the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
We often think of the 1960s as a decade of change – and rightly so. Yet our focus is typically on the wild behavior of the younger generation when it should be on the actions of national leadership. For it was the legislative action of the 89th Congress (1965 – 66) that set in motion profound changes we still live with today.
President Lyndon Johnson rode the wave of a Democratic Party landslide in 1964 to unprecedented success in implementing his leftist agenda. By the end of the Johnson administration, 226 of the president's 252 legislative goals had been met. In that four-year period the United States government effectively aban-doned the Constitution and embraced the policies of the nanny state.
Although Republican Richard Nixon won handily in 1968 and again in 1972, the Great Society brought into being by LBJ and the 89th Congress remained in place and indeed was strengthened and expanded. This trend continued through the Ford and Carter admini-strations and so by the time of Ronald Reagan's first term, all was in place to produce a generation of Americans entirely comfortable with the entitlement culture. It seems our chickens are finally coming home to roost.
In the most recent election, evangelicals and faithful Catholics turned out in large numbers and voted overwhelm-mingly for religious liberty, the sanctity of life and marriage and limited government. However younger voters and minorities turned out in even larger numbers than they did in the 2008 election and so delivered a victory to President Obama. Overall, Barack Obama easily won the youth vote nationally over Romney with an advantage of 67% to 30%.
Most political gurus suggest the answer to this problem is to introduce America's youth to the wonders of conservative political theory. But that's a political answer to a spiritual problem and it will not work. Believe it or not, the youth and minorities who voted for Barack Obama know full well the basic difference between leftism and conservative values. Leftism promises something for nothing while conservative philosophy is based on personal respon-sibility. Since the 1960s and especially since the late 70s and early 80s, it has become common for Americans to view the civil government as the provider of all things. It begins with the fundamental belief that the rights of man are given by the state rather than God. It continues with the conviction that civil authority is respon-sible for the health, education, shelter, feeding and general welfare of American citizens. We scoff at YouTube clips featuring the “common man” who embraces leftist politics because it guarantees him a free cell phone, free gas or a free education but that attitude of irresponsibility is the norm in the generations that have come of age since 1980.
Christians should never appeal to traditional American values as the reason for voting one way or the other in any election. Instead, we have the duty to bring all aspects of this life under the authority of Jesus Christ. We must proclaim a comprehensive gospel including the Bible based principle of self-government under God. In other words, we must unashamedly proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ over American politics.
Rather than go with the flow and hope for the best our job is to develop a comprehensive strategy for taking dominion. As you recall from earlier articles, dominion is not about political power but is self sacrificial obedience to God in Christ. It is the quiet reformation of everything within our reach. Biblically defined, dominion is millions of Christians bringing their arena of activity under the authority of Jesus Christ. In that scenario no aspect of cultural renew rushes ahead of another. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to train up a generation intimately familiar with obedience to Almighty God in all facets of human life.
Continued next week.