It is a cycle dating back at least to the days of President Bill Clinton. Evangelical leaders call for urgent prayer because of a "godless" president. We cry out for revival. We hold special prayer rallies. And we mobilize believers to vote. Then, when we win the next elections, we take our foot off the gas and we go back to complacency.
That has been a terrible and costly mistake for at least two reasons.
First, no president can do what the church is called to do. No president can bring spiritual renewal or moral transformation. Only the church can do that through the gospel.
Second, regardless of who is in office, America remains in desperate need of awakening, while much of the church remains in desperate need of revival.
We have no business taking our foot off the gas. The situation remains urgent.
Fast forward now to the Trump presidency.
In keeping with our pattern, we protested the policies of President Obama. We decried his pro-LGBT, pro-abortion activism (among other things). We bemoaned his Supreme Court appointees. And we said, "Revival is our only hope!"
Then, with the unlikely rise of Donald Trump (all the more unlikely as the champion of evangelicals), we once again shifted our focus and cut back on our fervent praying for awakening.
The battle is now over allegiance to Trump or opposition to Trump.
The emphasis is now on getting more conservatives on the courts. (To be sure, Trump's court nominees are highly significant. But they can only accomplish so much.)
The focus is now on the 2020 elections, which will surely be heralded as the most important in our lifetimes (just as the last few elections were described).
And while each of these areas has its place, we have once again taken our foot off the gas, looking to the White House and Congress and the courts to do what only we can do. Until.
Until something major happened.
The Kavanaugh hearings revealed the fangs of the radical pro-abortionists.
The new abortion laws in New York and Vermont (along with one proposed in Virginia) reminded us of the blood lust of abortionists.
The pro-infanticide comments of the governor of Virginia shocked the sensibilities of many moderate Americans.
And now, as reported by LifeNews, "House Republicans will bring up the request to vote on the Born Alive bill every day for the next 30 days," thereby forcing Democrats to show their hand. (So far, Democrats have blocked the vote the first two days.)
As Rep. Steve Scalise tweeted, "Before the entire House, I asked for immediate consideration of a bill that protects infants born alive during abortions. But Democrats rejected my motion and refused to consider it. Why won't they go on record and tell the American people where they stand on infanticide?"
All this has freshly energized pro-life Christians across America, including many a pastor who had remained on the sidelines in the past.
They are speaking out openly and clearly, some of them for the first time in their lives.
They are recognizing the church's complicity in the sin of abortion, primarily because of our silence and inactivity.
They are asking, "What can we do? How can we make a difference?"
They are even calling for days of repentance and prayer and mourning.
This is very important and represents a major step forward. If only we will learn to keep the pedal to the metal!
Now, more than ever, we need to seek God for genuine revival and awakening.
Now, more than ever, we need to take stock of our own lives, getting our own houses in order and turning away from disobedience.
Now, more than ever, both on our knees and in the streets, we need to push back against America's culture of death and restore a culture of life.
Now, more than ever, we need to put our trust in the Lord rather than in politics (although we pray for our political leaders and remain politically involved).
Now, more than ever, we cannot be distracted from our mission and our calling.
The hour truly is urgent, regardless of who is in the White House and who sits on the courts. And the hour will be urgent for years to come.
America is teetering on the edge of moral anarchy and spiritual confusion.
The church must be renewed. The church must lead the way. Jesus must be central.
Otherwise, collapse is near.
Thankfully, what people means for evil God can turn for good, and that's exactly what is happening today.
The pro-abortion, infanticide-endorsing militants are overplaying their hand, and millions of evangelicals (and others) are waking up.
Let us be vigilant and diligent, staying alert, staying active and staying on guard.
We cannot afford to take our foot off the gas again, let alone fall asleep at the wheel.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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