prevent the spread of the gospel. So I call to you Christians: just keep doing your thing. Evangelize and disciple the people around you. Think through what it means to be a Christian and how that affects everything you do. Rest on God's grace to sanctify you more and more. And pray that God will turn this nation around from its decidedly Roman path downhill.

In Christ.

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At 11/08/2006 10:12:00 AM , Anonymous Lane Keister said...

Many good points, bro. I will be posting some similar comments, though taking a slightly different direction. However, I don't if I agree with this statement: Muslim terrorists are to Islam what conservative reformed Presbyterians are to Christianity. I think I would put it this way: Muslim terrorists are to Islam what fundamentalists are to Christianity. Surely, conservative Reformed Presbyterians is way too small a category to correspond? I would also ask in what way does the parallel operate under your analogy? This needs some serious explanation and qualification, bro.

At 11/08/2006 10:20:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

The analogy has to do with how conservative reformed Presbyterians interpret the Bible, and how Muslim terrorists interpret the Koran. Both assume inerrancy and attempt to take passages literally where such an interpretation seems sensible. For example: conservative reformed Presbyterians generally take Genesis literally, it being in the form of history. Similarly, Muslim terrorists take Surah IX Repentance literally, and that is where much of the "Let's kill other peoples" idea originates. Naturally, I don't mean that conservative reformed Presbyterians are performing acts of terrorism.

Perhaps you are right that fundamentalists is a better category, for they tend to try to take all the Bible literally, which seems to me, also, what the Muslim terrorists are doing. I think I'll change that.

I'm attempting to argue against, say, the following analogy: Muslim terrorists are to Islam what the KKK is to Christianity, which is what the West Wing claimed, Third Season.

In Christ.

At 11/08/2006 11:03:00 AM , Blogger zan said...

I am so frustrated with Americans who voted their feelings rather than their brains.

New Hampshire (my home state) now has a rep from NYC. They voted out the 12 yr republican candidate just because he supported the war. Like, voting for Dems will solve the war. Now our capital is full of Dems who will, no doubt, bring an income tax and turn our lovely state into Taxachusetts with their terrible roads. (I harp about Massachusetts roads a lot. If one of the highest taxed states in the union can't have semi-decent roads and somewhat good schools then something is seriously wrong. Of course this is the state of Kerry and Kennedy.). There is a reason that New Hampshire is the best state to live in NE.

You are so right about the terrorists kicking off a party today. They love the weak policies of the Democrats. I am very afraid of another terrorist attack and if the Dems live up to their wimpy anti-terrorism policies I will not be visiting any high population areas.

Even in my disappointment, I have to remember that God is in control and Bush is still the president. Maybe things have to get worse before they get better.

At 11/08/2006 01:53:00 PM , Blogger une_fille_d'Ève said...

Good post.

I liked your comparison of Muslim terrorists to fundamental Christians. I think my religion teacher, and therefore most of the other students in my class through what she's said, thinks that Muslim terrorists are more like the 'Christians' who went on the Crusades. My religion class is now going over Islam, and it really amazes me - baffles me - how liberals look at Islam. My religion teacher likes it because it's a peaceful, inclusive religion which encompasses many religions and their prophets. Right. Most of the time I just sit in class in silence and disbelief, not even knowing what to say.

At 11/08/2006 09:04:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

I'm feeling like a copycat. Lydia has started a weekly series of Thursdays of Thankfulness, and the post I just typed up for this week was on God's sovereignty and goodness, because it seemed a natural topic of thankfulness after election season. But you and Lane have sovereignty posts pertaining to the election. What's with that? ;-)

This was a very good post. I, like Hannah, really thought your terrorist-fundamentalist comparison was good. And you have a balanced take on the war. I must admit I'm a fence-sitter with both Bush and the war. I really do think Bush is a born-again Christian, and he stands for many good things and has made some good improvements, but I also think he is seriously misled on some issues. I also think terror must be dealt with, but I'm not sure how. I do not like our rising federal deficit. But I do think that pulling out of Iraq right now is not a good option (one of the worst, in fact), and I'm also glad I'm not president. Bush is under an enormous amount of pressure, and I don't envy him.

Especially given my own unsureties on political situations, I'm glad God is sovereign. Without that, we'd have reason to panic over our political situation. But God is on His throne. Amen and amen.

At 11/08/2006 09:07:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

And of course I completely forgot to mention my very-favorite part of your post: the end! That is really the key to any political analysis. Good laws don't change anyone. They may restrain evil, but they can't turn evil into good. I think it often takes a system of corrupt laws to make the church more fully realize that fact, so it is not wholly bad when rotten laws get passed. It's a reminder that only Jesus can do helpless sinners good.

At 11/16/2006 01:18:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Interesting update on Bush: I watched some of his press conference after the election. It was amazing! World Magazine thought he should have been talking like that the whole time. Most interesting were his reasons why Iraq was not equal to Vietnam. There were about three or four excellent reasons, including re-enlistment rates, existence of a democracy or republic, and one or two other good ones.

I don't like Bush's fiscal policies; he spends quite a bit more than I would like. World also said that if Bush works well under pressure like he did at the press conference, then the next two years should be pretty interesting.

Susan, I thank you for your as-usual kind comments. :-)]

In Christ.

At 11/16/2006 09:01:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Hmm. That makes me wish that I had actually watched some post-election coverage. That is the down-side to no TV in the main area: I'm really not as caught up on current news as I should be. Ignorance is bliss to an extent, and only to an extent.

World Magazine is an excellent publication. They understand good, Biblically-based journalism.

And you're welcome :).

At 11/23/2006 01:12:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Shall we TIOC? :-)]

In Christ.

At 11/24/2006 02:24:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Sounds like a good plan to me :).


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