Rod Dreher, senior editor and blogger at The American Conservative 1 in his book, “The Benedict Option” wrote:
“…faithful … Christians—… theological conservatives within the three main branches of historic Christianity—…know that if believers don’t come out … and be separate, 2 …, their faith will not survive for another generation …in this culture…. They recognize an unpopular truth: politics will not save us. … they have recognized that the kingdom of which they are citizens is not of this world 3 and have decided not to compromise that citizenship. What these … Christians are doing now …a strategy that draws on the authority of Scripture …[is] “exile in place” 4 [embolden for personal emphasis]
This is not the rhetoric of the street corner prophet inspiring fear in an election year. This is not the outcry of an enraged citizenry whose political and religious zeal have welded together reaching a crescendo in an all or nothing election scenario. This is not using Scripture to explain or endorse or discredit—whatever—what we feel in this time of heated political dialog. This is not the voice of christian disaffection trying to buttress a dying church by discrediting the very government for which Paul admonished prayer. 5 This is about survival as a church!
Dreher argues: “This is not just about our own survival. If we are going to be for the world as Christ meant for us to be, we are going to have to spend more time away from the world, in deep prayer and … spiritual training—just as Jesus (did). We cannot give the world what we do not have.” 6
In a letter to soldiers in 1798, John Adams, a Founding Father … remarked:
“We had no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. …Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 7
We, as christians, need to live with eyes wide open in a world 8 we are not part of. We need to become “street-wise” to the cultural and social change all around us, a change that is predictably going to see us more and more as outliers. As a civilization we have moved away from a faith in a transcendent God who communicates His love to His creation …to a deistic or even vague definition of a god who has wound the clock of the universe and left science in charge …to no god at all. A generation of millennials whose faith in the christian God has eroded away—some to an agnostic or even atheistic point of view—are not aware that their mindset is a product of the postmodern age we live in. Sociologist Christian Smith 9 used the term “secular revolution.” 10 No god, no absolute code of morality, no sin. Whatever makes you happy. Sociologist Philip Rieff, the great interpreter of Freud, described the shift in Western consciousness like this: “Religious man was born to be saved. Psychological man is born to be pleased.” 11
Don’t fret the outcome of the election—any election—that understandably you have a patriotic interest in. Go, vote!! For a believer, whose trust is founded in a God that will direct our paths, there is really only one vote that counts—His!
Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? ” Luke 18:8 CSB
Be mindful instead of the outcome of the faith of our children and grandchildren if we fail to live out our faith in front of them. Above all, put prayer back on the schedule. If it’s there already, make sure it is a priority.
2 2 Corinthians 6:17 CSB “come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord”
3 Philippians 3:20 CSB “…our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ”
4 Dreher, Rod. The Benedict Option (p. 18). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
5 1 Timothy 2:1-2 “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”
6 Dreher, Rod. The Benedict Option (p. 19).
Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
7 John Adams, Letter to the Massachusetts Militia, 11 October 1798, U.S. National Archives, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-3102.
8 John 17:15-16 ““I am not praying that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world”
9 “Christian Stephen Smith is an American sociologist, currently the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. Smith’s research focuses primarily on religion in modernity,” -wiki
10 Dreher, Rod. The Benedict Option (p. 39). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
11 Philip Rieff, The Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith After Freud, 40th anniversary ed. (Wilmington, DE: