I am not in the least bit discouraged with the outcome of the presidential elections, and I write these words with faith in the presence of God.
Without a doubt, I have grave concerns about where our nation could be heading under four more years of President Obama and I grieve over the steady erosion of our liberties.
I am burdened by the deepening division within our country and troubled over real questions about our relationship with Israel along with issues concerning our national security. And I am pained by the fact that, for the first time, Americans voted to redefine marriage and make it genderless (and we did in all four states where this was on the ballot).
But I also believe that Obama’s re-election could be exactly what is needed for the church to be the church in our country, since we know we can’t look to the White House for change. And, as much as I hate to say it, it may take a serious national decline before the people of God awaken and arise. Unfortunately, as long as we pour so much of our time and energy and money and emotion into politics, we will fail to give ourselves fully to the Great Commission and to living as Jesus revolutionaries. (I certainly believe in the importance of politics; I’m talking here about a question of emphasis.)
On Sunday night, I felt prompted to write an article to be posted Monday morning, warning moral conservatives about the pitfalls in putting our trust in Gov. Romney if he was elected president, and I’m glad I wrote the article. The warning stands, especially if we had deluded ourselves into thinking that a Romney presidency would have brought about radical moral and cultural changes in America, such as the end of legalized abortion on demand.
But I closed the article with these words: “And what if Barack Obama is re-elected? Then we would do well to avoid the trap of putting most of our energies into rebuking the president’s latest transgressions. Instead, we will have to focus our efforts like never before on fomenting a moral, cultural and spiritual revolution. Come to think of it, that would be a sound course of action if Mitt Romney is our next president, too. Can I count you in?
“The time for this kind of revolution—not a violent one but an ideological, cultural one—is long overdue, and I for one am not waiting for the White House to make it happen. How about you?"
Now, with the most radical pro-abortion, pro-gay-activist president in our history elected to a second term, we will not deceive ourselves into looking to the White House for help (although we should pray fervently for God to get hold of him and turn his heart).
Instead, we must give ourselves to personal and corporate repentance, to faith-filled, persistent prayer for revival and awakening, to a renewed commitment to preach the gospel without shame and compromise, and to an unshakable resolve to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
In the year 2000, I wrote these words in The Jesus Manifesto: A Call to Revolution: “The dawning of the 21st century finds the church of America in a moral and spiritual crisis. Decades of self-centered living and worldliness have taken their toll. Years of compromise and toothless gospel preaching have had their effect. And now we have reached the moment of truth: Either we wake up, stand up, speak up and act up, or we run the risk of becoming a mere historic curiosity, an irrelevant religious sideshow, an entertaining, harmless spectacle. Something must change, and it must change now. There is no other choice.”
Twelve years later, this message is more urgent than ever, and that is the very thing that gives me hope. The charade is over. The curtain has been lifted. Lightweight “Christianity” has been exposed.
Our watered-down, barely recognizable “gospel” has produced disastrous fruit and our pitiful attempt to become relevant to the world by becoming like the world (not in terms of cultural sensitivity but in terms of moral and spiritual compromise) has failed miserably. We must have a spiritual awakening coupled with the restoration of the real gospel message. It truly is a matter of revival or we die.
Charles Finney brought this strong charge back in 1873: “The error that lies at the foundation of this decay of individual and public conscience originates, no doubt, in the pulpit. ... Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree.
“If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it.
“If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.
“Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”
Let the awakening begin with each one of us, especially those of us who serves as leaders in the Body, and let the Jesus revolution arise in our midst until the nation is shaken with the gospel.
On with it!
Michael Brown is the author of The Real Kosher Jesus and the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience.